And if it is one thing we quilters have in spades, it's scraps!!! I decided to start out with a Valentine's Day wreath, since it is just around the corner, so these are my pink and red buckets ;) I find it helpful to store my scraps by colors.
So let's get into how to make this wreath!!!
STEP 1 - CUTTING
Now, this is where I saved some serious time. For each wreath, you need approximately.(350) 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips. We all know, cutting scraps takes more time and is more tedious than cutting yardage, but of course, we still want to use them :) And since I got my new AccuQuilt GO!, (that I wrote about back here) I can't stop thinking of ways to use it to cut up my scraps, which is good, because I have a lot of them!!! So I was delighted to find that AccuQuilt made a 1 1/2" Strip Cutter Die that can be used in my Go! Machine.
Then a quick pass through the GO! Machine to cut all of the strips. Now this is something new I learned from this little AccuQuilt video is to slide your mat off, so that all your pieces stay aligned on the die.
Then just slide your strips onto the mat, discarding the little bits of leftover scraps at the top and bottom of the die. I just align these up in rows to make them simple to sub-cut. And remember, these are strips for a wreath, so you don't have to worry about them being perfectly laid out, just straight is good ;)
Then simply use a 6 1/2" ruler aligned on your strips, and sub-cut all of the strips in a row to 1 1/2" x 6 1/2". Because they are stacked and aligned, you can cut a ton of strips all at once as shown.
And just continue rolling scraps through your GO! Machine using the 1 1/2" Strip Cutter Die until you have approximately (350) 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips. And just so you don't have to count all of those strips, if you stack up all your strips, it should measure close to 3 1/2" high ;) And these are all set for a Valentines Day Wreath. But you all know, I couldn't stop at just one Wreath ;)
CUTTING USING QUILT BACK LEFTOVERS - I realized, one of the craziest scraps that I try and figure out what to do with are the leftovers from my quilt backs. Ya know, the four sides that you trim off and are a little crazy wonky. And you think, I could use these for a binding strip, but there is never enough for a whole quilt. Well, I figured, what better thing to use them for, than tiny strips!!! So I grabbed a rainbow of Quilt Back Leftovers (which is awesome because they take up to much room in the scrap drawers and made a little more noticeable dent :) and figured they would make a great Birthday Wreath!!!
And these are simple to stack on the 1 1/2" Strip Cutter Die. Just fan fold them long ways back and forth over the die lines. Then run them through the GO! Machine simple as that.
And just like before, slide your mat off, and align the strips onto your cutting mat and then sub cut all your long strips into 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips. These were so fast to cut!!!
And just like that, I had a rainbow of strips. I did about 60 or just over a 1/2" stacked up of each color. And isn't that rainbow just to fun!!! And I am just thrilled to use those quilt back leftovers!!!
CUTTING USING YARDAGE - And of course, if you don't save scraps, you can always just cut the strips from yardage. And it is going to be so super fast and easy. Just simply fan fold your yardage on the 1 1/2" Strip Cutter Die, keeping it folded the way it comes off the bolt as shown. Then just run it through the GO! Machine.
And again, slide your mat off, and align the strips onto your cutting mat and then sub cut all your long strips into 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips. These were so fast to cut!!! You can get (72) 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips per 1/2 yard. So where I was wanting to make a 2 print wreath, I used 1 1/4 yards of each of the two prints to make 360 strips.
So there's a quick run down on the cutting. However and whatever your choose to cut, (if you had some leftover Honey Buns they work great for this too!!!) in the end, you want to have approximately (350) 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips.
STEP 2 - TYING THE WREATH
So now with your strips all cut, you are ready to tie your wreath!!! You will need a simple wreath frame. These can be found in lots of stores. I have seen them in my local Craft Store, Wal-Mart, and I actually found these at the Dollar Store. Sweet!!! My frame is a 14" circle, so if yours is a little smaller, you can use less strips, and a little larger, obviously will need more strips ;) So let's start Tying that Valentine's Day Wreath!!!
TYING USING A SINGLE KNOT - The simplest way that results in the "fluffiest" wreath is just tying a single knot. Fold a strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. You don't have to press this or anything, it just helps to show off more of the prints and less of the wrong side. Then tie the folded strip onto the inner ring of the frame with a single knot. (ya know the one you use to start tying your shoes.)
