Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fussy Cut Scrappy Square Tutorial

Want to make a square like this? Or like the ones I showed in my previous post? Here's my first attempt at a tutorial!
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Disclaimer: I am a beginner and I don't use patterns, but this is how I freestyled this block. Hopefully these will be clear enough directions should you want to make one (or a whole bunch) too!
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The finished square is 12.5 inches. It is a great way to have fun using scraps!

Okay, to start, dig through your fabric for a nice fussy cut for the center. A nice single stand-alone face, object or animal would work great! Cut a 3.5 inch square centering your feature fussy cut.

Next, using four other fabrics you like, cut four more 3.5 inch squares, which will be used in the outside corners. If you have lots of cool novelty fabrics, these would also be neat to do as fussy cuts.


Choose the fabric you want to border your center square. Choose something wild, but wonderful! Cut 2 strips 2.25 by 3.5 inches. Cut two strips 2.25 by 7 inches.


Look in your drawer, bin, or wherever you keep your smallest scraps. Grab out a nice big handful. Cut a bunch of strips that are 3.5 inches long and of random widths (between 1 and 2 inches wide works well, or even a little wider ... but I wouldn't go smaller than 1 inch wide as things get pretty skinny and hard to deal with if they are smaller than that.)

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Okay, that is the end of the cutting!


Sew a bunch of the little strips together. You want to end up with 4 pieces that are each 7 inches long. A little trimming may be necessary, so I would suggest ending each strip with a wide piece. That way if you have to trim a bit, you won't get a little minuscule sliver on the end.

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Iron the strips. I pressed all the seams in the same direction. I have no idea if this is the best plan, but I find it works for me.
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Set these pieces aside.

Next, grab your fussy cut center and sew the 2.25 by 3.5 inch strips to each side of it. Iron.


Sew the 2 strips that are 2.25 by 7 inches to the top and bottom. Iron.


Grab 2 of your sewn-up-strip pieces that are 7 inches long. Sew to each side of your square. Iron. Trim if necessary.


Grab your other 2 sewn-up-strip pieces that are 7 inches by 3.5 inches. Grab your 4 squares that are 3.5 inches for the corners. Move them around until you like how they look.

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Sew a square to each end of these other two 7 inch strips (the ones that have not yet been attached to the main center of the block). Iron.

Line up the sewn strips to prepare to sew again.


I hate using pins and only do so when absolutely needed. I did pin at this point in order to be careful that the corner seams matched up.


All pinned and ready to go.


All sewn up and ironed.


At this point, your block will be 13 inches square. I trimmed mine back to 12.5 inches. With so many little strips on the sides, the trimming made these nice and even. (Please ignore how crooked I have the ruler laying in the picture)


As a final step I stay stitched the edge of the block. My blocks get a lot of handling by both myself and my kids, so this is just a precaution so nothing comes loose.


Ta da! All done! I have really enjoyed putting together the six squares like this I have made so far and am planning a whole quilt of them.

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Happy Quilting!

16 comments:

me ann my camera said...

Good job. I tried to make a square today and looked at your previous pictures for help.. My sewing machine was uncoperative, but msybe tomorrow I will try again following your directions! I will send you my results privately, or post it on my blog if it turns out ok..

your friend and admirer
Me Ann

Rachel said...

Very nice! I love these scrappy blocks and it's good to have the measurements to make them. Thanks for the tutorial.

lulubloom said...

Thank you so much Riel! This tutorial is just perfect. And if you don't mind, I'd like to link to it for my month of my bee. I have been wavering for months on which block I'd like to do and now I've finally found it -- yous. Yay!

Thanks again for going to the trouble to post a tutorial. I really appreciate it!

Mary said...

Good tutorial! I understood it completely and now I want to go digging in my scrap pile :-) I'm with you on pins and only pin where things have to meet perfectly.

Riel said...

Thanks everyone! It was fun to do a tutorial. Lucia, That would be really neat if you used it for your bee. I would love to see all the blocks!

lulubloom said...

Riel -- I was able to make one of your fussy cut scrappy squares this weekend! For this month in one of my bees, the design was up to us, so I decided to try out the block. You can see it here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilke/4985124221/
I did a larger center square for this block since my chicken fabric needed a little more space to highlight the chicken.
And I didn't do a very good job of placing my fabrics to show the contrast between the corner squares and the scrappy sides (the dark browns and black blend together too much for my liking).
Other than that, I think it turned out great!
Thanks again for the tute!

Vesuviusmama said...

I hope the fact that you wrote a tutorial means you won't be offended if you see some of these wonderful blocks coming out of my sewing room in the future. They are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Hands Sew Full said...

I love this idea thanks for posting it! I am inheriting a raft of fabrics from the west cost later this week and I wanted something to make that would use a wide variety of the fabrics so I can send a quilt back to the woman who is giving me her stash. Thanks again for the great post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this great idea to use scraps. I will let you know how mine turns out!
Kim R

Muriël said...

Thanks for the tutorial! It's a great block!!

Kristin said...

Ooooh, I just picked up the perfect fabric to hack apart and sew together into this scrappy fussy centre square! Thanks for the great and detailed tutorial Riel!

Marit said...

Thank you for sharing, this is such a great block!

Anonymous said...

thanx found your site from Gen X quilters and feel this is a good start too try and make a quilt again with these clear tutorials love your beautifull colors by for now renee

Marianne said...

Vackert block.
Greetings from MARIANNE

Patti said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..