The Haphazard Quilt – A scrapbusting project

Make a quilt instructions

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..

quilt making you will need

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
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • pen or vanishing marker
  • Sewing Machine
  • General sewing supplies

How to make the quilt blocks:

quilt block assembly

– 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.

cut squares for quilt block

– 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.

sewing block steps

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:

quilt block layout

– 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.

quilt layout

– 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.
– Press.

quilt detail

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.

binding detail

And it’s done!

Finished Cross quilt step by step

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.
Happy sewing!

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Six baby gifts to make with fabric scraps Love to sew with scraps? Check out Six Baby Gifts to make with Fabric Scraps eBook


  • Michele T says:

    Love this quilt!!! Great for stash busting indeed πŸ˜‰ and a perfect idea for a baby quilt. I have pinned it for future reference – thanks!

  • Cat says:

    This quilt is so gorgeous! I love that is is haphazard, really hurts my head (in a good way).

  • Diane says:

    I adore this, Cinti!! I’m not much for measuring either, so the casual construction and look of this really appeal to me. Excellent choice on the quilting!

  • iHanna says:

    Love your fabrics – so bright and happy together. And a fun quilt project, I’m a huge fan of wonky!

  • Deborah Weber says:

    Utterly charming! Delighted to have found your blog via Share the Link Love.

  • Jane says:

    I have been needing a fun project to get me back into the quilting groove. This looks perfect! Thanks for the great idea!

  • Marcia A Tokarchuk says:

    This looks like one of the funniest scrappyies I’ve ever seen! I’m fairly new to quilting and now need a good sized scrap pile. What size did it end up and what did Emma think of it? Thank you so much!

  • Pat Marklin says:

    Love it! I have so much white just waiting to work in as the neutral. I make my squares from my old clothes and pretty fabrics I find in other people’s clothes and sheets in thrift stores. Sometime I use knits so the fact that this pattern can be a little wonky is just perfect.

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Just be careful with the knits as they can stretch out when you get to the machine quilting stage. If you are using knits you may want to hand quilt or even tie at regular intervals as an alternative.
      Have fun using your scraps.
      x cinti

  • Jennifer Jangles says:

    I love that quilt! I’ve been to your site before so when I clicked through Sew Can She to see the tutorial, it was no surprise that it was yours. I think I might have to stitch a few of those blocks up today just to try them out. Thanks for sharing the how-to.

  • KateO says:

    I love this quilt! I am soooo going to make one. I’ve never done a scrap-buster before, so A) I have a lot of scraps to use, and B) it’s going to be fun! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kris says:

    Wow that just looks fun!

  • linda wicks says:

    This soo reminds me of how I have always worked. I have never used a pattern but jusr take ideas from the web and magazines and make my own version.

  • Shasta Matova says:

    This is really cute! And I love the fact that you don’t have to do a lot of measuring to put it together. Let serendipity make the quilt special.

  • Lane Hill House says:

    I love this quilt! It speaks to me. Thanks for sharing! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House


  • Pat Bird Hollenbeck says:

    This is a great quilt! I’m just starting one for my 8 yr. old Great Grandson, and I think I’ll use this, except change it to black or navy for the background squares and bright batik scraps. (He wants his quilt to be ‘cool not kid-like’). This would be perfect!!

  • karen munns says:

    So clever

  • Linda says:

    The haphazard quilt gave me a new lease to quilt

  • Molly says:

    Just finished one of my own for my 3 year old daughter – she loves finding the pieces of the other things I’ve made her in the quilt! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Darlene says:

    Thanks for this!!! Your beautiful quilt inspired me to try one of my own and I love the way it is coming together. I also love the freedom you encourage in the tutorial. A different way of working and so enjoyable.

  • Helena says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Have lots of scraps to work away and this seems like a good idea. will give it a try.

  • Elizabeth Gilbert says:

    I just read about this and am so happy to see it! I am 81 years old and have quilted
    before, but didn’t succeed!!!! And I have fabrics left over from years of sewing …… this
    quilt really appeals to me as it is straight forward and seems to be quite easy to do, here I go, up to my sewing room to have a look at many years of scraps!!! so excited! Thanks !!

  • karen says:

    What a gorgeous quilt! It’s just the inspiration I needed to try some experimenting of my own πŸ™‚

  • Penny says:

    I do lots of no pattern quilts but I was looking for something a little more structured but with no special cutting, Can’t wait to do this !

  • I would like to print this pattern for my own use. Is that possible?

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