As promised, I’ve put together some step-by-step instructions for anyone interested in how my most recent project is made.
Full credit goes to my friend Lori Schloesser for this fun pattern. Besides loving the look, it solved one of my scrap dilemmas. Whenever I complete a project, all of the leftover strips and chunks usually end up in a pile because they don’t fit easily into my “neatly” arranged fabric storage. Typically, I eventually try to fold these pieces, according to color, and wedge them in between yardage in the stash. I think of them as “blobs”. With time this proves to be a cluttered, tippy disaster.
For this project I wanted to use a majority of greens, with a good amount of browns. So I pulled all of those awkward “blobs” out of those color areas in the stash. They are gone from it now and I saw an improvement in my fabric carts immediately (and my greens were far messier than the color cart above)!
I also grabbed a few “blobs” from other color areas in my stash that had green in them. Some were mainly red, some orange, some purple, etc. These added contrast and interest to the blocks.
I cut all the “blobs” into strips in a variety of widths, in 1/8″ increments, ranging from 7/8″ to 1 5/8″. The pieces that couldn’t be made into strips of at least 6″ lengths were put in a basket to be used as “corner fillers” (we’ll get to that later).
Then I dug into my fish bowls of scraps/strips for additional pieces that fit my color scheme or would add some pizazz.
Once the strips were cut I put the long ones in a grocery sack on the floor, and anything less than 14″ long went on the table.
Next I cut paper foundations at the finished size of my blocks – 5″ x 10″. I began by using up the scrap paper next to my computer and when that ran out I grabbed an old phone book. My king quilt will require 210 blocks.
Each paper pattern needed to have a diagonal line drawn on it and, to make the design come out right, half of them need to go upper left to lower right, and the other half upper right to lower left (reversals)!
To begin a block I reach into the bag full of strips and pull out two without looking 😊, place them right sides together – aligning the right edge, and lay this edge against the diagonal line; leaving at least 1/4″ excess hanging off the paper at the beginning and end of the seam to assure a proper seam allowance.
I like to chain piece about 20 blocks at a time in this way, cut them apart, and press the strips over with a dry iron.
Then I grab a new strip out of the bag and add it to each block, trimming the excess away and tossing the leftover strip in the empty grocery sack, unless the cut-away is less than 14″, then it goes on the table for later use.
Notice how the ends of the strips extend beyond the edge of the paper when pressed flat. Adding the seam allowance in this way is essential.
I continue in this manner until there is a small triangle left to be filled on each side of the strips. This is when I grab the non-strip pieces and “sew and flip” them in place to fill the corners. Sometimes the corner is small enough that one of the wider strips will work, but most often I need to use a chunk from the basket.
When the paper is covered and pressed, I turn the block to the paper side:
and trim the blocks 1/4″ away from the pattern:
rotating the block to square up the other corner. With seam allowance these blocks measure 5 1/2″ x 10 1/2″. And voila – a block is done!
All the trimmings don’t go to waste either.
I use them to fill old pillowcases found at resale shops, sew them shut, and donate them to our local humane society for use as cat beds.
I am actually using up these frustrating leftovers, and I find making the blocks quite addictive. When the blocks are all made, and it’s time to put the top together, I’ll share that part of the journey with you too!