Making a Scrappy Row Quilt: Bitty Blocks
I unearthed a corner of my studio last week and came across some treasures. Neatly stacked in a cardboard box were my QM Bitty Blocks from 2015. I and other QM staff members designed these little gems as freebies that we presented month by month on the Quiltmaker blog that year.
It was so much fun. I made blocks in about half of the months but as always, there were more ideas than hours in the day, so my sweet little piles were set aside without being finished into a quilt. Coming across them again was like rediscovering old friends and I think it’s time they became a quilt.
I started out by arranging a few rows and sewing those blocks together: baskets, houses and hearts.
I added a 1″ strip between the hearts to finish at 1/2″ because I like them better with a little space between them than if they’re right next to each other.
I had some leftover triangle-squares from another project, so I sewed them together into a row, too—see them at the bottom of the photo above?
Because of all the Baby Windmills I have made, I have tons of 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ rectangles already cut. Feeling impatient to make progress, I thought to sew them side by side into a row. It’s bordered by aqua, above. But something about it wasn’t right. I realized that everything else on the wall had lots of light background, and this row did not.
So I made a new row and used a light for every other patch. Much better!
I have a whole bin of leftover parts, pieces and patches from past quilts, and I dug through it to see what I could use. I joined a bunch of creamy Four Patches into a row.
It’s at the very top in the photo below. I think it’s too creamy so it will probably be rejected.
But all is not lost because that gave me an idea for another quilt. Wouldn’t those creamy checkerboards look beautiful in an autumn quilt with rusts, golds and maroon? I’ll have to sleep on it.
Today I’m making Flying Geese to finish at 1″ x 2″. I’m using stitch-and-flip, but these small Flying Geese are the only time I think it’s the best method. For larger geese, other techniques work better for me. The patches above are cut 1.5″ x 2.5″. They become the goose.
The lighter backgrounds are cut 1.5″ x 1.5″. I put them at the ends of the larger rectangular patches and sew diagonally from corner to corner before trimming, opening and pressing to get a Flying Geese unit.
This is a scrappy quilt so I used different fabrics for each background patch. I like this look in this type of quilt. I thought to join some Flying Geese to see how it was going before I made hundreds of them, and I’m glad I did.
I think they’re pretty busy; they could use more contrast. Fabrics with less pattern will look better. So I cut more patches and am ready to carry on.
My friend Paula Stoddard brought her finished Bitty Blocks quilt to our quilt retreat in Colorado. It was inspiring! You can still get the pattern, or you’ll find it if you have the back issue off the newsstand called Quiltmaker Row Quilts.
* * * * *