Fast & Easy Scrappy Quilt

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Sometimes the best quilt to make is a fast & easy scrappy quilt. You just sew fabric squares together and the nine patch block is the easiest way to do this.

Keeping a stash of quilt blocks cut in various sizes will always come in handy for this type of a quilt. I usually separate my batiks from my regular quilt stash but that is just a personal choice.

Fast and easy scrappy quilt with 2 more laying on it

There are other times I mix my fabrics, especially if there is a particular color or print I want to include in a quilt.

The Scrappy Quilt or Quilts

The other day was my grandson’s 16th birthday and it was fun to go out to dinner with the family and celebrate. He mentioned that his bedroom is cold and even with 2 of my quilts he is still cold.

My daughter said that her quilt….. which I made almost 40 years ago……keeps her warmer than any other quilt I have made. 

Hmmmmmm, driving home I got to thinking about that and realized her quilt had a high loft polyester batting in it. It also dawned on me that she wasn’t using any of the new quilts I made on her bed.

I have been making all of my quilts now with Warm & Natural cotton batting and I have to admit……they just aren’t warm. I thought it was because I quilt heavily but even when I have tried quilting with a bigger loopy design…..the quilts aren’t that warm.

The night before last I woke up in the middle of the night and thought about the huge pile of 9 patch blocks I made about 6 years ago and never used and……a high-loft polyester batting that I had kept.

Sometimes I get some of my best ideas like that, the next morning I pulled out my blocks.

I decided to make each of the grandchildren a fast and easy scrappy quilt with all of those blocks.

9 patch quilt blocks already pieced

Scrappy Quilt Blocks

The 9 patch blocks…….I cut all the squares 16 years ago, so the fabrics are old!

For some reason I cut them all 4- inches square, I cut hundreds and hundreds of them. Then I stopped quilting for some reason and they sat in a box for about 10 years. I’m pretty sure this is the time I was doing craft shows and only making table runners, Longeburger basket lids, and small quilted items.

Cut your blocks

Cut your blocks whatever size you like, if you have charm squares that are 5-inches square, use them.

Use a ¼-inch seam allowance and start piecing 9 patch blocks.

  • 4½-inch squares will give you a finished quilt block of 4-inches
  • Sew 3 blocks together for a row
  • Make 3 rows and sew them together for your 9 patch block
  • Your 9 patch block will measure 12½-inches by 12½-inches square
  • The finished size of the blocks will be 12-inches by 12 inches
Making fast and easy scrappy quilts

60 x 84 quilt

Thursday I pieced the quilt tops, the granddaughters have bunk beds so I made the quilts approximately 60 x 84.

  • Piece 35 9 patch blocks to make a 60 x 84 quilt
  • Sew 7 rows of 5 quilt blocks, then sew your rows together

Longer quilt for a tall person

My grandson is tall so his quilt will be bigger, I added one additional block to each row and also added another row.  His quilt is a full size at 81 x 96. There are 504 blocks on top and I also used the block for the back of his quilt.

After piecing all 3 tops I still have a gazillion 9 patch blocks left so…..I pieced the backs too. Now I have about a million blocks left.

Utility quilts

I wanted quilts that were warm and fast to make so I laid out the top and bottom and sewed 3 sides together.

Next I turned the quilt right side out and pushed the batting inside. I used safety pins to keep the batting in the corners and along the top and sides.

Nothing perfect

There is nothing perfect about these quilts. It can be good practice for a beginner quilter to learn how to match up seams when sewing your blocks together.

I actually made several quilts this way years ago when I first started quilting and knew nothing about adding binding.

Fast and easy scrappy quilt on river ice

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The quilting is a simple free motion wiggle along the seams. I find this much easier than trying to stitch in the ditch which means stitching along the seam. I finished the bottom by just stitching it closed.

I finished 2 of them by last night and had to wait until this morning to take some photos. One had been washed, the other is in the wash machine now. Here is a closeup of the quilting after washing and drying the quilt.

Free motion quiltlng on the quilt

These are quilts that I think of as utility quilts, they are meant to be used all the time, taken on picnics, out on the beach, wrap the dog in it……just enjoy them. Made in a smaller size, they are perfect kennel quilts for dogs shelters.

