Another option... was to add variations, so these quilts could be even more unique to the story being stitched into fabric; and allow quilters of all skill levels to create a beautiful quilt. So we could choose to do a nine-patch or a four-patch or a plain five-inch block or a scrappy block. Or maybe even try something else, not suggested here.
In previous posts, I've shared the nine patch and the four patch. The plain block really doesn't need much explanation; except to say that there are many gorgeous fabrics that could be featured in this quilt; a few examples: beautiful floral designs; kid prints, or vivid hand-dyed fabrics. Any theme would compliment the appliqued blocks.
Scrappy is a great technique to use when you have a heap of beautiful scraps waiting to be featured in your next quilting project. They may not look like much tossed and crumpled in that drawer or basket; however, they do create some interesting blocks, when used. With the huge variety of patterns, books, and designs available; there really is no excuse for us, not to use these great leftover fabrics.
For this quilt along, I've decided to use these scrappy blocks in my own quilt; and use the nine-patch block to create a smaller version of this pattern. (Hopefully, this layout will be featured in next week's post.)
So to make this scrappy block, here are some tips:
1) Use a variety of shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors to make the blocks interesting.
2) When stitching together these odd shapes; it works best if you press before adding the next piece.
3) Do not worry about placing colors next to each other, that we generally think don't work together.
4) Trim extra length off the last piece added, before adding the next piece.
5) Continue adding pieces until you are nearly at the size required.
6) It is generally best if wider pieces are added on that final round around the block.
7) Once large enough, use your rotary ruler to trim it to the size required.
8) Seam allowances do not need to be a perfect quarter inch.
9) None of your ten blocks need to look the same. Select a variety of fabrics to create a unique set of blocks.
Taking the four variations that I provided in the quilt along lessons, the plain block needs no instruction as it is a five inch square of fabric. However, you could select a specific theme to help tell this quilt's story.
Let's check out the fourth option: the scrappy block -- that I'd like to show you, in case you find this one more difficult to construct. Here we can go as wonky or perfectly spaced, as desired. If you'd rather make a more perfectly balanced scrappy block, you could opt for the standard log cabin block, or go wonky and stitch random widths as you go around the block.
This scrappy block can be started with a square or strip of fabric. You can continue around the block, in log cabin fashion; or add pieces to random sides, place them at random angles, or use pieces that already have more than one piece joined together. Just remember to trim your pieces, to avoid adding bulk, as you work around the block.
- First, begin with a pile of scraps: in squares, rectangles, strips, or previously joined pieces....
- Start with two pieces of fabric, placing them with right sides together; and stitch them together. Here you do not have to make the perfect quarter-inch seam.
- Once stitched, press so both fabrics are open. It is best to press each time a new piece is added, to make sure the block lays flat.
- Take another scrap piece and add to the first two.
- Continue in this matter, going around and around, until you have a piece that is the size your require.
- Place your rotary ruler on top and measure to make sure your piece is large enough.
- Then trim any edges off that are not needed. You can place your ruler on the block, in any direction; only be careful to cut it to the five inch piece, that is required.
I had sewn my block to the point where it could have been a six-inch block. This required careful placement of the ruler, to get enough of the outer strips to be more than a sliver in width.