Controlling the Chaos

“I can’t do it!”

I’ve heard it before, and not just from my quilting buddy, Vina.

In fact, I’ve said it myself, right here on this very blog.  While many…maybe most…quilters can sew two random pieces of fabric together, and come up with a perfectly wonderful scrap quilt,  many of us struggle to overcome an inner drive to make it somehow match.

In this case, Vina and I were making scrap blocks for a raffle quilt our guild is making for the local senior citizen’s center where we hold our meetings. The quilt we are making is on the cover of the Oct/Nov 2017 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. For the record, I did manage to make my blocks really random, as called for in the pattern.

My poor friend loved the quilt, but couldn’t bring herself to slap scraps together, so we came up with a compromise block. I like to keep stacks of 2.5″ squares by my machine and sew them into 4-patches as “leaders and enders,” so I always have a batch of 4.5″ 4-patches waiting to grow into a quilt.

IMG_2165To make a 4 by 4-Patch block, you will need:

Eight pairs of medium 2.5″ print squares

Four 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles of a dark tone-on-tone print,

Twenty 2.5″ squares of a light print for the background. (I used two background prints, so I cut ten squares from each.)

 

IMG_2166First, sew the medium print squares into 4-Patches and sew the 4-Patches into a Double 4-Patch.

 

 

 

 

 

Use the light squares and dark rectangles to IMG_2168make four flying geese, using the Stitch-and-Flip method.

Notice that because I was using two different light prints, two of my geese have print A on the right and print B on the left, and the other two have print B on the right and print A on the left.

 

 

IMG_2170Sew a light square to both sides of two of the geese. Sew these to the sides of your double 4-patch.

Sew pairs of light squares to the other two geese. Sew these to the top and bottom of the double 4-patch.

Notice that, because I was using two light prints, I made sure that they alternated clear around the block.

 

So now we’ve turned a devil-may-care scrap block into one that is still scrappy, but a little more reserved about it.

I spotted this same block on Pinterest the other day, and that quiltmaker had taken the control one step farther.  In each block in the quilt, medium and dark pieces were all one color…yellow in one block, orange in another. Red, blue, green, each assigned to their own blocks.

Ready to play, Thrifty Quilters? Grab your scraps and see what variation(s) you can come up with. Send your photos to: anne@sweetgrassdesigns.com .

 

 

 

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Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, The Thrifty Quilter System, Thrifty Quilter Blocks & Patterns, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Controlling the Chaos

  1. Laura McFall

    Love this block! I already have a bunch of 4patches, this is another great idea of what to do with them!! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dorothy

    Thanks for another idea of what to do with the 4-patches that I make as “leader/enders” while making something else. I have made 4 quilts with them so far–also make 16-patch “leader/enders”–another 4 quilts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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