The Accidental Quilt: Perfect for Playtime
You can use 10″ squares—precuts or cut-by-you from stash—to create an easy quilt while you learn about combining fabrics boldly. I discovered this recently by accident when I mis-cut for a project that turned into a dead end. Meet The Accidental Quilt.
It’s very simple, but you can make it interesting by combining fabrics in unexpected ways. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric or a lot of time. It can be a great charity quilt, a baby quilt or a dorm room quilt. Perfect for the car or the camper.
Start with a 10″ square. It can be a precut or something you’ve cut from your own stash. First, cut 3″ off of one side.
Then cut 3″ from one end of the larger rectangle, and you’ll get what you see above. You’re almost there.
The last thing to do is to cut 1/2″ (one-half inch) from the end of the long rectangle. That will make everything fit together perfectly.
Decide on a color recipe (like reds, navy blues and yellows) and select squares in light, medium and dark values. Layer the squares in groups of four to six. I did six with no trouble because my rotary cutter blade was sharp. Cut 3″ off one side, then cut 3″ off one end of the big rectangle, and last, take 1/2″ off the end of the long rectangle.
In the photo above, you can see how getting rid of that half-inch makes it all work. This is where the fun really begins!
Start to mix and match the fabrics with the goal of having lots of contrast between every pairing. The block above shows good contrast. However…
…this is not a good pairing because they are both about the same medium value. There isn’t much contrast.
I thought these would be a good pairing because of the navy and the red, but they have about the same amount of white in them, so I nixed this idea. You want the two fabrics in every pairing to be very different from each other.
I made just a few blocks before I put them on the design wall to evaluate. I could see that I needed to add a lot more variety. I pulled out one of my favorite tools, the C&T Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool.
First I determined which card my yellow came from, and then I looked for stash fabrics that were also on that card.
You don’t want everything to match, but you want them to be in the same family, kind of like cousins. Surprisingly I found the best golden yellows in my 30s fabrics.
I did the same thing with the blues, choosing two consecutive cards. I didn’t need to do it for reds, because reds all clash well together, you just can’t go wrong with reds.
On the right are fabrics in the original Moda Layer Cake, and on the left are fabrics I added. Below are more blues.
I made some more blocks and put them on the design wall. I kept this up for an afternoon, which flew by!
Each time I’d evaluate. I’d make more of some colors and add in more fabrics. I kept needing more bright red, and I had to be careful with the yellows.
Here’s where I landed, though I’ll do a little more tweaking before it’s done. It’s interesting! It was fast and easy and I learned something. What more can a Stash Bandit ask?
Learn how I use the Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool on Quilty Pleasures.