Daysail disappearing 9 patch baby quilt

There are few quilts that are easier to take on than a disappearing nine patch.  So, over the weekend, I opened up my Daysail layer cake at last, and decided to get cracking on one.

Sometimes people say to me that they don’t like working with layer cakes because there is just too much colour in it for one project.  I understand that sentiment sometimes, but often find I get the best results when using a layer cake (or any other pre-cut for that matter) if I make a decision to only use a few of the colours in the pack, and save the rest for another project.  That way the few colours you choose to focus on get to shine, and the result is not so overwhelming.

In this case, I decided to use the reds, navys, whites and aquas in the pack, and save the cream, green and teal for another day.

Here’s the method:

1.  Cut layer cake slices into 4 x 5″ patches.  I cut 21 slices (sometimes in bulk by stacking a few of them up) to make a quilt that will be 6 blocks by 6 blocks (about 41″ square finished size).

2.  Arrange the patches into sets of 9.  I like to choose one colour that will always be the centre block in these arrangements.  You’ll see why soon.  For this project, I chose red to be the centre patch.

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3.  Sew these blocks together, to form a 9-patch block.  Use a 1/4″ seam and press each row in the opposite direction so that the seams nest as you join the rows of the block together

4.  After a good press, lay your 9-patch on your cutting mat.  You need to measure carefully the centre lines of the block, both vertically and horizontally.  I’ve marked approximately the lines you need to locate in yellow on the picture below.  Where to cut5.  Cut the 9-patch block into 4 smaller blocks, along the yellow lines that you have measured.  Be as accurate as is possible!

6.  You should now have 4 small patches, each with one large square, one small (in my case, red) square and two rectangles.  Trim these so that they are of identical size.  I trimmed them all to 6 3/4″ square.

7.  Lay out your patches into the arrangement for the quilt.  Here’s an example of how you can lay it out, but there is plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation here!  I try not to over-think it.  In my view, some imperfection is desirable, but each to their own.

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8.  As you can see, when you choose a single colour for the centre of the 9 patch block, it ends up becoming a common thread in the finished design that brings the whole quilt together.  I think it can make an otherwise messy/scrappy design look orderly enough to be pleasing to the eye.

8.  Sew together your small blocks into rows.  Press the seams in opposite directions.

9.  Join your rows together, matching the points where the blocks meet and locking the seams (by having them pressed into opposite directions).

10.  Give your masterpiece a good press, cut some backing and wadding to size, baste, quilt and bind!

Enjoy this fun, easy project.


Scandinavian style baby quilt

On mother’s day in early May, I had a little more time than usual in the sewing room.  It was my request for the day – so much better than breakfast in bed!

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I took the chance to make a quilt top for a friend of mine who is a new mother.  Her daughter arrived 4 weeks early, and so I didn’t quite have the gift ready for little miss’ arrival.  Nevertheless, it is complete now, and I thought I would share with you some photos.

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I didn’t use a pattern for this quilt, but I gave a description of how to make it in this post.

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I decided to back the quilt in flannelette, because it is winter here and nothing is more snuggly.  That way, the quilt has a cool side and a warm side, so that it can be used year-round.

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I had picked up the fabric for the front at a quilter’s fair earlier in the year, and it is by Cloud 9.  The backing is a Moda fabric which, despite being from a fairy-tale styled range, coordinates well with the pinks and creams on the quilt top.  I used all of the scraps from the fabrics I used on the top to make a scrappy binding, and so there was less than one fat quarter’s worth of waste for the whole quilt.  That made me especially happy!

My Mum, who so often helps me with the hand-sewing part of binding, did it again on this quilt.  Thanks Mum 🙂  It means I was able to post the finished product to the recipient yesterday.  Now I have the anticipation of waiting for the recipient’s reaction… one of the parts of giving quilts I enjoy most.

Have a great day, all.


Mother’s day magic

I didn’t have a lot of requests for mother’s day.  My little girl is too small to make me breakfast in bed (in fact, a whole night of sleep would be a big enough win in my book… and I didn’t get that!) and so my one wish was for some sewing time.  My mother’s day wish came true!

Here’s the product.  All done in a matter of about 3 hours, this quilt top:


It was made without a pattern, but was really very easy.  Here’s how it is done:

From 10 fat quarters, I cut 20 squares with 10″ sides.  Then I grouped the squares into 5 groups of 4 each, and I tried to mix up the patterns so that there was an even distribution of the more plain colours (yellow, pink and navy) among the patterned fabrics.

Then I took all of the 10″ squares and cut them down the diagonal to create triangles.  I sewed two contrasting triangles together, pressed them and then cut them in half along the other diagonal.

