I’m always on the lookout for scrap quilt ideas – how about you? To me, a good scrap quilt pattern has simple repetitive blocks that let me have fun mixing and matching all of my most loved scrap fabrics.
Last week I wrote a post about Quarter Square Triangles and this scrappy fish quilt block uses a QST variant called the Hourglass block. It’s a simple but really fun block for a baby quilt, and I’ll give you some layout ideas at the end of the post. So let’s have a look, shall we?
This fish quilt block has three parts: a flying geese head, a square body and a Quarter Square Triangle tail.
The block is 3-1/2″ x 8″ unfinished (with seam allowance) and will be 3″ x 7-1/2″ when sewn into a quilt.
We’ll make the fish 2 at a time (as the method for making Hourglass blocks creates 2 at a time).
Scrap Fabric Requirements
If you’re using directional print fabric, read all the instructions first before you cut so you can see how to align the print all the way across your fish block.
For each pair of fish blocks you’ll need the following fabric pieces:
Two 3-1/2″ squares
Two 2-1/4″ x 3-3/4″ rectangles
Four 2-1/4″ squares
Sew the Hourglass Block Tail
Take a 4-1/2” background and a 4-1/2″ scrap square. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the background square and pair right sides together with the scrap square. Sew a scant 1⁄4” from either side of the marked line. Cut on the drawn line to yield 2 HST units. Press seams toward the darker fabric.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of the HST units, perpendicular to the HST centre seam. Place the two HSTs right sides together, making sure different fabrics are facing each other.
Sew a scant 1⁄4” from either side of the marked line. Cut on the drawn line to yield 2 Hourglass units and trim them to 3-1/2” square (I like this ruler* for QST trimming because the extra lines make centring the block easier).
For tips on how to accurately trim Quarter Square Triangle blocks, make sure you check out this post here.
Sew the Flying Geese Head Block
Take two 2-1/4″ background squares and draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each one. Align one square on one corner of the 2-1/4″ x 3-3/4″ scrap rectangle as shown, then sew on the diagonal line.
Press the corner of the background square away from the unit. Repeat the process with the second background square on the opposite corner of the scrap rectangle. You’ve just made a flying geese unit. Repeat so you have 2 in total.
Trim the flying geese units to 2″ x 3-1/2”, making sure to keep the points centred. I use these Bloc_loc rulers* to trim my flying geese. They’re pricey (as they’re made in the US) but I couldn’t go back to life without them.
Sew the Fish Together
Now you have your fish components it’s time to sew them all together.
I like to press my seams inward. They just sit better for me that way.
A note on directional fabrics. When you sew your Hourglass blocks you’ll get one block in each fabric orientation:
You can see above that it’s easy to rotate your tummy square to match the tail, but it will take a bit of forethought to match the head. If you just remember to cut one flying geese rectangle in each direction of the fabric you’ll be fine.
So, what do we do with these fishies? How can we turn a school of these blocks into a fabulous scrap quilt?
Scrap quilt ideas
The easiest layout would be a lovely ordered layout of fish. I’ve put them all facing the one direction below, but you could alternate directions in the rows, too, for a bit of variation. A colour gradation would also be very pretty.
Or how about a single, rebel fish? (We all know a red fish, right?)
Perhaps you could add a pair of kissing fish in the middle:
Then there’s this one, which I’m calling The Party Starters:
So lots of scrap quilt fun to be had with this block, to be sure.
I hope this gives you some ideas to help reduce your scrap pile. Do know a someone (a Pisces?) who’d like a fish quilt of their own?
Which is your favourite quilt layout – let me know in the comments.