Keep tying strips to the inner ring. There are 6 sections in the frame and I find it easiest to just move all the way around the circle, alternating colors randomly.
Once you have finished tying the first ring, you can move outward. I found it easiest to tie the second ring and third ring at the same time as it made it easier to deal with all of the other strips in the "way". I like to tie 4-5 strips onto the second ring, and then 4-5 on the third ring, and just alternate back and forth until you have tied all the way around the second and third ring. And if a few strips wind up in the back of the wreath, no worries. Well poke them all out at the end. For now, just worry about tying.
Then, all that is left is that outer fourth ring. Just push that third ring out of the way a bit, and tie around the outside ring. These will tend to want to flip backwards a lot, but no worries, we will fix that at the end.
And once you have gone all the way around the outer ring, you can now poke out all of those little "flipped" strips. I found the easiest way to do this was to wedge my fingers through the rings from the back around each of the four rings. This just pushed out all of the strips to the front. Then flip it over and "fluff" it from the front.
And just like that, you have a beautiful Scrappy Fabric Wreath!!! Isn't that just so fun!!!! And it used up a ton of fabric scraps, double bonus!!! How great is this going to look on the front door February!!!
TYING USING A DOUBLE KNOT - And since I couldn't stop at cutting out strips for 1 wreath, I figured I can share a few alternate ways of making your wreath. If you have a screen door and don't want your wreath to get "flattened" you can always use a Double Knot. It will also make your knots more secure.
So when tying, rather than just tying one knot, do two, making a square knot. You remember, right over left and then left over right. The red strip below is a single and the orange is a double. you can see the difference it makes. The double knot will be shorter but have a fun "bunchy" look to it.
So it's just like before, do the inner ring first and then continue out doing the second and third ring together and then on to the fourth ring. For this wreath, we just alternated the fabrics in rainbow color order.
My daughter was tying this wreath and decided when she got to the fourth ring that she was done. And that's always another option and gives you a wire to hang the wreath on. So if you run out of strips, or just get tired of tying, you can always just do the inner three rings. Once you are done tying, pop out all your strip sets as shown before.
And you will have a cute little bunchy Scrappy Fabric Wreath and we even already had a birthday at our house to use it for!!! Nothing says Happy Birthday like a rainbow of scrappy goodness, right!!!
TYING USING A SLIP KNOT - And finally, a last variation on tying your knot, and this one is fun, because it gives you three options for different looking wreaths at the end.
So again, start by folding the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Then look the the strip behind the inner frame as shown below.
Now simply feed the tail ends of the strip through the loop created at the bend of the strip wrapping it around the inner frame.
Pull tight and you have a cute little slip knot. If you have a crochet hook, it can make it a little easier than using your fingers, but ya, kind of crazy, but I couldn't find a crochet hook in my house ;) But it is also pretty easy to do with your just your fingers.
I alternated my two Christmas prints. And just like before, Inner circle first. Although different from before, this one I found easier to do all of the second ring, and then all of the third ring. Where you can just turn all of the slip knots inwards, that don't tend to get in the way very much.
And here is where the fun is. Once you have all of your strips tied on, you can leave the strip sets pointed inward and the wreath will look like this.
Or use that little finger poking trick to point all of the strips straight up, and the wreath will look like this.
Or you can go all the way, and spin the slip knots all the way, pointing all of the strip sets outwards like this. Whichever way you like it, they all make for a super adorable Scrappy Fabric wreath!!! And now I am all set for next Christmas :)
And that's how they are done!!!! Scrappy Fabric Wreaths that are super fun and super fast. And of course, you can make them for any holiday or occasion. Just pull out the coordinating fabric scraps and away you go. I think I need to make one for Easter next ;) And they make you feel so great when you are done because you have just busted more fabric scraps, yippee!!!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Scrappy Fabric Wreath I would love to see it!! You can email me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc or or add it to my flickr group here ;) I can't wait to see your Scrappy Fabric Wreaths!!!
I hope you all have a very Happy Quilting Weekend!!!