Want to make a dent in your scrap bin? What about making a simple quilt in your favorite colors? This quilt, Lemon Drops and Blueberries, will do either or both. Plus it was fun and easy.

This quilt can easily be made with 3″ wide strips and strip pieced together if you have yardage or bigger scraps. However, I was working with small scraps and cut individual 3″ blocks.

Starting step for Lemon Drops and Blueberries Quilt

Using the same idea from Pintrest as I did for a previous quilt, Simply Squares (indianaquilter40.com/simple-squares-quilt) I cut out stacks of 3″ squares from the scrap bin. I narrowed my color choices to blues and yellows.

Blue and yellow 3" squares for the quilt blocks.

For this quilt, I made the blocks 6 squares long by 6 squares across. I use the foot on my machine for the seam line and it is a bit bigger than a quarter inch. My blocks turned out to be 15″ square.

Rows together to make blocks for the Lemon Drops and Blueberries quilt.

I decided to make the quilt five blocks across and six blocks long (30 blocks total), plus the sashing and posts. So I did not loose count, I pinned the finished blocks together in stacks of 10 blocks.

30 completed blocks for the Lemon Drops and Blueberries quilt.

Adding the posts and sashing to Lemon Drops and Blueberries Quilt

The blocks finished at 15″ square which is the length I cut the sashing. The sashing is 3″ wide.

By sewing sashing, block, sashing, block and repeating, I was able to sew the six rows of five blocks together quickly.

Then I sewed the post, sashing, post, sashing, etc. together until it was the length I wanted to match the block row.

Close up of blocks, posts, and sashings for this quilt.

Adding the borders to the Lemon Drops and Blueberries Quilt

The only fabric that is not scraps is the border on my quilt top. I cut it 4″ wide.

Border fabric for Lemon Drops and Blueberries quilt.

I sewed the top and bottom borders on, then ironed. After that I sewed the side borders on and ironed.

Close up of border fabric sewn on quilt.

The top is complete !! The size is 94″ x 110″.

Remember that this quilt can be adjusted several ways:

The square size can be made larger or smaller than the 3″ squares that I used if you desire. This will enable you to utilize the fabric you have.

Or the number of squares sewn into a block can be adjusted to more or less based on the needs for your own quilt. I used 6 blocks across and long (so 36 squares in each block).

Even the posts and sashings can be narrower or wider than the 3″ I used.

The border can be easily wider or narrower based on the size of quilt needed.

Completed blocks for this quilt.

Other ideas for using simple squares and scraps to make a quilt:




Happy Stitching and have a wonderful day.

clip art - make today amazing.



Have you ever considered making a personalized quilt as a gift for a special person in your life? Below are two examples of lap quilts that are very personal to the quilt recipients. They were fun to make, and I kept them simple and easy.

clip art - wrapped gift box.

A personalized Quilt As A Gift – Reversible Sunflower & Ocean lap quilt

My sister loves sunflowers and the ocean (actually any body of water). I wanted to make her a lap quilt for her birthday. Something she could take along on travels and snuggle in. I made her a reversible quilt that includes both her favorite things.

This is the sunflower side. It is five different sunflower fabrics. The medium green separates the sunflowers. The border is a black. I believe the sizes of the strips are six inches for the sunflower and three inches for the green.

Personalized quilt - sunflower side of reversible quilt

For the water side, I started with a lighthouse panel. By adding 4 different fabrics that coordinated with it the theme continued.  The fabric right next to the panel is actually two fabrics – the top part is clouds and lightening, with the bottom fabric being waves.

Personalized quilt - the water side of the reversible quilt.

The outside black border is the same on both sides. It is also the binding.

Finished size is 62″ x 53″. Pieced during Dec. 2017.

Machine quilted by RLM in January 2018 in a stipple pattern.



My niece asked for a quilt in teal and yellow for her birthday. I had plenty of scraps to make the blocks. Bought enough of the teal and yellow paisley fabric for the outside border, binding, and the back.

