Make some fast and fun scrap quilts with these free scrap quilt patterns. Read our best tips for creating a cohesive modern scrap quilt.
We’ve all got scrap fabrics that we plan to use *someday*. Am I right? But the pretty fabrics in our fabric shops are calling our names and it can be really hard resisting them (and really, is there a reason we should?).
But there comes a time in every quilter’s life when the scrap bin is just too full and something has to be done about it. Worry not, as we’ve selected some excellent modern free scrap quilt patterns that will make you wish you had even more scraps to use up (just joking, no normal quilter wants that).
What is a scrap quilt?
Let’s first get some quilt lingo out of the way so we’re all on the same page here, shall we?
A scrap quilt is a quilt made using fabric that is leftover from previous sewing projects. When you’ve been quilting for a while you’re bound to have a hefty scrap stash. Some of those quilt scraps may be organized by color, size, and prints, while
mine others are not. It doesn’t matter, moving on.
The point is when following a scrap quilt pattern you’ll dig deep into that scrap bin and sew the quilt using those scraps.
You can also make a scrappy quilt using fresh new pretty fabric, mixing and matching them to get that scrappy look. Is that a true scrap quilt? I don’t know, who am I to judge? If that’s what you want to do, I say go for it!
How do you make a scrap quilt that actually looks good?
If you’re anything like us, you love the look of a cohesive, balanced color scheme, possibly (but not necessarily) in solids. It’s just what we gravitate towards. (Believe me, coming from architecture, where the only color that exists is black, that’s a big achievement for us.)
Anyway, when you think of a scrappy quilt, sometimes the exact opposite comes to mind. A chaotic, all-over-the-place, I-can’t-look-at-this-for-more-than-10-seconds quilt can in fact be the result of your scrap-busting endeavors.
Well, let me reassure you, there is a better way to do this. In fact, I have found that there are some specific things all modern scrap quilts have in common. So I’ve got some tips for how a modern quilter like yourself can make the scrappy quilt work.
How do you arrange colors in scrap quilt patterns?
When you’re considering how to arrange fabrics for scrappy quilts, the best place to start is color. I suggest organizing your scraps by color families. Meaning if you have a bunch of pinkish fabrics, think of them as one color family (rather than rose vs. fushcia vs. blush). When planning the arrangement, consider this color family as one fabric. This takes away the overwhelm of thinking about each scrap separately. And it helps you create that cohesive look you’re going for.
Another tip to keep in mind is to not get overambitious by trying to use ALL your scraps in one quilt. Use the same color principles you use when buying fabric and don’t think you HAVE to use something just because it’s in your scrap bin.
How do you arrange prints in scrap quilt patterns?
When talking about prints the same principles apply. Group them into fabric families (how cute is that, a fabric family?), but here instead of just thinking about the colors of the fabric, consider the scale of the print, as well. Tiny prints have a different effect than large-scale prints, so it might be necessary to place them into different fabric families.
Of course, you can also mix colors with prints if they have the same overall vibe. We’re all for mixed (fabric) families around here 😉
Can you use yardage in a scrap quilt?
There is no quilt police, so of course, you can use yardage in a scrap quilt, as well. In fact, I think it’s often necessary to add larger (possibly solid) fabric pieces to create a balance between the scrappy scraps and these larger solid surfaces.
Free Scrap Quilt Patterns to Make
There are so many fun quilt patterns you can make and we’ve found some excellent examples that will make the perfect contemporary scrap quilts. All of these patterns are free, so get those scraps out and start sewing!
This awesome modern take on a signature cross quilt is a fat quarter friendly pattern. But although it’s written for fat quarters, if you’ve got some larger scrap pieces lying around, I think they would work great, as well. Even if you’ve got smaller scraps, the math here is pretty simple, so you can just use this as inspiration and make your blocks smaller. I love how fresh and modern this is.
This is a scrappy version of Coral and Co’s free Swiss Cross pattern and I think it’s even better than the original. Although you won’t see many monochromatic quilts around here (we’re kind of addicted to color, in case you haven’t noticed) I am in love with how cool this looks. So dig up those black and white fabrics and go for it. Or make it in color as we might. We promise we won’t tell.
If you’re looking to use up some fabric strips, this scrappy baby quilt is the perfect project. It’s a great pattern to show off some pretty prints, but it would also look very modern in solids. Or do a combo of both. This free tutorial shows you how to make the baby size. And if you’d like to make it in lap size Melissa offers a PDF pattern in her shop.
This may not be a pattern per se, but I think it can be a great inspiration if you’re looking for ways to use up your scraps. Here, the gals from Simple Simon and Co simply sewed their scraps together in rows strategically placing them against a neutral white background fabric. Love, love, love this!
I love the look of this plaid(ish) scrappy quilt. This is another example of a pattern that works great with prints but I think would also look amazing in solids. I might have to try that. As Erica explains, the directions make a 64″ x 82″ quilt, but the size can be easily scaled up or down by adding or subtracting blocks.
I love everything that Emily makes, and this scrappy Plus quilt is no exception. In this article, Emily will take you through every step of making this amazing scrappy quilt, plus she shares some very useful tips for organizing your scrap stash.
Well of course this quilt using the colorful Ruby Star Society fabrics is gorgeous. The pattern calls for 5’’ squares, but you could easily size those down to the size of your fabric scraps. Use the tips they share for placing light, medium and dark fabrics, to get this perfect picnic blanket effect.
If you’ve been saving some 2.5’’ squares and looking for the perfect scrappy project this might be it. Melissa has a great in-depth tutorial to walk you through every step. We love the ombre effect she was able to create with the strategic placement of her squares.
If you’ve got some extra jelly roll strips on your hand, you can use them to make this Modern Workshop quilt. The pattern shows you how to achieve the ombre effect by staggering the pieced strips.
This is another great scrappy strip quilt. The great thing about this one is that it uses 1 1/2” strips, 2” strips, and 2 1/2” strips, so you can really bust that (strip) scrap stash. Allison does a great job showing you every step of constructing the quilt top, so this could be a great beginner project, as well.
This Apple Basket Quilt is a fun pattern to show off your print fabric scraps. Pair them with a nice solid to create some negative space among the printed rectangles. Such a fun and quick pattern!
Last but not least, this is a quick little project we made a while back. It’s a small baby blanket using all flying geese (we’ve got a great flying geese tutorial, as well) plus some background fabrics. I actually made this from my own scraps, so this is a true scrappy baby quilt.
What do you think? Have these scrap quilt ideas inspired you to make your own modern scrap quilt? We’d love to see how your own scrappy quilts turn out!