What to do with a Moda scrap bag?

A Moda scrap bag is a nice problem to have!  The first of these little brown paper bags of loveliness I owned was pulled from a Secret Santa sack 🙂  I had no idea what it was but was delighted to see strips of fabric in my favourite Autumn hues.  I patted the fabrics in that first bag for a while and then made a quilt carry bag using the stitch and flip method described in Pam and Nicky Lintott’s book, ‘Jelly Roll Quilts’.

Quilt Carry Bag

A few years further into my patchwork and quilting obssession and I’ve concluded Moda scrap bags offer temptation and challenge in equal measure! Temptation because the bags are often found in shops and at quilt shows at prices that are hard to resist amongst all the much more expensive jelly rolls and pre-cuts; challenge as the bags generally contain off-cuts from the selvage edge of fabrics (presumably the left overs once the squares for charm packs and layer cakes have been cut from the full width fabrics?) and these can be of differing widths and lengths and may not even all be from the same coordinating range.

Needless to say, I succumbed to scrap bag temptation at the Malvern Show in May and bought a bag in which I discovered 35 strips, all about 32″ long and all from the Moda ‘Kiss Kiss’ range. Challenges included; the varying widths of the strips – once the selvage edges had been trimmed off the widest was 2¾”, the narrowest 1¾”; the totally ‘out of comfort zone’ fabric designs and colours; and the self-imposed challenge to use every scrap in the scrap bag!  I decided to customize a pattern, ‘Sparkling Gemstones’, I’d first seen in the afore-mentioned book.  I was also inspired by a similar quilt layout Colleen pictured in a blog post last year.   I decided to stick with the fabrics being of varying widths and strip pieced sets of four Kiss Kiss strips with either a wide or a narrow black sashing strip to the top and bottom long edges.

One of the 10.5" blocks
One of the 10.5″ blocks with a wide and a narrow black sashing strip

To make the most of the fabrics available I cut three 10½” pieces from each set and then squared up the black outer edges.  I quickly had twentyfour 10½” blocks with only three lengths of Kiss Kiss fabric unused (maybe they’ll become a cushion cover). Before sewing the blocks together I went back to my design plan to figure out how to add extra strips to the outside blocks so that all of the edges would be surrounded by black sashing borders.


The completed quilt top - I'm calling it 'Love Is In The Air' to reflect the images of Paris and the carrier pigeons carrying love letters - not to mention all the hearts and lips!
The completed quilt top – I’m calling it ‘Love Is In The Air’ to reflect the images of carrier pigeons with love letters in their beaks and the Eiffel Tower – not to mention all the hearts and lips!

With so few seams to match up it was quick work to put the blocks together and add the borders. I have the backing fabric pieced and the binding prepared but now need to order some wadding… I plan to quilt with diagonal straight lines spaced at random distances across the whole quilt.  I hope this will be in-keeping with the quilt top without confusing the simple  horizontal/upright arrangements of the strips.

I don’t feel very comfortable with the fabrics in this quilt – I wouldn’t have chosen them when I was a teenager, let alone now – but I am pleased with the design.

Building work – This has been a peaceful few days at home as the building work has temporarily ceased (see previous post) but once the gas company relocate their meter tomorrow all will begin again!

Healthy Eating Habits – Week 1 of the six week initiative completed and new habits are forming!  If you’d like to find out more see my previous post or join in on Facebook.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work In Progress Wednesday.


10 thoughts on “What to do with a Moda scrap bag?

  1. I’m not a “girly girl” and pinks and hearts and prints like that are harder for me to work with, too. I really like the movement the blocks in the quilt top have by being rotated, and I think the dashes of pink the border are really fun, too.

    • Thank you! I was trying to get that ‘floating’ effect although that really works when the border fabric is used in the pattern of the main part of the quilt as well. I’m not a girlie girl either, or a romantic!

    • I hadn’t heard of lucky dip bags. So far I haven’t been disappointed with a scrap bag but I do have a friend who bought a scrap bag only to find it contained fabrics from two completely different ranges 😢

  2. Thank you for the idea to use strips in various widths. I get a lot of scraps, and have been considering doing this to make a charity quilt.

    • Strips would go together nice and quickly and it’ s good there is so little ‘waste’ fabric so you won’t end up with a new pile of scraps! Which charity do you make quilts for?

  3. I’ve never bought a scrap bag but I have seen brown paper bags with little peek-a-boo windows in them and presume these are scrap bags. I can see what you mean by “a temptation and a challenge” ! You met the challenge really well, I really like the drama (?) the black fabric adds.


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