Sunday, 2 June 2013

Granny Squares

This one is a classic, and has been making the rounds in blogland a bit this past year - the Granny Square. You can do this with any size square; I think mine were 2.5", but I could be wrong. A good way for using up scrap squares.  When I made these blocks, I pretty much winged it, but here's a tutorial for a "no-waste" version.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Scrappy Stars

Another great way to use up scrappy square. Again, you can use any size square you might happen to have on hand - you will just need to work out how big a smaller, neutral square to use, depending on what size larger square you have used. Each star block takes 8 squares of background fabric and 1 square of star fabric in the larger size and then 8 small squares of star fabric.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Roman Stripes

Roman Stripes is a classic. I can't remember if I foundation pieced these or not (probably did, for stability) but I know I used pieced strips, which adds a nice dimension to the blocks.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Funky Four Patch

This is a quick and easy way to add a little life into the more traditional four patch block.  I like this method for using up scraps, when you have a decent size piece of neutral or background fabric to use with them.  Amazingly, when I made this top in a different colourway, I actually took step-by-step photos (more or less) with a view to writing a mini-tutorial, but never wrote one, so here it is now...

Choose your fabrics. As I said, I like this best with a neutral/background fabric and then a selection of contrasting fabrics. But you could do it in just two fabrics, if you wanted to!

Cut an equal number of squares of the background and the contrast fabrics. You will get two blocks from each pair of squares, so for a quilt like the green and blue one above, you only need 12 of each; for the purple and neutral one, you need 18 of each.  The size of the square doesn't really matter, but remember that you will lose a bit from cutting and recutting and possibly from trimming at the end. I probably started with a square that was around 7". And probably ended up at 5.5" or so.

So. To make the blocks, you take two squares - one background, one contrast and stack them together, right sides up.

Then, using your cutter and ruler, make a cut across both pieces of fabric at whatever angle you fancy (but not too extreme - moderation works best).

You now have 4 pieces of fabric - two pairs, where the colours are reversed. You need to stitch them together back into squares, one with a purple left side and neutral right side and one the other way around.

Once that's done, stack them back together, again, right sides up.

Oops, no photo of this process, but what you do is slice across both squares the other direction and once again, take the left side of the top square and stitch it to the right side of the bottom square. And vice-versa.  Which gives you this:

(Different fabrics, I know, but same effect).  Easy as pie!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Rail Fence Variation

This rail fence variation is a good way of using up small strips of fabric - I combined the strips with a single background print, and made the contrasting fence sections slightly narrower than the background ones, which creates a nice effect. I can't remember what dimensions I used precisely, but for a 6" (finished) block, you could use a strip cut at 2" for the contrast and ones cut at 2 3/4" for the background. Or just play with it until you get something you like!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Scrappy triangles

This is a good design for using up a variety of different sized scraps - the basic HST unit blocks could be made to fit almost any size triangle (or square) which you have knocking about. What I did here, which I really like the effect of, was two things:  first, I grouped my scrappy HSTs by colour to make it look more unified and second, I used an alternating block with a larger HST unit to give the eye somewhere to rest and to use up a piece of slightly awkward fabric I had hanging about anyway. I like this design a lot - may even use it again.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Scrappy log cabins

Scrapy log cabin blocks are always an excellent way to get rid of strips you have hanging around - especially if you don't care if the strip widths match.  I have made many scrappy log cabin blocks in my day and will no doubt make many more.  There are lots of things you can do with them, as well - you can go totally scrappy as above, you could divide them into a colour scheme, you could make one side of the block neutral, and so on. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Irish Chain

An Irish Chain is always a good way to use up scrap squares (if you don't mind it being scrappy, of course) - it doesn't use a lot of them in comparison to the amount of backing it uses, but it's a fun little quilt to make. You can use any size square; and use 5 of them along with 4 same size squares of your background colour to make 9 patch blocks. You then need solid background colour blocks in whatever the size of the completed 9 patch. You alternate these blocks and hey presto - Irish Chain.  

What it uses: any size square

Rectangles and Squares

This is a very simple top - and depending on the chosen colours, can look either very scrappy, like the one above, or more controlled. (Like the ones we made for the block lotto in June 2011).  The nice thing about this pattern is that there's no given size for the block - you can make it in whatever size you need to suit your scraps.

The basic block is two squares and one rectangle the size of the two joined squares. These were, I think, 2.5" squares, which means the rectangle was 2.5x4.5.  But you could go bigger (or smaller) and of course you could control the colours more - for instance, make the two squares in the same two colours and the rectangle a third colour. Or make the squares scrappy and the rectangles a consistent neutral. Or whatever.

What is uses: 2.5" squares, 2.5" strips (or other size squares and strips as desired)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Another crossed block

Like the fully-crossed  block in the previous post, this is another block that uses the idea of making a block and slicing it across to insert strips.  This one simple inserts to strips going in the same direction, so it's even easier than the crossed one - no seam matching at all. The backgrounds in this piece are two rectangles pieced to make a square; the slashes are then made at a slight angle across the rectangle's join.  They are done one at a time, and at an angle to one another.  An excellent, quick way to use larger scraps.

What it uses: strips of any width. larger scraps for the rectangles