Our August EQ Doodle block is Birds in the Air. There are so many ways to use colour and scraps in this block – and its great for using up those left-over half-square triangles too. So whether you have plenty of the same colours, or not much of anything you can make lots of blocks and put them together. Ideally for each block you need a consistent ‘background’ colour – it needn’t be the same fabric, just the same shade of the same colour (more or less) – a variety of whites, or creams, or greys perhaps; or go darker and use navy, black, or dark grey with brights or pastels.
And once you have made lots of blocks you can put them together and twirl them around and make a variety of patterns. You’ll find lots more ideas on the EQ Doodles page (in greyscale).
If you want to have a go at making the block you can download the rotary cutting measurements for a 6 inch block here courtesy of Electric Quilt (EQ).
Is your scrap bag full of random strips? Different lengths, different widths, not even straight? We have a plan! You can do this quilt-as-you-go or just fabric and quilt later – your choice. But the basic premis is the same – stitch those strips together!
You do need a bit of a plan if you like order and symmetry, otherwise just go completely random. If you want to do q-a-y-g then you will need to find some wadding squares and some backing – all cut to about the same size. Even with random ones you may find it easier if you stitch to some sort of backing – interfacing or light weight cotton of some sort – that is cut into a square, especially if you are going for the more ordered look.
Start with a central strip diagonally across the square centre(ish) – if you like a plan then this should be the same colour fabric, if not the same fabric each time; then add strips to either side of this – right-sides together, stitch, press back etc. Trim square.
Your squares will look either neat and ordered if all your strips were the same width, or a bit wild and wonky if they weren’t –
Once you get bored with making squares you can join them together. By having the same fabric down the centre of each square you can make different designs by turning your blocks around. Notice how having wonky strips means no matching of seams other than the blocks themselves.
If you did qayg then you may (depending on the method you use to put the blocks together) have a little sashing strip between the blocks – you could make this the same colour as the centre strips if they were all the same.
If you get bored very quickly then you could just make a simple little runner or two –
Join us next week for some more scrappy ideas . . .
Scrappy Sunday takes on a vintage air today as we announce the release of another pattern in our Heritage Quilts series. The original quilt is tucked up in The Cupboard over at the Rural Office and is in quite a delicate condition so it’s great to be able to share it in pattern form at least. Very much a scrappy quilt, handpieced (without papers) and handquilted, very well-worn and washed there is still considerable charm to the small Rolling Star blocks which are made from a wide variety of 1930s prints.
This Rolling Star quilt pattern is available via our Heritage Quilts shop on Payhip.
Barbara was the official Template Tester for this pattern and managed to rustle up three scrappy blocks with scrappy sashing and borders to make a mini table mat –
Its July so a new EQ Doodle has magically appeared on the EQ Doodles page. This month we look at a simple on-point Autograph block. You can make these as ordered or not as you wish, keep the centre strip plain white for autographs, or just mix up the colours and have fun with it all.
Over on the Doodles page we have kept our ideas to greyscale but here on the scrappy post we can go a little mad with colour. In these examples we have kept the background triangles the same colour, but used different prints; you could try mixing these colours up too and make other designs where the blocks meet.
Download a colouring sheet here to play with. The easiest way to make this block is not to worry about the finished size but to worry about the size of the strips – especially if they are to have autographs scrawled on them. Cut strips to a suitable width, join three together and then cut into squares. Add setting triangles to the four corners to turn the strip square on point – you can download an information sheet about how to do that here.
As some of you may have noticed, we have been doing a star block every week over on our sister site Meadowside Designs. The other week we featured one just called Two Colours – it was ok (ish) but needed a few tweaks, partly to make it easier to rotary cut and machine piece. The tweaks opened up a few more possibilities for colouring and it struck us that it would make quite a good candidate for a scrappy block.
You can find out a little more – and download instructions to make it – over on Meadowside but here is what a quilt or two might look like if done scrappy-style, without sashing
and with sashing.
Our June Doodle is the Devil’s Puzzle block.
Lots of opportunity for colours and scrappiness here.
