The House That Scrappy Built

I’ve always been enamored of house quilts. Houses and quilts seem such a natural pairing, both speaking to the utmost in coziness and comfort. I’ve made a couple of them before now and those, I cherish. After my latest one though, I began to consider how I would go about designing my own house quilt.  

It’s such a popular motif I didn’t want to offer a pattern if I couldn’t bring something distinctly my own to the table. I wanted it to be fun and modern, but also quick and easy, and that starts with the cutting.

  • This pattern can be cut 100% with one of the *Accuquilt systems.
  • Alternatively, and almost as quickly, it can be cut with the *Stripology XL ruler by Creative Grids.
  • Even if you don’t own one of the above, it’s really quick to cut with an old-school rotary cutter/ruler.

Second, the blocks are enormous. You only need 20 for a very generous-sized throw. You can make a twin/throw from start to finish in a weekend – with time to spare.

Finally, the striped effect gives it a cute, modern look. AND, it’s fun to create whether you’ve made one quilt or 50. There’s something about the design that lends itself well to holiday quilts as well as school-themed ones. Christmas Cabins, anyone? Haunted Houses? Love Shacks? Frat Houses? Honestly, I can think of at least a dozen I want to make right now, including, of course, a scrap-happy version.

I hope you’ll give it a try. You can purchase the pattern at my Etsy shop. Do let me know how it goes.

* I’m not compensated by Accuquilt or Creative Grids. I am just passionate about these products. Full disclosure, I DO have an affiliate account with Accuquilt, so if you click that link to the right and buy something, I might make a few pennies but I haven’t done so yet.

 

Papaw’s Quilt


A few years ago, everyone was making gingham baby quilts, mostly from solids, and they were adorable. I mentally added the pattern to my quilting bucket list and then moved on to other projects. But I never completely forgot the simple, yet stunning quilt. Last year, I finally made one. It was moderately scrappy and I called it A Quilt Is Born. It now resides on the back of a chair in my bedroom and I love it.

A Quilt Is Born – moderately scrappy
Papaw’s Quilt – not scrappy

For Christmas 2019, I thought I’d make one for my grandfather. Ha! I got the top made in time, but in typical Amy fashion, I didn’t finish the quilting and binding until July 3. Not too bad. I’ve been as much as five years late on a gift quilt.

 I used Fat Quarter Shop’s tutorial for a three-hour quilt. It took me a little longer than three hours but I’m slow, always. This truly is a quick and easy project though, and SOOO cute.

 Papaw was a Navy man, so I went with a red, white and blue color scheme and stars…lots of stars. I even quilted a giant red star on it, which didn’t photograph well but it looks nice in person. I used prints rather than solids. I just love prints so I don’t have many solids in my stash. These are fairly subdued though. One might even say they’re almost solid.

I liked this pattern so much, I decided to do a study of it, using different degrees of scrappiness. My first one, as I said, was moderately scrappy. Papaw’s Quilt was not at all scrappy. Next I’ll do an extremely scrappy one, and then I’ll decide which look I like best.

Yes, I finished the binding on the way to his house.

 

Another Quilt Is Born – The Full-On Scrappy One

In a recent post, A Quilt Is Born, I talked about one of my bucket-list quilts, the giant gingham. I mentioned the one I made is moderately scrappy and I quite like it, but I decided to make a full-on scrappy version and a totally non-scrappy one to compare and contrast.

Today, I started my super-scrappy one. It’s going to be black/gray/white. It’s hard to form an opinion based on such a small sample but, as you know, I’m pre-disposed to love super-scrappy quilts so I predict I will be happy with it.

As I was sewing this section, I was thinking,”how would this look with improv-pieced blocks?” so I might have to give that a try next. I think it would be fabulous. 

Here’s the one that began this obsession…

Looks like I might be sewing gingham quilts for a while. Have you made one yet? I would love to see it. 

Here are my take-aways for the giant gingham quilt…

  • Super-easy, quick quilt
  • Can be completed in as few as 3 hours (non-scrappy, baby size)
  • Great for beginners
  • A lovely way to study color values

 

Think Outside the Border

I’ve made nine quilts this year. Want to know how many of them had a border? Zero of them had a border. I don’t dislike them on other people’s quilts. It’s just not something I do. I don’t know why, but for whatever reason quilts without borders have become part of my personal style.

