Friday, May 1, 2015

Hive 2 May Tutorial: Haphazard Block

Hello, everyone! Spring has finally sprung here in northern Minnesota. If you're like me it gets harder to find time at my machine when the sun is shining and the warm weather beckons me outdoors so I chose a quick and easy block for you this month: 

Haphazard Plus Sign block. 

This quilt is the creation of Aussie Cintia Gonzalez from the blog My Poppet Makes. Her innovative tutorial can be found here: This is a great scrap buster block! I love its haphazard, liberated, modern, color-packed use of bright and low volume scraps. I think having blocks made with scraps from all of your stashes will really make this a lively, interesting and fun quilt!

My version of the Haphazard block will finish at 16" (16.5" unfinished) and consists of four 8" finished (8.5" unfinished) plus sign blocks. I would like each plus sign block to be a made from scraps from the same color family- in other words, all green strips for one block, all turquoise strips for the next one, etc.


I love bright, "clean" colors. For the plus signs in this quilt please use blue, (navy, sky blue, aqua, turquoise, teal- any shade really), green (all shades), red, orange, yellow, gray. (Please, no purple or pink- thanks.)

I really like blenders or basic prints, geometric/graphic prints and some novelty and florals are good too. When making these blocks I found it worked well to have one multi-colored print with a background or main color from that color family. For the center squares: I also love low volume prints, especially text prints, and found I like the scrappiness and interest they add to the blocks. Off-white solids similar to Kona Snow can also be used. (Please no white-on-white prints- thanks.)

Favorite designers: Heather Ross, Caroline Friedlander, Cotton and Steel, Tula Pink, Lizzie House, Allison Glass.

What you need:
(Cintia gives measurements in metric but using these standard measurements work well.)
  • four 6" squares of low volume and/or off white solid similar to Kona Snow
  • a set of four strips from four differing color families. These strips should vary from 1.75-2.75" in width and be 6 - 10" in length.

How To and Tips:
Please refer to Cintia's tutorial but here is a quick how to.

1. Sew four strips from the same color family around the 6" low volume/solid square using the log cabin method, trimming edges as you go. To insure that the final block size is at least 8.5" be sure to use a wide strip for every narrow strip. The more variety in width, the more haphazard and fun the plus sign will be. 
Pressing these seams open will make a flatter finished block. 

2. Using rotary cutter cut into fourths. I fold the block and cut on those creases. Don't worry about cutting them into perfect fourths.

3. Turn the block quarters so that the colored strips create a plus sign design that you like.

4. Sew the four quarters back together pressing to the side. The quarters may be different sizes and due to the differences in widths, strips will not "line up". That's the nature of the block and what creates the haphazard look! 

5. Trim the block to 8.5". I find using a 8.5 square ruler works well for this. Repeat to make 3 more blocks. Stitch the four together to form the 16.5" block.

If you would like, I can trim your four plus sign blocks to 8.5" and sew them together into the larger block. It would actually allow me to balance out colors and prints, etc. But either way works for me!

Thanks you so much for creating this block for me! I'm excited to see them all together! I am hoping to give this quilt to my daughter as a house warming gift.  She and her husband and two little boys are moving into their new house at the end of the month. I think she'll love it! 

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Happy quilting!

The Question:

Where do you look for quilting inspiration? Share a favorite blog, book, magazine, instructor/class, etc.

I have to admit I spend too much time looking at blogs. But two of my favorites are fellow Minnesotan Amanda Jean Nyberg's blog: and Debbie Jeske's blog:

I was fortunate to have been able to take Victoria Findlay Wolfe's class 15 Minutes of Play at Quiltcon in February. She is a wonderful instructor. I love her creative improv in making "made fabric" and scrappiness. Her books are full of inspiration!

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