The blocks started out as 8″ squares sewn diagonally and cut apart, so there were two identical triangle blocks. Directions are in this post. Sewed those into rows, and added the border.

Remember that you can easily adjust a simple pattern like this for your own needs. The blocks can be smaller or larger. The border can easily be adjusted to complete the quilt in the size you want.

Machine pieced and machine quilted in Feb. 2018. The quilting pattern is an all over stipple.

Her mom says that she loves it, and that the quilt is on top of her bed over the other blankets. I am always glad to know that quilts I make are loved.

Happy Stitching.

Another idea for a personal birthday quilt



American Flag and clouds for Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. We probably all know at least one person who has served this country either as active duty, reservists, or as a loving spouse. Have you considered making one or many veteran quilts for our patriots? If not, please take a moment to think what a quilt means to you – it’s a kind of warm hug, right? Our service members would love to have that “hug” as well.

Ideas for places to take or send veteran quilts

There are several places to donate veteran quilts for our patriots. Please check the sites out, find the one that feels right to you, and follow the guidelines they have for the gift quilts if you are interested.




Please don’t forget that local VFW posts might take quilts for their members, and local quilt guilds can also have members who head up quilts for veterans. Check around at local fabric shops or libraries for points of contact. Also local churches may know or participate in making veteran quilts. Many nursing homes have veterans as residents.

My personal journey with veteran quilts

I am extremely patriotic and have had exposure to military members and their families my entire life. They give an awful lot so I have the rights available to me to as an American.

I have donated many lap size quilts over the years to groups or churches who dealt directly with wounded or traumatized veterans. The need is great. Sometimes I worked on the quilts alone, sometimes as part of an informal group who wants to do more than just say “thank you” to veterans.

I do not have bragging rights because of helping with this worthy cause. It was within my skill and interest simply to do something.

Other people told others that I was involved in this and suddenly people starting donating fabrics and supplies. Many, many thanks to those who help by keeping me or us in supplies. Not all the fabric was patriotic themed, but all of it is used.

With the informal group, the lap “quilts” were crocheted, tied, machine quilted, and even sometimes hand quilted. We give them to local wounded vets, and I know of one woman who keeps several in her car to be given to those “old” men that are seen in caps that say “______ veteran”.

Sometimes I cut the pieces and hand those off to another quilter to piece. Or I tie the finished tops. I bind many that need it. All those involved worked around their own schedules. We only get together every 2 or 3 months for a work day together. Here are photos of a few simple veteran quilts that I have been involved with over the years:

Veteran Quilts for Our Patriots

Veteran Quilts for Our Patriots

More veteran quilts


Quilters tend to be very giving in mentoring new quilters, making quilts for local charity auctions and local victims of domestic abuse or house fires. Here is another idea for volunteering your time and talents by utilizing your quilting skills to make veteran quilts for our patriots. Think outside the box. Look around your community and see who would love to have quilt “hug”.

Thank a veteran today.

Happy Stitching.

Thank a veteran today



Free clip art: 2000 with stars in blue
Source: Free clip art on Google

Millennium Quilts – looking back 20 years. Were you quilting 20 years ago? If so, do you remember if you had a special quilt project for the year 2000? I went through a pile of quilts last week that needed to be aired out and refolded. In the pile were two millennium quilts that I made.

When I found the millennium quilts and realized 20 years have passed – wow!! The time is just flying by day by day. So many changes, both in my quilting and personally.

As far as my quilting, the past 20 years have been mostly fun. I have tried more hand applique. Using the rotary cutter has become second nature and I learned after one serious accident to keep my fingers firmly on the ruler. Combining colors and designs of fabric no longer scares me. I rarely feel the need to respond to the question “how many quilts have you made? – it is not a contest. Quilting gives me joy and a sense of peace, plus I can actually enjoy and see the finished item, which is not something visible in my daily job.