And yet, when I share my finished quilt tops on my various social media groups it never fails. Someone asks me what color I’m going to do my border. As if there’s an unwritten quilting law that says all quilts shall have a border. (And worst of all, lots of people ask me if I’m going to attach a guest lodger to my quilt. Umm, No. First of all, I don’t run a bed and breakfast, and B, I’m not a psychopath.)

Well…these unwritten quilt laws are for the incurious if you ask me. Haven’t you ever looked at a quilt design and wondered, “what if…”?

When I first got interested in quilting a long, long time ago, almost all quilts were made in blocks and rows, and 99.9 percent of them had muslin backgrounds. 

What if, somewhere along the way, some curious quilter hadn’t asked herself, “What if I do this instead?” I reckon our quilts would look exactly like Granny’s. And while that wouldn’t necessarily be tragic – Granny’s quilts were lovely – it would be limiting and boring and there probably wouldn’t be as many of us. So I’m glad there are quilters out there who think outside the border. Rebel Quilters everywhere…I salute you! 

And someone please tell me, what’s become of all the boarders getting attached to quilts? Why hasn’t anyone reported this to the authorities? Is it an AirBnB phenomenon? I’m so confused…

 

A Quilt Is Born

For months now, I’ve been working on a couple of projects that seem never-ending. This weekend, I wanted the satisfaction of a finish, so instead of doing what I know I should have done, which is to continue with my WIPs, I started something new. I did end the week with a finished quilt top, which was enough to make me happy and give me the impetus to go back to my older quilts next weekend. I hope.

The design stage is my favorite part of quilt-making so I’m always interested in the genesis of a quilt. How did it get started? For me, it begins with the fabric usually, but that’s not what happened this time. As I mentioned, I wanted a quick finish, and I remembered something that’s been on my quilting bucket list for a while – the giant gingham quilt, sometimes called the buffalo plaid. You probably know the one. It lit up Pinterest a couple of years back and everybody made one. Except I didn’t. But I wanted to, so I put it on my “Someday” list. 

I also remembered The Fat Quarter Shop has a video tutorial that claims it can be done start to finish in three hours. Challenge accepted. With my pattern chosen, it was time to pick the fabrics. Most of the online pictures show these quilts with solid fabrics as opposed to prints, but I don’t have many solids in my stash so I needed prints that kind of read as solids, i.e. small scale with limited colors.

The first thing to catch my eye was this gorgeous, vintage blue print. (top and bottom)

It has such a painterly quality, it reminds me of a Monet. I knew I wanted it for my mid-tone and it has a touch of white and Navy blue so that dictated my light and dark tones as well.

Here’s the thing with vintage fabrics – they’re not always the same width as modern ones. This piece was about ten inches shy so things got scrappy real fast. I pieced together as much of the vintage as I could, but I ran out of scraps before I ran out of rows so I had to substitute a couple of solids and some leftovers from another quilt, Birdie in My Cabin.

It’s definitely noticeable in the finished top but I don’t make perfect quilts, and I’m ok with that. It would probably drive some of you crazy, so just make sure you start with a whole yard of your light and dark tones and two yards of your medium tone.

I didn’t have a whole yard of anything I liked for the darks, so I used two different pieces. The batik was leftover from Rock N Roll All Night. The other came in a purchased scrap pack. I’m very satisfied with how they look.

All of my lights are leftovers from various quilts I’ve made. I used these pieces in particular because they all contained a touch of a very similar blue to my mid-tone fabric.

I would call this quilt moderately scrappy. It’s not quite as gingham-y as if I had limited myself to three fabrics. The pattern is a bit more subtle, but it’s definitely there. I’m curious to know how it would look if I were to go full-on scrappy. I think I’ll try that one day so I can compare and contrast. I suppose I need to make a totally NON-scrappy one too, in the interest of science, ya know. Damn, that means I need to go fabric-shopping. The horror! For my husband, not for me. Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, that video I mentioned… they used 5.5” squares in an 8 x 10 setting. That gave them a 40” x 50” finished product. I wanted a bigger quilt so I used 6.5” squares. I made 12 rows of 10 squares each for a finished quilt size of 60” x 72”. You can make your squares any size you want, of course. I mean, who’s going to stop you?

By the way, it took me a little longer than three hours to finish this, but that’s mostly because I scrapped it up a bit. I feel confident I could do it in three hours if I stuck with the three fabrics.