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Controlled Chaos Quilt Block #4

Controlled Chaos quilt block #4 - a scrappy quilt-along with Shiny Happy World

Block #4 is finished for the Controlled Chaos quilt!

I realized all my blocks so far included blue – so this time I grabbed some purple and orange. I’m loving how they look together!

So far. . .

Speaking of how they look together, here’s a quick mock-up of the first four blocks. . .

Controlled Chaos Scrappy Quilt-Along - the first four blocks from Shiny Happy World


I’m so happy with how this is coming together!

Ready to make block #4?

What You’ll Need

  • 70  two-inch squares in color A (shown in purple)
  • 30 two-inch squares in color B (shown in orange)


Use 1/4″ seam allowances for all sewing.

Arrange your squares according to the diagram below and sew them together into rows.

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

Sew the rows together to make the finished block.

Here’s the exploded view. . .

Controlled Chaos block #4 exploded

A Word About Randomness

It’s really HARD to be random when you’re sewing blocks together. The inclination is always to put two fabrics together that look good together, but if you do that you’ll have two things happen. . .

  1. It will take longer to make your quilt because you’re making decisions with every single square.
  2. You’ll tend to put the same fabrics together over and over again and a pattern will emerge. It’ll be a subtle pattern, but your scrappy quilt will look just a little less scrappy.

Some people throw all their blocks in a paper bag and draw them out without looking. I like the idea of that, but it makes my squares wrinkly and that bugs me.

Instead, I lay out one stack of squares for each fabric. I just stack them up near my sewing machine as I cut them, and I don’t go for any kind of order. Then when I sew, I just take them in order, regardless of what comes up together.

Did you see the video yet about chain piecing? Even if you already know what chain piecing is, take a look. I show my randomness method at the beginning of the video.

Block #5 coming next week! I don’t have any yellow or green yet, so I’ll definitely be using one of those colors.

Click here for all the Controlled Chaos posts.

If you’re stitching along – please send photos of any finished blocks! I’ll include them in future posts. You can email them to me at blockhead[at]wendigratz[dot]com.

Happy piecing!

That's me!


  1. Love your blocks! I adore scrappy quilts made from tiny squares. (Working on a few myself at the moment!) And thank you for the tip about randomness- randomness can be so tricky!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’m so glad to hear someone else say that! Every time I think about mentioning it I wonder if maybe it’s only ME that has a problem with randomness. 🙂

  2. Kay SAYS...

    In this tutorial, the picture does not match the illustration. Can you tell me which is correct. Thank you. I love your quilt so far.

    • Sorry about that! I fixed it – the diagram was the correct one. 🙂