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Learn how to make a scrap quilt!

Save offcuts from the landfill with Sarah Sheen’s scrap quilt tutorial! Eco-friendly quilts have never looked so good.

Colourful quilt hanging over the back of a chair

Rummage through your stash and get ready to transform scraps into an eco-friendly quilt!

Sarah Sheen will show you how to make a scrap quilt using leftover fabrics. It’s the ideal project for quilters who are both on a budget and want to keep their crafting eco-friendly.

Not only is it sustainable but it’s beautiful too! The repeating clamshell design and soft pastel fabric make it the perfect keepsake blanket. It would make the most thoughtful, eco-conscious gift for new mums and babies.

Although you can make this scrappy quilt with any fabrics you like, some may want to use the same fabrics as Sarah. The background fabric which Sarah has used is Kona Cotton Solid in Snow by Robert Kaufman. The backing fabric is from the Lily collection by Penny Rose Fabrics. The print fabrics are all scraps from Sarah’s stash!

Now it’s time to sew! It’s over to Sarah for her tutorial…

How to make a scrappy quilt


You Will Need

  • 5in squares (205), (consider print placement if fussy cutting)
  • Background fabric (1¼yd)
  • 4in Clamshell paper template (253 copies)
  • Binding fabric (½yd)
  • Backing fabric (3⅛yd)
  • Batting (52in x 62in)

Step 1

Cutting out the pattern

From the white fabric cut:
■ One (1) 12in x 44½in strip.
■ Forty eight (48) 5in squares. Subcut each square into a clamshell shape using the Clamshell Fabric template.

Step 2

Use the Clamshell Fabric template to cut a clamshell shape from each print fabric 5in square, fussy cutting some of the prints if desired.

Step 3

From the binding fabric cut:
■ Six (6) 2½in x WOF strips.

Caught the clamshell quilt bug?

For more beautiful clamshell quilt designs head over to Love, Patchwork & Quilting and Today’s Quilter’s Etsy shop.

Step 4

Sewing the scrappy clamshells

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig A

Place the Clamshell Paper template onto the wrong side of a print fabric clamshell piece, ensuring there is at least a ⅜in seam allowance around the top edge.

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig B

Using a glue pen, swipe a line of glue ⅛in from the edge of the paper. Starting on one side of the clamshell, gradually fold over the edge of the fabric, working your way around the upper curve only until you get to the other side.

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig C

Leave the two lower sides loose. Check from the right side that the edge is nice and crisp. Smooth it out with a fingertip if necessary. Repeat with all the clamshell pieces.

Step 5

How to make a scrappy quilt layout diagram

Once all the clamshells have been glue-basted, begin arranging them into your desired layout (above is recommended). Start the first row with eleven of the scrappy clamshells. The next row will be twelve white clamshells.

Continue in this way until you have four rows each of scrappy and white. The rest of the rows will all be scrappy, alternating between eleven and twelve clamshells.

Step 6

Once you are happy with your layout, join the clamshells into rows.

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig D

Place the first two clamshells from the top row RST, making sure to align the curves so the points just “kiss”.

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig E

Just below the corner point of the papers, whipstitch together with a matching thread three times.

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig F

Repeat until you have reached the end of the top row, and for all remaining rows.

Step 7

Fold the long edge of the 12in x 44½in background piece 2in to the wrong side and press to mark the placement for the top row of clamshells.

Step 8

Gently remove the papers from just the top row of clamshells, being careful not to distort the crisp edge you have created.

Step 9

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig G

Open up the folded background piece and align the top edge of the first row of clamshells with the crease, centred on the background with ¼in seam allowance on each end. Pin in place.

Step 10

Starting at one end of the row, hand sew the upper edge of each clamshell to the background with an applique stitch, so the stitches won’t be visible.

Work to the opposite end of the row and make sure to neatly secure your thread at the end.

Step 11

Remove papers from the second row of twelve joined clamshells and place on top of the bottom edge of the first row. The middle top of the curve will cover the whip stitch in the previous row.

The clamshells at the outer ends will extend beyond the edge of the background and will be trimmed off later.

Applique the upper curves of the row to the bottom of the previous row underneath.

Step 12

LQP_085_p038-042_ProjClamshell.Fig H

Repeat step 11 until all twenty two rows (four white, eighteen scrappy) are sewn together.

Step 13

Carefully trim the left and right sides of the clamshells, trimming the clamshells ¼in away from the outer points. Trim the background fabric evenly with the clamshells at the sides. Then trim the bottom edge of the quilt straight.

Step 14

Finishing off your scrappy quilt

Cut the backing fabric in half across the width. Remove the selvedge and sew the two pieces together using a ½in seam. Press the seam open.

Step 15

Press the quilt top and backing well. Make a quilt sandwich by placing the backing fabric right side down, the batting on top, then place the quilt top centrally and right side up. Baste the layers together using your preferred method.

Step 16

Quilt as desired. Ileana quilted a feathered design using a longarm quilting machine. Trim off the excess batting and backing fabric and square up the quilt.

Step 17

Sew the binding strips together end-to-end using diagonal seams. Press the seams open. Fold in half lengthways, wrong sides together, and press.

Step 18

Sew the binding to the right side of the quilt, creating a neat mitre at each corner. Fold the binding over to the back of the quilt and hand stitch in place to finish.


Save the planet with your eco-friendly quilt

Stash buster projects are our favourite. They save you money and allow you to express your creativity in a truly unique way. Experiment with your mismatching clamshells to create interesting patterns which speak to you.

You could choose an overarching theme, say blue, and collect multiple different shades and designs to make your scrap quilt. Or go wild with completely different prints for each clamshell. The world is your oyster (or your clamshell…) when it comes to making scrap quilts. Just have fun with it!

Craft consciously with Gathered

We won’t let any fabrics go to landfill! Turn the offcuts from your scrap quilt into fabric shoelaces with our tutorial.