From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
This Odds and Ends quilt block tutorial contain illustrated instructions for making this block in three different sizes.
A bit of strip piecing. A couple of half square triangles. A couple of cut squares. Voila!
You've got a block that's cute as can be.
Time to cut up and SEW!
This tutorial uses these abbreviations:
SA are 1/4" and pressed towards the darker fabric unless noted otherwise.
Starch your quilt fabric for more accurate cutting and sewing (in my humble opinion).
Not sure how to do it?
Sample Block: 8" (8-1/2" unfinished)
Our version of Odds and Ends uses two fabrics with strong contrast.
I love a blue and white combination—even though I don't think of myself as a 'blue and white' kind of gal!
It always looks so fresh and clean.
The blue print fabric in the block is from Alison Glass' Sun Print line. I've been having a lot of fun playing with the bright colors!
A variation on this block uses three fabrics. Click here to see it.
Cutting Chart for an~Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1**||BAC||1||2⅜" x 2⅜"||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅞" 3⅞"|
|2**||A||1||2⅜" x 2⅜"||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅞" 3⅞"|
|3||A||1||2" x 2"||2½" x 2½"||3½" 3½"|
|4||BAC||1||1¼" x 25"||1½" x 31"||2" 43"|
|5||A||1||1¼" x 25"||1½" x 31"||2" 43"|
|Unfinished Block Size||6½"||8½"||12½"|
| **I prefer to cut my patches extra large for HST, stitch, and then trim them to size. If you prefer to do the same, add a bit extra to the measurements for Patches #1 and #2 above. |
There is a chart further down in these instructions where you need it for trimming them to size.
My go-to thread for all my piecing is...
We'll use the Quick Pieced method for making our HST—the perfect method when you just need a couple of units.
Making oodles of blocks?
Let's get started.
On the backside of the #1 or #2 square draw a diagonal line from corner to corner—mark whichever one it's easier to see the line on.
Here I've used my Bohin Mechanical Chalk Pencil for this marking. Because it's a white chalk, I've marked the darker #2 square.
After stitching a quarter inch away from both sides of the line, press the unit flat to set the seams.
Cut the unit in half with a rotary cutter or scissors along the line you drew.
Press the two resulting HST with the SA toward the darker fabric.
Use the chart below to check the accuracy of your stitching. Trim your HST as needed.
|Trim HST to…|
These are the two, perfectly trimmed HST.
Arrange your HST and #3s as shown below.
Stitch the units into rows and press toward the #3 squares to avoid bulk.
Press SA toward the #3 to avoid bulk.
The finished center from the front.
To reduce bulk in the center, pick out the stitching to the seam line and twirl the seam allowance.
Press the SAs counterclockwise.
It looks like this from the backside.
With RST, stitch the #4 and #5 strips together along their long edge.
Press the pair flat to set the seam and then open with the SA toward the dark fabric.
Use the chart below to check the width of your sewn strip set. Make any adjustments needed before subcutting.
StripSet Widths and SubCutting
|Finished Block Size||StripSet Width after stitching|| SubCut Width #1|
| SubCut Width #2|
Straighten one short end of your stripset.
Referring back to the chart above, make the required subcuts.
For this 8" sample block, that means four 4-1/2" and eight 1-1/2" subcuts.
Set aside the four longers units. The remaining eight little ones are used next.
Arrange four pairs of #4/#5 patches so that the background and Fabric A alternate as shown below.
Pin as needed.
With RST, stitch the pairs together.
Press flat to set the seams.
In order for the seams to nest when assembling the block, press this last sewn SA toward the #5 dark square. It's in the lower right corner of the four patch.
This is how the four patches look from the backside after pressing.
A good question!
If we twirled the SAs they won't nest with the SA of the strip pieced side units.
It's always good to know why!
Arrange the units into the Odds and Ends pattern. The darker patches are on the outside edges and corners.
Stitch the units in each row together. If you've followed the pressing directions all the seams will nest together.
And finally, sew the rows together. Use pins if you need to to keep everything lined up.
Give you block a final press.
The finished Odds and Ends quit block looks like this from the front...
...and like this from the back.
This first variation uses three fabrics instead of two—a light, a medium and a dark.
This one completely loses the center HST. It'd be perfect for showcasing a machine embroidery collection.
This Odds and Ends block reminds me of an Ocean Waves design.
The only thing in common with our sample are the HSTs.
Beautiful design, though. It'd be a terrific scrap-buster!
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!
No time to quilt right now?
Click any image or link for more info