Monday, April 3, 2017

Race Quilt for Hands2Help

I recently pulled out an older UFO flimsy which I'll quilt for a gift for an Alaskan recipient. It's a race-style quilt, made somewhat like a jelly-roll race quilt up to a point and then modified. I decided to use the same technique and some stash to make a quilt for Hands2Help.

I pulled some fabrics and started cutting strips. I needed to add some more darks and another light to my palette because everything here looked too much the same value.

My race quilt is modified from the jelly-roll version. I cut my strips 3-1/2" wide so they finished at 3". I only partially sewed them race-style, then I chopped it up into three sections, and sewed the sections together. It finished at 60" x 72".  It took only about 3 hours to complete the flimsy from start to finish including cutting.

Here's a brief tutorial & tips for how I made my modified race quilt. All seams 1/4".

  • 1. Cut 36 WOF strips at 3-1/2" wide, plus one additional half-WOF by 3-1/2" strip. (12 fabrics, 3 strips per fabric plus the extra half-WOF strip)
  • 2. Cut off the selvages and sew the strips together end-to-end, with the half-WOF piece at one end. Make sure this is not the same print as at the other end.
  • 3. Press seams open; as you press, fold the long strip into a shoebox being careful to layer it with no twists. 
  • 4. Turn the folded stack in the shoebox onto its side with both fabric ends sticking out so you can place them right sides together. Place the shoebox on the floor near the sewing machine.
  • 5. Place ends right sides together and sew the strip lengthwise, a very long seam. As you sew, the fabric will feed out of the shoebox without any twists. When you come to the end, cut across the strip. 
  • 6. Press seam open and refold the long strip back into the shoebox. 
  • 7. Repeat step 5; you now have 4 pieces of fabric sewn together (12-1/2" wide). 
  • 8. Repeat step 6. 
  • 9. Repeat step 5 again; your project is now 8 strips wide (24-1/2"). Press seam open. 
  • 10. Your strip set is now at least 180" long. Fold it in half crosswise so it's a little more than 90" long. Lay this out on a flat surface such as a hallway floor. 
  • 11. Square up the cut ends (slide a cutting mat under the project on the floor). Measure from the cut edge to the fold to confirm your length. 
  • 12. Multiply your length times 2 and divide the result by 3. For example, if you have 93", you would calculate 93" x 2 = 186". 186" divided by 3 = 61".
  • 13. Measure this distance from the cut edge and cut across the width of the strip set through both layers. In this example, measure 61" from the cut edge and cut there. 
  • 14. The folded remainder of the strip set should now also measure the same length as the other pieces. Each piece is 1/3 of the quilt top.
  • 15. Arrange the three sections so you like the placement of fabrics next to each other as much as possible, and sew them together. Press seams open.
Your completed flimsy should measure 72-1/2" long by your cut width, in this example 61".

Sheesh, it took almost as long to explain how to do this as it did to make this flimsy! 

I hope you're inspired to make a modified race quilt for Hands2Help. Bonus: this flimsy uses 3-5/8 yards of stash! 


  1. AND you used multicolor prints so it qualifies for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, too!!

  2. And, wow, your modified version is terrific. I like the idea of using 3 1/2" strips and not making the horrifically long strip of fabric. Ugh. Thanks for the directions.

  3. I just love that style of quilt and it's perfect for donation. The colors are beautiful. I'm finishing up the 9th of 9 QOV's and then plan on starting a couple of Bonnie's Trip around the (world, block, street?), one in pinks and greens and the other in purples and greens.

  4. That is so pretty and looks so easy, I'm going to have to remember that for future use.

  5. Thanks for sharing and linking up this great tutorial. Having a quilt top that can be completed in 3 hours is a great resource to remember!

  6. Very pretty, colorful, but earthy too. Congrats on getting your new project to the finished flimsy stage.

  7. I like both of your two donation quilts. They are pretty and both look easy to do. Thanks for the tutorial for your Hearts@Hands version. That's a good idea to make the strips wider than the normal 2.5" strips associated with this type of quilt. I make have to use your version for my donation to them also. Thanks for the idea.