Random Sampler QAL – 16-Patch

December 15, 2012 § 7 Comments

By request… the next block in the Random Sampler QAL is a scrappy 16-patch.  There was some discussion over in the Flickr group that folks wanted a chance to work on choosing some fabrics that went well together  and making a simple block so that it can be used as inspiration for additional fabrics for the rest of the quilt.

I started with a few of the fabrics that were left over from my previous blocks. And then proceeded to dig through my scrap bins for more fabrics.  I just realized that a couple of my earliest blocks had multi-colored fabrics and I’ve unconsciously been working off of those.  This time I really only added one additional color – pink – to the mix. Otherwise, they are all variations of the same colors I have been using.  I hope that doesn’t confuse anyone.  Or… if you have been using more monochromatic fabrics, it make take a little more forethought as to what colors you may want to mix together.  I’ve sort of let the fabric do the choosing for me.

When you are choosing fabrics be sure to add a variety of values… lights, mediums & darks.  Also, try to add a variety of print sizes… small, medium & large.  I feel like this makes everything as a whole more interesting.  If anyone has any questions… please let me know.  We can discuss the process of choosing fabrics more in depth over in the Flickr group if you would like.

This block uses 2″ cut squares and finishes at 6 1/2″ including seam allowances.  Ready?  Here we go.


1. Cut a bunch of 2″ squares.  How many depends on how many scraps you have and how many blocks you want to make.  I had a few pieces left over from previous blocks and started with those. Then I dug through some of my scrap bins for more choices.  Whatever squares you don’t use may possibly be used for fillers elsewhere.  So, don’t get rid of the extras just yet.


2. Arrange 16 squares into 4 columns & 4 rows.  Play around with the arrangement of colors and patterns.  They can be randomly placed….


…or they can be arranged in some sort of pattern.  You choose.  Have fun with it.  There is no right or wrong. Just do what ever you like best.  I decided to leave my squares in this diagonal pattern mostly because I was being lazy, didn’t feel like re-arranging any more,  and they looked pretty good to me.  I did move a couple of pieces in the final blocks, but I didn’t fret over it too much.

However, I did pay attention to the value in each diagonal row, alternating light & dark fabrics.


3.  I like to chain piece, so…  When you have decided where you want each fabric placed, stack up each column with the first row on top.  This way you can chain piece the whole block and keep each square in it’s place.  If you prefer another method, feel free to do what works for you.  There are no quilt police here. This is your project so make it the way you like.


4. Sew the top square in Column 1 to the top square in Column 2… and so on… until all 4 columns have been sewn been sewn together.


5. Cut the rows apart and press the seams in every other row in opposite directions. I started by pressing the first row to the left, then the second row to the right, and so on.


6. Sew the four rows together and press the seams open.


Wanna see the back?

Here are all of my blocks so far.

And this is the state of my room.  When I started digging through my scrap bins I realized that I desperately need to do something about my storage system. Well, I sort of knew that it needed some help, but now I really, really KNOW that I need help.  I started sorting teeny scraps from string type scraps and from scraps large enough to cut 2 1/2″ strips from.  I don’t know why I am hanging on to the teeny tiny scraps. Does anyone want to make a ticker tape quilt?  When I am done sorting I could send you a box of tiny scraps! Seriously!

On the other hand, I think I need to start cutting 2 1/2″ strips from the bigger scraps for future charity quilts that use Jelly Roll -like strips.  I need someone to hold me accountable to this!


§ 7 Responses to Random Sampler QAL – 16-Patch

  • Judy Stadler says:

    Truly your room is neater than mine, l0l! Could you tell me where you got that great looking sewing table that has your machine set into it?

  • Lynne says:

    I like the addition of the 16 patch block on your design wall. As far as your scraps go, good luck with that : ) I separated mine into light, medium, and dark piles back in April, and it was a mess again 3 months later (sigh). I often thought about giving away scraps, especially to new quilters who are just starting out and don’t have much of a stash. Maybe something to do for the New Year!

  • kathie says:

    love the 16 patch blocks I am working on reproducing an antique quilt with 16 patch blocks!
    I would love to have your scraps! I know they would make their way into little quilts and a few big scrappy quilts I am working on …
    look at my post from yesterday I am having so much fun playing with scraps from another friend!

  • Anita, I love the 16-patch blocks. They’ve added a new dimension to your color scheme, which was already gorgeous. I can’t wait to get back to my quilting after Christmas….but for now, I am busy busy busy…..

  • Jean(ie) says:

    Your room looks great. At least you can walk past the door. Mine is a wreck times twelve — and I have to jump over a pile to get into the studio. I vowed to clean and rearrange it during the Christmas Holiday. Enlisting some help. (poor hubby!)

    I love the diagonal setting of the colors. Gives the block some order. and really focuses on the fabrics well.

  • Fran says:

    Love the 16-patches! What sewing table is that? Does it have a drop down leaf that can be raised for more surface space?

  • Sarah says:

    Starting the new year right by drinking coffee and working on my 16-patch blocks. I love how you added more color to the mix with your 16-patches. Making head way on my stash!!!

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