Crazy Quilt Along - #1 Choosing Your Fabric

When I first started quilting my husband kept saying things like, "Why are you buying small pieces of fabric to make your quilt look like it is made of scraps?" and "Didn't people use to make quilts out of old clothes and stuff?" Do you think he was trying to hint at something? :) Over the years, I think he has become resigned about my piles of fabric, but last spring I had a change of heart.

I have 4 girls 10 and under and their clothes get handed down until they are at a point where they are no longer even good enough to be donated to a thrift shop. The problem is that I HATE simply throwing them away - it kills me! They are totally stained, but I still can't put them in the garbage! Augh! So, I started cutting out and saving big chunks of the stain-and-hole-free parts of the tee-shirts and pants.

I had seen a crazy quilt made out of baby clothes on someone's blog and decided to make one out of my girls' clothes too. (I can't find the quilt anymore. If you have seen it too please let me know where it is.)

I envision this crazy quilt project as being a chance to use fabric you might not normally use - do you have any clothing that needs to be retired? Clothing you will never wear but are hanging onto for sentimental value? What about traditional fabrics like wools and silks? Or modern knit and flannel fabrics. Rummage through your scrap bag! Think outside the bolt! ANYTHING GOES with crazy quilting.

Alright, here is a Basic Overview of the Crazy Quilt Along:

I will show you how to foundation piece different types crazy quilt blocks, how to add trims and machine embroider. The quilt I will make will have five columns and six rows of 9 inch finished blocks separated by a 1.5 inch sashing and surrounded by a 3 inch border. If my math is correct it will finish at 57x65 inches - a good sized lap quilt.

Not totally to scale, but it gives you the general idea.

To make a quilt with these specifications you will need:

Foundation Fabric: 2 1/3 yard
Crazy Patch Fabric: At least 4 yards of various fabrics
Sashing: just over 2/3 yard (26 inches) of fabric
Border: 2/3 yard
Binding: 2/3 yard
Backing: 3 2/3 yards
Trims: Lace, ric-rack, ribbons and buttons as desired
Tread: Various colors for machine top stitching and embroidery floss if you desire to hand embroider
Interfacing: if you are using stretchy knits or very light weight fabric, you may want to purchase some interfacing to stabilize your fabric. I bought some SF 101 - Shape-Flex all purpose woven fusible interfacing. It looks like really thin muslin with a fusible back. It really helped stabilize some of the more stretch tee-shirt fabric I was using.
Square ruler the size of your unfinished block. I am using a 9.5 inch ruler.
Rotary cutter, mat, pins and scissors

Of course, you can make your quilt larger or smaller if you would like.

So, do you want to see what I am using as my foundation fabric?

Don't you love it?!? No? Me neither. It is what I pulled from my stash to use for my foundation fabric. Seriously, pull out the what-was-I-thinking-when-I-bought-it-7-years-ago fabric from the bottom of your closet and use it for your foundation fabric. It's going to be covered up! Brilliant! If you are worried about it showing through turn the print right-side down so it will face the batting. You know those sheets you hate but can't justify replacing? Use them for your foundation fabric and go buy new ones - you deserve it! :) Think outside the bolt!

Here is the fabric I will use for Crazy Quilt:

I've got skirts, onesies, pants, overalls and tons of tee-shirts, along with some left over ric-rac.

I think a Crazy Quilt would look brilliant in:
  • 1930's reproduction fabrics
  • All Solids
  • I-Spy fabrics
  • Old vests and ties
  • Work shirts
Go Crazy! Just remember if you are using non-quilt fabrics to wash them before hand. It is better to have grandpa's ties shrink now than after you have made your quilt.

Are you ready to go? Come and give it a whirl - the blocks are fun and rather addictive. :)
I'd love to see what fabric you plan on using for the quilt along. You can post your pictures at I'll give you a few days to think about fabric and then I will post basic cutting instructions.

Please let me know if you have any questions!