Make a Scrap Quilt Without Even Trying

My friend, Lori Schloesser, is a very talented quilter. She loves to piece and machine quilt, but she looks tempted to run in the opposite direction when the “A” word is mentioned. She simply doesn’t like to appliqué. This is ok since her piecing is amazing! She recently brought a scrap quilt to our Fiberista meeting and we were impressed.

It’s queen sized and made from 1″ finished squares! WOW! Here’s a detail shot:

When asked about it she said she didn’t have a pattern, and her plan isn’t to sit down and make a quilt. She simply cuts out a lot of 1½” squares, and sews the squares into pairs as “leaders and enders” while strip piecing other projects. When she finally has enough – she makes a quilt. If that isn’t clear, and even if it is,  – you simply must read the following steps, in her own words  🙂 :

“• Cut lots of 1-1/2 inch squares.

• At the end of a set of chain piecing on a different project, sew two squares together and leave them under the needle.

• Start the next set of chain piecing and at the end, again sew two squares together, leaving them under the needle.  The first two squares will be at the start of the chain. Press them as you press your other project and put the squares in a container.

• When I have enough to sew the block together, I make a little space near my sewing machine and lay the pieces out.  I sew them together the same way – at the end of chain piecing another project.

• I generally use sort of a dark/light arrangement, but my only real criteria is that each square not blend in with the squares around it.  That means any white/very light squares go in the center so they don’t blend in with the white strips.

• I cut the white strips to size (4-1/2, 6-1/2, 8-1/2 and 10-1/2 inches) to help keep everything square and the right size.  (If I can’t attach a white strip without getting pleats, I need to go back and fix seam allowances.)

I like to lay out the blocks on point alternating the two blocks.  

You could use solid white for the side triangles but I prefer to use more blocks and cut them in half to finish the quilt.  Of course I take apart the cut off ends and reuse the pieces.

That’s it! Makes me want to cut a lot of squares and leave them next to my machine. What a great way to use up those small pieces leftover from finished projects, instead of leaving them in a pile because you don’t know what to do with them (my technique – and the reason my sewing room looks like it does most of the time).

The next month Lori brought in this scrap quilt:

And we were amazed all over again. This block she pieces on a rectangular foundation, usually newsprint.

I love greens and browns, so I really find this quilt appealing. And the overall leafy quilting design adds to the organic feel.

She said her strippy quilts: “are an intentional project. I usually make them whenever I don’t have another project and just need to sew without thinking too much about it.” Then she sent me pictures of some other scrappy, strippy quilts she’s made this way:

I asked Lori to tell me more about these quilts and here’s her response:
“I usually make them 60 x 80, so a big lap quilt or a really skimpy twin.  I have generally used them as gifts for acquaintances (like co-worker weddings).  I’ve started donating them since I’m making more quilts than I’ve opportunity to give them to people I know.  I’ve donated a couple to the Lutherdale Bible Camp quilt auction and one to a work-related fundraiser.  I like to have at least a couple in reserve – it’s so much easier to give them away if they’re already done and ready to go.”  

I know she also donates quilts to Project Linus. What a generous quilter!

Thank you Lori, for sharing your quilts and your process with us!

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