When I decided I wanted to make a crazy quilt (for small projects, tuts to come) I searched the internet for a tutorial. I was completely confused by the text-only tutorials. It took a few mess-ups and some stress before I figured it out. So I hope that this post, very image heavy, will be a useful "crazy quilt tutorial" to get you started with this really fun and quick technique. If you have any questions I am totally willing to answer them! I hope this is helpful.
Also this is "freehand" because you build as you go (with no big plan in mind) and it doesn't involve paper piecing or a pattern. It's truly "crazy."
Journal cover --
1. Cut a piece of thin muslin (or any other thin light colored fabric) that you would like your completed block to be. I made a journal front cover for a composition book so I cut a piece 11 x 12. It does not have to be perfectly sized. If you'd like to make a large quilt (or baby quilt) like this, you must make a bunch of smaller blocks then sew them together (like 10 x 10 blocks).http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2051/1807209116_fd5ae32164.jpg
I explain later in the thread but muslin is absolutely required because -- (1) it keeps the pieces lying flat without little bubbles in it and (2) it makes it much easier to line up the pieces.
2. Collect a bunch of fabric scraps. I had leftover strips, squares, and triangles from another quilt that were already matching.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2012/1807210016_0a02f6a5a9.jpg
3. Choose a piece that is perfectly square to act as the center of your block. Pin it right side up to the muslin in the center.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2135/1806361965_559004dbd9.jpg
4. Next, pin a piece wrong side up to the muslin, lining the edge of the fabric even with the edge of the center square.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2073/1807212268_f0c3584305.jpg
5. Sew along the fabrics, with about an 1/8 of an inch seam. You are sewing thru THREE layers, the two pieces of fabrics and the muslim backing.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2157/1806363651_8607dcebb7.jpg
6. Clip any extra fabric behind the seam (this is really important when you use light fabrics). Press open the seam you just sewed so that now only right sides are facing up. This is a very important step. Do it with each piece. Don't be lazy because it will make the design wonky.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2049/1806364029_216bee8861.jpg
7. That's all there is to it. I will show some more pieces to be sure that what I'm doing is clear.
8. Pin another piece, wrong side up, lining up the edge.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2090/1807213364_bf1e9aaa66.jpg
10. Clip (see that yellow rectangle above the brown? that's what needs to be clipped away) and press.
11. Again, repeat.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2010/1807214120_383c023711.jpg
12. More progress.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2060/1806366867_f7cfc60256.jpg
13. You just keep building out as you go.
14. When you get to the edges, just let fabric scraps hang over the muslin. When all the muslin is covered, square up the piece by cutting with a rotary cutter the pieces hanging off.
15. Make your little crazy quilt into something!
I made this journal cover, a wallet, and a needle case via this method. You can quilt it, embrodiery on it, sew on buttons, lace, etc!