The making of my millennium quilts – looking back 20 years

Judy Martin, a well known quilter, says that millennium quilts… “made to celebrate the year 2000, were made with exactly 2000 patches. Sometimes…cut from different fabric, just like a charm quilt.” https://www.pinterest.com/judymartinquilt/charm-quilts-millennium-quilts/

In the late 1990’s I saw ads in quilting magazines from people all over the world who wanted to trade 3″ squares to make millennium quilts. I thought it would be a fun challenge to make a quilt with 2000 different fabrics. So I traded, and traded…….. Eventually I traded 10,000 three inch squares with other quilters all over the world. Each envelope was so exciting to open and see what new treasures were inside.

The squares came from all over Europe, Canada, and the USA. There were even a few packages from Africa, India, Japan, and South America. I certainly never thought about all the different fabrics that were available the world over. This project really opened my eyes to quilting being international – not just American.

In fact, the post mistress of our little town was so excited about all the places these envelopes came from that I would open them right there so she could see what they contained. The selection of fabrics was amazing. Ultimately, I ended up with 43 repeats out of the 10,000 squares traded!! And only one person did not trade back (or maybe the envelope was lost somewhere in the mail system).

2000 Millennium Charm Quilt – looking back 20 years


I cut the 3″ traded squares to 2.5″ simply so they were actually all the same size. If you have quilted any time at all, you know how my 3″ square maybe a bit (or a lot) different than your 3″ square. I have never figured that out, but that is not the point either.

The variety of colors, patterns, and even quality of the cotton was amazing. The squares were kept in plastic bags by color groups. I changed my mind several times about exactly how I would design this millennium quilt – after all, the year 2000 was a big deal (or was supposed to be!).

Finally opting to do 16 square blocks. It was a simple way to double check to make sure there were no duplicates. This way also allowed me to loosely use the squares by color. I didn’t stress over if my planned look for each block turned out differently – frankly I just let myself have fun putting the blocks together.

16 square blocks for charm quilt
More charm squares sewn together for quilt.

Even as I pieced this top together during Jan. to March of 1999, the packages of 3″ squares continued to come in. It seemed that no matter how many I used, there were more to work with.

I finally stopped making the blocks, and added a navy blue border with “2000” in it. Then I added another border down two sides of more blocks. There is one square of the border fabric somewhere in the top so that there are exactly 2000 different fabrics for this millennium quilt.

Quilt border print says "2000" in it.

It was quilted in Nov. 1999 by MG in an all-over cloud design. The final size is 90″ x 98″. The top is all cottons, the batting is polyester, and the backing a queen size flat sheet.

Photo taken 05 2020

2001 Millennium Charm Quilt – looking back 20 years

Photo taken 05 2020

Still using the 2.5″ charm squares, I simply just randomly sewed the medium and dark ones together. I was still getting packages in the mail and at this point just felt overwhelmed at how many different cotton fabrics there were around the world.

Random squares sewn into quilt top.
Random 2.5″ squares sewn together to make quilt top.

I pieced the quilt header “2001” area using the lighter squares as the background and darker ones for the 2001.

Three borders down two sides
These 3 fabric strips were the borders for two sides.

I worked on this quilt on and off during the first half of 2001. In Oct. 2001 it was machine quilted by CM in the loopy design. The backing is a light colored large flat sheet.

Machine quilting in a loopy design.

While the machine quilting was fine, the quilt was not centered on the backing. Truthfully, it really made me angry to work so hard and long on a top to have it treated so disrespectfully by the machine quilter. However, I wanted it completed. So a creative answer to fixing this issue for binding was to simply cut off part of the borders on two sides. It ended up being finished size 92″ x 104″.



I continued to use the millennium charm squares in other projects as I was able. The squares also got bagged up and “gifted” to other quilters for birthday or Christmas gifts.

I loved the challenge of working with the squares. It was fun, if time consuming, to keep checking for duplicates. My challenge to other quilters is to do a charm quilt of some sort during your quilt journey.

The year 2000 has come and gone. But I have two very special quilts to represent that year and am so glad I did all those exchanges with so many other quilters around the world.

