Crazy 4-square

This is a scrap quilt I did just because I have scraps - lots and lots of scraps - and I want to have less of them. I also had enough fleece backing to make 12 squares. I also had a pattern I wanted to try out, Twist and turn four-patch from Annie’s Crafts. I didn’t quite follow the pattern because I left out the long, narrow strip and just did the squares. After all, that was as much fleece backing as I had on hand, and I didn’t want to buy any more.

I began by going to my scrap heap and cutting out the pieces for the squares. When I found a scrap that was too small for the project, but big enough for a 4.5” block, I cut it into a 4.5 block and put it into a fifth stack. If I couldn’t use the scrap for this project because it was too small or too long or whatever, I threw it into another scrap pile - the one I’ll use for string quilts someday. I just cut the pieces according to the size of the scrap, I wasn’t counting them out. 

Then I sewed the pieces into pairs and then squares. My only rule was no two pieces from the same fabric in any square. Then I put a block together with a fleece square and quilted it. I went over to PetitDesignCo for inspiration on the quilting and decided to keep it simple with straight lines on the diagonal.  After I had squares quilted, I found the smallest one, squared it up and cut all the others down to the same size.  Then I took all the squares to a bed and laid them out to figure out how I wanted to put them together.


So, once I had it figured out, I cut eight 1” strips and eight 2.5” strips for the spaces between the squares. I folded the 2.5” strips and ironed them lengthwise with the right side out. Then, I pinned one folded strip to the right edge of a square and a narrow strip along the same edge, underneath. I stitched that down and ironed open the narrow strip, leaving the folded strip alone for now. Then I pinned the strip to the edge of the next square, backing sides together, and sewed that down. After that I ironed the folded strip over the new square and sewed it down. It leaves a visible line of stitches, which I don’t mind. If it bothers you, you can put the folded strip on the back and the narrow strip on top and hand-sew the folded strip in place. But for a scrap quilt, that’s too much work, as far as I’m concerned.


This quilt has a quickie binding. I pieced together enough 2.5” strips to go around the entire border and ironed them just like the folded joining strips. Since I wanted the binding to go on the back, I pinned it to the front of the quilt and sewed it down, once again, just like when I joined the blocks together. However, after I sewed one side, I folded it completely over so that nothing showed on the front, and machine-stitched it down to the quilt. If it had been a fancy quilt, maybe I would sew it down by hand so that the stitching didn’t show on the front, but this is scrappy. When I get ready to put on the strip on the second side, I fold back about half an inch of fabric on the end that overlaps the part that’s already sewn. That’s so that I don’t have a rough edge there. Do that on all the edges that are going to overlap strips that are already sewn and your corners will turn out OK. They aren’t as fancy as mitred corners, but they’re OK for casual quilts. If you like the binding and want it to show on the front of the quilt, just sew it to the back and flip it to the front. Since I wanted it to end up on the back, I sewed it to the front.

There! The quilt is done! It’s a casual lap quilt. If I’d had more time and made more squares, it could have kept growing. 

© Janet 2013