I have a LOT of scraps that I would like to use this year. I have been trying out different fast and easy methods of using them in my quilts. One very easy method is the "Herringbone" quilt. This is a very old and very easy method. Best of all, you can custom cut your strips to fit the size scraps you have. Both of the quilts above were made using this simple method.
First you need to cut your strips to the same width and length. The batik quilt above used a purchased set of batik strips similar to a "Jelly Roll". The strips were 2 1/2" wide x 42". I cut them into 10 1/2" lengths and left the width the same. The quilt on the right used scraps that I cut to 1 1/2" x 5". (A pleasing size seems to be the a width you choose and the length ABOUT 4 or 5 x that width. So a 3" width might have a length that is somewhere between 12" and 15". This is not a hard and fast rule. Experiment with what you have!)
Here is the way to start:
Sort your strips into colors. Pull from each stack as you go. You can either leave it very random as in the quilt on the right, or planned as the quilt on the left.
Place two strips right sides together as shown above. Sew across the end as shown. The first set will be a short seam.
Finger press the seam toward the point.
The next strip will go across the intersection of the previous two strips, as shown. Press the seam toward the point.
The next strip goes across the new intersection and along the second strip you added.
This is what you will have so far. The next strip will go along the orange/blue strip. Just remember that you will always be sewing across the end of the last strip and the length of the previous one.(Note the next strip will be sewn to the orange/blue side and not the all orange side in the photo.)
Keep going like this. You will find that when you get going, it will be very fast and easy! Keep finger pressing the seams to the point.
Lay out your strips to see the arrangement you like. If you want an arrangement like the one above, you will have to sew some strips in reverse. (Where you started with blue and then added red, on the next strip start with red and add blue. It will make sense when you see it.) If you are making a random arrangement, you don't have to change anything.) Make the rows as long as you want. Instead of just holding them up to see if they are long enough, count the strips along the edge.
NOW PLEASE TAKE NOTE: You have edges now that are bias. Handle the strips gently and sew a "stay stitch" along the edge to stabilize it before sewing the strips together. Also, it is helpful to not cut the points off the edge until after you've sewn the row together. I didn't do either of these things in the batik quilt and had some distortion because of it.
Another thing to take note of is to match up the seams along the edges of the rows you are sewing together so that the rows match up.
On the smaller quilt, I chose to sew a strip between the rows. (I also stay stitched before sewing to keep my bias edges from distorting!)
You could alternatively choose to cut your strips into blocks.
Start saving those strips you have left over from borders and sashing. You might even want to start cutting scraps into strips and stashing them together until you have enough for a quilt.
Have fun! Until next time....