I can already tell that the quilts are warmer than my cotton ones. These will be Christmas presents and if I have time I might put “real binding along the edges….I’m thinking a different color for each grandchild so it is easy to tell who the quilt belongs to and give a nice look to them.

Fast and easy scrappy quilts on river bank

After each of the quilts were done I decided it would be nice to put different colors of binding on the quilts to make it easy to tell whose was whose.

I am really tickled that I have all 3 quilts finished. All 3 quilts have been washed and dried so I didn’t take them down by the river for pictures.

Fast & Easy Scrappy Quilt on deck rail

I will admit that they look much nicer bound this way. Each quilt binding was sewn on by machine, I have a tutorial for this.

Added binding to the scrappy quilts

Different Sizes of quilt squares

Remember you can cut your quilt squares out any size you like. AccuQuilt has quite a few square dies that would make it easy to cut up your fabrics.

Quilt Size

If you make a quilt consisting of 7 rows of 5 blocks for a total of 35 quilt blocks, here is an idea of the quilt size.

  • 12½-inch unfinished 9 patch blocks – 60 x84
  • 14-inch unfinished 9 patch blocks – 70 x 98
  • 18½-inch unfinished 9 patch blocks – 90 x 126

By adding more blocks to a row or more rows, you can make a quilt to fit any bed.

Want to use 2½-inch squares?

2½-inch unfinished quilt squares are perfect for a baby quilt. Take a look at my Scrappy Butterfly baby quilt tutorial. It has applique butterflies but you could easily make all of the blocks 9 patch quilt blocks.

Polyester Batting

So how do you feel about polyester batting? I have many, many old table runners and center pieces that I made using polyester batting and…..they still look great. I have also used polyester threads in my quilts and don’t think anything about it.

Update after reading comments

It was very interesting to read everyone’s comments on me using polyester batting in the quilts as I wanted them puffy and warm.

All but one of my old quilt had polyester batting in them and have been washed many, many times.


Only one quilt has bearding…..pieces of the batting coming through and…..that quilt has some poly/cotton blends in it and also some fabrics where the weave isn’t very tight. I’m not worried about bearding.

The reason I sewed 3 sides together, turned the quilt right side out and then stuffed the batting inside was because I didn’t want to fight stitching the batting to the quilt on my vintage Singer which I used to piece and quilt the quilts.

When I made the full size quilt I decided to only sew the top and bottom together on just one side. Then I slipped the high loft poly batting in between, pinned and then quilted it. I did a free motion quilting doing a serpentine wiggle so I could avoid quilting over the cross seams. These are not perfect quilts…..there is a little tuck here and there but I’m okay with that. I know these will get used a lot.

I have started using Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom batting and like it for most of my quilts now. It isn’t a high loft batting but with 20% of it polyester, it does feel a little warmer and it washes up nice.

Fast and easy scrappy quilts on longs

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  1. cecilia sinnwell says:

    I make the same quilts to give away to my grandchildren, but instead of batting and back, I use flannel, its easier and warmer. My kids fight over my quilts. They are also good for baby quilts, I use a lighter flannel for baby quilts.

  2. Congrats on the Red Sofa!!!!! Scrappy quilts are so nice for memory quilts too. Our family always gets together for the Fourth and every other year for family reunion. And out come the quilts. When I give a quilt I say they must be used, not family icons. Then after a few quilts I make a scrappy one and everyone looks for “their” fabric in the scrappy ones. Bought some 60/40 batting for the quilts that go to the animal auctions. Small (40 x 40) quilts get used by the dogs but some buyers use them for sofa backs. So I’ll be interested to see how they hold up for pet use. My dog is delighted with this weather. We got a lot of snow but Chicago is so used to it. A friend down south has kids that asked if they could touch the snow!

  3. I use Hobbs 80/20 a lot, seems like the best of all worlds. Any tips for washing/drying your quilts? Is using the washer/dryer acceptable as I’m not enthused about bathtub soaking and all that I read about. Thanks, Connie, for all your work and all you share.

  4. cheryl marshall says:

    Connie, I enjoy reading you column, Just wanted to thank you for your efforts.

