Waste not, want not or so we are told. The Basketweave Nine Patch Quilt is a classic example of not wasting those pesky scraps that keep filling up a tub in my sewing room. This is a super easy pattern to do and can be adjusted for any size quilt. If you have not made a quilt from this pattern, let me encourage you to do so. It is easy to make and can be adjusted to any size strips you want to use.
Too many scraps….
I saw this pattern in some quilting magazine back in the mid to late 1980’s while living and working in West Germany. I thought yippee!! A great way to use up some of these scraps.
Obviously even then, I had a real problem with scraps!
I understand that rotary cutters were available by this time, but I had not seen one yet, so I actually cut all those pieces out by hand with scissors! It made for sore hands. Plus the issue of keeping those sharp scissors out of the little folks reach since I generally sat at on the floor to cut my fabric and they were playing around me.
So I eventually cut enough rectangles out for four queen size Basketweave Nine Patch Quilts that were completed over several years. It’s ok, you can say and think that this poor woman had a serious problem with fabric addiction. You would be sooooo correct.
Easily adjusted to the size you need
In the first photo, the quilt has blocks made of 9 “Roman Stripe” patches. I don’t remember the exact size but the three strips sewn together were the same length and width. Just alternate them as shown in the clip art below when sewing together.
The next step was simply adding solid black sashing between the Basketweave Nine Patch Quilt blocks. The post was a square the same size as the width of the sashing. I believe the sashing was 4″ wide, which would mean the posts were 4″ square – obviously this was a personal choice size wise and could easily be adjusted to fit any size quilt.
The top was finally put together in early 2007 and machine quilted by RLM the same year. It was given to our son M. for Christmas.
Scraps can be so much fun to use and the ideas are are numerous as the quilters who have those ideas. Go ahead, bring out all those scraps you have stashed in boxes and bags and give a scrap quilt a whirl. Quilts made with scraps can be addictive – who knows, you may never make a planned quilt again. Have fun.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
It’s so easy to do the same style of quilts in the same colors or fabric designs which is why I push myself out of my own comfort zone periodically and do something I have not done in the quilt realm. It’s so easy to get stagnant and I want to learn new things – even in quilting.
I rarely do mystery quilts because I am very visual and want to see how the top looks when it is finished. Which apparently takes all the fun out of it…..
I passed the pattern to another quilter when the top was finished. However, I do remember that it was all squares and rectangles which went together easily.
Easy One Patch Baby Quilts (or my “go to” pattern for a simple, quick baby or lap quilts) is the One Patch. They can easily be made in any colors or themes desired. Simple beauty at its’ best.
I use 8” blocks of whatever colored or themed cotton fabric is wanted for the quilt. For these two quilts, I did 4 squares by 5 squares for a total of 20 squares in each quilt. I then added a 6” border. A great thing about doing quilts this way is that they can be adjusted to bigger or smaller by using more or fewer blocks.
The gray was yardage I had on hand, the yellow blocks were scraps, and the border print was purchased last week at Hobby Lobby. I was working at a comfortable speed (with the phone turned off) and the ironing, cutting, and sewing took me three hours to complete both tops. They will be machine quilted to complete.
The finished sizes are about 43″ x 49″.
The two baby quilts pictured here are for a couple at church who have been approved for fostering to adopt. They are not sure whether they will get boys, girls, or one of each so wanted the fabrics to be gender neutral and cheerful.
The really great thing about doing this simple pattern is that it can look so different based on colors, themes, or even some different border design.
Check out how different a One Patch Quilt can look:
I love to travel. One thing I watch for when traveling is random quilts in unexpected places. Quilts like to pop up in places that don’t scream, “hey, a quilt is on display here”.
And as we all know, I am always excited to see quilts, talk quilts, and make quilts.
I have traveled to Maine annually for many years – the scenery is beautiful and I get together with a group of friends for a quilt retreat. We have way too much fun sewing, visiting, and eating too much but it’s such a great time. It’s a time away from jobs and normal day to day stress to just enjoy quilting and good friends.
But I also spend several days in the Rockland area just enjoying the lighthouses, the used book stores, the wonderful scenery, the great food, and the slower pace.
Below are some quilts I have found while in Maine in places I would never have expected to find quilts:
How about the US Post Office in Round Pond, ME? Yes this lovely sampler quilt featuring blocks that have to do with coastal Maine is hanging in the lobby:
Museum & Gift shop
The museum and gift shop at Marshall Point Light in Pt. Clyde, ME has these two beauties hanging up. I love the pebble fabric that is around all the counted cross stitched blocks. https://www.marshallpoint.org/
Watch for Random quilts in unexpected places
The next time you are out and about or on a trip, look around for those random quilts in unexpected places. You might be surprised where quilts hang out.
As a child I was fascinated by the beautiful illustrations and animal stories of Beatrix Potter. When I found this cute border fabric of her storybook characters, it just had to come home with me. This colorful fabric is in my stash whenever I needed it for a project. It would make a cute and cuddly baby quilt. When a family friend’s daughter was pregnant, I made this “Remembering Beatrix Potter Quilt” for the expected baby.
This was a fun quilt to make with the Beatrix Potter border print and strips of coordinating fabrics that I pulled from my stash to make a 45″ x 50″ quilt in 2009.
My notes don’t say what size the strips were, but I can say that I just played with various size strips of scrap fabric until I figured out the right size of borders and strips. All machine pieced.
Batting was polyester, and the back was a plain pink cotton.
Machine quilting is an all over loop pattern done by RLM.
Using strips to piece a quilt top is easy and makes for a great looking quilt. The strips can be cut to the width and length you need for a project. I love being able to adjust a quilt design for my own personal needs without redrawing patterns or doing very much math.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I sewed the top and bottom borders on, then ironed. After that I sewed the side borders on and ironed.
