It's that time again - time for another great scrap quilt tutorial, simple and quick enough for charity quilts. After all, the idea is to inspire you to make quilts for this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, right? I hop you're been enjoying the quilts we've shared so far - today's is one of my favorites, and a great scrap buster! Enjoy the tutorial, and be sure to hang on until the end, when I'll announce the winner of last week's scrappy giveaway - and since I still have an over-abundance of scraps, there'll be another change at a package of scraps this week!
Thankfully, we were blessed with some beautiful sunny days after I finished this quilt, and I got some good pictures. This simple quilt is a variation on a four-patch design, and works up quickly and easily!
This was the inspiration shot I started from (no way to attribute it, as it goes to an unconnected link. If it's yours, I'm sorry!) As I was making my version, I fully intended to run my background strips horizontally, but when it was finished, I found that I preferred them running vertically. The advantage of a square quilt? You can change your mind! So here's how I made it...
The first thing I needed was four-patch blocks. These are each made using two different fabrics, although I suppose you could use four different fabrics if you preferred. My friend Lisa helped me out and made the four-patch blocks for me, using some of the over-abundance of 3.5" squares we had on hand at church. I sorted out 80 four-patch blocks in mostly bright colors for this quilt.
These blocks measured 6.5" unfinished, so I cut 2" x 6.5" strips in one of my favorite grays to act as sashing between them. I chose to have my sashing strips finish out at 1.5" wide because I felt that width would look good in proportion to the 3" finished squares in the four-patch blocks.
Once all the building blocks were complete and pressed, it was time to lay it out on the design wall. By the way, if you don't have a design wall, I highly recommend the Fons & Porter design wall. Basically a plastic backed piece of flannel-like material with grommets at the top, it hangs on Command Hooks that I mounted on a wood piece that sits on top of my fabric storage shelves. When I need it, I hang it up in front of the shelves, when I don't, it folds up and sits in a drawer!
The picture above was one of many layouts I fiddled around with. I'm not very good at discerning color values (light to dark) with multiple colors, but I've discovered that my phone has a great tool to help with the process - the "mono" filter will transfer the picture to black and white, and then it's easy to see which blocks read darker or lighter!
You can see just how much easier it is to see in this picture. The light blocks are easily distinguishable from the dark blocks, and can be moved around as needed.
And once again, here's the finished layout. I chose to organize my colors on the diagonal, putting the darkest blocks in the lower left and the lightest ones in the upper right, to establish movement across the quilt. I love the way it draws the eye across the quilt!
Someone last week commented that she hated to hear "quilt as desired" so I'll show you how I quilted mine - a random meander that is quick and easy on my long arm machine. But it would be equally interesting with a straight line stitch on either side of the background sashing where they meet with the block above, and on either side of each row. Or if you feel really inspired, I think it would look great with straight line stitching in the same direction as the sashing strips, about 1/4" apart across the whole quilt. It gives a quilt like this such texture!
I was lucky enough to have a stash of single-sized top sheets in my stash - my grandkids don't like sleeping under a sheet, so my daughter gave me the other half of their sheet sets - and I had one that worked perfectly with the front of this quilt to back it with.
And here's another picture, just because it's pretty!! It really is a simple quilt to make, and can easily be adjusted to fit whatever size squares you may already have cut. Here's how to do just that...
First of all, find out what you have on hand. For my quilt, I had access to an abundance of 3.5" cut squares, so that's what I used. I needed 320 of them, 160 pairs, to make the 80 blocks I needed for this quilt. To figure out how many blocks I needed, I used the formula for quilt math from this post. I wanted my quilt to be around 60" square, and these blocks measured 6" x 7.5" finished, which meant I needed 8 columns across and 10 rows down. You may find you have more 2.5" squares, 2" squares, or 5" squares on hand that you want to use, so just adjust the directions to get the size quilt you want.
Now, for your sashing. First of all, be sure that you measure your four-patch blocks to see how long to make your sashing pieces. You'll be happier with the finished quilt if you have all the same size sashing pieces, instead of sewing the four-patch blocks to a long strip of sashing and trimming it off. One piece of sashing for each four-patch block. For my quilt, I needed 3/4 of a yard for the sashing, which I cut 2" x 6.5". You may want to fiddle with different widths of sashing if you change the four-patch block size, finding the perfect width sashing for your block. I usually try to make my sashing half the width of one finished square in the four-patch, but not to the point of weird fractions! Just lay it out and see what looks good.
And now for the winner of last week's scrap bundle...
Congratulations, Joan! I'll be emailing you for your snail mail address so I can get that package out to you this week!