While I was searching for something in my sewing room the other day I came across a scrap of paper on which I had jotted down an idea for making scrap blocks which I got from a friend several years ago. One of those things I had been meaning to do for some time and simply forgot about. Ah ha! thought I - this idea's time has come, and I spent time today making a number of blocks to this pattern (as well as putting the corners on the string snowballs from last week - a task which is still not finished as there are four corners to each block and I am double seaming the larger corners to get HST units with my cut-off corners - the smaller corners are too small to bother). These blocks are very, very simply, particularly if you have a ready-cut stash of 3" squares, which I do - so I decided to give them a go. I am fairly certain that my friend Brenda, who had made a quilt top with this method, got the idea from a book, but I've no idea whatever what book, so if you recognise the pattern, please let me know so I can give credit!
I started with a block of three rows - 3 x 3" squares across the centre with an 8x3" rectangle on either side. I didn't worry too much about lining up the edges perfectly because I knew I'd be trimming a bit later. This was also helpful when I came across a scrap which was only 7 3/4" long - I could still use it.
Then, I stacked several of the blocks together - doesn't really matter how many - I usually did 3 or 4 at a time - and cut diagonally across the central portion. I then moved one of the pieces of the top block to the bottom of the stash and re-sewed the blocks together (i.e. top of block A to bottom of block B, top of B to bottom of C, top of C to bottom of A). When doing this, I off-set the top and bottom so the seams of the central piece didn't have to match. This is my favourite type of quick block - one where seams don't have to match!
And then, I trimmed. I think if you only offset a tiny bit, you could trim the block to 7.5" (it starts at 8" square before you slash it) but I trimmed mine to 7" square so I could offset a little more without worrying about whether the finished block would be big enough. You still don't have much wastage, frankly.
The top photo shows a possible layout for the blocks - it will be a very scrappy quilt, which is fine in this instance, but I could see doing this in a more controlled fashion, perhaps using only two colours for the 8x3" rectangles with unlimited scrappiness in the central part of the block. Another thing for the list, perhaps. It's probably a good thing I don't have a paper version of The List (i.e. all the quilts I would love to someday make) or it would be so long it would be scary!