Fireworks

Materials

  • 10cm each of Makower metallic texture in red, orange, peach, turquoise and yellow
  • 1m of Makower metallic texture in royal blue, for background, borders, backing and binding
  • Gütterman large star sequins
  • Gütterman small star sequins
  • Gütterman seed beads
  • Gütterman bugle beads
  • Variegated quilting thread (this quilt uses Valdini Jewel)

Finished Size

241⁄2in (62cm) square

Skill Level

Intermediate

This quilt uses free cutting techniques to achieve a whirling block and is embellished with beads and sequins.

Figure 1: Layer the fabrics right side upwards
Figure 1: Layer the fabrics right side upwards
    Cut:
  • Three 3in strips of royal blue and cut into thirty two 3in squares
  • Ten 3in squares from red fabric
  • Eight 3in squares from turquoise
  • Eight 3in squares from peach
  • Six 3in squares from yellow
  • You need 32 squares in total but you can adjust the balance of colours. (Keep the remaining fabric strips for the border).
  1. Match the squares into pairs with RS upwards, one blue square to each coloured square. Stack two pairs evenly together.
  2. Cut each stack of four fabrics into two at an angle. The angle can be different for each stack but should not vary too widely, shown in Figure 2.
  3. Keeping the stacks separate, take the pieces and match into pairs as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 2: Cut apart on an angle
Figure 2: Cut apart on an angle
  1. Sew into pairs and then arrange to make a block. The seams will not always match at the centre of the block. Trim the blocks to the same size; these are trimmed to 4 1⁄2in. If you have used a smaller seam allowance in step 3 yours might be larger.
  2. Repeat for all the squares; you will have 16 blocks. Lay the blocks into a four by four arrangement. Check that no two blocks are the same colour in any row. Join into the central panel.
  3. Press well and measure across the quilt top. Cut two 2in strips by this measurement. Sew to two opposite sides of the quilt RS together and edges even.
  4. Repeat step 6 for the remaining two sides. Press towards the border.

Borders and Finishing

The border is made by the same method as the squares using orange Makower Metallic Texture fabric in addition to the other colours used.

  1. Layer up to four 3in strips RS uppermost, with the edges level. Make slanting cuts as before through all the fabrics.
  2. Carefully remove the fabrics and arrange into rows, make sure no two fabrics the same are left touching. Join the pieces made into long strips.
Figure 3: Piece into four units
Figure 3: Piece into four units
Figure 4: Joining the units into one block
Figure 4: Joining the units into one block
  1. Measure across the quilt top and using the strips made in step 2, cut four pieces to this measurement plus 7in. Trim the long edges level if needed.
  2. Starting and stopping 1⁄4in from the corner sew the border strips in place. Mitre the corners by folding one border section under to create the mitre and press well. Carefully open out the border and pin on the pressed line. Continue the stitching line from the end of the border out along the pressed line to the edge. Check that the border is correct and trim away any excess fabrics from the back. Repeat for the other corners.
  3. Quilt the blocks simply with a swirl moving from block to block. Alternatively you could quilt a spiral starting at the centre of each block.
  4. To embellish the quilt sew bugle beads along the quilting lines of the outer blocks. As you reach the background blue fabric sew star sequins in place to represent the shooting stars of the fireworks. The easiest method of sewing the sequin in place is to come up through the centre hole, put a seed bead on the needle and then go back down through the same hole. Repeat the embellishment round the edge blocks. Stitch in the ditch next to the border.
  5. Cut strips of royal blue 1 1⁄4in wide and join into one piece for the binding. Sew in position on the edge of the quilt, mitre the corners. Roll to the back and hand stitch in place.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 11 Number 11 - November 2003