This makes an ideal small picnic mat or table topper (finished size 18.5 inches). It would also make a lovely front to a tote bag or cushion cover. Alternatively you could fold 3 corners into the centre and seam the edges together to make a lovely envelope style bag.
I was instructed to make a sample using Tattered Lace dies in a monochrome colourway. I was really pleased with the results using this mix of dark indigo prints (from the Craft Cotton Company). A little splash of colour would also look lovely. Red thread for quilting, or red embroidery or applique would give it a classy looking lift. It would look completely different if made up in coloured prints – think that I will try that.
The deep dish dies make cutting out the shapes a dream and you can cut up to 6 layers of quilting cotton in one go – so quick and easy.
What You’ll Need
· 1 100% cotton fat quarter in white or white-on-white print (approx. 18 X 20 inches)
· Set of 5 monochrome print 100% cotton fat quarters (1 in lighter colourway for inner border)
· Approx. 20 inches square fabric for backing (can be less expensive Polycotton)
· Offcut of thin wadding (approx. 20 inches square)
· 2m of 1.5 inch wide dark fabric for binding (can be straight cut strips – bias not needed)
· White polyester sewing thread
· QF116 Nested Squares – Deep Dish Die no. 4 (2.5 inch square)
· QF113 Nested Half Square Triangles – Deep Dish Die no. 2 (2.5 inch square when joined)
Collect fabrics together and press. If they have been prewashed, starching will help prevent them from stretching while sewing. Choose a lighter print for the inner border (to make it stand out), and a dark one for the outer border (to frame it). I chose fabrics No. 4 and 5 from my stash.
Cut half square triangles: X32 white, X16 each of two printed fabrics (fabric no.2 &3). Cut squares X4 from another fabric (fabric no.1). Cut X4 1.5in wide strips (fabric no.4 – inner border) and trim X2 strips each to 12.5in and 14.5ins. Cut X4 2.5in strips (fabric no.5 – outer border) and trim X2 strips each to 14.5in and 18.5in (note: you will need to cut these from the long edge of the fabric).
With right sides together stitch each white quarter square triangle to a patterned triangle using a quarter inch seam allowance. For speed stitch them continuously to make a long chain (chain piecing). Use the cut off triangle corners as a guide and a quarter inch seam foot if you have one.
Snip the thread between the triangles to separate them and press open and flat with the seams towards the darker fabric. Take care not to stretch the seams.
Layout 2 sets of 3X3 squares to make a nine patch (block 1). Stitch the squares together, first in rows of X3 (top, middle and bottom) then join the rows. Again use a quarter inch seam and try to match seams as you stitch.
You should now have 2 blocks like this measuring 6.5 inches square (Block 1). Press seams open and flat.
Next layout 2 sets of 3X3 squares to make block 2 and stitch together as before.
You should now have 2 blocks like this measuring 6.5 inches square (Block 2). Press seams open and flat.
Now join the 4 nine patch blocks to create the centre panel. Join blocks 1 and 2 to create the top row, then 2 and 1 for the bottom row, then join the rows. Press seams open and flat. Your square should measure 12.5 inches.
Diagram showing borders and quilting.
Now stitch on the borders. First add the shorter inner border strips to the top and bottom, then add on the sides. Repeat for the outer border. Press seams outwards from the centre (i.e. towards the darker fabric).
Quilt back showing the quilting pattern.
Cut backing and wadding slightly larger than your quilt front and pin layers together. Quilt as desired or follow the quilting diagram (red lines in step 8 pic). Extend the quilting lines out across the borders at the seam junctions (as above).
Trim off excess wadding and backing to make square (should be 18.5 inches).
Finally attach binding, lining up raw edges on the front and stitching with a quarter inch seam allowance. Fold binding over the edges and to the back and hand stitch in place. You will have approx. ¼ in binding showing on the front and ¾ in to the back.