Thursday, January 28, 2010

A flock of blocks

(Submitted by Marje Rhine, American Quilter pattern editor)
I admit it – I am (or was) a scrap saver. Almost no scrap was too small to go into one of my many scrap boxes or bags.

But there were way too many, so as one of my New Year’s resolutions, I decided to pare down my scrap collection. Many went into the garbage – I  don't have the patience to sew all those 2” squares together. I set aside full width-of-fabric strips for a future strip-pieced quilt. Many scraps were cut up into specific sizes for a series of scrappy quilts for charity (maybe I will write more on this later).
The rest were too large to throw out, so I cut them into squares, triangles, and rectangles. I then sewed them together into roughly 8 1/2” x 8 1/2” squares. Some of the squares didn’t lay flat until I steamed them. I didn’t worry about losing points on triangles, or having seams match up. I just had fun sewing them together any which way. From each 8 1/2” square I accurately cut a 7 3/4” x 7 3/4” square.

 I did NOT center the cut square on any part of the pieced square, as I wanted scrappy and funky shapes. Each square was then cut into quarter-square triangles by cutting on both diagonals.

From a black fabric I cut 4 1/8” x 4 1/8” square then cut it on one diagonal to make 2 half square triangles. I stitched these to the sides of a scrappy triangle to make a Flying Geese unit.

There are many ways to sew these together. I already have a row of geese and a Flying Dutchman block. So when I want to do mindless sewing, I will sit down with my scraps and soon will have a flock of blocks to sew into a scrappy and fun quilt.


  1. What a super way to use your scraps. Thank you for this tip, now I know what to do with the squares I have in my scrap bag. The rest will just have to be tossed. Heard from a little bird, that you can put your scraps in your compost great for fertilizer if you are a gardner. It's called going green.

  2. That black solid is a great background for those scraps.

  3. What an awesome idea!
    Thanks so much for sharing! :)


  4. I like the way you think!!! Truly awesome post! Thanks!!

  5. this is beautiful! a great way to use up those scraps! Did it make a dent in the pile/box of scraps?? I find that the pile doesn't ever get smaller no matter how hard I try to use it up!

  6. That is a great idea inparticular using the black but I also have to admit that as many times I try to make a dent in my stash, it seems to still multiply