Country Thrift

Materials

    All fabrics used in the quilt top are 45in (115cm) wide 100% cotton
  • 75cm white floral print
  • 2.25 metres of blue floral fabric, includes backing and binding
  • 50cm green floral fabric
  • 91 x 106cm of 2oz or low loft wadding
  • Pale blue machine quilting thread

Finished Size

34 x 40in (86.5 x 101.5cm)

Skill Level

Beginner

Preparation

Cut:

  • Thirty six 4in squares in white
  • Fifteen 3 1⁄2in squares in white
  • Thirty six 4in squares in blue
  • Strips of blue 4in wide to total length of 150in for binding
  • One 36 x 42in piece of blue for backing
  • Fifteen 3 1⁄2in squares in blue
  • Forty two 3 1⁄2in squares of green
Country Thrift

Stitching

  1. Place one white square and one blue square RS together. Carefully draw one diagonal line from corner to corner on the WS and stitch 1⁄4in away on either side of the line as shown in Figure 1.
  2. Cut apart along the centre line, open out and press. Repeat with all of the other blue and white 4in squares to make a total of 72 bi-coloured squares.
  3. Trim the resulting units to exactly 3 1⁄2in squares, making sure that the seam runs from corner to corner (see Figure 2).
  4. Working in horizontal rows and following the quilt assembly diagram shown in Figure 3, stitch the plain and bi-coloured squares together. Then stitch the rows together, taking care to match the seams. Press.
  5. Carefully join the 4in binding strips to make one continuous length.
Country Thrift Figure 2: Finished square after trimming
Figure 1: Preparing the half square triangles

Figure 2: Finished square after trimming

Quilting and Finishing

  1. If you plan to do your own quilting, spread the backing RS down on a flat surface, then smooth the wadding and the quilt top, RS up on top. Fasten together with safety pins or tack in a grid.
  2. Replicate the quilting shown here using the ‘free motion machine quilting’ method and referring to the photograph as a guide for the design, quilt over the surface of the quilt in pale blue machine quilting thread. For beginners a simpler version would be to hand quilt simple star shapes following the edges of the blue and white stars. This would be a simple machine quilting alternative too.
  3. Using the blue binding strip, press in half lengthwise and use to bind the edges with a double-fold binding. Either mitred at the corners as shown here or sewn and finished separately for each side of the quilt.
Figure 3: Quilt Assembly diagram
Figure 3: Quilt Assembly diagram

Longarm Quilting Machines

The quilt pictured here was quilted by Jenny Spencer of The Colour Room using the Feather Meander pattern on a longarm quilting machine. These machines have hundreds of options in the quilting designs available. You can choose edge-to-edge quilting; all-over quilting of one design over the entire quilt, or select a number of patterns to complement each other, e.g. medallions, feathers, cables and cross hatching, all combined in one quilt. Added to these the option of your own freehand style and a choice of decorative threads.

The quilt top, wadding and backing are mounted onto separate rollers which are part of the frame of the machine. This means that the three layers of the quilt need not to be tacked together. The quilting is stitched in sections about 24in wide. When the first width is completed the quilt is moved on and the next section is ready to be quilted. The machine is hand operated and takes considerable skill to operate successfully. A similar setup is the SuperQuilter or the Grace quilting frames which enable you to use your existing machine. The section stitched at any time then depends on the distance between your needle and the side of the machine.

Country Thrift Country Thrift

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 12 Number 1 - January 2004