make scrap fabric patchwork : recreational piecing

Plants and patchwork make me happy, I can’t get enough of either of them.

The process has an energetic phase and a meditative phase. The energetic phase is grabbing a bunch of scraps and piecing them together quickly. I find my results are most satisfying when I don’t over think this part. Join a couple pieces, iron your seams open, cut it up and join them again. Repeat until it’s as patchworky as you’d like. I make a pretty big mess when I do this.

baskets of scrap fabric being ironed and pieced together randomly.

Pro Tip: Load your machine with gray thread- it works for most fabric colors. Also keep your stitch pretty small. If you’re going to cut your patchwork up to make stuff it won’t easily fall apart before you assemble your project.

This quick paced piecing always gets my wheels turning. The resulting patchwork is a great start for all sorts of projects.

get the pattern button

patchwork project  ideas:

woebegone pines

scrappy trees 

needle books


It’s also a great way to start your 100 day stitch book pages 

patchwork cut into little square and rectangles on a cutting mat

Lately I have felt a strong spiritual directive to make some simple little pouches. That’s what got me thinking about patchwork this week. The next step was to cut my shapes.

That’s where the meditative phase begins. Before I start to assemble the pouches I’ll add hand stitching and patches. I want these tiny bags to feel layered and worked, the patchwork is a huge head start in that direction.

That’s my stitch plan for the weekend – slowly hand stitching this little collection of squares and rectangles. I’ll post some progress in my instagram stories.  And if the pouches are sweet I’ll post a tutorial soon. Stay tuned.

brown paper packages tied with bakers twine and decorated with stamps. Colorful post cards and fabric are tucked into the package.

Happy mail! Lots of mushroom sewing patterns are headed out into the world. Thank you!

Hot off the press! Don’t look directly at it… The Golden Sun Notecard is in the shop now.

What’s your weekend sewing project? Is there recreational patchwork in your future?

Let us know in the comments.


  1. Oh, just look at that gorgeous morning glory fabric! I wish I could find fabric like that these days.

    • It is so pretty! wish I had more – it was a flea market find.

  2. modflowers

    I loved rediscovering this kind of scrappy patchwork during lockdown – kept me busy and meant that I could use up all the smallest scraps in my basket!

  3. Heather Smith

    This would be a great project for getting unstuck too, working out the doldrums. For those times when I want to do something but I don’t know what exactly. Perfectly productive procrastination and an excuse to iron scraps. I like making little pouches, they are so satisfying.

  4. Doris Marie

    I’ve made two scrappy doll quilts and have three more in progress using up the scraps from cutting pieces for charm quilts. My biggest problem is which scraps to use! The charm quilts will have over 10,000 different fabrics in them when finished!

  5. I’ve been patching recreationally by hand in the evenings in front of the telly for the last 8 weeks❤️It’s hugely relaxing and using up all my scraps- already have half a quilt top! It’s beautifully wonky and improvised and I love it!

  6. I’m also working on a little patchwork pouch! I wanted to showcase some vintage feed sack scraps I had, and combined with a recycled zipper (from a rice bag) it turned into the perfect little project to stitch on during vacation. Are you planning to put zippers on yours, or some other type of closure?

  7. Barbara stuart

    Aloha! Ladies!!
    I don’t feel alone when I read all your
    My problem is …. I❤️ my pretty scrap .
    So now I just sew them together!!!

  8. I found a Scrap Quilt tutorial by Heidi Parkes and have just finished it. The process is the same as yours. It is an improv quilt and I have used only white on a navy base. It looks amazing and my stash has been greatly diminished!

Comments are closed.