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Shoofly, but make it scrappy

We've been snowed in this week, which corresponded perfectly with the new Bundle of the Week we'd just assembled for the Shoofly quilt pattern and my longing to sew something just for fun. I've been working hard to get all the Hester versions ready to share, and sometimes I need something completely different in the midst of those types of projects to keep me refreshed. So when everything slowed down for the snow this week, I jumped at the chance to make a new Shoofly. 

I wanted to use a gingham for the background fabric but only had 2 yds instead of the 2.5 yds the pattern called for. I also had an inkling that there was a decent amount of extra fabrics from the FQs leftover, so I decided to chase a whim and made four Shoofly blocks from each FQ instead of only two like the pattern called for. And then inverted the two extra, like this: 

I wasn't sure if I wanted to scatter them all throughout the quilt or create blocks with the same fabrics. I took a poll over on IG, and blocks won. I love how vintage and yet...unique?? they feel. I don't know, there's just something about them that is both simple and classic and interesting. 

I had enough of the gingham to make nine of these blocks, but not any more. With the blocks finishing at 18", that created kind of a smaller quilt than I like. So I added a little 1" sashing and got it up to a 56" square throw. Still a little small for my liking. If I had enough, I definitely would have added more of the gingham for a border. But alas, I was out, and I'm on a spending freeze right now. I can only purchase specific fabric for a specific project (like a pattern release). Otherwise, it's use what you have. 

Nothing felt like the *it* I was looking for. Until I stumbled upon the most perfect remnant from a piece of chambray I'd tucked away from I'm not even sure what. It was the exact amount I needed and somehow didn't even need to be pieced for the border strips! 

I've been listening to The Lazy Genius podcast (highly recommend if you're interested in some helpful, daily tips for making things more manageable), and one of her principles is "decide once." I was so thankful I'd already decided I wouldn't buy more fabric for this quilt. It's a just for fun quilt anyways, and I can totally get sucked into the feeling that "I have to always and forever buy the exactly perfect thing I need for this project." It's not true. It's just not! The quilts I love most of my grandmother's stack are the ones that it's so clear she used what she had on hand. And the feeling I had from using my own supply was just so great! Plus, chambray, gingham, and florals just goes together! ;)

If you want to make this version of Shoofly, here's what you'll need:

creates a 65"x 65" throw quilt

  • (9) FQs cut into the following:
    • (2) 8"x 8"
    • (10) 3.5"x 3.5"
  • 2 yds Background fabric, cut into the following:
    • (4) 8"x WOF
      • subcut to: (18) 8"x 8" 
    • (8) 3.5"x WOF
      • subcut to: (90) 3.5"x 3.5"
    • (7) 1.5"x WOF
      • subcut (3) to: (6) 1.5"x 18.5"
      • subcut (2) to: (2) 1.5"x 14"
  • 3/4 yd (exactly) Border fabric, cut into the following:
    • (2) 4.5"x WOF + (2) 4.5"x 14" (sew these together along the 4.5" side to form the top borders)
    • (2) 4.5"x WOF + (2) 4.5"x 22.5" (sew these together along the 4.5" side to form the side borders)

Use the Shoofly pattern found here and follow the directions for each FQ, but repeat it to create four of these, with two inverted. Sew them into blocks and then add your sashing and borders! I'll write up a more detailed post about sashing and borders soon. I have lots of thoughts about them these days! ;) 

I hope this helps and I hope you have fun making this sweet, old block!