Scrap Quilt 1 – working with 2” x 2” fabric scraps

Yesterday I introduced you to some OLFA rulers and notions I’m using this week to make three scrap quilts and I also showed you the best way to create an organized fabric stash for future use. The black lines on the frosted acrylic surface make it easy to read and use even on the most colorful fabrics to create said stash.

Today I’m using the OLFA 4½” x 4½” square Frosted Acrylic Ruler, OLFA 6″ x 24″ Frosted Acrylic Ruler along with my trusty OLFA Rotary Cutter 45mm – Aqua.

OLFA rulers and rotary cutter

1.    I start by making 16 patch blocks using 2570 precut 2” x 2” squares from scrap fabrics.

2.    I also use 1 yard of fabric from which I’ll cut 178 – 2 x 3½” black rectangles.

3.    Using the OLFA 6″ x 24″ Frosted Acrylic Ruler I cut nine 3½” strips of fabric. With the help of the OLFA QR-4S – 412″ Square Frosted Acrylic Ruler I was able to cut 20 – 2 x 3½” black rectangles from each strip.

Cut 178 – 2” x 3½” rectangles

The process of making these very small fabric scraps starts while working on other quilts by using Leaders and Enders.

What is a Leader and Ender? A leader and ender are small pieces of scrap fabric that are put under the foot when starting or finishing to sew. This prevents an accumulation of thread at the start of the sewing. This is also called a “Bird Nest”.

When I started using leaders and enders, I would use any piece of fabric scrap I had and would use and reuse it often. Then one day a friend recommended using two precut squares of the same size and sewing a ¼” seam. This started a new way to make scrap quilts that in the end saved a lot of time.

Turning leaders and enders into useful quilt pieces.

With this new of turning leaders and enders into useful sewn pairs, I put them in a box as they are sewn until I have enough for another quilt project.

Accumulating sewn leaders and enders.

4.      Once I have a considerable quantity of pairs, I sew two pairs together creating a small row. 320 small rows are required.

Note: All seams are ¼”.

Four 2” x 2” fabric scraps make one row.

5.       From the 320 four 2” x 2” fabric scraps rows created above, sew four of the rows creating a 16 patch. A total of 80 – 16              patches are needed to make this quilt.

A 16-patch block

6.       Take 90 of the 2” x 3½” black rectangles and sew a 2” x 2” square on each end.

Sew 2” x 2” squares on each end of a 2” x 3½” black rectangle.

7.       Take 80 sets from the above step and sew one to each of the 80 – 16 patches as shown below.

Sew the row with the black rectangle to a block.

8.      Make 8 piles of 10 – 16 patches. Taking one pile at a time sew them end to end.

Note: Due to difficulty in photographing wide rows some of the next photos will only show the partial rows.

Sew the 16 patch blocks to black rectangle strips, together.

9.      There are still 10 black rectangles with 2” x 2” square sets. Sew them on the end of each of the rows that do not yet                 have these sets sewn on.

Both ends should look as shown in the next photo.

The end of each 16-patch block with black rectangle strips

10.   For the rows that go between the rows of the 16 patch blocks, sew three 2” x 2” squares on one end of the 77 – 2” x 3½”          black rectangles.

Sew three 2” x 2” squares to the end of each black rectangle.

11.     Sew 7 sets of the above strips together to make a partial row. Make 11 rows in total.

Making rows for the quilt.

Sew two 2” x 2” squares at the end of each row. This step will complete the eleven rows needed for this quilt. I’ll call these the thin rows.

Complete rows with two 2” x 2” squares added to each end a.k.a thin rows

12.    Take 10 thin rows and sew one to each of the 10 rows with the blocks. Then sew each row together.

Sew the thin rows to each row of blocks.

13.   Once all the ‘16 patch’ rows are sewn to a thin row, sew each pair of rows together. Sew the last remaining thin row at            the bottom of the last row of blocks that does not have a thin row.

14.   With the rows sewn, the quilt top can be quilted and bound.

The 2” x 2” squares can make a cheerful quilt in the end and when the square scraps are collected over some time, the task isn’t as tedious.

The completed quilt, quilted by Michel Verville.

Using the OLFA 4½” x 4½” square Frosted Acrylic Ruler, OLFA 6″ x 24″ Frosted Acrylic Ruler along with my trusty OLFA Rotary Cutter 45mm – Aqua makes the task of cutting the 2” x 2” squares from haphazard fabric pieces a lot easier.

OLFA 45mm rotary cutter

Join me tomorrow, I’m using 3” square fabric scraps to make the next interesting alternative scrappy quilt.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Cutting fabric scraps into usable pieces | Oh JOY, Scrappy Quilts!

Go to part 3: Scrap Quilt 2 – working with 3” x 3” fabric scraps

Related posts

Summertime Streetscape Wall Quilt | additional design options

Summertime Streetscape Wall Quilt | beauty is in the details

Summertime Streetscape Wall Quilt | making roofs, windows, and doors!