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 . . .
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.
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.
Chris has been browsing her bookcase in the last few weeks and unearthed one of her earliest patchwork books – The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon.
All black and white, no colour at all, and lots of useful information on making and using templates and sewing patches together by hand – no rotary cutter or indeed machine stitching mentioned. On the other hand it does contain a lot of blocks and one that caught my eye was called Becky’s 9-Patch as it consisted of different width strips plus a couple of squares.
You can download the rotary cutting instructions to make a 9 inch version here (courtesy of Electric Quilt). I then had a play with the colours. If you make all your blocks the same colours (and remember they needn’t be the same fabrics as they are in my diagrams, they could just be the same shade of whatever colour) then you get some very interesting patterns appearing depending on where the colour emphasis is and which way you turn the blocks.
You do get more of a mish-mash if you make everything a different colour.
But you could try to make just the long edges all the same (ish) to get some pattern and symmetry back into your quilt.
Download a quilt to colour in and/or cut up to play with – you can print it out as many times as you like.
Can you believe it’s yet another post on squares? Barbara was rummaging in The Cupboard at the Rural Office and turned up this really simple (but finished!!) quilt she made a few years ago –
One or two Charm Packs may have been put to good use in a very simple sashed setting, longarm quilting courtesy of The Bramble Patch. This was definitely a quick and easy make.
Barbara’s hand stitched 4patch project has progressed to this tentative layout which would be 3x 9patch blocks of 4patch units and borders of 4patches on point. But the stack of 4patch units continues to grow so something larger may be in prospect –
Or maybe the 4patches themselves could be made into larger blocks, and maybe those blocks put on point….. One thing for sure is that the original stack of squares could make quite a few more 4patches and there seems to be no let up in the production rate. One 4patch is just 3 short seams and really fast to hand piece.
In fact the squares into 4patches concept has worked so well that Barbara is quietly considering opening up the (large) box containing 2 1/2inch strips cut from most fabrics in her stash and sacrificing just 5inches from each strip to cut again into squares. Just to see what happens……
Our April EQ Doodle is a Pineapple block.
Over on the doodles page we have shown it just in grey scale and normally these types of block are done with a limited colour palette, but that’s no reason not to try a scrappy block or two or . . .
Download a quilt colouring sheet and/or a 12 inch block pattern (you will need to stick the pages together for this one – and do make sure you have checked the paper size is A4 and that you are printing ‘actual size’). There are no numbers on the block pattern so if you use it as a foundation then start at the middle and work your way out or use it to make templates if you prefer to work that way.
Hope you are all keeping safe and well and finding these posts helpful in using up all those bits of fabric you knew you had kept for a reason: we weren’t hoarding, we were preparing!