Sew My Stash Quilt Tutorial

Sew My Stash Commitment and Quilt Tutorial

I think that one of the reasons we don’t use our stash is that we over think and over plan how to make a quilt from stash.  This month, I quickly made the 3rd in a series of quilts all made from stash.  Keep reading to see the story of the 3 quilts and a tutorial on how I made the 3rd one.

And, no, my stash isn’t always this neat looking!  And, there’s lots more of it…..

modern fabric

I am really committed to sew my stash this year. 

I did a pretty good job in 2017 — I made and gifted 9 quilts made 95% from stash. If you want some other tips for destashing, check out this post.

A popular hashtag on Instagram is #sewmystash2018 or #sewmystash.   In my Quilter’s Planner GiveAway post, I asked my dear readers what percentage of their stash did they plan to use in 2018?  So, I guess I ought to make my own commitment.  Here’s my declaration:

I will use at least 30% of my stash this year.

I have several family members who I need to make quilts for…and my guild has an  ongoing charity project.  I decided that one way to use your stash is to have a couple of easy to make patterns that are versatile.  In other words, I can make these patterns in any variety or combination of solids, prints, etc.

Fortunately, I  have a couple of ‘go to’ designs and techniques that I can make easily.   My stash is fat quarters and yardage–I don’t keep small pieces unless I know that I’m going to make improv blocks.  Keep reading below to see an example of my first stash project for 2018.

I will ONLY buy for specific projects in progress.

That means being disciplined when I purchase.  I use EQ8 for all my design work, so I can easily print needed yardage.  First, I’ll go to my stash and select fabrics I already have at home.  Then, I’ll have my shopping list with me when I’m buying at local quilt shops or online.  No more impulse buying this year.

Sew My Stash Scrap Quilt Tutorial

This is a quilt that will be gifted to a family member.  I am really pleased because it’s big (67 x 76 inches) so it used a lot of fabric for the top and the pieced back.

And, I’m happy because it is the 3rd quilt made from a big stash and it’s going to the same home as 2 quilts I made from this stash last fall. (see end of post for yardage needed for this quilt)

Here is the only fabric that I bought for these 3 quilts.  I saw it in a local quilt shop on my travels last summer and decided that the positive messages would be a perfect vibe for the recipients of these 3 quilts.

Here are the first 2 quilts made in fall 2017 with the happy recipients (mom and daughter). The quilt on the left is an oversized 9 patch with Fractured 9 Patch blocks.  The one on the right is made with squares and improv circle blocks and an improv border of random size blocks on all 4 sides.  Some of the same fabrics were used in both quilts but I wanted the 2 quilts to be distinctive.


After I made the first 2 quilts, I still had quite a pile of prints and solids left, as well as some other stash left-overs that coordinated really well.  I also had a few orphan blocks and improv sections left over  from the first 2 quilts.

For the 3rd quilt, I decided to make the layout as a simple grid of squares.

I started cutting blocks into 8 inch squares. Yes, I ignored the usual 1/2 inch for seam allowance.  Why? Well,  I had some stash blocks that easily could be cut down to 8 inches so I went with that.  Path of least resistance…and efficiency!  Finished size of the blocks is 7.5 inches.

I started laying out the blocks on my design wall and cutting solids and prints into 8 inch squares. I randomly put them up on the wall in a grid that is 7 across and 8 down.  I pieced some additional curved blocks from leftovers and several improv blocks as well.  But mostly, I was cutting fat quarters and large scraps into 8 inch blocks.

Gradually the grid filled up! My only rule was to make sure that the same fabric wasn’t next to itself.  Once the grid was filled (but not sewn together), I did step back and made sure that I had randomly put improv and curved blocks scattered across the grid.  But, I din’t spend much time thinking about it.  I really wanted to make this quilt FAST!

Here are some close ups of a few of the improv blocks. I love making improv blocks so it was easy to piece large and small scraps together quickly.


Close up of several blocks–and check out that precision piecing! Corners matching like they’re supposed to…ROFL!

To finish the quilt, I added large solid blue borders–7 inches finished on the left and right and 8 inches on the top and bottom.  I picked pretty arbitrary widths so that the quilt would be a generous lap quilt. I pieced the back and now it is with a long arm quilter for her finishing touch.  When I bind it, I’ll make a scrappy binding from left over solids and prints and machine sew the binding on.

Sew My Stash Goal Met!  This particular pile of ‘related fabric’ is just about gone.  Only some fat quarters and half yards of a few of the solids are left, and a few small pieces of the focus print.  They are in a small zip lock bag ready to go into another stash scrappy project next month.

 Fabric needed for this project:

Selecting a color palette:  Select scraps that coordinate but don’t over-match.  The 3rd quilt had a lot of primary colors in the solids and prints because they went well with the 5 black and white prints that I used.  I also had a very cool striped fabric in the mix. Some of the solids are Moda Grunge, and a few of the solids are not primary colors–they are more muted shades.Be adventurous and embrace the chaos.

How much you will need to make this large lap quilt (67 x 76 inches) :

  • About 3 yards of scraps…or just dump a big pile on the cutting table!
  • For borders–approximately 2-1/8 yards
  • For backing–approximately 6-1/2 yards [Backing was pieced using solids because I had large pieces of yardage to work with.]

2 Responses to Sew My Stash Quilt Tutorial

  1. Lisa February 28, 2018 at 4:52 pm #

    THis is fun Carole, and a good way to use up stash…using creativity.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw February 28, 2018 at 5:37 pm #

      Thanks Lisa! I’ll be facing temptation in March because I’ll be teaching at a Fabric store in March and they carry my favorite Grunge fabrics…..sigh…..

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