I am so glad that I took the time and challenge to do the millennium quilts. It has been fun over the past week to look back over the past 20 years of quilting – wow. For myself, somehow those millennium quilts were really freeing for quilting in my life. They improved my critical thinking skills (as in how am I going to fix this problem/mistake?). I spend less time thinking about the individual aspects (will this fabric really match?) and more about the whole quilt design. There is also just making the quilts because each one suits me or my current need.

Each quilt you and I do expands our skills and allows us to learn something new about ourselves. Have fun with your quilt making journey.

Other charm quilt ideas:







Have you discovered how much fun log cabin quilts can be? I was not a fan of them, and it took me a long time to become one. Once I discovered how much fun they could be, I got hooked on making log cabin quilts. There are just so many ways to set them. The color combos are endless. Scrappy or planned, log cabin quilts are awesome.

Sometimes it is hard to see in our heads what we can do with certain blocks or how the final project will look. I thought I would show a few log cabin quilts of mine just to give you some new ideas.

First Log Cabin blocks

Log Cabin table runner
This was my very first try at log cabin blocks in 1989. The strips were super narrow as in 1″ to 1.5″ wide. I used scraps of blue, and brown for the dark strips. Red for the center blocks. Unbleached muslin for the light strips. I was not impressed. Too much cutting and sewing for a really small project. I put it away to be forgotten. In 1999 I hand quilted it in straight lines in the center of each strip. Finished size 12″ x 36″. Sold.

My next try at a log cabin quilt

The only quilt magazine I could find while living in Germany was “Quilt”. Many of the articles and patterns had to do with log cabin blocks in various settings. I still was not really confident in exploring various quilt blocks. Looking at that magazine made me feel like I was really missing something in the quilt world.

So I thought I would try another log cabin quilt with larger pieces this time. Same color scheme as the first one since that is what fabric I had to work with.

Center blocks are 3.5″ square and the strips are 2″. Pieced in 1989. I still was not pleased with it. This one got put away too until 1999 when it was machine quilted in a stipple design. Size was 36″ square. Donated it to a local charity for their auction.

Third try at a log cabin quilt

Once we returned to the US, fabric was readily available. Somehow, lots a fabric ended up at my home and I really started getting confident in just doing what I liked for quilts.

I learned how to really use the rotary cutter and assembly line piecing. Making more quilts also meant there were more scraps in a bin.

I thought there had to be something really great to log cabin quilts – there were all kinds of photos of them in quilt magazines. Folks in the local quilt guild also seemed to make them routinely. Obviously, something was wrong with me that I didn’t like them.

LOG CABIN QUILTS ARE AWESOME - scrappy log cabin quilt.
I pieced this quilt 1992 – 1994. My notes don’t say what size the pieces were, but I was still not happy with log cabin blocks. I just couldn’t see what people saw in them. There was just too much cutting and sewing for a very unsatisfactory end product. This one was machine quilted by BE in 1994 and given as a Christmas gift to a relative.

The ah-HA moment of discovery

So somewhere about this time, a lady at the guild allowed me to borrow one of the first “Quilt in a Day” https://www.quiltinaday.com/ log cabin books from her. At this point, I had that “ah-ha” moment that said, “oh, I can do this now”. I was obviously making this pattern tons harder than it should have been.

Anyone who reads this blog for long realizes that I tend to take the directions or ideas and use them to come up with a system that works for me. The one thing I have stuck with since that first “Quilt in a Day” log cabin book is sticking with 2.5″ wide strips for these blocks.

I find the 2.5″ wide strips are just easy to work with and the amount of strips or “logs” around the center can be adjusted easily for whatever size I want to make.

Color-wise, log cabin blocks really are awesome. Color combos can be anything that appeals based on the project, my mood, or the recipient of the finished quilt.

I keep several bins of already cut 2.5″ wide strips so that now when I want to make a log cabin block or quilt I already have a starting point. I have experimented with the center square though: 2.5″, 3″, 4″, 6″, and 8″.

A plastic bin of already cut 2.5" strips for quilts.
A plastic bin of already cut 2.5″ strips. They are just random colors but remain nice and flat until I am ready to use them in log cabin quilts.

