As a quilt shop owner I see a lot of quilting tools. Some of them are useful and some are gimmicks. I see so many that after awhile I get pretty jaded to them and don’t pay them a great deal of attention. So a few years back somehow we got a new template set (not ANOTHER template please Lord!) in the shop called “Scrap Crazy” and it was made by Creative Grids Rulers. The fact that it was a CGR product should have been enough to make me take notice but it was not. My staff going on and on about how great this Scrap Crazy template set is should have made me look at it but it did not. It was not until I was in a pinch and I needed a gift for my cousin who was about to undergo chemotherapy treatment did I pull out this “Scrap Crazy” thing and decide to give it a thought.
Well, wow. My quilting life has never been the same. I discovered why my staff was so up in the air about this tool. It is just simply amazing for making those quilts when you need something that is fast but nice. Scrap Crazy quilts are great for birthdays, graduations, weddings, friends or family who need a comfort quilt during illness, or even just for yourself to have something to make from those sets of 10” squares that are “marinating” in your sewing room closet.
I thought I would share with you a few tips when using the template set. You will have 3 template pieces in your package along with a set of instructions. While Karen Montgomery, designer of the Scrap Crazy Templates, has some books to give you more ideas on how to use them the basic pattern is in the template set so there is no additional pattern purchase required. The best and most efficient way to make a Scrap Crazy is to use a set of 10” squares more commonly called a “Layer Cake”. These sets typically have either 42 pieces in the if they are cottons or 40 pieces if they are batik. Don’t ask me why the fabric companies choose to package them this way—they just do. Each piece represents a block so if you have a cotton Layer Cake you will have 42 blocks and a batik LC will yield 40 blocks. So it is easy to figure that the cotton Scrap Crazy quilt will have a 6 x 7 block layout and the batik one will be 5 x 8 blocks. You can also use scraps or 6” strips but the cutting will not be as fast and efficient.
Constructing the quilt is super easy. Just follow the instructions, chain piece, and you literally can make one of these quilts in a day. It takes me about 20 minutes to cut one out. I HIGHLY recommend you purchase a Martelli Rotary Cutting System. (link and picture). This cutting system is one that actually works. I’ll get on my soap box here and say it is awful when you spend your good money on things that don’t work and so many of the rotating mats just don’t turn or they gum up after a year. Invest in a good turning mat. Martelli is the best on the planet IMHO.
Another thing you will need is this handy little tool I simply call “The Helper”. The first Scrap Crazy I made I was not paying attention and I made my first cut too far to the left. This resulted in not having enough space on the left to get the two pieces I needed to cut on that side and it ruined my Layer Cake! No problem—after all I own a quilt shop, right? Wrong! LOL! Messing up a Layer Cake is just painful even if you own Another thing you will need is this handy little tool I simply call “The Helper”. The first Scrap Crazy I made I was not paying attention and I made my first cut too far to the left. This resulted in not having enough space on the left to get the two pieces I needed to cut on that side and it ruined my Layer Cake! No problem—after all I own a quilt shop, right? Wrong! LOL! Messing up a Layer Cake is just painful even if you own a quilt shop. So after that I was a bit paranoid and wanted to measure, check, double-check, every time I made that first cut. One day I decided to have this little plastic piece made so I would know my cut was good. Voila! Problem solved! Of course, everyone wants one of these now so if you buy the Scrap Crazy set from me we will send you one of these with your order at no additional charge.
Now remember the objective/purpose of these projects is fast so once you get your blocks made I want you to resist the temptation of using a design board to lay them all out to be sure that a fabric does not touch in any of the blocks. No. No. No. What I want you to do is to place your blocks on the left of your machine facing up and all arranged in the same manner. Then pick up the first and second blocks. Turn the 2nd block one turn and sew it to the first block. The third block is turned two turns and sewn to the 2nd block and sew on until you have a row sewn. Put that row aside and continue making your rows. When you are finished making rows, start sewing them together. You will never lay out this quilt until it is done! Yes, you probably will have some blocks where the fabrics joined are the same, but guess what? IT DOESN’T MATTER! Look at this picture as an example and see what a great shape was formed because these two fabrics are the same. By allowing this to happen it actually makes your quilt more interesting!
So what if you don’t have border fabric from the collection that matches your Layer Cake? That is absolutely no problem. Most of the projects I have made I simply put a solid-ish fabric matching the colors in the quilt. You can make your quilt and then take it to your local quilt shop and someone there will be happy to assist you in finding the right fabric to go with it. And, don’t forget your backing!
I’m going to show you some examples of Scrap Crazy quilts I have made. For now we have these Layer Cakes in stock if you think you would like to try one of these out. If you also want the borders/binding/backing, just add a comment and we will fix you up.
Here we go:
This quilt is made from the “Hyde Park” collection by Moda. The designers were Blackbird designs and I just fell in love with the fabrics. And that is a good rule to point out with Scrap Crazy: If you love the fabrics, you will love the quilt. This quilt is a 6 x 7 blocks (42 piece Layer Cake) and I added an inner 2” accent border so it measures about 64” x 72”.
I am all things nautical so I fell in love with the “Boathouse” fabric collection from Moda. This collection was just so much fun to work with. We have sold out of the teal border but we do have some of the other pieces in this collection we could provide as border. Just let us know if that is ok with you. This is also a 6 x 7 block project (42 piece Layer Cake) but without an inner border so it measures about 60” x 68”
Yum. Yum. Yum. I do love my batiks. This collection is from Hoffman and is called “Cockatiel” and just happens to be the color scheme in my little granddaughters room. Hmmm...how did THAT happen?
This one is a 5 x 8 block layout (40 piece Layer Cake) with both an inner and outer border and it measures about 56” x 80”
And here is another batik collection called “Fiji” as I love the bright colors of the Caribbean! As with Cockatiel it has an inner and outer border and is the same size.
Who doesn’t love 3 Sisters? This one is made from “3 Sisters Favorites” Layer Cake and is the 6 x 7 block layout (42 piece Layer Cake) with just an outer border so it is about 60” x 68”. These quilts make nice lap/throw size projects that are perfect for snuggling under by the fire or for just warmth during treatment in the hospital.
This project is a little different as it uses both the 8” Scrap Crazy as well as the 6” Scrap Crazy (yes there are two sizes). The 6” set has 5 pieces instead of 3 and is good for smaller projects like crib quilts or to use as a pieced border as I have done with this project. The collection here is “Bon Voyage” and this quilt just turned out really nice. One difference here is that it is made using a fat quarter bundle. When you use fat quarters you cut them into 6” strips so you yield 3 strips per fat quarter or 120 strips (blocks) in a 40 piece collection. The center of this quilt was made using the 8” set and the border is the 6” set. I made it with 42 blocks in the center and 40 in the border. So you could actually make it even larger as I did not use all of my strips. Just another option.
In closing, I’ll leave you with just one more creative idea. This is a quilt I made as a wedding gift for my son and his new bride. I used scraps and just did my own thing with the center and then bringing the fabrics I had left over out into the border to tie it all together. Jack (my puppy) approves.
The main thing is to have fun with it and remember that the goal is fast but nice. You can’t go wrong with Scrap Crazy! I’d love for you to share this article on your own Facebook pages so others can discover the wonderful world of Scrap Crazy!