Friday, March 18, 2011

Fast, Fun and No Fuss!

Do you recall when you first became enthralled with fabric?
I do.
 I shopped, collected, even hoarded and reveled in my treasure-trove of pretties. An abundance, a virtual stockpile, a true cache;
 I had a stash!

Now, twenty years later, that stash has become a conglomeration of fabric, and not surprisingly, my tastes have changed. I am now passionate about reproduction fabrics and small scale precision piecing.
My name is Cheryl from So Many Quilts, So Little Time, and I manicure my stash one inch at a time.
Thank you to Madame Samm for inviting me to be a guest blogger today.

Not being a yardage girl, most of my surplus of fabric is in the form of fat quarters on up to half yards max. No true quilter can just toss heaps of fabric. There are no Goodwill boxes for cloth. 
I will not be buried under a fabric avalanche; so my goal is to bust my stash, create space in my fabric closet, and blissfully organize my new fabrics so I won’t keep buying the same fabrics over and over again!

 I needed a project that would be FAST, FUN and with NO FUSS!
A fellow quilter from Chicago recently showed up at the shop where I teach with the following strip quilt
project and I knew I had found my answer.
 I will make charity quilts!

I would like to share this amazingly simple project with the readers of Sew We Quilt and hope you will have as much fun with it as I did.
Yardage Requirements for a 3 x 4 block quilt measuring 38" x 50", without borders:
(This is the perfect size for donation to the Linus Project, one of my favorite charities!)
-a minimum of 1/2 yd for sashing strips
-a fat quarter for sashing cornerposts
-12 fat quarters OR 6 half yards of stash fabric (or any combination that makes 3 yds total of fabric.  Any one piece of fabric must be a minimum of 21" long.)
From each piece of fabric, cut strips of varying widths from 1 1/2" to 4" wide x the length of the fabric.
Cut the sashing fabric into 2" x WOF strips for a total of 6 strips,
then subcut into (17) 2" x 13" strips.
(Remember to measure your blocks prior to cutting the length of the sashing strips and adjust accordingly.)
Cut (6) 2" x 2" squares for cornerposts.

Sew the strips (select varying widths) together into strip sets, pressing the seams open.
The number of strips needed will depend on their widths.
Sew as many together as needed to get a width slightly greater than 10" wide.
Lightly starch to help stabilize the fabric for you will be cutting these strips apart on the bias later on.

Now cut the long strip set into two squares measuring 10" x 10".
Lay them next to each other; one with the strips running vertical and one with the strips running horizontal.
Pair them in this orientation, right sides together, pin and then sew a 1/4" seam allowance on all four sides.
Make sure the strips are running in opposite directions!
Cut them apart twice diagonally (X-cut) to make four new half-square triangle units.
Press open. 
Now lay the four units out in any manner you want to make a large block.
Here is a collage of the various layouts I came up with.
I used the large one on the left as it turned out to be my favorite.

Assemble the four units together. 
Don't worry about matching any of the seams. Just align the top and bottom edges of the units and pin heavily prior to sewing to help prevent stretching of the bias edges.

After constructing 12 blocks, I laid them out in a pleasing manner and sashed them, adding cornerposts.
Once assembled, my blocks measured approximately 13" x 13".
There is a lot of give in the blocks due to the bias edges, so I cut all my sashing strips 13" long and made the blocks stretch or ease into the sashing.  If the measurement of your blocks is different, adjust the length of your sashing strips accordingly.
This top is now quilted and bound, ready to donate to the Linus Project. 
The Linus Project is a non-profit organization, created in 1995 by Karen Loucks, to "Provide Security Through Blankets," to ill or traumatized children and teens.  You can find out more by visiting them at their website.

I have started my second donation quilt using this method, but this time it is headed over to the Quilts of Valor.  Hope you will join me in making one of these FAST, FUN, and NO FUSS quilts and donate it to your favorite non-profit organization. 
Thank you again M. Samm for having me.


  1. Oh what fun :) Thank you for sharing this no fuss, no muss quick scrap user-upper. :) This quilt turned out very nice and such possibilities. Great job!

  2. Wow, I really like this quick and easy quilt. I make a lot of charity quilts and I have a TON of fat quarters. I am bookmarking this. THANKS!!

  3. Cool! I'll have to bookmark this one!

  4. Love it love it love it! There's something about bright, bold, wild colors, and slicing & dicing that just turns fabric into WOW quilts. I make lots of quilts for charity and my sewing friends will love this pattern too. Thanks!

  5. This is an easier version of the Hidden Wells. Very good scrap busting pattern - I will have to remember this one. Thank you for a great tutorial.

  6. Thanks! Great variety with minimal math! I love it.

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

  7. Great use of stash... thanks

  8. This is a great stash project! Thanks for sharing!! Really like the way it comes out and oh, so easy! Yep, I'm gonna have to make one of those for my next stash quilt, for sure!

