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Friday, September 4, 2015


[This post is a tutorial of the instructions for Lynn’s cross-cut scrappy strip lap quilt as described in the novel, The Fourteenth Quilt, by Robyn Echols. This pattern with cross-cut scrappy strip blocks, along with blocks cut from a remnant of Blue Angels jets, were used to make the veteran's quilt named "Gung-Ho." You can read about it on page 101 of the novel and in Chapter 12. ]

Veteran quilt titled "Gung-Ho!"

(These directions assume some familiarity with quilting techniques.)

Finished size:  Approximately 57” x 68” – a good size for a juvenile or lap quilt.

All seams are one quarter inch wide except the backing which will have seams one half inch wide.

Fabric needed:

-One remnant at least 3/4 yard long and 42” wide with the main design for the quilt

-3/4 yard solid coordinating fabric for lattice

-One yard fabric for the outside border/sashing (preferably a small, busy pattern)

-Various colors and designs of fabric scraps that coordinate with the main design remnant from which to cut strips for alternating blocks to coordinate with the color and pattern of the remnant, approximately 1-1/4 yards total. Try to use left-over strip scraps from previous quilting projects.

-Backing:  4 yards, OR 2 yards plus a strip of coordinating fabric 2 yards long and at least 16 inches wide

-Batting:  approximately 55” x 70” inches

-Binding of choice:  approximately 1/2 yard or about 7-1/4 yards prepared binding

Before cutting, wash and dry all fabric in cold water and minimal detergent. Press. Remove selvages and square fabric for cutting by trimming cross-weave edges.

From the main design remnant cut eight blocks that are approximately 10-1/2” wide by 12-1/2” in length. (If trimmed fabric is less than 42” wide, blocks may be only about 10-1/4” wide. Don’t worry. This is a creative scrap quilt, not rocket science. Just shorten the horizontal lattice and border pieces and adjust the width of the cross cut scrappy blocks to make it work.)
Scrappy strip block design

Create scrappy cross cut strip blocks. (This is a good way to use up a stash of strip remnants from previous projects.) From coordinating fabric scraps (coordinated by either color or theme), sew shorter strips of the same width together, alternating colors and patterns, to create longer strips. You can join the seams at right angles to the fabric length, or you can cut the ends at a 30 degree to 45 degree angle to join them like sewing together strips for binding. Press the seams flat. To avoid waste, try to create strips of approximately the same length that are in multiples of 12-1/2” long (25” long, 37-1/2” long, or 50” long). The longer strips may be of varying widths, anywhere from three inches to one inch. The object is to assemble the strips to create blocks that are 10-1/2” in width.

Create a total of eight – 10-1/2” by 12-1/2” cross-cut blocks. Each block should have a variety of colors and patterns and no two blocks should be the same.

Option A:  Cut the longer strips in 12-1/2” sections. Assemble the block by piecing together the 12-1/2” long strips of varying colors and widths to create blocks that are 10-1/2” wide. Allow for the 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seams flat all in the same direction.
Lay-out for remnant & cross-cut strip blocks
Option B:  Sew the longer uncut strips in multiples of 12-1/2” in length together, varying width, colors and patterns, to create long blocks that are 10-1/2” wide. Allow for the 1/4” seam allowance. Press all seams flat all in the same direction. Cut long blocks into 12-1/2” lengths.

To create the body of the quilt, alternate the main design fabric blocks and strip blocks to create four rows of four blocks each. Offset the main design blocks on rows two and four so that they do not line up with the main design blocks on rows one and three. (Row 1: main design block, scrap block, main design block, scrap block; Row 2: scrap block, main design block, scrap block, main design block; Rows 3 and 4: repeat first two rows.)
Another version of a scrappy strip quilt block

For vertical lattice, cut 12 strips measuring 1-1/2” wide by 12-1/2” long. Sew these strips between the horizontal rows of blocks to create four strips 43-1/2” wide by 12-1/2” tall.

For horizontal lattice, cut three strips 2-1/2” wide by 43-1/2” long from the same coordinating solid color fabric. You may need to add a piece to reach a total length of 43-1/2”. Sew these three strips between the four rows of blocks to form a quilt center measuring approximately 43-1/2” wide by 54-1/2” long.

From the same solid color fabric (You can also use a coordinating solid color fabric instead, if desired), cut two strips 2-1/2” wide by 43-1/2” long and cut two more strips 2-1/2” wide by 58-1/2” long (piece together to make the strips long enough). Sew the shorter two strips at the top and bottom of the quilt center and then sew the two longer strips on the sides of the quilt center to box in all the blocks.
Veteran received the Gung-Ho! lap quilt

From the border fabric approximately one yard in length, cut six strips cross-weave 5-1/2” wide by 41-42” long. Cut and piece together the strips to create two side border strips 58-1/2” long and top and bottom border strips 57-1/2” long each. First sew on the side strips of the sashing/border then sew on the top and bottom strips of sashing.

From backing material, trim selvages, stitch together the two pieces of fabric approximately two yards in length, and trim to a width four to six inches wider than the finished quilt top. If using the coordinating strip backing option, first cut the primary backing fabric lengthwise off-center and sew the sixteen inch wide strip between the two pieces of primary fabric.

Assemble and quilt the three layers together. Bind and label quilt as desired.

To learn more about the author, visit her writing blog, Robyn Echols Books by clicking HERE.

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