My .50 Cent Rummage Sale Find! Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do

I found a GREAT quilting book for 50 cents at the Sparks Methodist Rummage Sale over the weekend.

Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do by Roberta Horton. 1998 C&T Publishing, Inc.

Dedication ~ This book is written for all those individuals who have said to me, “I can’t DO that, I’m a traditional Quiltmaker.”

Forward ~ There is a dual focus to this book: fabric and scrap quilts. I can’t separate the two. In this day and age, many quiltmakers seem interested only in how fast they can make a quilt. I’m more concerned about how well my fabric is showcased within my quilts. Complicated patterns don’t turn me on when I make a quilt – each time, it’s the fabric that’s the most important factor.

Antique scrap quilts can be the most humble of quilts and, at the same time, the most complicated of all quilts to understand. I consider them to be the truest reflection of America’s past because they are what the average quiltmaker made. Scrap quilts were made by the masses, not the wealthy elite. I’m referring tot he quiltmaker who lived in a log cabin, a sod house, a farmhouse, or a bungalow, and not to the woman who lived in a mansion. Scrap quilts were made to be used. They were unpretentious and honest – and, at the same time, beautiful.

This book is divided into six chapters. First, I have given you my definition and explanation of what I consider to be a scrap quilt. This took me years to understand. Then there is a large section on fabric and how to understand its use in a scrap quilt.

Next, there are case studies of pieced scrap quilts and quilts that combine piecing and appliqué. I have included a folk art section to encourage creativity. Finally, there is a chapter on how to accomplish the technical aspects of making an actual quilt. This isn’t about sewing a quarter-inch seam. It’s the information I feel will allow you to go beyond where you are now. How to create your own patterns, whether they be pieced or appliquéd. How to cut directly into the fabric as opposed to relying on a rigid master plan to make your quilt.

So, sit back and enjoy Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do. Savor the old and new scrap quilts I have collected for your perusal. Keep your mind open to the ideas I have presented and really look with your eyes at the many examples. Do try the exercises I have suggested in the skills chapter – they really work. I hope this book will give you many ideas for your next quilt.

The Delectable Mountains. 1991. Becky Goldsmith, Sherman, Texas. (Judges ruled that there are not enough different fabrics to be considered a scrap quilt!)

Turning a New Leaf. 1997. Deborah Altfeld. Atwater, California.

Morning Mist (left). 1996. Willemke Vidinic. Paris, France.
Delectable Mountains. 1996. Anne Walker. Espon, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Roberta’s Broken Dishes (left). 1996. Marie-Christine Flocard. les Loges en Josas, France.
Broken Dishes. 1994. Nadi Lane. Agoura, California.

The following quilt I find very fascinating and plan to make one something like it, me thinks!

Strip Quilt. 1996. Circa 1890. Massachusets. Collection of author.

I like the one on the left too…

Gem Block. Circa 1880-1890. Collection of author.

While we’re talking about quilts ~ the October 2008 edition of Country Living magazine has a beautiful quilt in their Quilter’s Journal on page 84. I love the colors…I’d change the colors of the first border check…too white.

30 Stars for 30 Years…”The design is timeless, and the quilt is easy to make,” says Mary Etherington of Country Threads. “The kit features 58 different fabrics, so the fabric does most of the work!”

Another one that caught my fancy was in the mail this morning when I checked our box at the Post Office. In American Patchwork & Quilting’s December 2008 edition ~ cover quilt! I LOVE FLYING GEESE! I want to rip it out of the pages and wrap myself in it! OH MY GOSH! The designer is Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts.

9 thoughts on “My .50 Cent Rummage Sale Find! Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do

  1. That book looks like a great find! It sounds like you’ll be having some fun making scrap quilts. I have quite a few old quilts that my grandmother and great grandmother made and they were all made from scraps, not as “perfect” as the quilts of today. Guess which type of quilt I like best?! 😉

  2. Hi Toadies!

    Yes…I quite agree with you! I love the quilts that have been given to me that are from my Great Grandmother and G-Great Grandmother. All scrap quilts that used up feedsacks and old clothes as the fabric.

    They are very good snugglers…you are being hugged by all of your female relatives.

  3. Love down to earch quilts. I still point out where fabrics came from on the log cabin quilt my mum made when I was little. There’s a bit of the matching sleepers my sister and I had, and over there is my papa’s work shirt, a bit of a baby blanket, my brothers first jeans. It has a whole history on the bed.

  4. You have a “TRUE” gem of a book there…lucky find for you….I love searching the garage sales etc, and finding old quilt books myself….what a treasure…you never know what you might find. Even once in awhile find a great authentic old hand sewn quilt as well. I am always looking for old run-down quilts for which to make other projects with, like runners, mats and pillows or coats for dolls and scarecrows that I make if I can.
    My grandmother made quilts and i have several of them, but I grew up knowing how just from looking, came easy for me…but not until I retired medically did I start making quilts and rustic dolls like scarecrows and ghosts etc…
    Use to have a Old style country gift shop that I created along with little help from wife…sold tons of rustic handmades….and it STUCK on me lol….I do however tea-dye alot of my creations and quilts…seems to make them sell so much quicker if I do sell them.
    Retired Disney Finance Mgr here, and also taught school over 12 yrs…did Scouting for longer than that and coached Soccer….so I have had a busy life…but the quilts are a whole new venture of nostalgia that brings comfort and memories all to light…

    Enjoyed your find, was great reading…

    Take care…
    Ken from Orlando, FL

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