Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson Class Plan

Making a Simple, Successful, and Super Scrap Quilt

Class description:
In this class, you'll discover the secrets (and rewards) of combining a wide variety of print fabrics to make a super scrap quilt. In the process, you'll learn a great deal about color, value, character of print—and how to use them—as well as a wealth of design and construction strategies.

Then, you'll put your newfound knowledge to work by beginning construction of a colorful, multi-fabric Bowtie quilt. Techniques include rotary cutting, an accurate and timesaving sew-and-flip method, and maximizing your design wall.

Approximate class time:
Full-day class (6 hours)

What each student will get:
A wealth of knowledge, including a clear, simple understanding of how to use the principles of color, value, and character of print to choose and successfully employ a wide variety of print fabrics in a single quilt, PLUS a good start on a charming, scrappy Bow Tie wall or lap quilt! Students also typically leave class with the tools to assess their existing stashes and helpful strategies for future fabric shopping.

Class Supply List:

  • Required text: Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson
  • Sewing machine in good working order.
  • Basic sewing supplies: rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat; fabric scissors; thread snips; preferred marker for light fabrics; pins for piecing; etc.
  • 2 1/4 yards total of a wide variety of assorted light prints for blocks
  • 2 1/4 yards total of a wide variety of assorted dark prints for blocks
  • 61" x 61" piece of batting (for design wall now; quilt filler later)

To finish his/her quilt at home, each student will a need:

  • 3 1/2 yards of backing fabric
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for binding

Advance Preparations for Instructor and Classroom:
Make a sample of the quilt (p. 32).
Prepare swatch board demonstrating the relativity of light, medium, and dark values (pp. 10 and 14).
Prepare swatch board demonstrating the various characters of print (pp. 14–17).
Prepare step-by-step samples for flip-and-sew construction of the Bow Tie block (p. 34).
Prepare examples of Bow Tie blocks to illustrate the strategies shown on page 22

Classroom should be well lit, and include ample space for each student to rotary cut and sew, outlets for sewing machines, a few ironing stations, and sufficient wall space for student design walls.

If class is being held in a quilt shop, expect students to shop, particularly following fabric inventory suggested in Step 4 below. It's a good idea to have fat quarters precut to facilitate shopping. If class is held at an off-site location, plan on having a few bins of fat quarters available for purchase.

Class Agenda:
Following the instructions in Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson, pp. 10–29, guide students in the fabric selection for and construction of a successful quilt (in this case, Bow Ties (pps. 32-35) entirely from a wide variety of assorted print fabrics.

  1. Introduce/review various definitions of "the scrap quilt" (p. 10)
  2. Introduce the three "keys"—color, value, and character of print (pp. 13-17, 80). Have students inventory the fabric they've brought, based on the categories of character of print shown on pages 14-17. Allow time for shopping if necessary/possible to fill the gaps.
  3. Review possible block strategies (p. 22) and introduce concept of maverick blocks (p. 23).
  4. Demonstrate assembly of Bow Tie block, including the sew-and-flip technique (p. 34).
  5. If necessary, demonstrate proper use of the rotary cutter for beginners.
  6. Allow students to begin cutting and laying out blocks on their batting "design wall," and constructing their blocks (pp. 23-24). Circulate constantly for consultation, suggestions, review, etc.
  7. Using student blocks to demonstrate, explore options for setting, including evaluating the quilt for balance on the "design wall" (pp. 25-27). If students are ready, have them begin assembling the blocks to make the quilt top.
  8. Spend a few minutes before class ends discussing options for quilting (p. 29).