Coming Home Quilt


Once upon a time, a great while ago, I bought some fabric (this is how most of my stories begin). I didn't know what I was going to make with it, or when I would ever use it, but I knew that I needed to buy it (this is the power fabric holds over me). I made my purchase, and then it sat in my stash for quite some time... Waiting to be used. 

A couple weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt for a very amazing woman who would soon be having a birthday. Since my mom has moved and no longer lives within a close proximity to any fabric stores (a blessing and a curse), I had to look to the stash for ideas and inspiration. I came across some of my fabric that I bought almost a year ago, and everything about it seem to fit perfectly for this person. I wish (WISH) I had taken better photos of the fabric! Ahh... hindsight.... Long story short, the fabric reminded me of travel (all the famous street names, Lombard Street, Wall Street, Las Vegas Boulevard), and the houses and trees made me think of a cozy home with a welcoming yard. It made sense that this quilt would be perfect for my good friend. She loves to travel, she has a beautiful yard, and a beautiful home (where I have had so many happy memories). Plus these were her colors, greens, maroons, gold, off white. I added the blue for a little pop of color and.. voila, a quilt was born! 

  Would you like to make your own? Here is what you will need,

10 fat quarters of any fabric you like (you can use less or more as long as you make sure you have enough for all the squares)
1 1/2 yards of off white (or white fabric) for your border and squares.
5/8 yard for binding
1 2/3 yard for back (my fabric was 60 inches wide so make sure you have fabric wide enough, otherwise you may have to cut and sew it together)

You will need to cut 224, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch squares from your fat quarters, 135 of these will be sewn together into 9 1/2  x 9 1/2 inch blocks. Sew 3 squares across by 3 squares down to make 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch squares. You will need 15 of these blocks. I cut all my blocks out and then mixed the prints and patterns for each square. 

15 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch squares will be used for the diamond blocks. The rest of the blocks (74) will be used for your border. 

 For the white blocks with the diamond square, I used machine applique to stitch them down. You can use hand applique if you prefer. First cut your white fabric into 15, 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch squares. Grab whichever 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch square you want to use for your white block, iron them both.
 You will also need a cardboard cut out of a 3 x 3 inch square in order to press 1/4 inch seam around your  3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch square. I used my box of wheat thins (and ate a few during the process). 

 Place your fabric right side down, put your 3 inch cut out of top of it. make sure you have enough space for the 1/4 inch seam, use starch and press 1/4 inch seam around entire square. 
 Now you're ready to place onto your 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 square. The easiest way to center it and line everything up it is to fold your square in half, and iron. Then fold in half again the opposite way and iron. Your center can easily be found and you have lines to place the pins in.
Place your square on top making sure the corners of the square line up with the lines you just ironed in.

 Place your pins in, I put a pin it ever corner, and an extra in the center to hold it down really well. You can now sew it down, make sure your seams stay turned under and hem around the entire square (I used less than a 1/4 inch stitch to make sure that I caught the fabric I had sewn under in my hem).
Once you have all your squares complete you can start to sew together. 
I wanted my quilt to be a lap quilt so I added a 2 inch border around the entire quilt (making it 1 1/2 inches after seam allowance, adding 3 additional inches. I then added my remaining 3 1/2 inch squares around the quilt giving me an additional 9 inches.

Here is my really quick drawing of the pattern! You'll have to excuse the mess, while I was in the middle of this, my sister had her baby! It needs some repairs, which I will work on soon, until then leave any questions you may have in the comments and I will be glad to help! 
P.S. you can make your diamonds using raw edges (no applique required). Simply cut out 3 inch by 3 inch squares and stitch them into the center! I love the look of raw edges in quilts, but it didn't fit in with my vision for this quilt. 

Welcome to the world Hazel Rae, 5.9 lbs, 18 1/2 inches.

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