  5. Linda Jennings says:

    I use polyester in my table runners and wall hangings. I won’t use it in baby quilts. I read somewhere if the child is caught in a fire, it will melt right to their skin. I told the head of the quilt guild I belong to and she said how often does that happen? Once is one too many. But that is all she gives us and most of the quilts are for children.
    Also it gets caught on the foot of my machine and it tears. I use Pellon 80/20 with scrim in all my quilts. It’s a little warmer than cotton.
    Joann’s puts it on sale a couple times a year. A few years ago I got it for$94or 96 a roll 90″ x 20 yds. I still got 2 rolls. I had bought 3 and had a half of roll on my machine (longarm). These rolls go a long way. I keep a big 50 gal. tote under the longarm and put the scrap pieces in there. There great for small projects or piece together for a little lager project.

  6. Wow – that wavy quilting you did along the seams creates such a cozy effect Connie! I love these sweet scrappy quilts! The fabrics do not look dated, probably because of the scrappiness. I bet poly batting is warmer than cotton. Do you like wool batting? It is very warm, yet not too hot in the summer.

  7. madebymeinred says:

    Not only is that a great scrap quilt, but the pictures are wonderful. I love scrappy quilts and yours is fun.

  8. Farm Quilter says:

    Poly beards and I rarely use it because of the way it melts when it catches fire. I know that having your quilt catch on fire is not something we like to think about, but I've had one of mine catch fire from incense – a lovely flannel quilt with Hobbs 80/20 batting (which I really don't like). It was snuffed out quickly so the hole is smaller then a dime, but the edges of the batting are melted together and that is only with 20% of the batting being poly. I love poly when I want my quilting to really pop, but wool (especially 2 layers) works just as well. My favorite brand of batting is Quilter's Dream – most consistent quality and there are so many thicknesses that you can find the perfect one for your project. I also like that they make Dream Angel batting that is fire resistant and perfect for quilts for babies and for people that cannot move out from under them (think nursing home or other injury). Poly is really warm because it doesn't breathe and can actually be too warm for babies. Wool is my choice for a warm quilt and that's what I'll be using on the next quilt for my bed!

  9. You always amaze me at how much you accomplish and I love looking at your projects. May try the polyester for a little heavier feel and warmth.

  10. That is so interesting. The quilts look wonderful and I am sure they will love them. I wonder if using a blanket as batting would make it warmer.

  11. Sharon Massena says:

    Mother tied each of the children a quilt with polyester batting many years ago and they were used and worn to the point that the batting moved and ended up in clumps. I'd be interested to know if it still separates and moves to clump around the stitching.

  12. Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio says:

    Connie back in the 70's I used poly batting because the cotton batting was awful (glue scrim and it wasn't needle-punched like today's cotton batting). When the cotton batting got better I switched to using all cotton (cotton fabric, cotton thread and cotton batting). The cotton batting in the bed quilts I used over the years did not hold up very well. My husband complained the quilts weren't warm enough and the cotton batting flattened so thin that it felt like there was no batting left inside. I don't even wash my quilts but once every few years since they are only on top of the blankets.

    So I made the decision to switch to poly batting too, next time I need to buy batting that is. I have wool batting too, but it's more costly. Both wool and poly batting are the best for hand quilting. Cotton is awful to hand quilt through. Everything I have made using poly batting that I quilted by machine has quilted better too. I will use the cotton batting for things like trivets, table runners or anything I may place something hot on top of because poly batting will melt if you place a hot casserole on top of a table runner that that has poly batting inside.

    The poly batting is warmer because polyester clothing is warmer than cotton and the batting has all those air pockets that trap the warmth like those waffle thermal clothes do with.

    I don't buy the argument for using cotton batting because it lasts longer; because cotton rots over the years and polyester would take longer to fall apart. Look at old quilts and the cotton thread and fabrics rot and fall apart before the polyester thread or batting would. Polyester batting is also more affordable too.

  13. I like VickiT's second question, too! And I like how you've made great use of all those blocks you had on hand. Perfect choice! seems like wool would be a better choice for the long term stability of the quilt. And it's easy to work with and quilt. I bet your grandkids will love their new quilts!

  14. Mommy Robin says:

    First I have to say how much I like that these are not fussy quilts, that you are making them to be used wherever and whenever!

    But I also have to say that I love VickiT's comment about her second question… LOL!! So true, isn't it? I also wondered why this method was used instead of a more traditional "birthing."

