Friday, June 6, 2008

Mile-A-Minute Quilt

What good is a Patchwork Pie if you can't get a slice that you want????
Thanks to a comment/ request, here are some tips about making the Mile-A-Minute quilt in the version I do:

1. Start with a strip and sew scraps down it's length. Press open.

2. Cut the strip + scraps into pieces, then randomly sew those down the length of another strip. Do not keep them in any order. Rotate them around. Press, etc.

3. Sew those pieces down the length of another strip.
For those who would rather see a picture:

Note that the pieces are sewn back on in a random fashion
Eventually you have crazy patch rectangles/squares. They will tend to have straight lines because you used a lot of strips.
Decide how large you want the block to be. I like a size that is the same as a square ruler (6", 8", etc.). You need enough pieces sewn together so the patchwork is larger than that block size.

This looks suspiciously like a log cabin type block
Use the ruler to cut out a block BUT do not line it up along all those straight seams!
You need this to be larger-than-block size so you can lay the ruler down at an angle.

Disclaimer: my favorite rulers are actually OmniGrids!

Now just cut it out with the rotary cutter.
Don't worry about the bias edges too much, just handle them with a bit of care.

This looks much more interesting!
This sort of quilt does well with sashing, and that makes everything straight grained again.

Hey...this quilt has legs just like a ironing board....

So that's the Mile-A-Minute.
It's like making your own fabric, so you could cut any shape you want. It could even be a piece in another quilt block pattern!

Remember to turn the cut sections all different ways when you sew them to the next strip, and tilt the ruler as much as possible when you cut out the block.

And I bet you already know what to do with the parts that are cut off!

NOTE (1/ 26/ 11): Making your own fabric out of scraps can be done many ways, and has been done for many years. As I mentioned at the beginning, this is just my version of something that was shown to me by a friend who learned it from someone else. It's very similar to Eleanor Burns' way of making Log Cabins and a variety of art and Crazy Quilt techniques.
Although I've been using and showing this technique for several years, I just recently heard that it has been published as a pattern, with the same name,  by Carol Coski of Quilt Away ( You may want to look into it...I have not seen the pattern, only the cover on her website when I "googled" her name.


Anonymous said...

I like it! Cutting the blocks skew after you sew them is the secret. Thank you, Sunnie!

RubyMay said...

This is the first time that "mile a minute" quilting has made any sense to me so thanks for this tut...I can't wait to try it now!
(I last made a quilt two years ago)
I do quite a lot of mixed media so this will be brilliant to use up my scraps
RubyMay x

Anonymous said...

This is so much fun! I love the blocks and love making them and love the twist to the blocks. Thanks for a really good tutorial and the inspiration to do something with all these little scraps.

Unknown said...

I'll be making a quilt like this, just after I finish the one I started! This page is bookmarked even! Ha! Thanks for the great tutorial.

Anonymous said...

I have been wanting to make a mile a minute quilt and this one looks great Thanks I cant eait for tomorrow to get started

Gayle said...

Thank you for sharing this tutorial! :-)Gayle

Anonymous said...

I've made a number of these for friends and for charity using some of my many smaller scraps. Those quilts are loved and appreciated.