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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Festival of small projects - Day 6


After a Monday baking break, here is a whole quilt project for you! Don't panic - even though this is a good size quilt, (55" square or 70" square, depending on the size of the squares), it is really quick and easy - "blocks" in this quilt are just squares of fabric! However, since you will use fabrics or colors that go nicely together and set them on-point, in a medallion-style setting - it makes for a wonderful looking quilt!
The fun part in this project is choosing your fabric - you will need SEVEN different fabrics + border fabric (although fabric used in the border can be one of the seven used in the quilt (like in the quilt above). The easy way to do this is to pick one of many beautiful fabric collections and work with it (the quilt above is made from Wintergraphix II collection by Jason Yenter), although any set of great fabrics or colors will look beautiful.
To list the yardage in a clear way, colors that make this quilt are numbered from 1-8 - starting in the middle:

Note that colors 1 and 3 are the same fabric (since you need only 1 square of color 1, it works well to repeat it in color 3. In this quilt, color 6 is also used as the final border and color 5 as the narrow border, although border yardages will be listed separately (in case you will use different fabrics).

I made this quilt by cutting both, 6 1/2" squares (resulting in a 70" square large lap size) and cutting 5" squares (resulting in a 55" square smaller lap size quilt), so here is the yardage needed for both:

                                       Yardage and cutting if using  5" squares:

                                               yardage                 number of 5" strips                number of 5" squares                                              
Color 1 (and 3): -                   1/3 yard                               2                                                  9
Color 2                                   1/4 yard                              1                                                  4
Color 4                                  1/3 yard                               2                                                12
Color 5                                  1/3 yard                               2                                                16
Color 6                                  1/2 yard                               3                                                20
Color 7                                  1/2 yard                               3                                                24
Color 8 (setting triangles)        1/2 yard - you need to cut SIX 8" squares and TWO  4" squares
Narrow border (optional)       1/4 yard  - you need to cut SIX  1 1/4" strips (along the whole width of fabric)
Wide border                          1 yard     - you need to cut SIX  5" strips (along the whole width of fabric)

   Yardage and cutting if using  6 1/2" squares:
                                             yardage             number of 6 1/2" strips            number of 6 1/2" squares

Color 1 (and 3): -                   1/2 yard                               2                                                  9
Color 2                                   1/4 yard                              1                                                  4
Color 4                                  1/2 yard                               2                                                12
Color 5                                  2/3 yard                               3                                                16
Color 6                                  7/8 yard                               4                                                20
Color 7                                  7/8 yard                               4                                                24
Color 8 (setting triangles)        2/3 yard - you need to cut SIX  9 1/2" squares and TWO 5" squares
Narrow border (optional)       1/3 yard  - you need to cut  EIGHT  1 1/4" strips (along the whole width of fabric)
Wide border                          1 1/2 yard     - you need to cut  EIGHT  6 1/2" strips (along the whole width of fabric)

PHEW! Now that is a lot of numbers! But you just need to choose which size you want to do and focus on the numbers for that size! :) Yardages give here do have a bit of extra, in case you need to straighten the fabric, etc. Again - you can repeat some colors (other than 1 and 3) - just add together the number of squares you need and cut accordingly.

Setting triangles: Setting triangles for this quilt are cut from squares - take the larger squares you cut (8" ones for the smaller quilt or 9 1/2" ones for the larger quilt) and cut them TWICE DIAGONALLY (from corner to corner). This will give you 4 side-setting triangles from each square - total of 24. Smaller squares (4" ones for smaller quilt, 5" ones for larger quilt) are cut only ONCE DIAGONALLY  - to get TWO triangles from each square (4 total), for 4 corner-setting triangles.

Once you have all your squares and triangles cut - that is it! You are ready to assemble the quilt - how easy is that!
Squares in this quilt are laid out "on-point" and colors are distributed in concentric circles - so the easiest way to lay out this quilt is to start in the middle and build your quilt in those concentric circles! You will want to have a large enough space to lay out your entire quilt and then we will get organized - stack the pieces and get them to the sewing machine for sewing, I will show you how I do it! :) On the pictures bellow I am showing you how I laid my squares:

So now that the entire quilt is laid out, it is time to get organized, stack those rows and sew them!
Since this is an on-point layout, you will be sewing squares in DIAGONAL ROWS. The picture bellow illustrates what I mean:
So, in order to stack these squares and triangles into rows and easily transfer them (IN ORDER!) to my sewing machine, I stack them in these diagonal rows, just like the arrows show in the picture above and bellow. Note that the first and the last of these diagonal rows are slightly different since they will have the CORNER triangle too (see picture bellow). Stack each row carefully (I offset my squares just a little bit - easier to un-stack them later) - you can see all my rows stacked and ready to go on the photo bellow (right).
Now you can take each stacked row to the sewing machine, un-stack it right next to you and sew pieces together! Here is how I transport them (these are rows 1, 2 and 3) - yes, I do use my large ruler as a tray! :)
Sewing all the squares and end triangles together is easy - just be careful to maintain the proper orientation of those triangles! The only row that is slightly different is FIRST and LAST - they have the corner triangle. When sewing those, join square and side triangles first and then the corner triangle:
Continue sewing until you have all the rows sewn. Press seams of one row in one direction and the next row in opposite direction - this way you will have the nesting seam allowances when you go to join all the rows together - it really helps!
Once all your rows are done, lay them out on the floor again - just to make sure everything is in order and colors do form those concentric circles!. Joining the rows together is not a lot of fun, but if you pin carefully and nest all those seams, it will work well!

Borders are of course optional and up to you. The good thing is that setting triangles were cut from squares, which will leave you with edges of the quilt that are NOT on the bias! In the quilts I did, I used one narrow (accent) and one wide border, I joined those border strips together first and THEN miter the corners.
The borders cutting chart above is given if you are cutting your strips from the WIDTH of fabric - hence the number of strips - you will need to join them together first to achieve the needed length of the border strips (57" for smaller quilt and 72" for larger quilt.
NOTE: the cutting chart for the borders of the smaller quilt say to cut SIX strips - that is not a mistake - use 4 of those 6 in full length and cut the other two in half - you will get four shorter strips that you can use to extend the four long ones. That will give you four strips that are ~60" long - enough for mitered borders of the smaller quilt!

OPTIONS AND VARIATIONS? Of course! You can see that this will work for ANY set of fabrics, not only holidays and it will work with any size of squares and ANY number of different colors, not to mention it is a quick and easy way to make a great baby or kids quilt - PURE FUN!! :)
Here is one I made from fall color batiks:
  The one from Wintergraphix II fabrics:
And the one I used to demo the layout and stacking is being assembled as we speak and I will show it to you soon! SHH - it is a gift for my son and daughter-in-law! :)

Hope you'll enjoy this project! Make sure you tell me about it !



  1. You've been busy today. Your quilt tutorial is well done. I baked your pear cake with apples and pecans and it is a great breakfast cake. I looked for archives or a place you have your blogs listed so I could click on the pear cake one and didn't find one. Do you have blog articles that aren't showing from past months? Hopefully I can take a baking break on Wednesday and start those placemats like yours.

  2. Thank you so much! Glad you like the tutorial and that it was clear! :) (that is always my biggest worry...)
    And thank so much for reminding me that I forgot to put categories and labels for my posts for easy finding! Now I corrected that - it is under "Labels", right above the blog archives - so you can click on "Pear cake" now! :)

  3. Thank you for sharing the directions for this lovely quilt