I have been working on this scrappy quilt for a few months now. Its a free pattern designed to empty your scrap bin of small pieces and make a dent in your stash of fabric scraps of all sizes!
It’s taken me so long mainly because the center of each block is made up of supper scrappy strips made with small scraps sewn to adding machine paper, but there are actually some quick ways to make this quilt too – so don’t worry!
This free scrap quilt pattern is a great way to use leftover fabrics.
You can use up your tiny patterned and colored scraps in the ‘X’s and you can also make a dent in your fabric stash and find a use for single fat quarters of low volume fabrics for the background and even the binding if you want to!
Here is how to make it!
Super Simple Foundation Paper Pieced Block – Beginners Welcome!
So this quilt is foundation paper pieced but don’t be scared because it is probably one of the simplest foundation paper pieced (FPP) blocks you will ever find.
If you really hate the idea of doing with FPP you could easily use the templates to piece it traditionally as well!
You need 4 pieces of fabric for each quarter block and you use 4 quarter blocks to make each ‘X’ block.
You can download the printable PDF block pattern and cutting templates by filling out the form below and then read on for the rest of the instructions.
Because this is meant to be a scrap-busting quilt I am not going to give you the yardage for a full quilt.
Instead, below you will find the fabric requirements for a single block so you can make blocks as often as you like to clear your scrap bucket and then assemble them together to make your quilt top!
Central Scrappy Strips
You can make the central strips for the blocks in several ways.
For my version, I used mostly scrappy strips sewn on to adding machine tape but I also used a few strips of my ‘made fabric’ which was constructed from my oddly shaped scraps of all one color.
Below are the links to the tutorials for each of these plus some other options for your center strip:
- Scrap Fabric Strips sewn to Adding Machine Tape
- Made Fabric from Irregular Shaped Scraps
- Selvedge Edge Strips
- You can also keep things super simple and just use leftover ends of jelly roll strips.
A note on colors
The quilt I made with this pattern is a rainbow of color, but in general, I do like using limited color palettes for each quilt block to keep the whole thing from looking too busy.
So although I’ve used lots of colors in this quilt I generally would only use 1-3 colors per scrap fabric strip (for the central x) and actually, if I was doing this quilt all over I might have done all the X’s in one color pallet of scraps.
But that’s just my preference and I know some of you will want to do this even scrappier than I did!
Cutting Requirements by Block
You can use the templates on page two of the Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern download to cut individual scraps to the size needed or you can roughly cut your pieces as outlined below.
The measurements below are slightly larger than what is needed to make sure you aren’t short when you come to piecing so if you are an experienced FPP pro – go ahead and use the templates instead of the measurements below.
For each complete X block you will need:
4 x Central strips (to form the X): Each central strip (for a quarter block) should be 8″ x 2.5″.
8 x Patches of Low Volume Background Fabric: Cut 4 x 7.5″ squares diagonally to get 8 pieces or cut your scraps using the templates provided.
4 x Central strip end piece in low volume background fabric: Each patch for this should be 3.5″ x 2.5″
Please note the block pattern itself is designed so that the X meets in the middle but the central strip is not the same width throughout so the cutting requirements above are guides and you will need to trim down as explained in the video.
How many quilt blocks?
I really just kept making blocks to clear my scrap basket from time to time and once I had a pile of them I laid them out and decided what size to make it.
My favorite size of quilt is a sofa throw size – and I like them on the large size.
Below is how many blocks I used to make my large throw as well as some options for going smaller and making a cushion or a baby quilt instead!
Throw Cushion: 1 Block with no border will make a 12″ throw cushion.
Baby Quilt: 9 Blocks with no border will make a 36″ square baby quilt
Large Throw Quilt: 20 Blocks with a 6″ (finished) border all around (this is the size I made) will make a 60″ x 72″ throw quilt – perfect for snuggling on the sofa.
