Monday, January 24, 2011

Mt first ever quilt pattern (that I've written down)

So here it is... In Inches...

Yeah, I know most of you probably do your quilts in inches anyway. Certainly, even though  I had already sorted it in metric and I was just converting it and writing up the pattern, the math seemed super easy. Fractions instead of decimal points seems to work well - ¼ is easier than .25 to math out.

So, this pattern is in inches, uses a quarter inch seam allowance, and should be made by everyone because it's bloody brilliant except that the top doesn't work well with large prints. Stripes will all point in the same direction, though if you want to rotate every second block so you don't have to match as many points, that can look cool too.

This is the pattern for what has been made as both the "Two Tyred" quilts and the "Awesome Quilt" series.  At it's core, it is a lap quilt, 36 by 45 inches, that is made with 4 yards of 44"/110cm wide fabric (including backing and binding) in as little as two colours. Actually, you don't even need 4 yards of fabric, you officially need 27½" (70cm) each of two colours for the front, and then 32" (82cm) of backing with an extra 15" (38cm) of contrast backing and 15" more for the binding (assuming 3" wide binding, you'll need more if you like it wider)

That's 117"/3½ yards/3m all up. Even if you play it safe and get some extra to accommodate wonky edged cuts you can easily do it with 1.75m of each fabric. But since a lot of fabric is sold by the yard, go for 4 yards and add to your scrap box.

Also, you can mix and match and add more fabrics. Each of those five measurements (27½", 27½", 32", 15", 15") can be different colours, or you can make the accent on the back the same as the binding (four colours.) If you want three colours, make the binding and the accent or the main piece of backing be one of the front fabrics. The two fabric version has the two colours on the front, with one of the fabrics also being the binding and the accent on the back and the other being the body of the backing. Or however you want it.

That got confusing, even to me. This might help:

Two Colours - 2 yards of each fabric

Three Colours - 2 yards of one, 1 yard of another, 1 yard of the third

Four Colours - 1 yard of each
Five Colours - 1 yard of three and a half yard of two
Of course, this was actually designed because I had two fabrics that I loved that didn't go with anything else. So it's the perfect cheapie quilt, because not only does it use so little, but you can buy those last two (three/four/five) straggly fabrics in a range at clearance price. Hurrah!

Okay, so what you have to do once you get your fabric is chop it up. If you've got 5 colours you've probably got the right amounts of each, but if not, cut the 27½ inches. This is exactly the amount you will need to fit the strips, so you might want to cut a bit extra in case of wonk.

Aligning with the selvedge, cut two strips 5½" wide, four strips 2¾" wide and two strips 10" wide from each of your two colours. There should only really be the selvedge remaining on either side. Cut your 10" strips into pieces 2¾" wide. You should get 10 from each strip, pretty much exactly.

The top ones are folded up strips - I only have a short ruler.
Sew the 2¾" wide strips onto either side of the 5½" wide opposite fabric, so you will have four 10" strips in two opposite variants. Press your seams.

There's two of each.

Cut your new 3-piece strip into pieces 5½" wide - you should get 5 from each, again, pretty much exactly.

There's 10 in each pile.

Now sew your 10" by 2¾" strips to either side of your 10" by 5½" wide blocks, so they become a square of one fabric in a box of the other fabric. Press your new seams, and trim if necessary (if your quarter inch seams are correct, it should be fine)

Ten of each again.
Join your blocks together in a grid to finish the top. I rotate one colour lot so that I don't have to match the extra seam, but if you have a striped or "right way up" fabric pattern, you can leave them all the same way.

For the back, cut your backing accent fabric into two 7½ inch strips. Lay your main fabric so that the selvedge is at one of the long sides. Lay one of your strips of accent fabric across it at a diagonal, so that the inside points line up with where the edges of your front piece are.

Cut either side of the accent piece, so that your main piece is now in three parts. Trim the ends of your accent pieces so they are straight with the sides of the quilt.

Use the little bits you chopped off to trim the other accent piece.

Sew the accent pieces into the main piece. Trim your main piece down to match the accent fabrics and your quilt top.

Quilt however you want. I do straight lines on either side of my main seams and on the inside of the inside seams of the blocks, but do whatever floats your boat.

Trim your quilt to a nice neat rectangle, chop your last bit of fabric into strips for binding and finish it up.


Personally, I think the two lines on the back look a bit like the quilt's been run over, and since it can be made in as little as two colours, I like the name "Two Tyred"

Whenever I've made it with a batik and matching solid I've given it a name with the word Awesome in it - there's the Pretty Awesome quilt (pink and rainbow) and the Awesome Quilt of Awesomeness (black and rainbow)

I have made this above as a sports quilt; if your team has two colours like mine (Go Hawks) you can do it as is, but if they have 3 and you want an even colour spread get 20 inches each of 3 colours for the top and you'll have 1 block to spare. Put colour (a) inside colour (b), colour (b) inside colour (c) and colour (c) inside colour (a). I think a big number of your favourite player would look cool as an alternative backing, or you could piece together an image of their gurney (This is especially easy for Aussie rules as they're pretty much just a rectangle with armholes and a collar)

The metric numbers I usually use are 14, 7 and 25, which is pretty much the same as the imperial measurements.


  1. Keeping the pattern - it will save me some working out when I make this quilt.

    And you made it easy to understand for idiots like me !Thankyou!

  2. Since you have half square triangles worked out I think you can remove yourself from the idiot list.

    The thing that always annoyed me about quilt patterns is that they didn't give you a cutting layout like dressmaking patterns did, one that showed you the best way to cut your fabric without there being a heap of waste. This essentially has the selvedges and any wonky edge you trim leftover, and that's it. It's the least wasteful quilt I could possibly have come up with. Even better, all the prints can be made to match, whereas a lot of them say to cut squares and then strips, and the strips just go around the centre block without going the same way.

    I also forgot to put in the postscript, but it's really easy to increase the size too. Every 5½"/14cm extra in the two fabrics will get you 4 more squares. Your backing wont fit anymore though.