I just can’t resist creating things out of fabric scraps! Emma was away on holidays last week so the first thing I did was dive head first into my scrap pile and start an experimental quilt. I’m fairly lazy when it comes to planning or measuring so this project was quite laissez-faire, with the possibility in the back of my mind that it could be a total fail. (I run that risk with most of my sewing!)
But surprise, surprise, not a fail at all. Far from your perfect cookie cutter quilt pattern, this haphazard design somehow works in all it’s imperfectness. It shall hence be named The Haphazard Quilt.
I’ve included general directions showing you how to make your own, but in the spirit of haphazardness, they are not prescriptive, but rather a guide to give you an idea of the process involved. Depending on the size and amount of the fabric scraps you have on hand, you can adjust the ‘pattern’ to suit your needs.
Time to do some scrapbusting..
You will need:
A big pile of fabric scraps (cotton) sorted into…
- Neutrals – cut 15cm square
- colours – strips of varying from 5-8cm wide matched into complementary tones
Backing fabric and batting the size of your quilt top
Scissors or rotary cutter
pen or vanishing marker
General sewing supplies
How to make the quilt blocks:
- Line up edge of square to coloured strip, right sides facing, sew 1/4″ seam.
- Press with neutral fabric flat, so colour doesn’t show through on lighter fabric.
- Attach pieces in order shown on pictures. You can sew and then trim any overlapping length of strip.
- Repeat. I’ve made 35 blocks for my quilt.
- Lay several blocks on top of each other, lining them up roughly (doesn’t have to be perfect).
- Cut them into quarters.
- Turn the block pieces so the neutral faces out and the coloured edges are touching to form a cross.
- a) Assemble the block by laying (right sides facing) two of the block quarters together, sew along marked line.
- b) Trim away excess fabric.
- c) Open and press.
- d) Repeat with bottom block quarters and then join the two halves together.
- e) Open and press. The edges may be a little uneven if you have used different strip widths, don’t worry, that will be trimmed later.
- Repeat with all your blocks, they may vary in size
How to assemble quilt:
- Lay out your blocks, taking note of any irregular shaped blocks. Try to match similar sized blocks together.
- Join blocks together into strips, keeping seams as square as possible so your strip is fairly straight. There is a risk here of the strip going a little wonky if the seams are not parallel.
- Trim off excess fabric.
- Join strips together. A ruler helps here to keep seams as straight as possible. Mark with a pen if required and pin. Excess fabric can be trimmed.
See this post for detailed instructions on how to assemble quilt layers and quilt.
I chose to freestyle lines over the general areas of colour running both vertical and horizontal. It was a little tricky and I found it easier quilting from the back as this avoided puckering.
See this post for detailed instructions on how to bind a quilt.
And it’s done!
I quite like the wonky nature of the final result and how your eye still seems to find the cross pattern against all odds. It’s truly unique, and of the moment, I love how scrap quilts capture a moment in time. Lots of reminders of projects past in there.
So now it’s your turn to dig around in your scraps. No need to make anything as large as a quilt, this technique would work great for a cushion cover, place mat or table runner.
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Love to sew with scraps? Check out Six Baby Gifts to make with Fabric Scraps eBook