Scrap Quilt: Schoolhouse

Dec 16, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Jennifer Strauser

Hi!  It’s Jen from Dizzy Quilter, back with a scrappy project to help clean up your studio. I don’t know about you, but by the end of the holiday season, my sewing studio is a disaster. I could just clean up like an adult, but come on...I’m a quilter! Cleaning is for other people. I prefer to sort out my scraps and make a quilt.  Want to play with me? 

 

Organize Your Scrap Fabric

I have a lot of scraps of Island Batik fabric. I was lucky enough to work with them for three years - and “a lot” is a bit of an understatement. The best part of my batik stash is that I can make rainbows. Rainbow quilts are my favorite.

 

Step one of making this scrap quilt was getting out eight little bins and sorting scraps into colors. For this project, I decided to use a fat quarter that covered the entire color spectrum for the center.

 

Then, I sorted out bins of red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, and pink. (These bins are all small shoe bins.)  The background is all one nice neutral.  

 

 

IMG_4936

 

 

Next, I looked at the block assembly directions on the package insert and made a list of pieces I would need for each block. It takes a couple of minutes, but I like to write things down, then check them off. It makes it so much easier for me to keep track.  

 

Then, I started going through the scrap bin, layering scraps over the die shapes until I had enough pieces to make a complete block from one color. It gets a little complicated when things overlap, but it isn’t too bad.

 

I love how interesting my schoolhouses look. All of the fabrics in each color read the same, but they are different. I think it gives the quilt an additional level of interest and sparkle. How much fun would it be to use small prints and make an eye-spy type quilt for the little one in your life using this die? (Darn. I knew I was making another one of these. Now I know what it will be.) 

 

Once the cutting was done, I laid my pieces out on a tray, then started stitching. I love how I can go from concept to sewing machine so quickly with AccuQuilt.  

 

The blocks went up on the wall quickly, but with only nine blocks, the quilt was pretty small. I decided to add sashing between the blocks, both to get a usable size, and to give the blocks some definition. I don’t care for the look when they bleed together.

 

(And do you see that mistake in the top row? Whoops! Don't worry - I caught it before I finished the quilt. Remember, we all make mistakes sometimes. Be kind to yourself if you miss something.)

 

 

Scrappy schoolhouse quilt block

 

 

Using my 2 ½” strip die, I ended up with a quilt that is 31” square. Still pretty small, but acceptable for a baby quilt. A border would have helped, but I am out of that fabric. I do want to make a larger one next time. I used some 2 ½” squares for cornerstones, in colors that worked with the schoolhouses surrounding them. 

 

 

Scrappy schoolhouse quilt block sashing and cornerstones

 

 

I added a binding to match the center block, and my quilt was done. Isn’t it adorable? 

 

 

Scrappy schoolhouse quilt block binding

 

 

Preparation Tips

  • Always make a test block from scrap fabrics before cutting into anything precious.

  • If you love rainbow quilts, get into the practice of sorting your scraps into color groups. 

  • Iron your fabric scraps after sorting. You will get much more precise pieces if your fabric is nice and flat. If you have starch, Best Press, Flatter, or an alternative, use it.

  • I use a melamine tray to move my pieces from the cutting table to the sewing machine. Organization helps. 

 

 

Time to Play: Cutting & Piecing!

Now, it's time for one of my favorite parts! Getting all of our supplies together so we can cut and piece! Let's take a look at what we'll need.

 

Dies Used

 

Tools Needed

  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Spray starch

 

Fabrics

  • 1-yard white - background
  • About a fat quarter of scraps of 8 colors
  • 1/2 rainbow print for center block and binding
  • 36” square batting
  • 36” square backing

 

Cutting Directions

 

Fabric Color

Die

Number of Shapes to Cut

White

GO! School House (55542)

18 A, 27 C, 9 each E, ER, G, J

White

GO! Strip Cutter 2 ½” (55017)

12 - 2.5” x 9.5”

8 Colors 

GO! School House (55542)

From each color 

2 A, 7 C, 1 each B, D, F, H

Center color

GO! School House (55542)

2 A, 7 C, 1 each B, D, F, H

4 colors

GO! Strip Cutter 2 ½” (55017)

From each color

2.5” square

Center color

GO! Strip Cutter 2 ½” (55017)

4 strips, WOF

 

Assemble your block per the die's instructions.  

 

Lay your finished blocks out - making sure the arrangement is pleasing to you. I always go in rainbow order, although you may have noticed I slipped in pink and teal here. I put teal between green and blue, and pink between red and purple.  

 

Stitch the rows together, pressing seams towards the schoolhouses on those rows, and towards the cornerstones on the sashing rows. That will ensure your blocks nest on your rows, making it easier to get those nice corners we all get excited about.  

 

Once you have all five rows assembled, sew them together, using pins at the intersections. Press your seams, and get ready for quilting.  

 

I am blessed with a longarm quilting machine. I used a pattern called “scrap paper” to quilt my version. I believe straight lines quilted in a grid would be lovely on this quilt, too. 

 

Trim and bind your finished quilt. Don’t forget to add a label!  If you're new to labels, be sure to check out AccuQuilt's labeling blog post.

 

 

Scrappy schoolhouse quilt block quilt complete

 

 

Complete Scrappy Schoolhouse

Here is my model, posing in front of our latest masterpiece. If you enjoyed this project, come visit me at dizzyquilter.com. I’m always sharing what I’m working on, and I love to make new friends!

Topics: Storage and Organization, Tips & Tricks

Jennifer Strauser

Written by Jennifer Strauser