Are you ready for another great scrap quilt idea? I'm excited to introduce you to Kristi, who you may also know as @kristiquilts on Instagram. She creates marvelous scrap quilts all.the.time and when I started looking for help with this series of tutorials, she was one of the first people I knew I had to ask. I was so excited when she agreed to help out, and I'm even more so now that I've seen what she has for us today. So let's get this show on the road - and don't quit before the end, as we'll have a winner from last week's giveaway and another scrappy giveaway, too!
Thank you Sarah for hosting the Hand2Help Challenge. I am very pleased to be able to share this quilting tutorial with you today!
I love making use of all my scraps, but like all quilters I am always looking for great ways to keep them tamed! After exploring the myriad of ideas for ‘scrap-organizing,’ I decided on a simple system for myself. For me, anything ⅛ of a yard or more I keep folded neatly in my fabric drawers for a variety of projects. Anything smaller than that I cut into 2 ½ inch strips. Whatever remains from those strips (that is bigger than ½ inch) becomes a string or a crumb. I store my scraps by color in small fabric bins with plastic bags to sort the 2 ½ inch strips, strings, and crumbs.
When my bin starts to look full (like the green and orange ones in the photo), I start cutting up the 2 ½ inch strips for a scrap quilt. I’m always on the lookout for simple patterns that use 2 ½ strips, so when my bin is full, I can get a project ready to go quickly!
Inspiration for the Stacked Coin Quilt
I had been collecting ideas for coin quilts for a few months. There are many ways to make this type of quilt—from straight stacked coins, to offset coins, to random size coins with crazy offsets that look like they are about to topple. I knew I wanted to make my coins uniform (to use the 2 ½ inch scraps) and to make the offset uniform to simplify the construction. Thank you to all the Stacked Coin Quilt makers that came before me!
For this quilt I used my green and orange 2 ½ inch strips. All values in either of these colors from the lights to the darks went into this quilt.
The unifying aspect of this quilt is the neutral background color. Choosing one fabric to use as a background gives the variety of scraps in this quilt cohesion so the scraps can sing without being wild. For the stacked coin design, I would choose a fabric that is either a solid or a simple all-over print. I would steer away from fabrics that are obviously directional. Directional fabrics require more thought in placement, and could be too busy with the variety of scraps in the quilt.
I auditioned a few grays from my stash to use as the background (see photo). Any of these could have worked, but I decided to go with the gray fabric on the right for its medium value. (Actually, I had just enough of that fabric for the center of the quilt, and had to make-do with the darker gray fabric on the left for the border.)
As for the binding, you could use additional background fabric, or go scrappy with lots of binding leftovers in various shades of green and orange.
Quilt Size: 54 by 69 ½ inches
Unit of two coins: 4 by 6 finished or 4 ½ by 6 ½ unfinished
Background and Vertical Sashing: 2 ¾ yards
Border: ¾ yard
Colored Fabric Scraps: about 2 yards worth, or about 1000 inches of 2 ½ inch strip scraps, or 96 (5 by 5) charm squares
Binding: 5/8 to ¾ yard depending on your preferred size
- 192 rectangles 2 by 2 ½ inches (for coin units)
- 8 strips 3 inches by Width of Fabric (WOF) (for sashing)
- 7 strips 3 inches by WOF
Coins—Colored (green and orange) scraps:
192 rectangles 2 ½ by 5 inches (for coins)
- Yardage: Cut into 2 ½ inch strips by WIF. Then cut those strips into 192 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles.
- Scraps: iron and cut 2 ½ inch strips of at least 5 inches long. Then cut those pieces into 192 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles.
- Charm Squares: Cut each in half once to make two 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles which will yield 192 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles.
When I cut lots of one type of piece, I like to clip them in sets of 10 with little binding clips.
- Cut into strips for your preferred binding size
Sew a small background rectangle onto one end of each colored rectangle. Press to one side or open. I pressed mine towards the background.
Joining the coins into pairs
Now sew the coins together in pairs. This task, although not difficult, is critical to making the staggered stack of coins. Let me explain this part in detail to help you avoid an orientation pitfall.