The last 10 years of making log cabin quilts

So I really started just having fun with log cabin blocks and quilts. They are fun to make and now go together easy. The logs can be adjusted size wise if needed, but I generally have stayed with 2.5″ wide.

Amish colored doll quilt.
Amish colors and a rectangle center mean one block equals a simple doll quilt.
Red, white, and blue log cabin doll quilt.
Red, white, and blue log cabin doll quilt. Easily machine quilted on the sewing machine.
Sunshine and Maine Blueberries log cabin quilt
Sunshine and Maine Blueberries made 2010-2012. You can see it at my old blog: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2010/04/sunshine-and-maine-blueberries.html
Lettuce Be Berry Christmas Quilt (another log cabin quilt)
Lettuce Be Berry Christmas Quilt – see : https://indianaquilter40.com/lettuce-be-berry-christmas-quilt/


Is there a pattern that you want to do, or maybe think as a quilter you should be doing?? My advice is simply to keep trying until you either decide the pattern and design is really not for you. Or keep trying until you figure our a system, style, or size that works for you.

It took me years to figure out how to do log cabins quilts easily and that suited me. Don’t give up the first time around. Look at magazines and books, get on-line and watch tutorials, talk to other quilters. That pattern that is frustrating you might be easier than you think.

Happy Stitching.

Clip art of girl with sewing machine and quilt.



Purple Without Apology Quilt

Have you ever been fascinated with a quilt kit? You loved the colors, concept, designer, whatever….. Got it home and said “well what was I thinking?” That is pretty much the story of this quilt – Purple Without Apology.


There is no hard and fast rule that a kit has to be used as is – if there is something about the kit that you want to change then do it. Your project should make you happy.

I don’t know when I purchased the actual quilt kit. Probably between 1998-2001. You know, it had the fabric, pattern, and probably some colored photos all together and looked really nice. I loved the idea of a purple and off white quilt.

I know that when I got ready to piece the quilt together in 2002, I felt that the purple fabrics just weren’t purple enough. So….I traded fabric from my stash (and probably purchased more purples too) so that the purples were, well purple enough.

Then I had to spread all the purple fabrics out again and make sure they really were purple enough for what I wanted. Another problem being that I would not be sewing it at home and didn’t want to pack all kinds of extra fabric “just in case”. Finally I had the purples that I wanted for this project.

I loved the light fabric selection and kept it the way it was. The red center fabric was also from the kit.

Putting it all together:

I did the cutting before heading up to Maine during May 2002. The blocks were pieced while spending quilting time with my great quilting buddy SB. Instead of the traditional log cabin setting, I opted for the streak of lightening (or Zig Zag) setting.

This book is my “go to” book for setting together log cabin blocks:

Book cover: Quilting with Strips and Strings
Setting log cabin quilt blocks together ideas.
Page 33 shows 6 classic ways to set the log cabin blocks together.

I did 3 narrow borders on this quilt. The inside and outside ones being a deep eggplant purple. The inside border is a hideous fruit print that both SB and I had purchased years before as a challenge to see what we could do with it. She had already used hers. However, mine was still in my sewing room washed but otherwise untouched – it was just too ugly.  Anyway with all the purple fruits in it, it did work well as part of the border for this quilt.

I chopped the rest of the fruit fabric up and used in small portions in several scrap quilts. I still think it is one of the ugliest fabrics I have ever bought. But it worked well as part of the border. Now I think that it would have looked good as the center square too, but there is no going back at this point.

It was machine quilted by RLM in late May 2002 in an all over stipple design.

Finished size: 71″ x 90″.


I used to think that backings should be one fabric. One day I realized that was boring. It was also a waste of money when I had beautiful yardages of fabric that would make pretty backs. So the backing for this purple quilt is two different fabrics – one a deep purple with a gold design running through it. The other fabric is a yellow with large purple flowers.

Backing fabric of Purple Without Apology quilt.
Canon Inc

I originally planned on giving the Purple Without Apology quilt to the daughter for Christmas, but made a different quilt and kept this one. It still looks good. In fact, the other day I was thinking about doing another purple quilt.

