Friday, August 7, 2015


I made this darling transportation quilt for my hairstylist Ali's little one. She requested cars and trucks or space prints. (The first quilt I made for Becket has dinosaurs and Ali says he loves it.) "Space stuff" was hard to find. We both thought the "transportation" print was perfect. While I think quilts using soft colors are so cute, I honestly prefer the bright colors. I think children like them, too. 

Here is part one of the process of making the quilt...assembling the top. The quilting part took so much thought. 

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.

MATERIALS NEEDED for Becket's quilt 

Print C - FOCUS PRINT  5/8 yard - 1 yard if you wish to "fussy cut"
Print A  - 3/8 yard
Print B  - 3/8 yard:
narrow inner border Print D - 1/4 yard
outer border  Print E-  5/8 yard - with no nap ----- 1-1/4 yards with nap
binding Print D - 1/2 yard (TOTAL 3/4 yard)
backing - 1-1/4 yards
batting - min 45 inches square


8 blocks from Print C -  8 inches square

2 strips WOF x 4-1/2 - inches from each of Print A and Print B (for fourzies)

4 strips WOF x 1-1/2 inches for narrow inner border Print D

4 strips WOF x 4-1/2 inches for outer border Print E

Prewash and dry in the dryer fabric before cutting.

Cutting blocks from Print C: 

Depending on the pattern, you can cut 2 strips WOF x  8 - inches OR you can "fussy cut" 8 squares from the fabric. (This is what I did. I wanted to have no two squares exactly the same so I moved around on the print to have the particular prints showing in the square. This is what "fussy cutting" is. 

If you are cutting the strips, assuming the fabric doesn't shrink much when you wash and dry it, 1/2 yard of fabric would be enough to get the two strips. (It only takes 16 inches for the two strips.) I indicated 5/8 yard which is more than enough just in case the fabric shrinks. (The better the quality of fabric, the less it will shrink.) I bought 1 yard and had leftover - which is better than coming up short in case I decided to "fussy cut" the squares. Anytime you have a "focus print" you can work with the size of the repeat pattern for the print to decide what size you can make the square. I wanted to do a rectangular block but the repeat pattern for the fabric I chose was about 8 inches. I decided to make it a square quilt then. A rectangular block would give you a quilt longer than it was wide which I think is nice.


The quilt top goes together really quickly when you make the fourzies using the strip method. After sewing two of the strips together to make a panel and pressing them, you simply cut as many twozies as you can get from the WOF.

The strips cut from the two prints....

The strips sewed together...

Press the seams toward the darker print and cut as many twozies as you can from the strips. 

The cut twozies....I turned half of them one way and the other half the other way.

Because I pressed the seams toward the darker print, when you match the seams, they will "nest" together perfectly.

You can save some time and thread when you get ready to sew the twozies together by sewing them in a "chain". Then just cut the thread between each set.

Here is a simple way for you to figure how many strips you will need to produce twozies/fourzies using just two prints:

I use 40 inches as a general width of prewashed/driedfabric for math purposes. (It's a good round number to work with.)

 What size do I want for the squares?

                 Decide what size you want the square to be when you finish the quilt. Then add 1/2 inch to that size (which allows for a 1/4 inch seam all the way around.) So if you want a finished 4 - inch square, you will cut  4-1/2 inch squares.

  Divide 40 by the size of the cut square.

 40 /  4.5 = 8 ....

You will be able to cut 8 squares that are 4 - 1/2 inches square from a strip that you cut the WOF. 

When making a twozie or fourzie, this means when you cut the strips WOF  x  4-1/2 inches and sew two of them together (one from each print), you can cut 8 twozies  4-1/2 inches wide. That will make half of the required fourzies to make the quilt. Making another set will give you the total 8 fourzies you need for the quilt.

It is also easy to make a fourzie using 4 different prints.

If you want to make a fourzie using 4 different prints, you will make two 2 - strip panels using the four prints, A, B, C, D. For example A and B will make one panel and then C and D will make the other panel. You will cut the panels the same, but will be putting an A/B twozie together with a C/D one. Using my example, you would only cut 1 WOF  x  4-1/2 inches from each of the four prints.


Starting with the center section of the quilt, lay out the squares/blocks in the arrangement you want. The center section is 4 blocks x 4 blocks. Each row has 2 focus blocks (Print C) and 2 fourzies. It is important to lay the pieces out to see the pattern that is produced.

When I laid the blocks out for Beckett's quilt I first laid them out this way. I had the fourzies arranged the same way each time.

I then decided to try alternating them by rows.

The interesting thing I noticed was with the first way, I really noticed the diagonal pattern formed with the fourzies. I thought it distracted from the focus prints. Since I wanted the focus print to be the focus, I went with the second design.

Sew the blocks together in horizontal rows.

Press the seams for each row toward the focus print block.

When you sew the rows together, the seams will "nest" together nicely.

Once the four rows have been sewed together, press the seams going in the same way. It doesn't matter this time which way you press them.

You will sew the vertical sides of the inner border on first. You will have plenty of length for this since you cut the strips the wof. You will cut the excess off after you sew them. BTW, cutting the strips the WOF will insure you don't accidentally cut them too short. You wouldn't have a use for the "wasted" part you cut off anyway.

After you have the vertical sides of the inner border sewed and pressed, you will sew the horizontal borders on aka. the top and bottom. It will be sewed on the side borders and the center section.

You will sew the outer border on in the same manner....first the sides (vertical sides). Trim off the excess before sewing on horizontal sides....

and then the top and bottom (horizontal sides).

And the quilt top is finished.

Soon I will share the quilting process. That took a lot of thought.

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