Announcing...Scrapitude 2015, or "Scrap-in-a-Box"!

ScrapiBonzaTude--my version of Charlotte's first Scrapitude quilt this past year.

ScrapiBonzaTude--my version of Charlotte's first Scrapitude quilt this past year.

Yes, folks, the time is almost upon us! Charlotte's ready to lead another mystery scrap quilt!

The Schedule

Fabric and cutting instructions will be posted this coming week (Tuesday, 9/6). You'll then have a few months to get yourself ready to go.

The first piecing clue will be posted January 13. There are five clues altogether, and we'll be posting them the second Tuesday of every month from January through May, 2015.*

Wanna play along?

The Size

This time, Charlotte has let us know that the completed quilt will be a "snuggly couch size approximately 58" x 74", including borders." She also describes it as being for confident beginners or intermediate quilters. If you are a beginner, you'll just need to go slow and watch some bias edges. But you should be able to do it. Nothing too off-the-wall! And advanced quilters will enjoy it too, of course.

So, what are you waiting for? Join the fun!

On Palettes

Some people love doing controlled palettes. Charlotte prefers doing full-on scrap in her own quilting, so her instructions are set up that way. I suggest you pay attention to the information she gives for value and suggested fabrics. (It's a gorgeous design and you don't want it to get lost!) Controlled palettes can simply be "controlled" along the same value lines.

See below for a little more about controlled palette versus full-on scrap.


We'll still use #Scrapitude on Twitter and the same Flickr group. (Didn't do Scrapitude last year? Go ahead and check out the Flickr group to see what-the-what!)

Asking Questions

My travel schedule is nuts this year. So that my absence doesn't slow things down for those of you working on Scrapitude, I've set up a form for you to use to submit your questions about Scrapitude. Charlotte will get the questions herself and be able to respond to you directly. I'll see the questions and responses and if there's something that may be helpful for everyone to know, I'll post it to my blog whenever I land again.

So please use this form to submit your questions. If the form doesn't work for you, email your questions to me and I'll forward them to Charlotte when I see the email. Please do NOT use Twitter to ask questions--they get lost in the stream too easily.

Never Done a Scrap Quilt?

If you want to brush up on your scrappy knowledge, here's the listing I provided last year of past episodes I've done on scrap quilts.

Some Mistakes I've Made Along the Way

A few things I've learned from having done two biggies in a row now (Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street and Charlotte's Scrapitude), with a few smaller scrap projects in between, and having had a few things go awry on me here and there:

1. Unless you're intentionally going for a low-volume or watercolor effect, be sure your background fabric/s have good contrast with your scrap (main) fabrics. Otherwise you lose the design as your block edges fade into the background fabric.

Some of my scraps for the original Scrapitude

Some of my scraps for the original Scrapitude

2. In the same way, when you're choosing your scraps, it's generally a good idea to avoid any large-scale prints with parts of the print that are too close to the color of the background fabric. When you cut those large-scale prints into pieces, you might lose the sharpness of the edge when a big white flower suddenly lands right up against your white background and makes your block look like someone took a chomp out of the edge.

      In a normal non-mystery quilt, large-scale prints can be planned for places where they'd work well. In a mystery quilt, though, you never know how pieces are ultimately going to be used, so large-scale prints can be very tricky unless the mystery quilt designer tells you where it would be okay to use one. If, however, your large-scale print has good contrast with the background overall, these can be great to use in scrap quilts because cutting it into smaller pieces will give you a huge variety of end results--it'll look like you used five different fabrics where it was only one to start.

3. If you have one really dark fabric, balance it out with other really dark fabrics. If you have one really light fabric, balance it out with other really lights. My difficulty on Easy Street was I was trying for a span of values in my controlled palette and ended up with one really dark green mottled-read-as-solid that just sticks out like a sore thumb on the finished quilt. All I can see when I look at it is this dark green visual hole plopped around the quilt. It was my first scrap quilt, and it was a mystery, so I had no way of guessing the end result. Since then, I've done a couple of other scrap projects where I suddenly realized I had one fabric really standing out in an unpleasant way; but rather than removing that one fabric, I balanced it out with others of similar value, and suddenly it all worked beautifully. So while testing the new Scrapitude, I chose a wide variety of scraps and made sure I had a good mix of values (according to Charlotte's directions, which you'll get in another few days). And it's worked really well.

4. Don't be afraid of full-on scrap! I was. I really struggled with Easy Street and the first Scrapitude. In fact, I was pretty sure after Easy Street I didn't want to do another scrap quilt. Ever. (Or another mystery, for that matter.) But when I let myself do full-on scrap, and let Charlotte keep telling me, "It'll be okay! It'll be okay!" every month at guild, I ended up having a ball and completely loving the end product. I had to fight with myself not to control the way those scraps were coming together in the piecing. I confess to a couple of times picking up two pieces and saying, "Yikes! No way am I letting those two colors near each other!" and swapping one out before piecing the unit. But I only did that once or twice before I convinced myself that would be crazy-making and just released myself to the process. When you see the finished quilt, you never see those two fabrics that maybe don't play nice in the sandbox together. Because they're part of a whole, overall wonderful scrappy design.

That's it...although I may have other tips along the way. But for now--start staring at your scrap stash and thinking, "Yay! It's time for Scrapitude again!"

Please note: The original Scrapitude instructions have now been removed from my blog, as Charlotte is in the process of writing it up as a pattern for eventual sale. You will still find my in-progress and completed posts, none of which contained instructions.

*The second Tuesday of every month is my guild meeting. You'll be getting the clues the same day my guild-mates do!