Make a quilt: part 1

Completely charmed by all the gorgeous patterns, I bought these lovely scraps of Liberty fabrics compiled by Worn and Washed Fabrics. I couldn't bring myself to separate the fabrics for use in different projects -- the thought of keeping the gorgeous chaos of colour and pattern was all too alluring. And so a quilt seemed the only logical solution. Although also entirely illogical, seeing that I have never made a quilt! This post is the first in beginning of a short, three part series about my adventure into quilt-making.

Choosing a quilt design

There are so many interesting and intricate patterns that one can create for a quilt, but given my inexperience I thought bog-standard was best. I decided on a patchwork quilt constructed only of small squares, which not only suited my skill-level, but also made the most of showcasing the detail of the lovely patterns.

I cut my squares 8cm by 8cm, bearing in mind that once I had sewn them all together with a 5mm seam, the finished size of each square would be 7cm by 7cm. For a finished size of 120cm square, I calculated the number of squares needed as follows:

Divide 120cm width by 7cm (size of finished square) = 17 squares wide (rounded down)
17 x 17 = 289 squares

Better get cutting!

What you need

Scrap fabric
Square pattern piece (I used 8x8cm)
Fabric chalk
Rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Steel rule

I simply used the pattern piece as a guide to make my chalk marks on the fabric, and cut as many full sized squares from my fabric scraps as I could.

How to hack it

I quickly found that I wasn't going to have quite enough fabric to make the required number of squares. Eek! But I still had plenty of offcuts. Here's where quilting really gets thrifty and fun. Patching together triangles or oblongs into squares of 8 by 8cm meant that the size of the quilt was no longer in jeopardy, and it gave the squares so much character too. Fabric waste is also minimal. I'm almost done cutting all my squares, and I have only a handful of tiny scraps I can't use.

Next time, I'll be putting all the squares together! Quilting seems such an unfashionable and outmoded past time, so I'm really excited to see how this project turns out, and whether the quilt can make a come back.