Monday, April 18, 2011

Diagonal Stripe Shaded Four Patch Quilt

Looking for the giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.

I have a number of things I am working on right now, but nothing that I can show you here yet, so I thought I would share a quilt that I made several years ago but never blogged about (excuse the pictures - these are all I took before I gave it away).  There is actually quite a story behind this quilt.

I started making blocks for this quilt right after I graduated college, and the plan was to make enough to make I think a full size quilt - this was going to be my first bed-sized quilt.  I originally was actually hand-piecing all the blocks, if you can believe it!  That was how I originally learned to quilt, and I was worried about being able to match the points if I sewed the blocks on the machine (although in retrospect I am sure it would have been fine).

I had a whole variety of blue and green fabrics in a wide range of values, and I think I was trying to make 168 or maybe even 224 of the 5 1/2" squares (and then was planning on adding a border).  I hand-pieced really a lot of blocks, I think 40 or 50, and then it dawned on me that this block pattern would be easy peasy to paper piece.  So I made up a bunch of paper templates and went to town sewing them up on my machine.  But somewhere along the way I decided that the quilt was really going to be more traditional than my liking and I just put it all aside.

Then, several years later, when my friends starting having babies and I was wanting to make quilts for them, it occurred to me that I could use these blocks for a baby quilt.  I showed them to one of my friends and she loved the idea, but really only liked the middle/lighter value blocks.  I had enough of those to make a nice baby quilt it turned out!  We played around with a bunch of different block arrangements but ended up liking this simple diagonal stripe design.  The block design and the ideas for arrangements were inspired by this great book I have which shows historical quilts and provides patterns for a number of quilt designs:

My friend loved the finished quilt and I put the rest of my paper templates, cut out fabric, and all the darker value blocks back in the drawer.

I had really forgotten how many finished blocks I still had until I got them out today to take a few more photos for this post!  I definitely have enough of these to make another baby or lap sized quilt, so I may yet put them to use.  I had some fun laying them out in different designs, so come back tomorrow if you want to see those options.

This quilt definitely was on the more traditional side for me but I think it is fun to think about how to adapt some more traditional block styles and arrangements to be more modern.  I think that part of what made this feel traditional was the small blocks; I bet a larger quilt with bigger blocks - like maybe 8" or 10" or larger - would feel much more modern.  Not to mention the choice of fabrics would make a big difference.

I'm linking up to Sew Modern Monday on Canoe Ridge Creations (hopefully this isn't too traditional for the party!)

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations


  1. Such a sweet baby quilt! The hand piecing is impressive. I don't think I would've gotten into quilting if I'd started out hand piecing!

  2. Beautiful quilt, Kate! I've been looking for something reasonably simply that comes out looking complicated, and I think this will do nicely. Thanks!

  3. I love it! It's so good to finish a project you started a while ago! Nice hand piecing stitches!!


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