Sunday, 23 January 2011

Fat Quarter Quilts - Quilt Pattern For Eight Fat Quarters

I love buying fat quarter quilt packs.  They often include fabrics that I wouldn't have thought of buying, yet they co-ordinate beautifully with the other fat quarters in the pack.  Recently I came across some gorgeous John Louden fat quarter packs from the Tapestry range.  There are eight fat quarters in each pack so of course then I had to think of a patchwork quilt pattern that would use up all eight fat quarters at once.  I hope you like my choice.


The quilt block that I chose is called Lady of the White House.  No, sorry, I haven't a clue why.  Unusually, I couldn't find any other names for it either.  It consists of a pinwheel block in the centre and either a nine patch block or a three stripe block on some edges.

I have made four quilt blocks using two fat quarterrs (one light and one dark) in each block.  I cut each fat quarter along the longer length and from each one I cut one strip 6.3/4" wide and four strips 2.1/2" wide.

For the white background fabric, I used about 1.1/2 yards of fabric cut into eight 6.1/2" strips and four 2.1/2" strips.


Cut the wide strips across at 6.3/4" intervals to make squares.  You should get three squares from each length.  Place one light and one dark triangle with right sides together, mark a line along the diagonal and sew a seam 1/4" either side of the marked line. 
Cut along the line between the two seams and you will have two squares, each made up of one dark and one light triangle.

Repeat with the other two pairs of squares.  You will only need four squares for each quilt block, so the two spare will be used to make another block.

Sew the squares together in pairs and then sew two pairs together.  Check against the photo to make sure that you have the triangles the right way round.



From the remaining 2.1/2" fabric strips select two dark and one light strip and sew them together along the length with the light strip in the middle.  Press and cut across the width to make two 6.3/4" squares and three 2.1/2" strips.  You actually need four of these 2.1/2" strips so the fourth will have to be made by cutting a 2.1/2" square in dark, light and dark from other strips and sewing them together.


Now select two light and one dark strip of fabric and sew them together along the length with the dark strip in the middle.  Press and cut across the width at 2.1/2" intervals.  You will need two of these for the quilt block and the remainder will be used in the quilt border.

Sew together a strip of dark, light dark then a strip of light, dark, light and then another strip of dark, light, dark to make a nine patch square.

For the contrasting fabric I think a coffee colour would have looked better, but I was determined to use up fabric from my stash and this off white was the only one I had that was remotely suitable.  Cut a 6.1/2" strip across the width of the white fabric and cut into 6.1/2" squares.  You will need eight of these for each quilt block.

Take one of the strip squares and sew a white square to one side and two white squares to the other side.  Notice which way the stripes are facing in the photo.

Sew a white square to one side of the nine patch block.  These are now the main components of the fat quarter quilt block.


Lay the pieces out as shown.  Note that the stripe squares and nine patch squares are placed against a dark part of the pinwheel.  Sew the nine patch strips to either side of the pinwheel square and then sew the top row to the pinwheel block and add the bottom row.




Repeat with the remaining six fat quarters to make three more quilt blocks.  You should then have enough pieces left over to make two more quilt blocks.  Press carefully and sew all the quilt blocks together.  I find it best to sew three blocks together in a row twice and then sew the two rows together - that way any one seam is only ever two blocks long, which is easier to sew.

So now the quilt border.  I was determined not to add to my fabric stash so all the fabric left had to go into the border.  I cut all the reamining fat quarter fabric into 2.1/2" squares or where possible I sewed several strips together and then cut 2.1/2" strips.  I ended up with 57 squares.




I needed to split these into eight sections so that I could have one strip either side of each corner, so I sewed together eight strips of seven squares each.  Result - I only had one 2.1/2" square left over to add to my stash which really pleased me.




At this stage the fat quarter quilt top measures 48" by 72".  Each strip measures 14" long.  So to make a border along the short edges I need two strips of white 20" long by 2.1/2" wide (because that gives 14" plus 14" from the squares, plus 20" white to make 48" total).  the strips I cut were 20.1/2" by 2.1/2" to include seam allowance.

Sew one strip across the top and one across the bottom of the quilt.  Before sewing, pin the strip at each end and at points along the length so that one or other of the border strip or the quilt edge don't stretch, leaving you with a mis match when you get to the end of the seam.




The calculations for the quilt border strip going down each side of the fat quarter quilt are similar.  Each strip should be one white square, seven patchwork squares, strip of white 44" long by 2.1/2" wide, seven patchwork squares, one white square.  This gives a white square for each corner of the patchwork quilt (technical term - cornerstones).



I was really pleased with the way the fat quarter quilt turned out - especially as I didn't add any extra to my fabric stash!  I hope you like it, too.

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