Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quilt in a Weekend: A Quick, Strip-Pieced, Beginners, "Quarter Trip"

If you have ever wanted to make a quilt, but it seems so daunting you just never tried... this is the tutorial for you.

Based on the "Trip Around the World" quilt which features squares in a radiating diamond pattern...
(From Michelle at:

... a "Quarter Trip" is squares going on a diagonal (as would be one quarter of the diamond pattern).

Here's what we'll be making:

Now if you're looking at that picture and thinking of all those squares you would have to cut and sew each of those four sides, quit. There is a very simple way to put it all together. If you have the time, you may even be able to get the top together in a day.

What You'll Need:
  • 9 Fabrics, 1/2 yard each
  • A Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter
  • A Sewing Machine (of course)
  • Thread
 Note: Take the time to iron your seams. It will make everything easier to work with as well a a beautiful finished product.

My Fabric Selection

1.) First, cut the fabric into 4 1/2 inch wide strips.

2.) Sew your strips together at the short ends, so you end up with 9 long strips (one for each fabric). **See Tip below for a time and thread saver**
Notice I'm starting below the selvage.

3.) Decide in what order you want your fabric to go.

4.) Sew these 9 strips together, going down the length, creating one large piece with 9 stripes.

(One Large Piece)

5.) Cut across the strips, at 4 1/2 inches.

6.) Sew these strips at the short ends, making one very long piece.

**Time and Thread Saving Tip: When sewing multiple strips like this, I like to...

(leaving the portion already sewn in the presser foot) take the top strip you've just sewn and flip the end over...

...lay the next strip on top and stitch, feeding it in directly after the previous one.

Repeat and you will have a long chain connected like this:

Just cut the thread between...

A Super Long Piece of Squares

7.) Here's where the magic happens. Take a look at the first square, rip the seam after the third of these.
Mine starts with the dark blue square, so I count: 1,2,3 blue squares and then take the seam apart.

8.) This sets you up for the next row. My second row starts with the kitten fabric, so I rip the seam at the third of those blocks.
You can see how the blocks start to go diagonally.
Continue in this fashion until your entire quilt top is laid out.

9.) All that's left is to sew these strips together.

Before you know it, you have made a beautiful quilt top!

Next blog, I'll talk about finishing options.


  1. Alison, thanks for sharing this pattern. It's so simple yet dazzling to the eyes. I really love how it turned out.

  2. Brilliant!... you have made me want to do a quilt top now... and I have never had success with quilt tops.

  3. That's what I was hoping for, Rachael. :) Some quilt instructions can be so complicated, or just tedious, but if it's done right quilts can be fun!

  4. My Aunt just showed me lots of her lovely quilts over the Thanksgiving holiday. Then said that she'll need to leave all of her supplies to 'someone' when she's done. I love to sew, and this looks like a do-able first quilt for me! Love a workable place to start with the promise of so much more. Thanks!

  5. I'm so glad to give you a starting point, Betsy. :)

  6. I am currently nursing a broken shoulder and it will be weeks before I'm able to do anything requiring both hands but when I am able, I am going to use your wonderful instructions to make my first quilt ever...and I can't wait. Thank you so much for sharing. (And when I finish it, you can bet I'll send you photos!)
    Peace & Love,

  7. I can't wIt to see it, but don't overdo it. Get well real soon! :)