Monday, April 3, 2017

Scrap Happy! Part 1 The 9-patch and 4-Patch

2 Color 9-Patch Irish Chain
     Have too many scraps lying around? Don't know what to do with them?  You've come to the right place. Or maybe the wrong place--I could go on and on for hours with ideas so I'll try to organize my thoughts and give as many ideas as I can.

This is my "overflow" trash can
full of pieces that haven't been
cut down yet or too small. Perfect
for crazy quilt projects.

     First of all, what is a scrap? Is it that fat quarter you bought because you liked it? Those leftover pieces from a project? That leftover strip you cut off when you finish the quilting? The oops? Or in my case, other people's scraps? 

       I have found that it is good to organize the scraps into strips, squares, and triangles of different sizes. I started years ago by picking a project I liked and cutting the sizes I needed for that one. Let's start by picking a basic 9-patch or 4-patch or combination of both. Just strips or squares.
Basic 9-patch with 4-patch
9-patch w/alternating squares
Diagonal set

9-patch diagonal set

9-Patch Diagonal Set
First in a series of Blue-Green-Purple Quilts
2nd BGP Scrappy Scrappy
 I cut my blue/green/
purples into a 2 1/2" and
4 1/2" strip of each fabric.
 I ended up making 4 or 5 tops and the level of the fabric didn't go down! There are so many settings you can do with this block!
3rd BGB Scrappy Scrappy
4-Patch 9-Patch

Decide what size you want to cut your strips. 2, 2 1/2, or 3" are good.  You can start with a specific color group or just go crazy with them all! You can make the 9-patches matchy matchy or scrappy scrappy. Up to you. Then play around with settings. Simple, complicated, deconstructed, whatever you like. You can go crazy and make 9-patches with 4-patch blocks in the corners or even a double 9-patch. 
Deconstructed 9-patch
Add triangles to put a square in a square or diagonal sets. Put a 9-patch in the center square of a Sawtooth Star or a Log Cabin.  Obviously I can go on and on!
Double 9-patch
Once you have gone crazy cutting strips, squares, and triangles you should organize them for later. I use clear plastic shoe boxes. As you can see, as the projects multiply, so do the boxes!

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