Completely Out of the Blue

I started a new quilt last night completely out of the blue. I hadn’t even thought about it until about two days ago.


The quilt that inspired me to do this was on the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild blog. It was made out of solid blues and greens, but I thought it was a great way to use up my impressive supply of batik scraps.

So late last night I dug into my batik scrap box and started pulling strips that were wide enough to go across the full width of an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. That was the most time consuming and complicated part of making these initial 14 blocks.



The strips are sewn onto a piece of newsprint. I bought a ream of it about a year ago for paper piecing templates. These blocks will be sewn together into long vertical rows, which will then be sewn into the quilt top.

The blocks will be offset from column to column because I don’t want all those straight horizontal lines at the top and bottom of the blocks to all line up across the width of the quilt because I think it would be really apparent… and not in a good way.


The newsprint makes it really easy to tear the paper off. But even then, it’s not my favorite thing to do.


I have this piece of batik that I might use for the back… or I might find something more dynamic and fun for this bright quilt.


24 Replies to “Completely Out of the Blue”

  1. I have a bag of string scraps of all sizes and a couple of thermal paper cash register rolls, waiting for a similar but much smaller process! I’ve used it before when sashing a scrappy quilt and love the effect. Yours is coming along beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. this is just like adding machine tape piecing, but on a larger scale. I could have done this on one long roll of paper if I had one, and if I had wanted to manipulate that through my machine!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhh, so pretty!!! I love the randomness of the angles and different colors like regular string piecing but confining to long strips and then put together —- it sings to me. So mid-century modern 🙂 I am impressed that the original one was made by several people and then assembled and still went together so well. I NEED to make one,lol. This will be awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Annie! My bin (yep, that much!) of batik scraps left over from mask making just found a project. Am I happy? Dang straight! I’ve been passing it wishing I could decide on something, anything, to create my COVID quilt. Finishing up the preparations for another 100 to go out to my crew of sewers this morning and I’m off and running. Thank you!


    1. Wow! That’s a lot of masks! So wonderful of you to do that for people! I think I’ve made close to 150 so far, and I’m only making them for myself, for co-workers. for friends and for family. I’ve used up a lot of my scraps making masks… and have used up larger pieces for linings… pieces I purchased long ago and have never used. I can’t figure out why I have so many large pieces of white on white! What was I thinking?


  4. I like the idea of making a COVID quilt. Not that any of us will ever forget the past 6 months! I’ve finished piecing the low volume neutrals background for my Dresden Plates and it’s lookin’ good. Love the idea of sewing the strips onto newsprint. Where do you buy that? When I first bought my Accuquilt cutter I cut a bazillion 2 1/2″ strips, so I could start this project very easily. Hmmmmm! Another way to use my stash. This quilt looks very subdued for you. ..maybe you could throw in a strip of Kaffe every so often. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, these batiks felt a little dark to me, but i was sewing these blocks late at night, so I htink it’s probably just the lighting.

      I purchased the newsprint on Amazon. It was pretty reasonable compared to what you pay for paper piecing paper. It tears away easily and cleanly. And a ream is A LOT! It will last me for years.


  5. Good morning! You are such an inspiration! I have about 4 different scrap projects going on because I’ve never done anything with the ones I had from when I quilted 30 years ago. (I went 20 plus years without quilting, well, because life). But there are still a lot and I wondered what to do with abnormal size strips. Great idea, thanks for sharing and inspiring. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! Glad to spur you into an inspired place! I make a LOT of scrap quilts. I generate a lot of batik scraps with the zipper pouches I make, and more recently masks, and i love coming up with ways to use them all. I really love a scrappy quilt!!!


    1. there is certainly no need to sew the strips onto paper. I happen to have ream of the newsprint, and it makes it easier for me to assure that my strips are being assembled in a way that will allow me to cut an 8.5 x 11 block. If you did it without the paper, it would work but you might have more waste.


    2. … and you just gave me a really good idea!!! Intentionally leave fabrics hanging over on one side, then when you trim up the block, you can incorporate that cut off section into another block!!! I’m going to try that on the blocks I make today.


    1. thanks! I love having something like this to make. It’s fun to make because there are really no rules. If you make a mistake, you can just incorporate it into that block. REally relaxing and not taxing on my brain after a long week of work.


    1. Thanks! I love making improvisational pieces like this. They’re really fun and each one is unique. it’s great late night sewing when you’re tired and don’t want to worry about matching seams, but want to have your hands on some fabric.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: