Feelin’ Groovy QAL: Week #2 – Slash ‘n Sew the Background Squares – (Technique 1)

Welcome back!   It’s Week #2 of our Feelin’ Groovy QuiltAlong and it’s time to learn our first technique – Slash ‘n Sew Squares.

This technique is also referred to as ‘Stack ‘n Whack’. Either way, it is super fun and super liberating – no need to be exact with cutting or 1/4″ seams! I know you will find a multitude of other uses for this technique (as I do) in your everyday quilting!

But first — If you’re just joining in this week, be sure to review Week #1’s Blog Post to find out how to purchase the pattern and what fabrics and materials you’ll need to gather –


Each week of the quiltalong, also look for a companion video – I hope you like these little videos (let me know your feedback with a comment below)!!  If you’d like to receive alerts to when the videos are posted and other neat tutorials and replays of our Fab Friday Live broadcasts, then subscribe to our Colourwerx YouTube channel right here!

If you’d like to view this week’s companion video to the Week #2 of the Feelin’ Groovy QuiltAlong, here it is:

Week #2 – Slash ‘n Sew the Background Squares for the Swirls —
By now, you should have selected (5) color groups, and placed (4) 11″ squares in each color group for a total of (20) squares.

Just as a reminder, I will be making along side you a smaller baby Size versions that will measure approximately 40″ x 40″ when complete.

For my smaller size, I’ve selected (4) color groups and placed (4) 11″ squares in each group for a total of (16) squares.

Let’s Start Slashin’ & Sewin’ —
1. Select your first color group of (4) squares. Place the squares Right Side Up evenly stacked on top of each other. Following the diagrams in the pattern on page 1, slap your ruler down on the stack and “slash” at an angle through all 4 layers (whoosh!).

2. Without disturbing the stacks (very important!), make a second slash (whoosh!)….and then a third slash (whoosh!)… Be sure to use your ruler as an edge to cut against so you don’t slip and have an accident!

You should now have (4) piles of fabric. Label each stack with a letter….A, B, C & D. Again refer back to the pattern on page 1 for guidance…however if you want to switch it up the angle to make these slashes ‘uniquely you’, go for it but be sure to make only 3 slashes so you have 4 unique piles.

3. Now the fun begins where we shuffle the piles and stitch them back together. Leave Pile A alone…

Take the top fabric from Pile B and place it on the bottom…Take the top 2 fabrics from Pile C and place them in order on the bottom of Pile C…Lastly, take the top 3 fabrics from Pile D and place them in order on the bottom of Pile D. You should now have a different fabric on the top of each pile.

3. Take the top fabrics from Piles C & D and stitch them together – do not worry about exact 1/4″ seams or evening up the top and bottom edges…just stitch them together as best you can! Press the seam to one side.

4. Next Stitch the top fabric on Pile B to the sides of Pile C/D. To finish the block, stitch the top fabric on Pile A to the edges of Pile B/C/D. And just like that – Wow! – you have your first square together.

5. Set aside the first square and repeat on the remaining 3 sets of fabrics in the piles to complete (4) squares total for that color group!

6. Now repeat the above steps on the remaining color groups. Make a total of (20) squares in (5) color groups if you are making the Lap Quilt. If you are making the baby Size version like me, make (16) squares across (4) color groups!

NOTE: Try not to chain piece these squares. It’s very easy to get the piles mixed up. I make one square at a time. You know you’ve got it right when each section of a completed square has a different fabric in it!

6. Do not square up your blocks just yet! In Week #3, we’ll applique the swirls on and after we do, then we will square up each block after all the stitching is complete!

What Else Can I Do With This Slash ‘n Sew Technique??
Let’s talk for a moment about some other uses for this slash ‘n sew technique. It is so versatile! First, it’s a great stash or scrap buster. You can literally start with any size square you’d like as long as all the squares you start with are the same size – cut them at 11″, 10″, 9″ or even 3″ – you get the picture! Also why not grab an abandoned 10″ layer cake or a 5″ charm pack laying ion your stash.

Remember the golden rule! – (4) squares go in, get slashed ‘n sewed and (4) complete slash ‘n sew blocks will come out!

So gather as many blocks as you think you might need (and more if you like to have choices like me!) and group them together in piles of (4) squares each and follow the steps above! Once your stitching is complete, just square each block down to a common denominator – for example, 10″ x 10″ or 3″ x 3″, etc….

So once you are done with all that slashing and sewing, what can you make?? Well here’s just a few ideas…how about make (20) 4″ finished blocks from a charm pack to make a 20″ fabulous wonky pillow?

How about making (20) 9″ finished blocks to make a scrappy lap quilt?

How about (14) 6″ finished blocks for a nice table runner?

Or use the blocks as a nifty border around another quilt!

Or like we’re doing, use them as a the background for an appliqué!

What’s great about this technique is that it’s easy, it’s fast and you don’t have to be exact! A win, win, win in my book!

That’s it for Week #2! Week #3 is all about appliquéing the swirls onto the slash ‘n sew blocks. To be ready for that, be sure to gather about 3 yards of a fusible adhesive web like Heat ‘n Bond Lite or Steam a Seam II Lite!

See ya next week! Please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post questions or progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group.

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

3 thoughts on “Feelin’ Groovy QAL: Week #2 – Slash ‘n Sew the Background Squares – (Technique 1)

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