Let the Fireworks Begin!

The idea behind the Thrifty Quilter system is to use up scraps and leftover fabrics, so I have one rule that I have made for myself. I don’t impose it on anyone else, but feel free to adopt it. When I’m making a “TQ” quilt, I only allow myself to purchase one fabric specifically for that quilt. Usually it’s a background or border piece. It helps me avoid the temptation to buy a little bit of the “right” shade or print, which tends to lead to several purchases, and pretty soon, you’re making a scrappy quilt, but not a scrap quilt. I am pretty pleased with myself, because this quilt “Fireworks” is a true scrap quilt. All of the fabrics used were leftover from other projects.

Here’s how you can make your own version of this 38″ x 38″ quilt:

First, you will need four of the “Spinner” blocks from the In A Spin post.

Next, you need to make five alternate blocks.

Fireworks quilt - Alternate block #1

Fireworks quilt – Alternate block #1

I had intended to use Laurel Burch cat prints, but it appears I used them all in another quilt. However, I did have eight 6.5″ squares of this alleycats print. I used four of them to make Spinner blocks, and I added a 2″ (finished border around each of the four remaining squares. The white border strips are (2) 2.5″ x 6.5″ and (2) 2.5″ x 10.5″.

Since I needed nine blocks for this quilt, and only had eight of the cat prints, I had to make do. This is not a problem. It is a creative opportunity. Repeat that with me: “It is not a problem. It is a creative opportunity.”


Fireworks quilt - alternate block #2

Fireworks quilt – alternate block #2

For this quilt, I chose to make a 9-patch with 2.5″ squares and bordered it in the dark gray I planned to use in the outer border of the quilt. Again, the border pieces are cut (2) 2.5″ x 6.5″ and (2) 2.5″ x 10.5″.

For the border, you will need to make a total of forty 2.5″ half-square triangles (HSTs.) Each HST has a scrap triangle and a dark gray triangle.  You will also need to cut four 4.5″ dark gray squares, four 4.5″ x 10.5″ dark gray strips and eight 2.5″ x 10.5″ dark gray strips.

Fireworks quilt- pieced border sections

Fireworks quilt- pieced border sections

Make eight border segments. Each one has five HST’s (be sure the all “point” the same way). Sew a 2.5″ x 10.5″ strip to the top of each HST strip.


Fireworks quilt – lower left corner unit.

Now you need to make four corner units. Each one uses two of the border units you just made, a 4.5″ dark gray square and one of the alternate blocks.  If your 6.5″ featured squares are a directional print, you will have to be careful that you alter which sides you sew the border units to, so that you keep the center print right-side up!  

Sew the 4.5″ x 10.5″ dark gray strips to the four Fireworks blocks. Sew to the top of one block, the bottom of another, to the left side of the third, and the right side of the fourth block.

Now you can lay the units out in three rows as shown below.

Fireworks quilt - Blocks laid out in three rows.

Fireworks quilt – Blocks laid out in three rows.

Finally, you can sew the three rows together to complete your own Fireworks quilt!

"Fireworks" quilt by Anne Wiens. (C)2013

“Fireworks” quilt by Anne Wiens. (C)2013

My “solution” to the challenge of having one less 6.5″ cat print that I needed was to make a 9-Patch block with a dark gray border.  Can you think of another creative solution? Please share in the comment area.

If you make your own Fireworks quilt, or a quilt of your own design with the Spinner block, please send me a photo to add to my website gallery and the Thrifty Quilters group on Facebook!

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