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.
Other ideas for using simple squares and scraps to make a quilt:
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
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.
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.
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.
2001 Millennium Charm Quilt – looking back 20 years
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.
I pieced the quilt header “2001” area using the lighter squares as the background and darker ones for the 2001.
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.
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.
PERSONAL QUILT SHOW & ROAD TRIP – The corona virus is getting to all of us it seems. I love being home and able to do things here. But after a week of “quarantine” even I needed a change of scenery this past Tuesday.
My husband had the day off and so we decided to do a road trip to see if we could see any barn quilts. I also thought it would be nice to take along some quilts and stop at a state park to photograph them.
Most of our trip was in Vigo County, IN. The first thing of interest was a round barn.
We also found two barn quilts. They actually seem to be getting more common and I watch for barn quilts now when I am driving around.
Our road trip goal was Fowler Park, which has several things to do normally. We walked around the Pioneer Village and used it as a backdrop for taking photos of the quilts. The day was cloudy but warm and dry. The park had only a few other people walking around, so we could safely do the current status of “social distancing” while enjoying the outside.
This quilt started out as a Birds in the Air quilt, but I was not happy with how the blocks looked laid out that way. So after moving blocks around and combining them with more of the same blocks, I came up with this design.
This quilt was really fun to do. All the teapots are different. The tea cups around the border just give it a nice “finished” look. It was hand quilted. After looking at it again, I am thinking about making another one. For more info: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2010/06/teapots.html
And so I come to the end of my PERSONAL QUILT SHOW & ROAD TRIP for this time. It was a nice way to spend a few hours outside and exploring an old pioneer village.
My Challenge to You
I know that right now we all need to be careful to stay healthy and avoid situations that may spread corona virus. However, part of staying healthy is exercise and sunshine.
Quilts look different outside in natural light. Usually the colors are brighter and the quilting design is more visible. Even if you don’t want to take a road trip, try taking a quilt (or quilts) outside and getting some photos of it (or them). Wash lines, tree branches, fences, and porches are also great places to display quilts outside.
Sometimes a change of scenery can be inspiring and encouraging. A new perspective can lead to new ideas.
Have fun and stay well.
Please note that all the quilts in this post are mine. I also took all the photos. You are welcome to use the photos, but please give proper credit. Thank you.
The Bird in the Air quilt that I had given me the idea had lots of blocks all set together in rows with narrow sashing and posts. There is nothing wrong with that, but once I had enough blocks made to start playing with how I would set them together that “look” just did not inspire me. Um….now what?
Finally after some time of playing around with different settings, I came up with this by putting four blocks together:
So I made a total of 16 large blocks (each made with 4 of the original Birds in the Air blocks). At this point I did not want to make anymore of these blocks. I sewed the 16 large blocks into four rows of four large blocks. The top of Scrap Bonanza #1 was about 60″ square.
It is really cheerful and bright and busy at this point. I love it but wow, I need somewhere to rest my eyes. So I will add a solid border – I still have lots of 2.5″ strips. Just FYI, the brown border is linen left over from another project.
I have two plastic containers of 2.5″ strips for log cabin blocks. What if I made a piano key border to complete this quilt? Can I be honest – I am not a fan of piano key borders. They are time consuming to make and right at this point, I just wanted this quilt top done.
So I looked around at my stash of UFOs – was there other blocks that could be used as a border? Not that I wanted to use for this. How about just a plain old solid border? That would be quick and easy. None of the fabrics I auditioned for an outer border looked right.
Yep, back to my first idea – make a piano key border. So I just started pulling strips out of the container. No rhyme to the colors I just sew the strips end to end into a long, long, long strip.
Cut the strips into 15″ lengths. Sew those lengths together in pairs down the long sides. Make enough to add to sides of top so this border goes all the way around.
I added the border to one side, then opposite side. Made a lot more border which I added to the remaining two sides. It was time consuming, but really easy. This quilt top “Scrap Bonanza #1” is done and I am really happy with it.
I also did not stress that all my points were not perfect. The “quilt police” are not coming after this quilt (I would not listen to them anyway). It was fun to make and really made a dent in the scrap problem I am trying to conquer.
Your mission should you decide to accept is to make a dent in your scrap bin. Step out of your comfort zone, do something fun (and maybe a little wild) with all those scraps you have been holding onto because they are just too nice to throw away. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy the quilt journey you are on.
Now I am confined to working from home until further notice. It is so much easier to be productive on my quilts when I am right here at home. So I am challenging myself to see how many “quarantine” quilts I can make during this time.
Feel free to join me in this if you want. We can always give the tops or quilts away to friends or family. Or we can donate them to a worthy cause.
In Memory of Ireland was meant as a snuggle/lap quilt. I made it for the wonderful couple (A & S G) who are naturalized citizens from Ireland and now own the wonderful motel I stay in annually on the coast of Maine.
Various green 8″ square (some even have shamrocks or Celtic knots) alternated with white 8″ squares. The interior three borders were done in the order of the Irish flag: green, orange, white. The borders were each 2.5″.
The outside border was cut 4″ wide and is a navy blue with a green Celtic knot design.
Machine quilted in a large stipple design by RLM. Self bound.
Finished size is 72″ x 72″.
They were so excited to receive an “American” quilt and say they will treasure it forever. I hope they use it and enjoy In Memory of Ireland.
Gift quilts don’t have to be complicated to make. They are easy to personalize by doing simple squares and adjusting the size or amount of squares to fit the need. Just use fabrics and colors that are personal to the recipients. They can be tied, machine or hand quilted based on the budget or desire.
Here are some other gift quilts that were fun and easy to make: