Our quilt is a simple construction of four columns. The columns use repetitive methods but have a slight variation in the sizes.
The different methods that you will learn here range from joining simple strips together to form blocks, to making squares framed with strips on either side, to making a very traditional ‘square in a square‘ block – an ideal way to frame a feature fabric. As you work, refer to the grid. It has four columns, each made up of different pieced blocks. Make each of the blocks separately and then join them together into the four columns. To finish, join the four columns together. NOTE The measurements on the grid reflect the finished size and exclude a seam allowance.
Size To fit a single bed
Finished quilt measures approximately 143 x 213cm
You will need
• variety of cotton print quilting fabric
• batting to fit
• backing fabric to fit
• matching coloured sewing thread
• acetate for templates
• craft and dressmaking scissors
• dressmaker’s pencil and ruler
NOTE A seam allowance of 5mm has been included in all measurements, which are given as height x width.
Feature block B (make 4)
Start by making a ‘square in a square‘, which is a square of fabric surrounded by four triangles and framed by paired strips of fabric. Use a beautiful feature fabric with a large print for the central square, and frame it with triangles in a contrasting feature print. Because the print of our outside triangles is directional, and because we wanted to use the fans on this print to accentuate the feature fabric in the centre, we created a template to make the process of cutting the fan fabric easier.
1 Cut a 25 x 25cm acetate template.
2 Cut a 20 x 20cm acetate template. Cut this template diagonally in half from corner to corner to create two triangles. You will need only one of the triangles.
3 Place the 25cm square template on top of your feature fabric. Move this around until you are happy with the placement of the template over the print of the fabric. Draw around the template with a dressmaker‘s pen or pencil and cut out.
4 Use the same process as in step 3 to cut out four triangles.
5 Place one side of the triangle fabric to one side of the square fabric with right sides together, taking care to align the fabrics. Stitch together with a 5mm seam. Repeat on the opposite side of the square. Press seams outwards. Repeat these two steps on the remaining two sides of the square. Trim the finished square to 34cm.
6 Frame the top and the bottom of the ‘square in a square‘ block with two pairs of strips. They should be cut from four different contrasting fabrics (two light and two darker). Cut the strips 9cm wide across the full width of the fabric. Sew two of these fabrics together lengthwise (one light and one dark), and press the seams towards the dark fabric. Measure and cut a 34cm length (this strip should now measure 16,5 x 34cm). Attach this to the top of the ‘square in a square‘.
7 Repeat with the other two contrasting fabrics, and attach to the bottom of the completed ‘square in a square‘.
This finishes feature block B, which should measure 64 x 34cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Framed block C (make 1)
This technique is simply a feature fabric framed on all four sides. You will repeat this technique for blocks C, G and N, just at different sizes. Again, choose a feature fabric for the centre and a contrast fabric for the sides.
1 Cut a 21,5cm square, with the print of the fabric centred (if you prefer, use an acetate template
to help you position the print of the fabric).
2 From the contrasting fabric, cut an 8cm strip across the width of the fabric. Cross cut this into two 21,5cm rectangles. Cut another 8cm strip across the width of the fabric, and cross cut this into two 34,5cm rectangles.
3 Working in opposite directions, join the 21,5cm rectangles to the left and right sides of the square. Press seams. Now join the longer 34,5cm rectangles to the remaining two opposite sides of the square.
This finishes off your framed block C, which should measure 35 x 34cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Framed block G (make 1)
1 Cut a 23 x 22cm rectangle for the centre of the framed block.
2 From the contrasting fabric, cut a 7,5cm strip across the width of the fabric. Cross cut this into two 23cm rectangles. Cut another 7,5cm strip across the width of the fabric, and cross cut this into two 34,5cm rectangles.
3 Working in opposite directions, join the 23cm rectangles to the left and right sides of the square. Press the seams. Now join the longer 34,5cm rectangles to the remaining two opposite sides of the square.
This finishes off your framed block G, which should measure 34 x 34cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Framed block N (make 1)
1 Cut a 17,5 x 11,5cm rectangle for the centre of the framed block
2 From the contrasting fabric, cut a 9cm strip across the width of the fabric. Cross cut this into two 19cm rectangles. Cut another
9cm strip across the width of the fabric, and cross cut this into two 26,5cm rectangles.
3 Working in opposite directions, join the 19cm rectangles to the left and right sides of the block. Press the seams. Now join the longer 26,5cm rectangles to
the remaining two opposite sides of the block.
This finishes off your framed block N, which should measure 33 x 26cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Five-fabric strip F (make 2)
Use five contrasting strips. To add interest, we cut them at different widths; this helps create the feeling of a free-flowing quilt.
1 Cut three fabrics at 9cm across the full width of fabric. Cut the fourth fabric at 7,5cm and the fifth fabric at 6cm.
2 Join these fabrics together – you can choose the order in which they are joined. Remember to press the seams as you go along.
3 Cross cut a rectangle at 65cm and check the size of your finished rectangle. If it is too narrow,
your seam allowance is larger than 5mm and if it is too wide, your seam allowance is narrower than 7,5mm.
This finishes off your five-fabric strip F, which should measure 64 x 34cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Bar block D (make 1) This block has five fabric strips in one direction, and a contrasting fabric in another. It’s a good way to add variety to your quilt.
This finishes off your bar block D which should measure 31 x 34cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Rectangle E (make 1) This is also known as a simple block. It is a good way to feature a fabric and sometimes to take away from the busyness of a quilt. Select a fabric with a strong design, measure a square or a rectangle and cut it to the size needed. In this case, you need to cut a 20 x 34cm rectangle.
This finishes off your rectangle E, which should measure 20 x 34cm. Trim to size, if necessary.
Two-bar strip H (make 1) An alternative to filling a space with a single block is to sew two contrasting fabric strips together and then cut them down to the size you need. Remember, you lose 1cm with each seam that you create. So, if you want the rectangle to be 15cm in height, you need to cut two strips that together measure 17cm (as you will lose 1cm when you join them together once, and then another 1cm when you sew this block with the adjoining blocks).
1 Cut two fabrics at 8,5cm each.
2 Sew them together, press the seams and cross cut at 34cm wide.
This finishes off your two-bar strip H, which should measure 15 x 34cm.
NOTE Blocks A, D, I, J, L, M and O on the grid should be completed using the instructions above as guidelines.
TIP If you have worked with a seam allowance wider than stated in the instructions and can’t get the correct finished piece for each rectangle as given, you can always add another strip of fabric to the length or width and cut afterwards to the correct size.
To join the patchwork blocks together
When you have completed all the blocks for each of the four coloums, sew them together with a 5mm seam allowance in the correct order. Now sew the columns together along the side edges in the same way to form the main front piece.
How to put on your patchwork border
1 Cut two strips, each 9cm wide across the width of the fabric for the sides of the quilt. Cut two strips for the top and bottom, each 9cm wide, for the top and bottom of the quilt.
2 Join the two strips to form the side borders. Join the two strips for the top and bottom.
3 Measure the finished width after joining columns 1, 2, 3 and 4 together. The quilt should be approximately 125cm wide and 195cm long. Press the finished patchwork piece.
Turning your patchwork into a quilt
1 Cut a piece of batting at least 10cm larger on all sides than the finished patchwork. Cut a piece of backing fabric in a complementary colour the same size as the batting. Remember to use a backing fabric that is similar in weight to the patchwork.
2 Place the backing with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. Place the batting on top of the backing, and finally, place the patchwork piece on the batting, with the right side of the fabric facing up. Smooth the fabrics with the flat of your hand to remove creases.
3 Pin the three layers together at random using large safety pins,
so the fabrics hold together. Tack the three layers together, working a row from the centre of each of the four sides, forming a cross in the middle.
4 Working from the centre outwards, tack a quilting design in place. To do this, look at your patchwork piece and decide which parts of the rectangles you wish to make into a feature. For example, on block B you may want to highlight the triangular design. There are no rules as to how much or little you should sew – the choice is yours.
5 Once all three layers have been tacked together, sew alongside the tacked stitches. Do this by machine with a top-stitch or by hand with running sticthes. The thread can be in a contrast or brighter colour so you can see the stitched detail.
6 As with the tacking, start in the centre and work outwards; this is to prevent your work from puckering. Continue in this way until you have quilted the entire patchwork. Do not press the quilt when you have completed stitching it otherwise you will
lose all the texture that you have just created.
7 Trim the excess batting and backing so it measures the same size as the front quilt. To finish, sew a border around the outer edges. The border can be stitched by machine or hand in a contrast colour. For a professional look, mitre the corners.