A closer view of this quilt

Other ideas for log cabin blocks:




Another view of the Purple without apology quilt.
You can really see the “Strike of Lightening” or “Zig Zag” when the quilt is turned side ways.

Finally –

Kits are to make life easier since all the pieces and parts are in one place. Just remember that it is just fine to change the kit up. Make the quilt you want. The kit probably has a great idea, but be creative and have fun.

Happy stitching.

clip art of girl, sewing machine, and quilt.



Freedom Quilt

Do you buy cheater blocks on a whim, and then just not know what to do with them? I sure do. I seem to collect them up for awhile and then try to figure out a fun, unique way to use them. That is how Freedom quilt came about.

I am very patriotic and tend to collect patriotic items and fabrics. When I pieced this quilt back in 1996 for my “AF brat” son, I decided the time had come to make something out of the patriotic cheater blocks.

It would also give me an excuse to utilize some of the blue and reds that were stacked in my sewing area.

Red and blue fabrics for quilt.

There is no pattern to do a quilt like this, so you get to be super creative, and use a few of those rusty math skills.

Step 1

The first thing I did for this quilt (after gathering the fabric together) was to decide which cheater block to use for the center. In this case, I wanted to use the flag. It had some smaller patriotic blocks on the same panel that I cut off. I knew I needed a twin size quilt.

More fabric for the Freedom quilt.

I figured that 3 rounds of 4″ wide fabric borders around the flag would make a nice center.

Step 2

The next cheater block I wanted to use was 4 blocks of flags with a border around them. I cut that panel of 4 in half. Now there were 2 sections of 2 flags each. I cut those sections apart and added the navy fabric with white stars.

Step 3

The final step for piecing was to add more 4″ wide strips to the sides of the 2 flags sections. Trimmed off the strips to the correct length.

The Freedom Quilt has 3 distinct sections when looked at. The top and bottom sections are 2 small flag cheater blocks and red/blue strips. The strips are sewn vertically.

The center section is distinct with the flag panel in the center and 3 rounds of strips around it.

Great the top was done. It got ironed and hung up with other tops that needed machine quilted. It would be a few years before I did any more with it.

This quilt was machine quilted by MG in 1999 in an all over “cloud” design. It was done in time to be a Christmas gift for the son.

Finished size was 66″ x 88″.

Wooden plaque with outline of US. Saying is Born and Raised.

I entered this quilt in the local county fair in 2001 and it won a blue ribbon. Not a big deal in the scheme of life, but fun and confidence building.


Please don’t be afraid to mix and match various items together to make the quilt you want. It is not about whether the “quilt police” like your quilt. You are making the quilt to suit a need you have.

It is just fine to make a quilt from an idea with no real pattern. Those patterns we use regularly started out as an idea. No better or worse than ours. The difference being that some patterns are for sale, while others are done simply for enjoyment.

Other ideas for patriotic quilts:




Happy Stitching.




Do you love being home during the COVID-19 virus and having time to catch up on projects? Do you have trouble keeping track of exactly what day it is without the “normal” schedule of two months ago? I have really enjoyed the time at home working and having time to work on projects. Kind of the best of both worlds. But I do find that I have to pay attention to the calendar or my days blend together. Hence this quilt is named Days Are Tumbling By.

Sewing together the tumblers of Days Are Tumbling By Quilt:

The quilt started with the remainder of the cut tumblers left from these two quilts: https://indianaquilter40.com/scrappy-tumblers-quilt/ and https://indianaquilter40.com/flowers-tumblers-or-scraps-are-taking-over-my-world-part-3/ .

Here is the free pattern for the tumbler size I used:

I sewed the tumblers in rows of 35. The pink sashing between the rows of tumblers is 3″ wide by the length of the row.

The key to sewing tumblers is to sew them with quarter inch “tails” on each end. I just eyeball this. You can see this in the photo below.

Sewing two tumblers together.  Leave quarter inch "tail.

