Wednesday, January 4, 2023

I May Have A Scrap Problem - But Here's a Neat Technique that Helps!


Hi, all!

I have been playing in scraps this week, and I like it!  I was looking for ideas for quilt tutorials for this year's series (coming up in a few weeks) and I saw a great pic of a totally scrappy quilt...

I went to the creator's website and verified that she didn't have her own pattern written for the quilt, then opened up EQ8 and did a mock-up of the quilt.  Lots and lots of 2.5" squares, which I definitely have, but oh my!  The time it would take to sew them all together.

And then I remembered a technique I posted about once for sewing true postage stamp blocks (made with 1.5" squares) in a fun and easy manner.  Why wouldn't it work for larger squares?  And so I gave it a try - and it works so much faster and easier than traditional piecing!  

What is it, you ask?  Well, here's a short and quick picture tutorial to show you...

The first thing I did was grab some sheerweight fusible interfacing out of my stash.  I took my squares for one block and laid them out, edge to edge but not overlapping, on the fuse side of the fusible interfacing.

After laying the squares out, I cut the excess interfacing away.

Then it's time to press - and I mean press, not iron.  Just set your iron on the squares, then pick it up and move it to an unpressed section.  I used a very hot iron with lots of steam.

When you've finished pressing, your block will look like this - thin lines between the squares.

Now take it to your sewing machine and fold it between two sets of squares.  It should fold easily.

Now sew that folded edge, a scant 1/4" from the edge.  Repeat for the second strips.

This is what your block will look like once you have stitched both lines.

Now grab a pair of small-bladed scissors (these are my Kai embroidery scissors, which I love!) and inserting the blade between the two pieces of fabric at one end ABOVE the line of stitching, cut the seam open.  Repeat for the second seam.

Press the seams open.  Go back to your sewing machine and repeat for the seams that run the other direction.  Cut those seams open as before.

Press the seams open.

And look at that!  A perfect block, with perfectly matched intersections, no pins required and no matching skills needed!  I made two of these blocks in about ten minutes, so it's much quicker than traditional piecing, too.  It makes sewing with 2.5" squares mindless and relaxing!

Have you been playing with your scraps?  Just think of all that "free" fabric waiting to be turned into quilts!




  1. That quilt is so pretty and it uses lots of squares, love it! thanks for the tutorial, happy stitching!

  2. doesn't the fusible make the block stiff? I can see how neat it is but wonder on the stiffness (I am a hand quilter)

  3. I’ve been eyeing that pattern on Pinterest, too, having a full to the top scrapbooking drawer of 2.5” squares! Love your technique, thanks for sharing!

  4. THAT was a terrific posting! I have many, many thousands of precut 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 & charm squares, and the idea of individually sewing together was not very welcome. I now can't wait to start a quilt using that method, and I will be making that same top. Many thanks from a nearly 50 year quilter for making it easier!
    Happy New Year to you! Deb E

  5. I love this idea! Thanks also for your great tutorials about disappearing quilt blocks. I love all the variations, too. Candy C.

  6. Oh I like the fusible idea. Your block turned out so neat.

  7. That's a GREAT way to take care of scraps!! I never would've thought of that quick sew method. So do you butt the squares up against each other or leave that little bit between them? Wasn't sure if the pressing caused them to have that little space.

  8. Great idea for 2.5'' scraps and for any other sizes of fabric. Quick, easy, and efficient.
    I have always admired the quilt that is in your blog banner photo. Where can I find the pattern?
    D. Weeks ( aka Momma Llama)

  9. This is my quilt! :) It did take quite a while to sew all of these squares together, but it was the beginning of the lock down for Covid, so I had nowhere to go. It was a very mindless quilting project while we were all at home. I love your idea of speeding things up with the piecing, though.

  10. Great idea. I wonder ifit would work for diamonds or tumblers as well?

  11. You've convinced me! I remember back in the day when they sold the fusible with the lines on it for those postage stamp quilts! This will work for me this year!


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