How many times in your quilting life have you found yourself needing to bang out a quilt as quickly as possible? Perhaps you’re a beginner who wants to make a quilt that’s not too complicated. Or, maybe you’re like me and don’t find matching points and navigating complicated piecing fun (just call me the Pointless Piecing Princess). You can still make something beautiful and functional while keeping it simple, fun, and fast. Ready to tackle the easiest quilt pattern ever—or a bunch of them? Read on for ideas!
Here are a couple suggestions left by some of our Stitch This! blog commenters. We love your comments!
Kayt from Australia says:
“Many years ago, faced with a crazy self-given challenge to create quilts for all 5 nephews and nieces for Christmas (challenge given in September!), I came up with my “3, 6, 9 Quilt.” I took fat quarters and cut them into 3½″ widths. From these, I crosscut 3½″ squares, 3½″ x 6½″ rectangles, and 3½″ x 9½″ rectangles. Then I started putting together 9½″ blocks. Using the sizes I had and mixing the fabrics up, the units always go together, no matter which way I choose to create them. I can use three 9½″ rectangles, or a combination of 3½″ squares and 3½″ x 6½″ rectangles—the combinations will always work.”
Now, how smart is that? A stack of coordinating fat quarters, some lightning-fast cutting, and you’re on your way to a quick quilt (or in Kayt’s case, quilts!) Here’s a quick baby quilt I made last weekend using Kayt’s idea:
Gail from Westminster, Maryland, says:
“I’m making a chevron quilt by separating the lights and darks of a Layer Cake. I sewed a light square to a dark square around all 4 edges, and then cut them diagonally into fourths. I ended up with 4 squares, each half light and half dark.”
Another genius idea for making multiple half-square triangles! Gail got this idea from a Missouri Star Quilt Company video. In the video, solid white 10″ squares are paired with Layer Cake squares, an idea that Gail modified by instead dividing a Layer Cake pack into darks and lights. These half-square triangles can be made into chevrons as the video suggests, but they can also be made into Pinwheel blocks or any other block that uses half-square triangles. How fun is that? And, you can use this technique with squares of any size.
I played around with Gail’s idea using 5″ squares that I had on hand, and this is what I came up with:
Naturally, our authors are full of great ideas as well! We all know that you can make a quickie quilt by taking a pile of 5″ squares from a precut charm pack (or you can cut your own) and then sewing them together into rows. Put a border on it—done! Simple, easy, and cute on its own. But if you want to add a little flair, try this trick from Terry Martin, author of Quilting with Precuts and Shortcuts.
Once you’ve sewn your squares together, add some fusible appliqué to them as Terry has done in the two quilts below. In the first example, she used very large petal shapes plus some easy-to-cut smaller leaf shapes to create a bold floral motif.
In the second example, Terry fused one easy diamond shape to the seam intersections for a pieced look without all the fuss. Sew the shapes down with a buttonhole stitch or a zigzag stitch and you’re done. If you sew the shapes down AFTER you’ve made the quilt sandwich, your quilting is done too!
In Skip the Borders by Julie Herman, there are a number of quick-to-make quilts (and the fact that they don’t need borders already puts you ahead of the game). One of my favorites is “Rows of Bricks.” Rectangles of fun, large-scale prints combine with large strips of a solid fabric for one fast quilt.
I recently used this pattern to make a music-themed quilt for a school-band fundraiser, and it turned out just great!
Using fewer fabrics that are cut in larger pieces is another great time saver. Start with a “main” print that you just love; then find three or four “companion” prints and you are on your way! Take a look at “Modern Maze” from Modern Basics by Amy Ellis. It features a main fabric plus four companion fabrics. The 12″ blocks are strip pieced for speedy construction.
What are YOUR favorite quick quilts? Leave us a comment—this Pointless Piecing Princess really wants to know! I’ll bet other Stitch This! readers do, too.