Fields and Furrows

Materials

All fabrics from Makower UK Tractors and Diggers and Spraytime collections

  • 70cm (3⁄4yd) 111B Tractors Blue for block Units A and B
  • 60cm (5⁄8yd) RO6 Spraytime Red for block Units A and B
  • 1m (1 1⁄8yds) 111G Tractors Olive, for block Units C and D
  • 1m (1 1⁄8yds) Q45 Spraytime Ecru for block Units C and D
  • 1m (1 1⁄8yds) BO7 Spraytime Blue for narrow border and binding
  • 2m (2 1⁄4yds) 111Q Tractors Ecru, for block units E and F and pieced backing
  • 3m (3 1⁄2yds) 111R Tractors Red, for wide border and pieced backing
  • 142 x 168cm (56 x 66in) wadding: Sally used 90in wide 'Soft and Bright' from The Warm Company
  • Neutral sewing and quilting threads

Finished Size

Approx 135 x 160cm (51 x 61in)

Skill Level

Intermediate

Perfect for boys or girls, this is a colourful fun quilt to throw over a single bed, or to relax upon at a picnic in the countryside. These amazing tractor images inspired Sally’s choice of the World’s Fair Puzzle block for this quilt. The zigzags of the half-square triangles resemble chunky treads on big tractor tyres, ploughing wide furrows across the open country fields. As the fabric is so colourful and exciting, you can keep your quilting very simple, and the straight lines of the blocks make this easy. The fabric quantities are generous too, so you can make a matching cushion or trim a pillowcase to match.

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

Handy hint If you are using a non-directional fabric or you don't mind which way up your tractors are driving, you can cut all of the wide border strips across the fabric width. These can then be pieced to the quilt measurement required, and will use less fabric.

  1. From Tractors Blue cut 80 1 3⁄4in squares. From Spraytime Red cut 40 1 3⁄4in squares. These are for the ends of Units A and B.
  2. From Tractors Blue cut 80 2 5⁄8in squares. From Spraytime Red cut 80 2 5⁄8in squares. These are for the half-square triangles in Units A and B. If you prefer, you can cut these squares 3in to make measuring a little easier, and then trim to size.
  3. From Tractors Olive cut 40 rectangles 5 1⁄2 wide across the design, by 3in deep. From Spraytime Ecru cut 40 rectangles 5 1⁄2 x 3in. These are for Units C and D. From Tractors Ecru, cut 40 4 1⁄4in squares. These are for in Units E and F.
  4. From Spraytime Blue cut five strips 1 1⁄2in wide across the fabric width. These will be trimmed to size and used for the narrow border. Also cut seven strips 2 1⁄2in wide for the binding.
  5. From Tractors Red cut two tall strips parallel to the selvedge edge, 55in long by 5in wide. These will be trimmed to size for the right and left wide borders. From the cut section, also cut four strips 30in wide or the remaining fabric width, and 5in deep. These will be pieced together for the top and bottom wide borders.

HALF-SQUARE TRIANGLES

Handy hint Accurate 1⁄4in seams and careful pressing as you make each unit will help your triangle points and finished blocks come together neatly at the assembly stage.

  1. Place a large 2 5⁄8in red square on top of a large 2 5⁄8in Tractors Blue square, right sides together. Draw a faint pencil line diagonally across the squares and mark a line 1⁄4in on both sides of the diagonal. See Fig 1.
  2. Sew slightly to the inside of each marked 1⁄4in pencil line. Cut diagonally through the middle of the squares to yield two half-square triangles as in Fig 2. Press the seam allowance to the darker side and trim the points. Repeat to make a total of 160 half-square triangles. Trim each one to 1 3⁄4in square.

Fig 1 Mark the squares diagonally

Fig 2 Half-square triangles

ASSEMBLE THE UNITS

  1. Sew two half-square triangles and a 1 3⁄4in Tractors Blue square together to make Unit A, as shown in Fig 3. Sew a 1 3⁄4in Tractors Blue square, two half-square triangles and a 1 3⁄4in red square together to make Unit B, as in Fig 3. Take care at this stage to make sure the triangles are the right way up and adjoining the squares as shown. Make 40 of Unit A and 40 of Unit B.
  2. Sew a Spraytime Ecru rectangle to the top of a Tractors Olive rectangle to make Unit C, as shown in Fig 4. Sew a Tractors Olive rectangle to the top of a Spraytime Ecru rectangle to make Unit D, as in Fig 4. Make 40 of Unit C and 40 of Unit D.
  3. To make Unit E, carefully sew a Unit A to the top of a 4 1⁄4in Tractors Ecru square as in Fig 5. Carefully sew a Unit B to the left side of the square, aligned as shown. Make 20 of Unit E.
  4. For Unit F, carefully sew a Unit A to the bottom of a 4 1⁄4in Tractors Ecru square as in Fig 5. Carefully sew a Unit B to the right side of the square, aligned as shown. Make 20 of Unit F.

Fig 3 Assemble Units A and B

Fig 4 Assemble Units C and D

Fig 5 Assemble Units E and F

MAKE THE BLOCKS

To make up the World’s Fair Puzzle block, join Units C, D, E and F in a ‘four patch’ arrangement as shown in Fig 6. Each block should measure 10in finished square. Make 20 World’s Fair Puzzle blocks.

Fig 6 Assemble the block

ADD THE BORDERS

  1. Press the quilt top. Sew a narrow Spraytime Blue strip to each side of the quilt as in the quilt layout diagram, Fig 7. Trim to length. Measure the width of the quilt. Join the remaining narrow strips of Spraytime Blue together with a diagonal seam, to make two strips this width. Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  2. Press the quilt again. Sew a long tall Tractors Red strip to each side of the quilt. Ensure that your tractors are the right way up, from top to bottom. Trim to size. Measure the width of the quilt. Join the remaining wide strips of Tractors Red together with a diagonal seam, to make two strips this width.
    Sally has carefully placed her diagonal seam to avoid chopping any tractors in half. This gives the border a neater appearance. Sew the wide borders to the top and bottom of the quilt with the tractors the right way up.

Fig 6 Assemble the block

QUILTING AND FINISHING

  1. Press the quilt top and measure it. Piece the leftover fabrics to make the backing, about 3in wider all round than the size of the quilt top. Press and lay the backing face down. Place the wadding on next and the quilt top face up. Use quilters’ safety pins or tack in place to secure the layers.
  2. Stabilise the quilt by stitching in the ditch around each block and border. Add some simple straight line quilting across the blocks and patches as Sally has done, if you wish. Trim away the excess wadding and backing fabric.
  3. For a double-fold binding, join the Spraytime Blue binding strips together with diagonal seams to create a single strip about 7m (7 5⁄8yds) long. Press in half lengthways, wrong sides together.
  4. Pin the binding to the right side of the quilt with the raw edges aligned. Stitch in place with a 1⁄4in seam allowance. To mitre the corners, fold the binding up and away from the corner at 45 degrees, then fold and stitch it down. Continue around your quilt. Turn under and overlap the ends neatly.
  5. Turn the finished binding over to the back of the quilt and slipstitch in place by hand.

First published in Popular Patchwork October 2008