One Mistake Makes Two Quilts!

A while ago one of my blogging friends posted a picture of her “red rails” quilt.  She makes these quilts to use up 1.5″ x 3.5″ scraps, so it seemed perfect for me.  I cut my scraps into strips varying from 1.5″ to 4.5″ in width and store them in drawers, sorted by size in 0.5″ increments.  Here are some of those (stuffed) drawers:

Since I had a lot of 1.5″ strips and wanted to make another donation quilt, I got started.  Her quilt is “red rails” because the center strip of every block is red.  I have a lot of blues, so mine became “blue rails”.  I drew it with EQ8 to start with, to be sure I knew what I was doing:

Blue Rails, drawn in EQ8 based on a quilt by Nann at

I got busy sewing 1.5″ strips together in sets of 3 and cutting the sets into 3.5″ squares.  Then I started making the blocks.  Before I knew it, the 1.5″ bin was almost empty and I had a lot of little 3.5″ blocks.

I joined them in groups of 4, and that’s where I went wrong.  It turns out there is a right way and a left way for the blocks to twirl in sets of 4, but I didn’t realize that at first!

Trust me, no matter how you rotate these two blocks (drawn with EQ8), they do not match up!

So, I will have TWO blue rails quilts, one rotating in each direction.  Here’s the first one, which I am donating this month.  Another doggone learning experience 😀

Blue Rails donation quilt, about 40″ square

What have you learned lately?


16 thoughts on “One Mistake Makes Two Quilts!

  1. I would never have thought about the blocks needing to be rotated. Glad you have enough to make two!!

  2. Wow, the scrappiness of this is beautiful regardless which way the blues go!
    Additionally, I learned that during a pantograph, I can also do free motion. Love free motion!

  3. #1 – out of mistakes, 2 quilts were born! Fantastic.
    #2 – a great endorsement of a scrap buster design as evidenced in your now depleted drawer as pictured. I have a bin filled with strips from numerous projects and it seems no matter how often I reach into them and take out strips for other projects, the stash doesn’t reduce!
    #3 – yellows are so eye-catching, aren’t they? I spied “my” daffodil print fabric in “your” bin below the circled scrap drawers!!!! I always search such photos for fabrics I might have in common, but this one literally jumped out at me. HA!
    #4 – way to go, Zippy! You are the ultimate ‘lifelong’ learner…

    • Thanks! Yes, it is fun to see “my” fabrics in other people’s collections. I am also amazed at how long it can be between those occasions. I wonder how many different fabrics have been printed in the past 10 years!

  4. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve learned a pattrn has dirction that I’d not realized when starting! Too many. Still, getting two quilts out of it seems a plus.

      • If it was something that could be learned, you’d think we would have learned it by now. Isn’t spatial relationship one of the (is it 7?) types IQ? Maybe the real question is how we design quilts without enough of it.

      • I no longer know much about IQ, but I do observe different spatial relations abilities among my friends and family. And yes, how we can design quilts at all is a mystery 😁

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