Way back when I made this quilt top…

…I had several people ask how I made it. Almost two years later (ahem) I’m going to tell you how it’s done. This isn’t a tutorial proper – just sort of a guideline.

I was using Bonnie’s Scrap User’s System at the time.  (I’m seriously considering reinstating that system – it made stuff like this quilt a LOT easier than it would otherwise be.) To make a row of this quilt, I would reach into the 1″ strip drawer and pull out a couple. I paid no attention whatsoever to matching or coordinating colors. I sewed the strips end to end to make each row. For the next row, I might reach into the 3″ strip drawer and pull out several strips, again sewing them end to end to make one long strip. I used strips 1″, 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, and 3″ wide. That’s cut width, not sewn width. If you don’t already have the scrap user’s system set up, you can cut strips from scrap and sew them end to end.

At some point you’ll have to decide how long you want your rows to be and cut them all that length. Then sew the rows to each other. I think I sewed the rows together as they were made, but it’s been so long I can’t remember. You can sew them each to the rest as they are made, or you can wait til the end and arrange them for a more pleasing composition and then sew them all at once. It’s easier to pick a direction to iron the seams between rows and just use the same direction all the way through the quilt.

I started to make another one that ultimately never materialized (I slay myself) that was more color coordinated. For that one I chose three colors (blue, green, and yellow) I thought worked well together and chose only strips that read as one of those three colors. There were some other colors in the strips I chose –  for example, there was a blue with red ladybugs on it, but it’s overall color was blue. Really any two or three colors could be used in this way to make a quilt that still looks scrappy, but a little more coordinated. Just one color might even look sophisticated. I think all browns would look nice, especially if there were no jabs of any other color – just shades of brown from tan to dark chocolate and maybe a bit of almond for sparkle.

You could also orient your strips vertically instead of horizontally. Or diagonally – just don’t ask me how to do that, because I haven’t figured it out yet.

There’s really not much planning involved. I prefer to make quilt tops with a sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants method. I find the process more fun that way.