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Controlled Chaos Scrap Quilt Along #1

Controlled Chaos - a scrappy quilt-along at Shiny Happy WorldRaise your hand if you’d like to empty your scrap bins and make a pretty spectacular quilt along the way!

*hand raised and waving around madly*

I’m making a scrap quilt and I’d love for you to join me!

I had originally thought about just cutting all my tiniest scraps into two inch blocks and then sewing them together completely at random. That would be fun – in a way – but the call of pattern is too hard for me to resist.

Plus I know that that is one HUGE project and it will feel like a smaller project if I can have lots of “finished” bits along the way.

So then I decided to do a bunch of 10 x 10 square blocks, each one using only two colors.

I’m calling it Controlled Chaos. 🙂

This is going to be a regular series (that will help me actually finish it) with a goal of one block a week. We can make one block a week, right?

I’d love for any of you with overflowing scrap bins to join in!

Here’s Block #1. Simple. Classic. Stripes made out of itty bitty scrappy squares.

Controlled Chaos Block #1

What you’ll need

  • 50 two-inch squares of color A
  • 50 two-inch squares of color B


Use 1/4 inch seam allowance for all sewing.

Choose one color and sew 10 blocks together into a strip. Repeat until you have 5 strips of each color.

Press all the seams. I’m pressing mine open for this quilt. I think it will make things simpler in the end.

Sew the strips together, alternating colors.

Here’s the exploded view.

Controlled Chaos Block #1 - exploded

I think this block would have been more successful if I had tightened up the colors a bit more. I think the reds are good – they’re all red or very dark pink. But there’s a bit too much variety in the blues. I wish I had made them all dark blue or all light blue. It’s ok here because there is so much contrast between the red and the blue that it still clearly reads as stripes (and no way am I taking them apart) but it’s something I’ll keep in mind going forward.

Block #2 coming next week! Click here for all the Controlled Chaos posts.

Happy piecing!

That's me!




  1. Karen SAYS...

    What a wonderful idea. Was thinking of throwing away my scraps in the box. I keep the bigger ones but 2″ lol I will have lots of those. Cannot wait till weekend

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      It’s going to be lots of fun! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Controlled Chaos Quilt Along | Hugs are Fun!

  3. Ann Knechtel SAYS...

    I have completed the first block with blue and green fabrics – strips are more subtle than your blue and red but looks good.

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Will you send a photo? I’d love to include it with next week’s post. 🙂

  4. KateM SAYS...

    The answer to my prayers! My scrap stash has got out of control!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I think they multiply when I’m not looking. 🙂

  5. Diana SAYS...

    Silly question! Do I need 2.5 inch squares, for the seam allowance?
    I am pretty new to patterns!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I cut mine 2 inches, so the finished squares are 1 1/2 inches – pretty small. You could certainly cut yours 2 1/2 inches – just be consistent throughout your quilt.

  6. Debbie H SAYS...

    I am in. But a question first: Is the whole quilt going to be the same two colors? Example: your red and blue. I have never made blocks that tiny so this will be interesting. 🙂

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      No – that wouldn’t kill enough of my scraps. 🙂 Each block will be two colors, but they will be different colors as I go along – depending on which scrap basket has the most overflow.

  7. Cherie SAYS...

    Yipee! Thank you for this! How did you know that I have fabric scraps! Lol.

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      That made me laugh out loud. 🙂

  8. Thunder Kaplan SAYS...

    I just found you through Sewcanshe. I am loving your patterns. I’ve got some running around to do this morning, but now I know what I will be doing this afternoon. 🙂 THANKS much.

  9. Caroline King SAYS...

    I like your values of blues. I think it adds interest.
    Caroline in Maryland

  10. Cindi Blazina SAYS...

    Been meaning to do this since I first found your site. Well now in finally getting to it. Have all 100 pieces cut out now in red and blue like you did and I will start seeing tomorrow. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  11. Susan SAYS...

    I just started two days ago so I am behind everyone, but that is okay by me. If I did not have other projects I would just work on this one…. who knows maybe some weeks I can get two done. When I go back to work will be very, very busy… I teach second grade so you could say I work 6-7 days a week when school is in session.Anyway, finished block one today. I decided to do 2.5 inch blocks so my blocks will be bigger (it will look great on the guest bedroom bed in spring and summer. I am going to do 16 blocks instead of 20. I am going to put a border at the top and bottom but not the sides (at least that is the plan right now). I know Wendi would not mind my changes to her pattern. Consider it artistic license (-:
    I am very pleased with the block. I am so glad I found Controlled Chaos!
    Thanks, Wendi

    • Have fun with it! And I always encourage people to make the patterns their own. 🙂

  12. Jennifer SAYS...

    I am just starting this project. I love how the first block turned out. I did red & gray. I think I will do the qayg method, connecting them with sashing. Super Fun, thanks for yet another great tutorial!

  13. Bonita Rankey SAYS...

    this looks like a P.R.O.J.E.C.T.
    Ive already been sewing together small pieces to measure up to a 4.5″ block for going into a quilt someday…….how long did it take you to save enough scraps for this??

    • It took me no time at all – but I sew a lot so generate a lot of scraps. This uses such small squares that it’s really easy to get enough very quickly.