My Scrappy Sunshine quilt is about a quarter there. I’m randomly piecing it using ‘magic numbers.’ I often teach in my improvisational classes about using magic numbers for construction. Magic numbers can make improvisational quilt construction that seems impossible a little more within reach.
I had a lot of inquiries so I thought I would do a little explanation of what numbers I used.
The easiest shape to explain are squares. Simply take your desired finished sizes and add a 1/2 inch. Other shapes require different magic numbers and you can find further information with a little google search.
I used 6.5″, 4.5″ and 2.5″ squares for my Scrappy Sunshine Quilt.
I apologize, I messed some of the blocks around constructing this, but you’ll get the picture!
These all nest together once sewn to produce rectangle or square blocks, panels or columns, you just need to think a little ahead to figure out the best method of construction.
I started with a layout for my block and sectioned it in two. First I sew together the smaller squares in each section to match the blocks next to them.
So that would be 2/ 2.5″ blocks for every 4.5″ block and 3/2.5″block for every 6.5″ block, or a 2.5″ and a 4.5″ block for mating with a 6.5″ block.
Keep sewing raw edges together, pinning where needed to match corners.
Now I have two panels the same length.
glen in Louisiana says
I wonder, if you wanted to make a “controlled” scrappy quilt, how many fabrics you would need as a minimum number. There must be an algebra formula to figure that out! Too bad I didn’t listen that day!
I have some batiks, bits and pieces, that would look fabulous like this.
glen: 3 degrees and none of them in math……..
This is so exciting! And I’ll tell you why…until last year I did not keep “scraps”. If it couldn’t be cut into a strip of a decent length I didn’t keep up. This past year I’ve started keeping everything! At first I thought “look at all the time I’m saving not cutting these into strips”. But today I actually thought “I’m nuts to be keeping all these “pieces” (I will no longer call them scraps!). With a plan like yours I can actually start making them into something. A little bit every day. Thankyou ever so much! I can wait to start! Heck! I might start tonight! Toni
Sew Katie Did says
Thank you for that! Can’t wait to try one!
machen und tun says
yes, thanks! this will be a great way to use up scraps. or even my collection of FQ which i always forget to use because they are stored a bit away from the yardage and the scraps..
thanks for enableling!!
Sounds fun – great! I agree with Seattle summer – my Summer Sampler did the same thing for me! (at least it tried!)
Thank you Katie! I think this is so exciting for some reason. I think I need to look through my scraps and see if I can start a few blocks. I don’t have a ton of scraps yet but having a ongoing project like this could possibly keep them from getting out of control.
Looks like we are both doing the scrappy improv thing! Love the colour 🙂
Love this, Katie. Combines two favourites. Scrappy. Improv. Makes me swoon. ;o)
Krista - Poppyprint says
great explanation of how to scrap it up right!
Tonya Ricucci says
beautiful and an excellent explanation
great tutorial. This is going to be a terrific quilt!
Cheryl Arkison says
I’ve used this technique many times, but never heard it called Magic Numbers. You learn something everyday. Thanks!
Very cool idea. I’ve been thinking about what to do with my quickly growing box of scraps and this just might be the idea I’ve been needing. thanks.
heather at brown robin says
Fun, Katie! Thanks for explaining that so well. Love your outcome… it’s beautiful.
Tinsel Fairy says
i HAVE been wanting to know how to do this for years and years, thank you * bends down and kisses her feet* xxxxx
Julie B. says
I love the quilting on this one. Can you tell me how this is done continuously? I can’t seem to figure out the pattern of the quilting.
The pattern is called Baptist Fan. I did it on a long arm, so unfortunately I’m not much help via home machine. Happy Hunting!
Did you ever find a Baptist Fan tutorial? This is one I’ve pinned to try in the future. http://www.dontcallmebetsy.com/2012/03/tutorial-fmq-baptist-fans.html?showComment=1332018896102#c4498182576152249810
I’m spoiled and just get to use my friend’s long arm that has boards for it. Thanks for thinking of me!
I’m using this to make a quilt for a new baby boy. It’s a great scrap buster.
Your’s is so bright and sunny!
Just the bit of scrappy sunshine that I was hunting! Thanks!
It takes about 5 yards of fabric for a full size quilt. So you can pick as many different prints as you want, total of 5 yards.
Mary D says
I guess I may have missed the “explanation” of magic numbers. Is there a concept behind this theory?
If you look through the whole post there is a tutorial;)
I think the concept is: choose a basic/starting unit size (hers is finished 2″), then double it for the 2nd size (add seam allowance, hence 4.5″), then triple it for the 3rd size (6.5″) Make sense? So you could use: 1″ (1.5), 2″ (2.5), 3″ (3.5) for a finished 6″ block; 3″ (3.5), 6″ (6.5), & 9″ (9.5) for a finished 18″ block; or any set of x, 2x, 3x + seam allowances. To determine what size base unit to use, choose the size of your finished block, divide it by 2, then divide that number by 3. (This would not work well for a 10″ block.) This method would be great to make a themed fat quarter quilt rather than a scrap quilt.
Hi Katie! This looks so fun, beautiful and great way to use scraps! Thank you for inspiration and tuto! x Teje
I am going to try this. I have loads of scraps which I can now do something with. Thank you for keeping me going.
This is awesome! I started cutting my scraps up tonight. Do you know how many large squares are on your quilt? I could try and count but thought you may just know:)
I use this method on tshirt quilts as well, only a bit larger as 12.5, 8.5, 4.5 etc, as the graphics on stshirts very in size…
just saw this and love it! I have tons of scraps as I mainly make scrappy quilts. a friend also saves all of hers for me for variety. gotta do this one!
Annette Loft says
LovE it, I now know where my scraps are going
What a GREAT idea! I’m programs chair of my quilt chapter of the AZ Quilters Guild. I’m hoping to share this with my group if that’s ok? I’m new to the Pinterest world…
Oh it’s so homie 🙂 very cute! I think in italy, where I live, that kind of style is not very popular… but I love it!!