I had some really small pieces I wanted to use up. I made small nine square blocks that were 3 1/2 inch square when the block was completed. I wanted to make a block that is common and usually makes it way into a scrappy quilt. It is usually referred to as “four and nine square block or four patch nine.” To make this block you need to make the nine square you use 1 1/2 inches square pieces to make the 3 1/2 inches block. The other pieces are 3 1/2 inches. It is easy to put together by following this picture. This block is based on a 4 square lay out. You make two 6 1/2 inch block of 4 squares that are 3 1/2 inches square. Contrast light and dark the squares. Also make two 6 1/2 inches square blocks from two light 3 1/2 inches squares and two 9 square blocks 3 1/2 inches square.
These are the small scraps of 19th century reproduction fabrics. I kept them in a shoe box and got them out to do this sampler quilt. Some of my scraps have come from quilting friends and others from the trash can of quilt classes. You would not believe what some ladies will throw away. At least the ladies that taught me to quilt when I was little would say don’t waste fabric. Good quality fabrics no matter how small was saved to use in some future utility quilt or for a applique block. It was repeated over and over again that you pay for every inch so try to use every inch. Pieces was sewed together to make string pieced blocks to use on the backs of utility quilts. The pretty fabrics would make it into log cabin quilts. Sampler quilts are ideal for scraps because there isn’t a lot of strip piecing going on. Just look for patterns that will use up the scraps you have. I can remember my neighbor making extra blocks for a future sampler quilts or saving the blocks that didn’t work with the other block in a scrap quilt. You just added borders around the small blocks to make them all one size. Today I think we worry too much about the art end of quilting and not enough about the pleasure of making the quilt. Sampler quilts gives you the freedom to mix it up a bit and expand your skills.