Then, I paired two of the resulting units together and sewed them along the long hypotenuse to make a square again, but now a square with 4 colours in each!

Then it was just a matter of laying the blocks out into 5 rows of 4, and joining it all together.

I sliced up the remainder of 8 of the fat quarters into 2.5″ strips, joined them together and have a scrappy binding ready for the final step of finishing this quilt.

It also means I have very little waste… just the scraps of two fat quarters.  That makes me really happy!

This will be a gift for a friend of mine who has just had a little baby girl.  I hope that she will love it.  It might seem odd to have spent mother’s day sewing for someone else, but the pleasure for me is in the making, and honouring a new mother is so much fun.  Plus, as I sewed I had a nice big pot of tea and listened to daggy musicals while my darling husband and daughter did the groceries.  Win-win.

While you can’t see it in the picture, the backing I have laid it out with is a brushed cotton (flannelette) pink fabric with clouds all over it… a Kate and Birdie fabric for Moda.  The fabrics on the quilt top are ones I picked up from the last quilt show I attended, and they are from Cloud 9 (though I can’t tell you much more about them than that!).  They’ve got a nice Scandinavian flavour that is an unusual colour combination for me.  It’s always nice to make something that’s a bit different.

The flanny backing should make it extra snuggly, while the top can be a cooler side for summer and for tummy time.

I can’t wait to get home and baste!

Have a great day,





Dr Seuss baby quilt

I loved Dr Seuss as a child, and as an adult have been really enjoying sharing his stories with my own child.  Having access to the fabric also means I can use the opportunity of a baby quilt to share it with other families!

My cousin will have her first child next month.  It’s all very exciting.  So, my mum and I made her a Dr Seuss quilt.

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It’s only simple – a whole bunch of 6″ squares and single colour binding, but when the fabrics are this bright and busy, I think that’s the way to go.

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The backing is such lovely fabric that it is worth showing too!

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Overall, I am thrilled with the result.  I know that my cousin will be too!  Little ones love the bright colours so much more than soft pastels.

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Have a great day!


Finished baby quilt

Hi there.  It’s been a while.

Here’s the baby quilt I prepared for a friend.  She had a gorgeous little girl (which is lucky, because I took a guess and started making it in pink before she arrived).  I mailed it today and realised that I never took a final pic of it, or shared it on this site.

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I’m really happy with the finished result.  The fabrics are ABC Menagerie by Abi Hall for Moda on the top, and a cheaper homespun pink on the back.  The backing is still patterned, it has an all-over spotty finish.  It’s Lincraft’s home brand.

The binding is a similar yellow fabric.  I used a cotton filling (though I was tempted to try the bamboo).

The quilting is an all-over stipple in white thread.  I like to use The Bottom Line.

I hope this inspires you to whip up a wonderful gift for a friend or family member’s child.  What could be more wonderful than a perfectly imperfect project?

Have a great week,


Easy pinwheel baby quilts

I love to give quilts to new babies.  Now that I’m getting older (sigh!) there’s a lot of new babies around!  Accordingly, I’ve had to find fast ways to produce these gifts.

Here’s a quilt top you can have assembled in an hour.

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It’s as easy as this:

Choose 9 squares from a layer cake.  I chose pink and yellow shades from  ABC Menagerie by Abi Hall for Moda.

Cut 9 squares that are 10″ x 10″ of your contrasting fabric.  I used a white fabric with a faint floral damask pattern to it.

Put one coloured square and one contrasting square together in a stack, right sides together.  Do a 1/4″ seam all the way around the edge of the stacked squares.  When that’s complete, go to your cutting table.

Use a ruler and rotary cutter to slice your sewn squares diagonally.  You will get 4 half-square triangles from this process.

This is an idea I picked up from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  They have a great video that shows you this method for making half-square triangles if my instructions aren’t clear.  Check it out here.

Press them, with the seam to go to the dark side of the half-square triangle.  Lay them out in the shape of a pinwheel.  Pin and sew into a 4 patch block, or one pinwheel.  Always use a 1/4″ seam.

When you’ve done this 9 times, you’ll have enough for the perfect size baby quilt.  Next time I do it, I’ll take some more photos for instructions.

It’s worth mentioning that this method produces half-square triangles that are cut on the bias.  That means they have a little stretch to them.  Some people don’t like that – but I don’t think it matters on a pattern this simple.  It also means the fabric has a little give in it, just in case you need to adjust your points a little to ensure your triangles have nice tips.

It works out to be around 48″ square.

Now all I have to do is baste, quilt and bind and I’ve got a present made for a friend of mine who is due to have a little girl in June.  I’ll have the whole thing done in about 3 hours, and I know that my friend will treasure it.

Give it a go!