Scrap Quilts With Tina Johnson

Scrap Quilts: Turning Leftover Fabric into Amazing Quilts!

Hey there! Have you heard about scrap quilting? It's become super popular among quilting fans everywhere! Scrap quilts are these awesome creations made from leftover fabric scraps that would normally be thrown away. But instead of wasting those scraps, crafty quilters are turning them into something beautiful and special. Not only are scrap quilts really cool, but they also come with some pretty awesome benefits. Let me tell you about five of them:

  • Help the Environment: When you make a scrap quilt, you're actually being kind to our planet. Instead of tossing those fabric scraps into the garbage, you're giving them a new life! It's a way of recycling and reducing waste. So, by making scrap quilts, you're doing your part to take care of the Earth. Pretty neat, right?
  • Save Some Money: Quilting can be an expensive hobby, but scrap quilting helps you save some cash. Instead of buying new fabric, you get to use what you already have. Those leftover scraps come in handy, and you can mix and match all sorts of colors and patterns. It's like having a super cool fabric collection right at your fingertips without spending a ton of money!
  • Show off Your Style: Scrap quilts let you be totally unique and express yourself. You get to play around with all those different fabric scraps and create your own special design. Mix and match colors, patterns, and textures to make a quilt that's unlike any other. It's a way to show off your creativity and have something that's truly one-of-a-kind.
  • Bring Back Memories: Scrap quilts can be extra special because they can remind you of special moments. You can use fabric scraps from old projects, clothes you love, or even family heirlooms. Every piece of fabric tells a story and holds memories. So, when you make a scrap quilt, you're creating something that's not just pretty but also has a lot of sentimental value.
  • Learn and Improve: Making scrap quilts is a fantastic way to get better at quilting. It challenges your skills and helps you learn new techniques. You have to figure out how to fit different-sized scraps together and make them look awesome. It's like a puzzle that you get to solve while making something amazing. So, with every scrap quilt you create, you're getting better and becoming a quilting pro!

Quilt Conversations LIVE!: Tina Johnson, of Tenderly Stitched

Quilt Conversations LIVE! Geraldine Wilkins interviews Tina Johnson of Tenderly Stitched
Watch and learn Tina's scrap fabric cutting and storage tips. Also, learn a few scrap quilt design tips while Tina highlights a few of her quilts.

Watch Interview

Geraldine: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background as a quilter?

Tina: I started quilt in 2006 while living abroad. My first quilt was made for my little sister. I loved designing a gift for someone that was truly unique. I enjoyed the relaxed setting my local quilt shop had and retreats were wonderful.


Geraldine: When did you first start quilting and why?

Tina: My dear friend suggested that I should make a quilt for my little sister to take to college. She suggested the Yellow Brick Road pattern. She helped me pick the fabric. I never got to make that quilt. By the time I picked up the kit she made for me, my sister was graduating from college. I went to get help at my local quilt shop. They helped me make a custom-designed quilt that used half-squared triangles and applique instead of the Yellow Brick Road pattern.


Geraldine: What is your favorite part of the quilting process, and why?

Tina: Patchwork is my favorite part because I enjoy designing quilts.


Geraldine: What inspires your designs and creative process? 

Tina: I love creating a quilt to match a person's personality and interests. I want them to know their quilt was made for them as soon as they see it.


Scrap Quilt by Tina Johnson, Tenderly Stitiched

Geraldine: Can you walk us through the steps you take when starting a new quilt project?

Tina: I think of a quilt as having about 7 design elements that I can play with to create something unique. I work through how I can use each to speak to the person receiving the quilt. I then decide which are critical to use in the timeframe I have to deliver the quilt.


Geraldine: How do you approach choosing fabrics and colors for a quilt?

Tina: I base the colorway based on the person's preferences in some way. I then try to use primary and secondary compliments to make sure the quilt is balanced. There's usually good color contrast in my quilts. I try to use metallics as much as possible in my own quilts, they are my favorites.


Geraldine: How do you balance tradition and innovation in your quilting work?

Tina: I would say most of my quilts lean toward traditional designs although I do enjoy modern quilts. I tend to use embroidery and the quilt motif in an innovative way to customize the quilts. For example, recently I worked with my longarmer to integrate a person's name in the stipple quilt motif. We picked a striking font and sized it to land in proportion to the block.


Geraldine: Can you describe a time when you faced a creative challenge while quilting, and how you overcame it?

Tina: Most of my custom quilts have a challenge. Usually, it has to do with doing all that I envision in the set timeframe. I truly have to prioritize what design elements are a "must-do" versus a "nice to have". I think is this is where the project manager side of me coming out in my craft.


Geraldine: How do you stay current with trends and techniques in the quilting community?

Tina: I follow a lot of quilters and quilting vendors online through social media platforms and podcasts too. I attend as many quilt conferences as possible every year too.


Geraldine: What has been your most successful quilt project, and why do you consider it a success? 

Tina: I do not think I have created my most successful quilt yet. It is still in my head. I know that it will pay homage to my beautiful city, Baltimore.


Geraldine: Have you won any awards or recognition for your quilting work? If so, can you tell us about it?

Tina: I won third place for my quilt "Limelight" at my local quilt guild.


Limelight log cabin quilt
Award-winning quilt, Limelight

Geraldine: How do you share your love of quilting with others? 

Tina: Through retreats!


Geraldine: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in quilting?

Tina: Get connected online with quilters but also in person through your local quilt shop and guilds. Watch quilters use various techniques (patchwork, embroidery, quilting, applique, FPP, EPP, etc...) Then see what talks to you the most and dive in but do not ever stop trying new things.


Geraldine: What are your goals for your future work as a quilter?

Tina: I want to focus on quilting more now that I have my midarm quilting machine. I have access to longarms as well so things will get very interesting for me in 2024.


Geraldine: Finally, how do you define success as a creative, and what does it mean to you personally? 

Tina: Success for me is executing the vision I have in my head for each project while working alongside my stitching sisters. There is nothing like quilting with friends.


Tina Johnson, Tenderly Stitched

"As a Chemical Engineer, I have spent my career in the OIlfield. I have loved crafting since my childhood. I was introduced to quilting by a dear friend. I was hooked after making my first quilt and found that I got the most done on retreats. I started facilitating retreats and teaching to help friends gather and learn. My goal is to connect women with our quilting legacy and help them learn to use this creative outlet to add beauty to their lives. I demonstrate how to express your voice in a relaxed environment so you can experience the therapeutic nature of stitching. I enjoy helping quilters ignite their talent and tell their own story through needle and thread. I share skills that can be used in traditional and modern quilt designs so anyone can explore both with ease. At my quilt retreats and workshops, I talk through the design elements of Quilters to create unique projects."

What to learn more about Tina Johnson scrap quilts and tools? Visit and follow her here:

Categories: quilting, scrap quilts, tenderly stitched, Tina Johnson