2.01.2010

Quick Scrappy Crazy Quilt Block Tutorial

One of my favorite blocks to make is a Crazy Block. It's very similar to the Log Cabin method in that you're building around a center piece toward the outside edges. It's a great way to use scraps and they piece together very quickly. The block I'm making is an impromptu one - no pattern. Crazy quilt block patterns are readily available and quite easy to make yourself, but I like that every block is different using the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method.

Basics:
1. Foundation piece
2. Starting piece - any shape, but usually a square or rectangle.
3. Right sides together, match edges and fit pieces together so you're covering seams as you lay down the
    next piece.
4, Baste the edges before you trim the finished pieced block.
5. Trim with block facing right side down using the foundation piece as your guide.

This is just a taste of some of my scraps. I have them sorted by size - small and large pieces and strips. I picked out a few fabrics for a children's quilt I plan on donating to our local Children's Hospital. Pressing in crazy quilting is very important - just as it is in any method of quilting. Start with a piece of foundation fabric in whatever size block you want - this one is a lightweight muslin that's 9"X9". I suggest your foundation fabric be light in weight and color. Press after every seam - no wrinkles!!
Start with a middle piece. This can be any size, or shape for that matter, and can be placed at any angle you like. I did this square on the diagonal because I like how it looks. I used a contrasting thread color for instructional purposes, but you can use whatever color you like. Right side of fabric facing up. Sew around square with a 1/4" allowance.The next piece should line up to the edge of the starting piece. Edges should be the same length. I had to cut my piece to fit. Right sides of fabric facing each other.

With right sides together, sew the second piece to the first using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Flip second piece over so right side is facing out and press flat.

The next piece should go opposite side of the piece you just did. Again, you're fitting the edges together so they are the same length. The width can be as big or as small as you like, but the length needs to be the same. Here I'm using a piece that is the same length but is wider than the red piece. Sew.
Flip that piece over so right side is facing out and press flat.
The next piece is a large one - its edges cover the length of the red, green and pink striped pieces combined. Notice I've lined up the end corners of the doll fabric with the corner of the red piece. Sew. Flip over with right side facing out and press flat.
I hope this picture doesn't confuse you - I want to show that you need to "measure" your piece by placing it over the area that you want to cover. I want to cover the entire corner. So I lay the fabric down overlapping the fixed pieces 1/2" or so and see if it fits like it want it to. Line up the fabric so the edges are matching with fabrics facing right sides together and sew. 
This is what the block looks like so far - you can see that all of the stitching from the green piece has been covered with the seams of the other pieces.

This is the back of the block so far.

A few more pieces to go...

This is the pieced block before basting and trimming.This is the back of the finished pieced block.Sew around the perimeter of the block using a basting stitch with 1/4" seam allowance. This should be done with the right side down and back of block facing up.

Trim along the edge of the block with a rotary cutter. Again, right side facing down and the edge of the foundation piece as your cutting guide.

This is the back of the finished block - it's basted and trimmed.


And this is the finished block! How cute! To finish this quilt, I'm going to use 12 of these with a 3" sashing in a crisp white. I like to use inexpensive sheets to back the quilts - Ikea has great ones for cheap in great colors.

Traditional Crazy Quilts are historically embellished heavily with decorative stitches. I love the idea of this, but I have little patience for hand quilting or stitching. So I let my machine do the work for me. The decorative stitching should be done before piecing the quilt blocks together. The quilting for the finished quilt sandwich should be simple.

Send me photos of your blocks!  
andreajohnson427[at]gmail.com

If you have any questions - leave a comment or email me!





5 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting the instructions! I'll be giving this a try as I've been quilting just long enough to have acquired a stash of scraps.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brillant..as always...you inspire me!

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  3. wow! this is great!
    now I have something to make with all of mt little scraps of fabric. I am super excited, thank you!!

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  4. Great Tutorial!
    Thanks for posting. It's a lovely block.
    Carol

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