When you sew the pairs together, you want the top coin to be on the left side and the bottom coin to be on the right as shown in the next photo:
To sew, fold the top coin down onto the bottom coin, pin, and sew.
When it’s done, it looks like this!
Now watch what you can do with this unit: if you rotate it around so that the bottom coin is now on the top...look! The new top coin is still on the left! No matter which orientation you choose, the top coin will always be to the left.
Take a moment to lay one two-coin unit above a second two coin unit and they will look like the next photo. Awesome!
After you’ve sewn all your pairs together, take a moment to stack them up and make sure that all the top coins in the pairs are on the left. If you find any stray units that have the top coin on the right, as shown next, it’s time to get out your seam ripper and fix it so the top coin is to the left.
The problem is that if any of the units have coins going to the wrong side, when you try to line them up, you’ll end up with mismatched coins. Oops!!
Joining the Pairs into 4’s and then into 8’s
Once you have the pairs together correctly, the rest goes together much easier because you can’t mess up the orientation by rotating the units. So feel free to rotate the units to make pleasing combinations. Join each pair into 4’s and then join the 4’s into 8’s. Up until this point, I did all these combinations of colors randomly, by picking up one piece and then picking up another piece without much deliberation.
Sewing the Columns
Now that you have 8’s, it’s time to arrange them on your design wall (bed, floor, table) to find a placement of the colors that you are happy with. There are six columns each with four sets of 8’s.
Once you have the arrangement you like, sew the four sets of 8’s into columns.
Adding Vertical Sashing
To add the sashing, seam the strips of background fabric and then cut pieces to the correct length. First measure each of the columns of coins and average the measurements (or pick the measurement that is in the middle of the grouping). Write this number down. Now sew background sashing strips together and cut so that you end up with five long pieces that are the length that you wrote down. If you sewed a perfect ¼ inch seam then these pieces will be 64 ½ inches long! 😊
Sew a long piece on the right side of the first five columns of coins. To do this, I fold the long piece into halves, and then into quarters. I mark the ends, ¼, ½, ¾ points on the border. I do the same for the column of coins. Then pin the border to the column of coins at the corresponding points. Sew from the top of the quilt to the bottom. Press toward the sashing.
Now attach the coin columns together. Change the direction of your seamline by sewing from bottom to top this time.
For the two vertical side borders, seam border strips together and cut two long pieces that are the same measurement as the vertical sashing. Sew from top to bottom to attach the side borders. Press toward the outside borders.
For the top and bottom borders, measure the width of the quilt at the center. Seam together strips and cut them so that you end up with two long pieces that are the center width of the quilt. If you sewed a perfect ¼ inch seam then these pieces will be 54 inches long! 😊 Pin (at the ends, ¼, ½, ¾) and sew the strips onto the top and bottom. Press toward the outside borders.
Now you have a completed stacked coins top! Add some fun quilting and your favorite binding and you’ll have a finished quilt!
Kristi, a fourth-generation quilter, has been quilting actively since 2013. She loves sewing quilts for kids and using up all her scraps! When not working as a Database Administrator during the day or sewing in her free time, she can be found enjoying the outdoors near her Northern California home with her husband of 30 years and their 11-year-old son. You can follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kristiquilts/
Isn't that a fabulous quilt? And such a great scrap buster, too. I can see many of these in my scrappy future! Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your talents with us!
And now, how about a winner for last week's giveaway? I asked little Miss Random, and she said...
Congratulations, Kathy! I'll be contacting you later today to get your snail mail address for a package of scraps!!
And because I've yet to make any kind of significant dent in my scraps, I'll happily give away another package this week! Just leave a comment below (if you don't want any more scraps, just say so!) and I'll draw another name next week. Be sure to leave Kristi some quilt-y love, too - she's not a blogger, but I'd sure like to show her how wonderful bloggers are! If you're on Instagram, be sure to check out and maybe follow her feed - she always has beautiful eye candy to share!