Thursday, 9 December 2010

Off the Rails!

Off the Rails is the name of my new quilt (see more photos of my finished version here), not my state of mind. Well, not quite. It's been pretty busy at work for the past couple of weeks. I'm still trying to catch up after a couple of days off with the 'flu. The students are facing a number of end of term deadlines which means lots of questions and reading of drafts for us lecturers. I am looking forward to a long Christmas break - three weeks on the other side of the world with Mr Q's family and friends. I can't wait to switch off my phone, stop answering my emails and relax in the warmth of a Queensland summer.
Before that, I promised you a quilt pattern so here it is....

Off the Rails quilt pattern

Fabric Requirements
This pattern uses 2½ inch wide strips of fabric. You can use pre-cut 2½ inch strips such as Jelly Rolls or cut your own strips if you prefer. One Jelly Roll (40 strips) will make a lap quilt 48 inches by 60 inches. You will also need 3 yards of (42 inch wide) fabric for the backing, and ¾ yard of (42 inch wide) fabric for the binding.

1. Cut each 2½” strip into three, to give three pieces each 2½” wide by approximately 14” long.

2. In order to stay organised while you are sewing the blocks, make two piles. On Pile A, place two identical 2½” x 14” strips, and put the remaining strip on Pile B.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all 40 strips.

Sew the blocks 
4. Take two identical 2½” x 14” strips from Pile A and sew them either side of a different 2½” x 14” strip from Pile B. Press both seams in the same direction. Use a variety of fabric combinations to make a total of 40 strip units. 

5. Neaten one end of the resulting panel, and then cut into two 6½” x 6½” blocks. Make 80 blocks in this manner. 

Assemble the top 
6. Referring to the quilt assembly diagram, lay out your blocks in a pleasing arrangement alternating horizontal and vertical rail blocks as shown. Blocks are arranged in 10 rows of 8 blocks each.

7. Sew the blocks into rows. Press the seams of alternating rows in opposite directions so that they don't add too much bulk when the rows are sewn together.
8. Sew the rows together.

9. Prepare the backing fabric by cutting two pieces of fabric each 54 inches by the width of the fabric. Join them as shown in the diagram below.

10. Layer the top, wadding (batting) and backing fabric.
11. Tack (baste) the layers together and then quilt as desired.
12. Trim excess wadding (batting) and backing.
13. Cut binding strips. Cut 7 strips 2½” by the width of the fabric.
14. Join binding strips to form one continuous length.
15. Attach double fold binding using your favourite method.

Lawson and Lotti

Monday, 6 December 2010

Christmas is coming...

...and I've finished a quilt. I pieced this quilt a couple of years ago from Moda's Christmas Past fabric line. It sat unloved and unquilted until I added some holly leaf quilting and added the binding last week. Mr Q loves it and so do I. I've finished it just in time to snuggle under in the run-up to Christmas. We need all the warmth we can find at the moment - it is unseasonably snowy and icy in our neck of the woods. Brrrr! Poor Mr Q - being a native Australian he really feels the cold (and also believes that Australia should be winning the cricket).

I am thinking of putting together a tutorial for making this quilt. It uses exactly one jelly roll of fabric and is quick and easy to put together. I'll dust off my pattern-writing skills and see what I can come up with.