  9. What a great stash quilt!!! I love starting with something simple then with just some simple cuts you end up with something totally unique! Just like every post here on Stash Manicure.......totally unique!!!

  10. Oh, now I know what I can do with all those fabrics in my equally ancient stash that I have 'outgrown'! :) Thanks this is a wonderful post!

  11. Good Morning Cheryl, what a delight to see the possibilities of what our stash can become. You are without a doubt a breath of fresh air this spring morning...you are what our quilting world is really all about, reaching out with our gifts to lift up another..that you do... inspiring and selfless...

  12. "There are no Goodwill boxes for cloth" and there should be! Wonderful use of a stash quilt.

  13. This looks so interesting. I need to try this as there are bunches of strips in my stash begging for a project. Thanks for sharing!!!

  14. I love that! Thanks for the idea, I can't wait to try it.

  15. Great use of scraps and for good cause!!

  16. This idea is a keeper! It's time for me to make a quilt for a good cause. Thanks for the nudge.

  17. Neat. Some little boy or girl will love it.

  18. Thanks so much for a specific way to use up some stash!! Great looking quilt!!

  19. Project Linus is a GREAT program - the correct URL is http://www.projectlinus.org - not the one listed above

    Thanks for mentioning them here - and awesome quick quilt idea - thanks for guesting today .

  20. Goodwill does take donations of fabric. I have a friend who gets some of the nicest fabric at Goodwill. Remember: Fabric we no longer like can be someone's treasure. Love your tutorial.

  21. What a great stash busting quilt. Project Linus is one of the organizations that I donate to regularly!

  22. What a great idea...being a 'giver' and the way you put the quilt together!! :) Hugs!

  23. Quilt is just gorgeous. Love the colors!

  24. oh that looks fun and fabulous, must put it on my 'to do' list

  25. Thank you for the easy to understand tutorial. Your version of Hidden Wells is easier than others I have All I need is some starch and I'm ready to go.

  26. Great stash buster/charity quilt! will definitely try this one!!

  27. Great idea! Not to difficult and it looks like fun. Can't wait to try one. Thanks for a MOST helpful post.

  28. Oh, I love this and it will help me use up my fabric. Thanks so much for posting!

  29. I will definitely be trying this pattern out. It even looks like a lot of fun and we all have our stashes to pull from. Judy C www.shadetreequilting.com

  30. Forgot to say thanks for sharing this with us. Where are my manners? Judy C

  31. Oh!! Thank YOU! Your ideas and tutorial...are so VERY motivational!!


  32. Bookmarked! Love great, fast FQ projects for charity. If only I could quilt them as quickly!

  33. Lovely quilt. Excellent tutorial. Fun stashbuster and charity quilt design. Love it!


  34. After spending almost a month in the NICU, my grandson came home with the Project Linus Blanket placed over his isolette. It wasn't fancy but it was full of blessings knowing someone took time to make that little blanket with cars and trucks all over it! That blanket holds a place of honor in our home as does James who is now 3 1/2. Even though James has Cerebral Palsy, he is a prized gift from God! We are so thankful to whomever made that quilt. Please Label your Quilts!!
    Gmama Jane

  35. Great tutorial...thanks so much! Love the patterns that you can get with that - I'm headed to my stash right now! (Really, I am!)
    Jacque in SC

  36. Besides being a pretty remarkable lady you have heart and that speaks volumes for me. Your tutorial was perfect. Thank you for being a great guest today, lucky us!

  37. Thank you for sharing Cheryl! I quilt for Binky Patrol (www.binkypatrol.org) and we end up with a bunch of leftover strips when we trim the batting and backing after quilting. We've been making 'quilt as you go' strip quilts with the 'leftovers' but this pattern will allow us to mix it up a bit. Thanks so much!

  38. Thanks for the info on the strip quilts. The design is different than the one that I've made -- like the idea of cutting triangles and re-sewing for more interest.

  39. I am working on a similar type quilt right now. They are easy to put together. I also make quilts for "Project Linus". They not only take sewed quilts but also crocheted, knitted and fleece quilts. It is a great way to use of those scraps that we all have and give a child some comfort while they are in the hospital.

  40. Thanks for the tutorial- great stash buster!

  41. This is a great fast and easy quilt idea. I think I will try smaller versions for the preemie quilts our guild does. Thanks.

  42. great tutorial. it does look fast & easy. thank you!

  43. This looks like a great way to use up some fabric. May have to give it a whirl!

  44. Great tutorial! I'm bookmarking this to give it a try! :)

  45. I can't even say how much I love this quilt. I haven't sewn for a few months, kept buying fabric though. I am making this using all autumn colors of brown, orange, green and more. It is so very easy and just what I needed to get out of the slump I was in. Thank you for this great tutorial.

  46. Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I have been in a sewing slump. I haven't sewn for a few months. I have purchased more fabric--just can't resist. I started making this quilt in autumn colors of browns, greens, golds, oranges and reds. It is coming out great and so very easy to do. Thanks again.


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