Friday, 23 April 2010

super simple patchwork squares quilt tutorial

I promised you I'd write up a quick tutorial on how I made the so st.croix quilt from last week to help you with the math side of things. So here y'go.

I'm making the assumption you have a basic understanding of quilting and sewing, so it's not a detailed tute, but if you have any questions give me a shout and I'll answer them here or by email.

First of all you need to decide how big you want your quilt top to be. Mine is approximately 47 x 58 inches and comprises 11 rows of 9.
Each square is 5.75 inches unfinished (that's before it's sewn together) so you will need 99 squares for a quilt the same size as mine. When sewn together they lose 0.5 inch each so the finished squares are 5.25 inches. Use this measurement to work out your preferred size. (mine is 9 x 5.25 = 47.25 wide, and 11 x 5.25 = 57.75 long)

Each fat quarter of fabric will yield 9 squares, so for 11 rows of 9 you will 99 divided by 9 = 11 fat quarters.

For a smaller quilt, say 8 rows of 8 (which would be approx. 42 inches square) you will need 8 x 8 = 64 squares. With 9 squares in a FQ it would be 64 divided by 9 = 7.1 so 7 and a bit.

The basic math equation is this; total number of squares divided by 9. Round up the number to the next whole number. You can use any leftover squares on the back.

Ready? Let's go....

I have my 11 fat quarters ready. They are a variety of the new Alexander Henry Willow fabrics in the orange/brown colourway, Amy Butler full moon dots, Michael Miller Ta Dots and a couple of other bits out the scrap box.

First up you need to press all your fabrics, and fold selvage edge to cut edge - like in the picture below

trim a little bit off one side of your folded fat quarter to make it nice and even

cut each fat quarter into 3 strips, each 5.75 inches wide

cross cut your strips into 5.75 inch squares

rinse and repeat until you have your desired number of squares

arrange your squares on the floor or a design wall, switching things around until you have a layout you're happy with.

Sew it all together, 1 row at a time.

I like to number my rows with a post it note, stack 'em up next to my sewing machine so I don't have to keep walking over to where I've laid them out.

give the top a good press and make sure all your seams are nice and flat ready for basting and quilting. Hang on a fence, stand back and admire your half a day's work.....

Is that clear? If it isn't, let me know and I can clarify any bits you don't understand. If you want me to do a more detailed description of the sewing together of squares/rows just shout. My camera battery gave up on me yesterday just as I was doing that bit so I couldn't get pictures until it recharged...which meant I had finished the top by then.

Now, go and grab some FQs and sew them into a simple squares quilt!!!


  1. Are you doing math now Katy? See that's what quilting does to you! It looks great, I'm so drawn to simple square quilts. I would have never thought of folding the fq and then cutting so thank you for the tip! :)

  2. Love this colorway. Is this the orangy Alex.Henry you didn't know if you liked? I do! I like it.

  3. yum :-) I love those fabrics. Especially the oranges - I love orange :-) Must go now and find that fabric. Absolutely must. YUM!

  4. Can you imagine, I'm making a quilt for my boy using 4 packs of charm packs and it's taking me ages to sew all the squares up!! N I got the squares mixed up after clearing up for sewing next day and I have to rearrange them again. I was so fed up!

    Anyway, I'll show the quilt in my blog soon. So coincidental that you did a tute on that. By the way, I'm having a giveaway at my blog. Join the fun!^_^

  5. Great tute Katy, very clear!
    The camera battery does that to me, goes from full to empty in seconds. Always in the middle of a tute I find.....

  6. I always love quilts with squares!

  7. Love you fabric selection! And am so much looking forward to the 27th...

    ; )

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  9. Thank you! That's a great help.

  10. Loving the colourway. Nice onE!!

  11. I've got a few nieces that are always asking me the best way to start making a quilt with little knowlege. And this tutorial says it all. Great job. I'll refer them to you Katy.

  12. Hi - I have just finished a patchwork squares quilt - I just guessed how to do it, but I have the exact same end product that you came up with, but what I want to know is. How do I do the actual "quilting"? I've pinned on the batting and the back sheet, but how should I quilt the three layers together? Do I just follow my patchwork seams? That's what I've tried, but it never seems to be neat on BOTH sides. Thanks for the help :)

  13. hey i just looked over this tutorial. i appreciate it.

    i am working on a similar quilt. i am still a somewhat beginning quilter (only have a few under my belt). i sewed all of the squares together and made rows. once i starting sewing some rows together, i noticed that the straightness of the rows got a little wonky and was off by about 1/4" (so, on one end, the 2 rows together measures 7" and on the other end, it meansures 7.25") do i square it up or how do i adjust so that continuous rows together don't get even more wonky?


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