I sewed the tumblers in pairs of two, then pairs of four, then pairs of eight until I had the length already determined for my quilt. Using this method, I ended up adding one odd block to one end of the row, and a pair of tumblers to the other end. Obviously for your quilt adjust the length to suit yourself.

Remember that the rows have to be off-set a bit since in order to square up the row ends you will actually be loosing part of the last tumbler on each end. Practice a bit (and pin if needed) to get the tumblers and sashing sewn so that you have a straight edge once the part of the tumbler is cut off.

The sashing of Days Are Tumbling By Quilt:

Days Are Tumbling By Quilt.  Sashing between the rows of tumblers.
Center rows with solid pink sashing.

I decided to continue working strictly out of my scrap bins and stash to complete this quilt. I choose to work with pink as the sashing simply because I rarely work with pink. It is not my favorite color and I had 3 pieces that appeared to be solid or basically read as solid.

The sashing is 3″ wide. When I ran out of the pink solid for sashing, I started on a small pink geometric for sashing and used it as sashing for the final three rows on each side of the quilt. That way it looked planned, right?

The borders of Days Are Tumbling By Quilt:

The outside border, and two different pink sashings between the rows of tumblers.
The outside border, and two different pink sashings between the rows of tumblers.

I continued with the “sashing” as the border on the two sides (or top and bottom) of the top so that there is two borders on this quilt. The 3″ wide sashing was used for this “inside” border.

I then used the dark pink fabric for the outside border. It is cut 5″ wide.

To complete the top, give it a good pressing.

Finished size of top is 88″ x 88″.


This is how far the top got (about 3/4 of a twin) before I ran out of tumblers that were left over from the above two quilts. So I had to cut more to complete the top here.

Days Are Tumbling By Quilt top partially complete.

I find it is easiest to get a bunch of scraps out and cut them into sizes that I have bins set aside for (tumblers, 3″ squares, 2.5″ strips, and hexagons in two sizes) when I am in the mood to cut fabric. When I am in the mood to sew there is already some stuff cut that I can use.

Just FYI – if you are a scrap quilter and you find yourself using the same sizes over and over, make bins for those sizes. Keep some cut and always ready to go for when you are in the mood to just assembly line sew pieces together.

For more instructions to put together tumblers:


Happy Stitching.

clip art of girl with sewing machine.


SCRAPPY 4 PATCH QUILT (or diving into that scrap bin)

Many of us have been in “stay at home” or quarantine mode for several weeks at this point. The situation can make for some creative solutions to quilting when it comes to supplies. I was going through my scrapbook of quilts recently and this quilt, Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt (or diving into that scrap bin), was made in a similar manner just because of my location then.

Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt of 2" squares made into four patches.

I lived in Germany (then West Germany) from 1985-1989. As a quilter, supplies could be a problem to get depending on what I wanted. Muslin was unknown and had to be shipped from the US. Cotton fabric was very limited in color and design. It was also very expensive. Batting as we know it was unknown. Thankfully sewing thread was easy to obtain in many colors.

Typical of quilters everywhere, I already had a lot of scraps from other projects. In 1987 I started cutting those small scraps into 2″ squares. Please realize that I did not have or have access to a rotary cutter so this entire quilt was cut one piece at a time. With scissors. Using a cardboard template for the squares.

The making of ScrapPY 4 Patch Quilt

Through 1987-1989, I continued to cut needed 2″ squares and 3.5″ alternate squares. I used a strawberry pink cotton purchased locally as the alternate blocks for most of the quilt.

A creative solution to the continual rows of small blocks was to make a center medallion square with blue alternate blocks framed by 2 borders of 3.5″ solid fabrics (my mom sent the blue from the US). This same blue also was used for the binding.

This quilt was great for using many of the scraps. Soon after this quilt was made I moved back to the US and started collecting scraps all over again. Quilters just seem to do that.

The batting was an old flannel blanket I had on hand. And the backing was thick curtains given to me by a German neighbor. The color was a hideous neon orange, but it made a very warm backing and this quilt was made to be used.

This quilt still holds my personal record for most needles broken while making it (3 packages) because of all the pinned seams of all those small pieces and my not slowing to go over the pins (we do learn as we get more experience, don’t we?)