Look at the Doodles page for more greyscale design options.
Download a quilt to colour and then if you fancy making it you can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 9 inch block and the (brief) instructions to make a block.
It’s not a finish but it’s a top! The scrappy Friendship Star/Nine Patch blocks Barbara made are sashed and bordered and moved to the “await quilting” pile. This was a really quick make and a great side adventure using some of those 2 1/2inch squares that were cut at the beginning of March.
It looks like we are going to turn our attention away from squares for a while. We’ve had a few high-level virtual consultations over the last week (HQ of course is closed at the moment so everything has been screen to screen and bring your own caffeine..) and we think it might be time to feature traditional blocks which work well with scraps. One of our go-to references for scrappy and traditional is “Great Scrap Bag Quilts” by Jan Halgrimson – here’s the sideways version
We’ve mentioned Jan’s books in earlier scrappy posts – our copies are VERY well thumbed and have been a source of much inspiration over the years. Here’s a peep at one page (P.85) which caught our eye – the block is Scrap Bag Star.
This is a 12inch block and we are trying not to focus too much on that instruction that says “cut 24 light, 84 dark” – that’s a LOT of pieces for a 12inch block! But it would make a reasonable dent in a stack of very small scraps …. The lovely thing about the early books of patchwork patterns is that they are black & white only and you can use your imagination to put colour in them. And the equally lovely thing is that we now have EQ8 (and its predecessors) to draw, colour and make virtual quilts with these blocks. Here’s our first EQ8 stab at Scrap Bag Star –
Then it’s hard to resist clicking on the random recolour tool –
We’re off to get more scrappy inspiration from Ms Halgrimson – tune in next week for June’s EQ Doodles, Free Pattern Friday and more scrappiness on Sunday.
Squares, squares and yet more squares. You may recall that right at the beginning of this Covid madness Chris started joining her 2 1/2 inch scrap squares into 9-patches.
The number of those little blocks grew and grew.
What to do with them now? How about using up the bag of white strips? All different widths and shades of white (and a bit of cream). So the long enough lengths were sorted into another bag, pulled out at random and stitched around each 9-patch.
Surprisingly there was very little discrepancy in the block sizes – they ranged from 9 inches to 9 3/4inches in one direction and from 8 inches to 10 in the other. There were six 9 inch blocks, and six 9 3/4 inch ones so they formed the top and bottom rows of the quilt top. The other blocks were all around 9 1/4 to 9 1/2 so they were trimmed to make six blocks of each size for the remaining rows.
A little fiddling around with the layout on the design area (the bed) and they could be stitched together.
Another top done and awaiting a border.
And then . . . searching for ideas in the EQ block library there was this block – Flying Squares. It would have been ideal! Another day perhaps?
See you next week for more scrappy ideas and adventures.
The May doodle is called Jungle Flower – a variation on Drunkards Path. You can download the templates to make a 12 inch block here. Over on the Doodles page we have just shown the block and possible settings in grey-scale, such as this one –
We have shown various possibilities for shading but not for colour and the quilts use the same – or at most two – shadings. So what could the blocks look like with a bit of colour added?
And if we used lots of colour, making each block different, and then put them together in a wonderful colourful scrappy quilt?
Download a quilt to colour here – and remember that you can print it out as many times as you like, cut it up, turn the blocks around and generally play with the possibilities yourself.
Barbara has been very happily stuck in a groove of scrappy squares and it looks as if there will be many more squares cut, marked and stitched together in the coming weeks. All sorts of ideas are floating around but we thought you might like to see the current state of play.
Four of the five 4patch/9patch blocks might go together like this and there would be one block left over – each block measures 12inches edge to edge before setting seams.
or put all five blocks together like this –
The five smaller double4patch blocks might go together like this.
Blocks measure 8 inches edge to edge before setting seams.
or possibly like this –
Barbara’s stash at the Rural Office has been the subject of thorough investigation to come up with suitable scrappy choices for settings and sashings. The investigation has not yet reached any firm conclusions so it’s back to stitching squares into pairs for a while!