Fruit and Veg


This quilt uses a lot of scraps but if you wish to purchase fabric, choose a bundle of a dozen fat eighths with a central theme as a starting point, then a selection of at least twenty four fat eighths in light, medium and dark shades, giving 36 in total. Be adventurous with colours, as you are not using much of each, but do make sure that not all the fabrics are highly patterned, otherwise the end result will be too busy.

  • 2m of black for the background, borders and bindings
  • 1.5m of wide sheeting for backing (sufficient to make 135 x 165cm)
  • 1.5m of wide wadding (sufficient to make 135 x 165cm)

Finished Size

125 x 155cm (50 x 62in)

Skill Level


You can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Eat your Fruit and Veg

Quick and Easy Block

The technique devised by Elizabeth Openshaw is given here to enable you to make any block size. But for those who don’t want even this much work, we provide the cutting measurements for the quilt.

This block consists of squares and triangles and can be made without actually having to cut out any triangles, nor do any fiddly fractions of an inch have to be considered. Four units make up the block but for each unit stitched, two are created giving accuracy and less work!

The system works by first making a pattern, or marker, to be used in conjunction with a rotary cutter and ruler. Once the markers are made there is no more measuring.

To make the pattern

  1. You will need a sharp pencil, a ruler, some thin card, scissors and squared paper. The squared paper used for sums is ideal and available from stationers.
  2. On squared paper, using printed lines as a guide, mark out a right-angled triangle. The side is the size of your finished unit. Increase or decrease the measurement if required. See Figure 1.
  3. Draw a 1⁄4in seam allowance on the diagonal edge of the triangle. Add another 1⁄4in seam allowance and keeping the corners lined up directly under one another, draw another triangle to match the first.
Figure 1: Drawing the first piece
Figure 1: Drawing the first pieces
  1. Add a 1⁄4in seam allowance to the outside edges of the rectangle.
  2. Transfer this shape to thin card, extending central diagonal line to outside edge and marking with a notch at each end. Call this pattern piece “A”.
  3. Returning to your original diagram divide each triangle into a square and two small triangles. The point the square must meet the diagonal of the original triangle. Ignoring the diagonals for a moment, the vertical of the top square will continue to the vertical of the lower square in a straight line. You can see that the rectangle is now divided into two squares and two smaller rectangles. See Figure 2.
  4. Split apart the four sections and add 1⁄4in seam allowance to the inner edges. Transfer one square and one small rectangle to thin card and cut out. Mark the square with B and rectangle C. These are all the templates you need.
Figure 2: Constructing templates B and C
Figure 2: Constructing templates B and C

Making up one block

  1. Draw the templates following the instructions. Drawing the templates will give you confidence to use a differet size another time. To make one block, cut out two large rectangles using template A in dark fabric. Use two different fabrics if you wish. Cut four squares using B, again varying the fabrics if you wish. Finally, cut four small rectangles using C. See Figure 3.
  2. With RS facing, sew each B square to the short side of rectangle C Press towards the darker colour, then invert every other piece and with RS together, sew into a rectangle. Your rectangle should be the same size as rectangle A.
  3. Snip a little notch into the centre of the seam so that you can press towards the darker sides if wanted. Place one of the pieced rectangles on the table with its RS up. Then place one of the dark rectangles RS down on top. Mark the diagonal between the notches using template A with a light pencil, checking that the marked line runs through the small rectangles not through the squares. If it does run through the squares, simply turn over pattern A, the result will be exactly the same. Sew diagonals 1⁄4in each side of the marked line. Cut apart on the line.
  4. Repeat with remaining pieces and you now have your four units ready for assembling into complete block. Before stitching them together, play about with them first. How many different ways you could assemble them? See the quilt photo for ideas or look at Figure 4.
Figure 3: Sewing the units
Figure 3: Sewing the units
Figure 4: Some possible arrangements
Figure 4: Some possible arrangements

The Blocks

  1. Cut out and make up twenty blocks to previous instructions, using up to five different fabrics for each one. Vary the tonal values so that some of the large triangles are in medium fabrics. Cut some of the squares and small rectangles in light and dark fabrics.
  2. From fat eighths there will be some small pieces left, put these aside for the border later. You may find it easier to cut and make up a few blocks, then a few more to balance the colours.
  3. After assembling all the blocks, organise them into an arrangement that you like. You need four blocks in each row and five rows in total.
  4. From the background fabric, cut strips 1 1⁄2in wide along the length. Cut into 10 1⁄2in pieces and add as sashing between the blocks. then measure the length of your rows, cut pieces to this measurement and add to divide the rows as shown. You might like to cut and sew one row to make best use of your fabrics.
Fruit and Veg


  1. Cut two strips along the length 2 1⁄2in wide and machine these to each side. Measuring as you go and checking lengths often will achieve a better result.
  2. Cut two more strips 2 3⁄4in wide and machine these to the top and bottom of the quilt. Press towards the border.
  3. Returning to the remaining scraps, cut them into pieces 1 1⁄4in wide and varying in length from 2 to 3 1⁄2in. Join these together lengthways, then cut into two strips measuring 49 3⁄4in and two strips measuring 59in. Check your own quilt top measurements before cutting. Sew these to the edges, starting with the long sides.
  4. The final black border is 1 1⁄2in wide for the sides and 1 5⁄8in wide for the top and bottom, measure and attach as before, press the borders to the outside as you go.

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Lay out the well-pressed backing fabric RS down and lay the wadding over it. Place the patchwork RS up over the top and tack thoroughly making sure there are no creases in the top or backing.
  2. Quilt 1⁄8in from the seams, the other side to which the seams have been pressed and across the large triangles.
  3. From the remaining black fabric, cut strips 3 1⁄4in wide and join them all together into a long strip. Press joins open, then press strip centrally with the WS inside to make the binding. Sew the raw edges to the front edges of quilt, starting with longer sides first, then turn the edging over to the back, pin in place and machine in the ditch or hand stitch on the back.
  4. That’s it now you just need to add a label, giving details of where you saw the pattern and the year you made the quilt. Then start using your new quilt

Other Ideas

Don’t forget for a bright summery look use light sashing and borders, it would look so different. Lay the prepared blocks onto different backgrounds to gauge the effect

First published in Popular Patchwork July 2006