Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blended Scraps Tutorial - or how I made Reflection

Blended Scraps Blocks - tutorial 7

Today I am going to show you how to make the Blended Scraps Blocks that I used to make Reflection. These blocks are easy and fun to make.

The Blended Scraps Block came from my friend, Linda Rotz Miller (you can visit her website here or her flickr pages here). Linda was making these blocks, which she said were inspired by Maaike Bakker's book Strip Pieced Quilts, and I was inspired to make some too. Linda is a fantastic quilt top maker, ongoing inspiration and a wonderful teacher, and when I asked she showed me how. Thank you to Linda for letting me share this tutorial with you.

Blended Scraps Block - Tutorial 1

Cut 5 strips that are 2" long by about 17.5". A strip off a fat quarter works nicely or half of a strip off of yardage. Arrange the strips in a colour gradation.

Blended Scraps Block - Tutorial 2

Sew the strips together and press. You want to make sure you are achieving 1/4" seams so that the strips end up 8" wide. I press the seams open because I find that easier for later matching of the seams when I sew the triangles together.

Blended Scraps Block - Tutorial 3

Cut two 8" squares from the strip set. To keep the resulting triangles consistent, I always put the darkest strip at the top as I cut.

Blended Scraps Block Tutorial 4

Cut the first of the 8" squares into a HST triangle along the diagonal, corner to corner.

Blended Scraps Block - Tutorial, 5

Cut the second 8" square corner to corner along the diagonal, but on the opposite diagonal. For consistency, I cut a V.

Blended Scraps Block - tutorial 6

You could use strip sets that were just long enough to make one 8" square at a time. Just remember then to cut half of them on one diagonal and half on another. It would probably be easier to make them and then cut them in pairs.

Smaller length strip sets could use up more scraps and just add more variety to the quilt. Also, I want to try a version with wider strips, maybe 2.5" to start and then you need a larger square - one using the width of the strip set as its measurement. A wider strip set means that you can only get one square from a strip set made using a strip off of a fat quarter.


To get the effect of Reflection, arrange the triangles as you see below. Then I sewed them together in rows after I had laid out the whole quilt. But it would be just as easy to sew them together in the diamond shapes as you go.

These blocks can be arranged in any way an HST can be arranged, so the possibilities are endless. If you visit Linda's flickr or website, you can see some of the different arrangements she has used.

Blended Scraps Blocks - tutorial 7

Just be careful with the triangles once they are cut. Strip sets are by nature easy to stretch and given that the diagonal cut is on the bias, these triangles are very easy to pull out of size. If you handle them with care (and don't press them much after they are cut) you will be fine.

I am going to be making another Blended Scraps quilt laid out like Reflection. I am not sure what colours I will use yet, except for sure I am using those blue blocks above. Maybe you will join me in making a quilt too and if enough people want to do so I can make us a proper quilt along with a button and maybe a couple of prizes for finished quilts in reasonably leisurely time down the road. Let me know.

If you make some Blended Scraps Blocks or a quilt with them, please share them with me in my new Flickr group, Inspired by Leanne, she can quilt. Also feel free to post any other projects inspired by my work or made from a tutorial on my blog. And do consider joining the group too just to see what people might share, it's a little lonely over there right now.

By the way, you have until tomorrow morning at my house to enter the fantastic giveaway sponsored by Sew Me a Song - go here, you don't want to miss out on the chance to win those beautiful Japanese fabrics.