    I prefer W & N or Hobbs 80/20. We do have one quilt done in poly nearly 30 years ago for DD. It has been washed, washed and washed again, a it was heavily used and abused by our 2 girls and survived tea parties, travel and, yes, vomit. The batting is totally bunched here and there.

    I've thought about taking it apart and putting in a new batt, but as they are both grown with no grandchildren in sight, I haven't done it.

  15. Ok Connie, those are great looking little quilts and I am sure the grandkids will all love them.

    I have only ever used Warm and Natural since that's what I was shown to use when I first started learning to quilt. After reading your post and then the comments, I have questions: why did you place the batting into the quilt the way you did, instead of layering it all and then flipping it right side out with the batting already inside? Is there a reason you stuffed it inside through an open end? I have had no experience with poly at all so I'm wondering if there is a reason for doing it the way you have.

    Annnnnnnnnnnndddddd this is where I show my age because after typing that above, I can't remember what the 2nd question was now. Don't you dare laugh at me. I hear you from here snickering. lol

    I can't believe you had that many blocks all ready to go and yet, you still have a million left after making that many quilts. Wow.

  16. My quilting is done mostly for charity and for grandkids. I use poly batting for them and always use flannel backings. It's hard to keep the flannel from bunching up sometimes, but it makes such a warm loving quilt. I agree that warm and natural is not warm enough. Northern Wisconsin has bitter and brutal weather and poly with flannel is the only combo for us!!!

  17. Razzle Dazzle Quilter says:

    I like poly if it's good quality. I use Soft and bright, it's needled and never beards. My favourite though is wool batting. I get Matilda's wool batting, their wool/poly blend is fantastic too. It is needled and pre shrunk. Superb.

    I'm loving your quilts, they peak of cosy warmth to me. Your grannies will love them.

  18. It is wonderful that you had all of those blocks just waiting around to be made into the perfect quilts. Nicely done.

  19. Well,now, I am not sure that the poly is my style with all the bearding, but….the beautiful posting pictures with all the snow..are fantastic!!

  20. Aren't you the smart cookie! Love your new 'utility' quilts…they will be loved! I use low loft so I layer my quilts on the beds!

  21. barbara woods says:

    i am going to make two scrap quilts next year, may use this or maybe bigger blocks of fabric. Two more after Christmas and i will have done all our grands one

  22. Ranch Wife says:

    Its hard to beat a good scrap quilt – they always seem to end up as the favorites. I'll bet your grandkids will LOVE the ones you made! I haven't ever used poly batting. Mostly because we use our quilts and they get washed and dried and I have heard that cotton would wear better. I like warm and natural and I use hobbs 80/20 in some quilts. I am currently hand quilting a wool quilt with wool batting. I told hubby we might need to move to Alaska to use it.

  23. Createology says:

    Wonderful comfortable and cozy quilts for all. I love how they can be used and loved and keep you warm. Blessings and Bliss…

  24. This is fascinating as I always hear everyone raving about warm and natural. The one quilt I made poly I didn't feel was very warm. Now I put fleece on the back of many of my quilts to make them warmer. I also am quilting my first quilt with wool batting and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  25. Karen - Quilts...etc. says:

    the high loft does seem to be warmer – I have several old quilts that I had the polyester in before I started to get picky about going 100% cotton – I have not tried the wool – the poly does seem to beard

  26. Like you Connie I like the loft of polyester and the quilt I have on my bed has ploy in it. It washes beautifully every time with loft bouncing right back.

  27. Libby in TN says:

    The only downside of poly that I can think of is its tendency to "beard" through the fabric. Have you tried wool? Several of my friends swear by it. I use Quilter's Dream Select — 100% cotton, nice drape, and warm enough for me, especially if I wear sleep socks.

  28. The only quilt I used a poly batt in is the warmest one I have. But it does beard. Probably depends on the brand? It's perfect for cold winter nights!

  29. Really sweet quilt.

    I rarely use poly any more. For quilts that are destined to be around for years and years, the poly just doesn't seem to hold up. I have a Hawaiian King hand quilted that is now paper thin, not cozy/comfy due to poly aging. I do like Quilter's Dream Select very much. Wanting to try more with Silk batting and Wool.