Monday, July 20, 2009

Simple Swap Squares Tutorial

(a simple and fun tutorial from Alyson's Petals)

This is a great way to whip up a quick quilt when you find a Moda fabric line that you LOVE, and you need just a little bit of every single fabric! This is also a great first quilt for all the new quilters out there.

Quilt Size: Throw, 51"X59"
Fabric Requirements:
  • 1 Moda Layer Caketm (I used Aviary by 3 Sisters) OR 42 10" squares of your choice

  • 2 1/2 yards fabric for backing

  • 1/2 yard fabric for binding
Step One: Cutting
You will be cutting each 10 inch square in the Layer Cake. With a rotary cutter and ruler, cut two strips 1 1/2 inches wide off the side of the 10" square. Each strip will measure 1 1/2" X 10".
Turn your rectangle and cut two more 1 1/2 inch strips from the 7" side. These strips will measure 1 1/2" X 7". You are left with a 7" square of fabric. Group the four strips together and set aside. Set the square in another pile. Continue cutting all of the squares in this manner. You can cut more than one at a time if you feel comfortable with a rotary cutter. (5 or 6 at a time works well)
Step Two: Swap and Assemble

Now here's the fun part! Grab a square and a contrasting set of strips (different color, different pattern). We are going to sew them together to make a 9" block.
Take the 7" strips and sew to opposite ends of the square. Always use a 1/4 inch seam. Press seams to the outside.

Next, sew the 10" strips to the other sides. Again, use a 1/4 inch seam and press seam to the outside. You will have overhanging fabric, that's OK.

Continue framing all 40 squares with contrasting fabric, always using a 1/4 inch seam.

Step Three: Trim Squares

Trim the excess off all 40 squares. Your squares should be 9" (or close ;))

Step Four: Arrange Squares

Find a place to lay out all the squares, trying to place contrasting squares next to each other. The quilt will be six squares wide by seven squares long. This process allows your creativity and preferences.

After the blocks are arranged and before sewing begins, make sure the block seams are alternating so that the longer 9 inch framing strips are not side by side.

The photo below shows how the seams will look after everything is sewn together. I am showing the seams that match well, I do have some that are not so neat! Don't worry if everything doesn't match up just is handmade with love (my grandmas taught me that!)

Step Five: Sew the quilt top together

Starting with the top row, sew the blocks together to make a row six squares wide. Use a 1/4 inch seam. Press seams to one side. Then sew the next row together, pressing seams to the other side. Continue sewing the rows together until all seven are finished.

Once the rows are completed then sew the rows together. You may want to use a walking foot for this step to keep the fabric feeding through the machine evenly.

Once the rows are sewn together the quilt top is finished!

Layer, Quilt and Bind

Check the links on the side of my blog for great tutorials on how to finish a quilt. I don't think I could explain it better!

You are finished! Grab a book and some coffee and cuddle up...or show all your friends your new project! Stay tuned for a giveaway...

I would love your feedback! This is my first tutorial and I would love to know how I can make it better. Please let me know if you find errors, or if you end up creating your own Simple Swap Squares quilt...I'll post your photos!

Copyright 2009 by Alyson Steil. This pattern is intended for personal use. Do not distribute without permission.


Janet M said...

WOW Alyson, very impressive!! I might have to try this for my first one :D

Amy said...

This may be one of my favorites yet! Where did you find this fabric?? I love the backing too! I am going to copy your tutorial so that when I have free time (which may be in 10 years) I can try this!!

Alyson said...

Thanks Amy! The fabric is from a local quilt shop. It is called Aviary and is from 3 sisters, designing for Moda fabrics. I will be giving away a Layer Cake(set of 10 inch squares, used to make the quilt top)later in the week so keep checking.

Tora: said...

First time visitor here and I love your tutorial! I quilted years ago and have just joined a doll quilt swap and feeling a little nervous.

Your tutorial was just the re-assurance I needed!.

I've added your blog to my favorites and I'll be back often!

Sharon said...

Beautiful job, Alyson. Next thing I'll hear is that you are teaching classes (at your favorite shop) just down the road. I think I need to stop by the shop soon! xxoo

Bec said...

Great Job Alyson! Very pretty!
I told G'ma about it & all your
pictures, she's coming out to look at them soon! Keep up the great job!

Di~ said...

I love this quilt. You've done a very nice job. Isn't it fun to cut fabric up, match it up and sew it up!:)

Anonymous said...

Great tuto and such a beautiful quilt.