I used embroidery floss in pink and blue that matched the alternate blocks to tie this quilt in June 1989. It was really heavy and would have been very hard to quilt. Besides, I just wanted to get it finished.

And now –

This quilt is in my daughter’s possession at this point.  It has been washed frequently, is faded, and parts of it have been re-tied over the years. However, it is still warm and makes a great quilt to snuggle up in, especially while camping.  The grand-daughter has also been known to make a tent with it to play under/in.

2010 - Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt still loved and used.
Here is Scrappy 4 Patch Quilt in 2010 – worn and faded – but still used and loved.

A tip for you –

Not all quilts are meant to be heirlooms – don’t be afraid to make a quilt to actually use hard. Some quilts are for snuggling and comfort.  Using an old blanket or a large piece of flannel for the batting is fine.  Using an old sheet or curtains (no holes please) for the backing is a way to deal with this and also is a way to reuse/recycle. 

More 4 Patch Quilt Ideas –




When Life Hands you Scraps, Make Quilts!



Scrappy Tumblers Quilt completed top.

Are you looking for a simple pattern that can be done in any color combo? What about using lots of scraps? How about easy to put together? This Scrappy Tumblers quilt is the answer to all those questions.

I have been working on another tumbler quilt from scraps that will look totally different (hint: look at the very bottom of this post for current photo). Anyway, I went looking for photos of the Scrappy Tumblers quilt to share with you since it is easy, looks great in scraps, and is an easy one piece design to make.

Scrap tumblers cut out and ready to sew together.

I started this quilt back in 2015 as a way to try to empty out the scrap bin. I originally sewed all the tumblers together…..and just stopped. There was no where for my eyes to rest, and it made me a bit dizzy to look at it. I had no idea what to do to make it better. Disappointed, I folded it up and put it in the stack of UFOs (unfinished objects).

Scrappy Tumbler Quilt - how the tumblers look all sewn together with no resting spot for the eyes.

Then in the spring of 2016, I was in a quilt shop that had a tumbler quilt on display and I loved it. The only real difference between the one in the store, and mine was there were narrow white borders between sections of the tumblers. It made all the difference – there was a place to rest my eyes.

Going home, I took the rows apart and added the narrow brown strips to make three sections. Yes, such an easy solution. During June and July of 2016, I sewed on and completed the wall hanging top.


Here is a PDF of the actual size tumbler pattern I use for the Scrappy Tumblers quilt. It is also the same one I am using for my current project, Scrap Happy Tumblers.


To make the Scrappy Tumblers quilt I cut tumblers from scrap fabric. I just starting cutting up scraps meaning I did not count. The easiest thing I found was to iron the fabric, then stack it up 4 – 6 layers thick with the lightest color on top right side down. I traced around the pattern on the back of fabric on top of the stack. Cut out using ruler and rotary cutter.

Obviously, this could also be cut one at a time with scissors if so desired.

The brown cotton sateen fabric that is between the sections of tumblers is 2.5″ wide. The outside border is 4″ wide.

The finished size of the wall hanging is 56″ x 54″.

It was machine quilted in Dec. 2017 by RLM in a all-over stipple design. I chose to not hand quilt it for two reasons: I was ready to move onto another project, and I didn’t want to deal with all those seams when quilting.

I put the binding, hanging sleeve, and label on in Jan. 2018.

Scrappy Tumblers quilt finished.

I found this really neat Thanksgiving toile in Paducah one year and used it for the backing.

A Thanksgiving or autumn themed toile fabric is the back.


This quilt is a super easy way to use up scraps. It also goes together easily. Best of all is that the finished size can be adjusted to your wants by using more or less tumblers and sashing between the sections.

Have fun with this simple project.

Other ideas for using tumbler pieces to build a quilt:



And here is a photo of my newest tumbler quilt. I have used all the cut tumblers so will have to cut more before I go on. It is currently about 3/4 of a twin size quilt.

Another setting for tumblers. Rows alternating tumblers and a solid fabric.