(I know whereof I speak right now, with piles EVERYWHERE.)
I first saw these blocks on Pinterest. Amber Johnson, of Gigi's Thimble in Alpine, Utah, has combined a Sixteen Patch with a Variable Star to make a scrappy block that uses up a LOT of fabric. Plus a generous hunk of background muslin or solid. (I'd use a monoprint or tiny dot, to add even more texture.)
These are so simple that they're brilliant.
Here's the tutorial, from start to finish. The method produces a 12" finished block (12 1/2", including extra for seams), which should be incredibly useful. As few as 56 blocks (a 7 x 8 set -- 7 rows across and 8 down, with no sashing) could produce an 84" x 96" large queen top.
Or add 2" finished sashing in between -- which is what she shows in her four-block example. Then you can get by with a 6 x 7 set: 42 blocks total. The 2" sashing adds 12" on the horizontal rows, and 14" on the vertical ones.
In other words:
6 x 12" blocks = 72", plus 12" sashing = 84".
7 x 12" blocks = 84", plus 14" sashing = 98."
A good size for a large queen top. Add borders, and you've got a king-sized top, instead.
(E-mail me at cindy@ cindybrick.com, if you're not following this. I can explain it more thoroughly.)
|The same design -- but in red & blue, with blocks separated by 2" sashing and intersection squares|
Amber has you cutting out squares for those Sixteen Patch center blocks -- but frankly, I'd just strip piece them from 2 1/2" strips cut from scraps, adding a strip cut from background fabric. Cut a 2 1/2" wedge from those two-fabric strips, randomly sew them together in groups of two, and you'll get the same four-square effect, with a lot less work.
(4 squares = one row; 4 rows = one center block. You'll need four more 2-fabric wedges for the outer corners.)
I know where all my scrappy bits and pieces are going, thanks to Amber!
She's got more free patterns available through her blog, A Little Bit Biased.
Her current patterns often feature fat quarters -- those pesky guys we quilters love to collect.