Throw Quilt Border Fabric Requirements: I added a 6″ border to my throw size quilt by cutting 6.5″ strips with my accuquilt cutter. You will need approximately a yard and a half of low volume fabric for this size of border.
However, for my border and my binding, I just pieced the leftovers of the background fabrics I had already used to continue the scrappy low volume look.
Constructing the Blocks
These are simple blocks that should be doable for quilters of any skill level.
There is a video tutorial for how to foundation paper piece these blocks if you aren’t sure how to do it!
Print out your PDF quarter block pattern on your home printer.
You can use any kind of foundation paper you like – regular printer paper will work in a pinch but ideally something thinner like vellum paper or freezer paper if you are familiar with that method.
Make sure to set the scale for printing at 100%.
Cut away the excess around the pattern but don’t cut away the 1/4″ seam lines at the edge!
Start with your central scrappy strip and the smallest patch of low volume fabric.
You can use the cutting templates provided to get the size of your patches but I recommend cutting them on the generous size if you are new to foundation paper piecing.
Your pieces go right side up on the unprinted side of your pattern.
Use a bright light to find the correct placement if you are using regular printer paper and you can’t see through it.
I like to put one dab of glue under the first piece and then once it is stitched to the central strip I also but a tiny dab of glue under the loose end of my scrappy strip to stop things shifting as I sew.
Once the central strip and end piece are in place, trim away any excess fabric to either side leaving your 1/4″ seam in place – see video tutorial if this doesn’t make sense to you.
Then add the two larger low volume patches to either side and trim the block to the size of the outer black line (i.e. keep your 1/4 seam allowance in place for joining your blocks).
Once you have 4 of these quarter blocks done you are ready to join them to make one complete block.
You do not need to change the orientation of the pattern on your printer you just turn the quarter blocks so that the strips line up to make an X.
Sew the top two quarter blocks together, then the bottom two and then join the two half blocks together.
You may want to pin to make sure everything is lining up.
Tip: once you have sewn two quarter blocks together – tear away the tiny strip of paper at your joined 1/4″ seam so you don’t get the paper caught up in your next seam.
Completing your Quilt Top
Trim all your blocks to 12.5″ square – you may not need to do this step if you’ve used the foundation paper piecing method and you’ve been trimming as you go.
Join blocks to make rows in the same way as we constructed the block – leave all your foundation papers in except for the thin strip of paper at our 1/4″ seam which you can rip out after you have sewn down the seam.
Join your rows together to make your quilt top and add your border if you are using one. Don’t remove the backing papers until you have added your border.
To finish your quilt, baste, quilt, and bind as desired.
(See this post if you are a new quilter and you don’t know what I mean by those terms. It’s a post about a denim quilt but the explanations of the quilting terms are the same for all quilts.)
I went to town with the quilting on this one as I was practicing my ruler quilting. So it ended up being a bit of scrap quilting as well as a being a scrap quilt….get it?
Basically, I tried a different straight-line pattern in each low volume square that was created by the scrappy X’s. I didn’t mark it all out ahead of time I just had fun practicing. Is it perfect? No. Do we care? No, it’s all a learning experience!
This pattern would look just as good – if not better- with some simple straight line quilting with a walking foot so don’t feel you have to do what I did with the quilting.
Above is my scrappy binding made out of 2.5″ strips of the background fabrics I used for the quilt. Super scrappy but I love how it turned out!
- A Scrappy Quilt with Scrappy Binding (& even Scrappy Quilting!)!
- Scrappy Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt
- Scrappy Improv Quilt Squares
Finished X Marks the Scrap Quilt
I really liked making this quilt and I think it is the perfect pattern for using every last bit of fabric left over from all your other projects. It can be a slow burn project as well – just make a block as and when you need to clear your scraps and before long you’ll have enough to make a full size quilt.
I’d love to know if you try this pattern and what you thought of it! Leave me a comment or find me on social media @scrapfabriclove.