Friendship Swap Quilt

Materials

  • Lots of scraps of fabric, adding up to the equivalent of three light fat quarters, three dark fat quarters and one medium fat quarter. This could be done as a group swap between seven of you, resulting in 49 different strips of fabric
  • 91 x 137cm (36 x 54in) backing fabric
  • 91 x 137cm (36 x 54in) wadding
  • 30m (3⁄8yd) binding

Finished Size

Approx 81 x 127cm (32 x 50in)

Skill Level

Experienced

Essentially, this versatile design is built up in units of strips comprising blocks and strips of filler pieces. Mandy worked across her quilt from light to dark and placed the blocks in different orientations to add interest. But, using whatever fabrics you have, you can build up your own pattern as you go along to make your own version

This project came about as a group challenge the members of Jo Blox set themselves. A group of seven, each member contributed seven fat quarters, three light, three dark and one medium, to trade, so each member had 1.75m in total to make their quilt top. Some of the lights seemed more medium as lighter fabrics were added, and the same went for the darks: but you can see from the photograph that things worked out!

If you don't belong to a group, why not set yourself your own challenge by digging deep into your scrap bag and see how much of that stash you can use up.

We are giving you two sets of instructions for this project. The first set explains Mandy's method for you to follow to make your own version of this quilt. This is the version that would work well as a group swap. However, if you want to make a copy of Mandy's lovely quilt, follow the second set of instructions, which give the exact measurements used.

FOLLOWING MANDY'S TECHNIQUE

  1. Divide the fat quarters into seven strips; you will have 49 strips in total, each of which will be approx 3in wide. Exact measurements are not important, as you will be creating the quilt from what you have, rather than making precise blocks. Note: Fat quarters are approx 18 x 22in but it depends on the width of the bolt of fabric they are cut from, so your strips may be narrower than 3in, but that adds to the challenge!
  2. From the strips cut above, you will need to cut your centre rectangles and frames; the remaining strips are used as filler strips. There are twenty blocks in this version; the centre rectangles are of differing sizes, and the frames are of various widths.
  3. To make the blocks, add a framing strip to either side and then to the top and bottom of a centre rectangle. Note: a couple of blocks have been placed on the edge of the quilt with one of the framing strips omitted. See Fig 1.
  4. Once you have made your blocks and roughly laid them out you will need to build up sets of strips of filler pieces to fill in the gaps. It will add interest to your design if the filler pieces are made up of strips of different widths. See Figs 2 and 3

 

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR PP VERSION

To make a quilt like the one shown here, refer to the cutting instructions below and to Fig 4 for the layout and piecing order. The sizes given are the unfinished size of each piece, i.e. 1⁄4in seam allowances are included.

STRIP 1

For the blocks, carefully cut the following pieces:

BLOCK 1:

  • One centre 3 x 4in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 6in

BLOCK 2:

  • One centre 3 x 4 1⁄2in
  • One strip 1 1⁄2 x 3in
  • One strip 1 3⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 6 3⁄4in

BLOCK 3:

  • One centre 3 x 4 1⁄2in
  • One strip 1 3⁄4 x 3in
  • One strip 1 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 6 3⁄4in

BLOCK 4:

  • One centre 2 3⁄4 x 4in
  • One strip 1 x 2 3⁄4in
  • One strip 1 1⁄4 x 2 3⁄4in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄4in

You will need the following filler pieces (unfinished sizes):

  • A: 4 1⁄2in long x 6in wide
  • B: 8 1⁄2in long x 6in wide
  • C: 17in long x 1 1⁄4in wide
  • D: 5 3⁄4in long x 6 3⁄4in wide
  • E: 10 3⁄4in long x 5 1⁄4in wide
  • F: 5 3⁄4in long x 5 1⁄4in wide
  • G: 20 1⁄4in long x 2in wide

STRIP 2

For the blocks, carefully cut the following pieces:

BLOCK 5:

  • One centre 2 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 2 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 5 1⁄2in

BLOCK 6:

  • One centre 3 x 4 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 7in

BLOCK 7:

  • One centre 3 x 7in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 9 1⁄2in

BLOCK 8:

  • One centre 2 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 5in

BLOCK 9:

  • One centre 3 x 5in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 7 1⁄2in

BLOCK 10:

  • One centre 3 x 4 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄2in

BLOCK 11:

  • One centre 2 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 2 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 4 1⁄2in

BLOCK 12:

  • One centre 2 1⁄2 x 1 3⁄4in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 2 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 3 1⁄4in

BLOCK 13:

  • One centre 3 x 4in
  • One strip 1 1⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 4 3⁄4in

You will need the following filler pieces (unfinished sizes):

  • H: 4in long x 4in wide
  • I: 6 1⁄2in long x 4in wide
  • J: 15in long x 2 1⁄4in wide
  • K: 15in long x 1 3⁄4in wide
  • L: 11in long x 7in wide
  • M: 6 1⁄2in long x 4 1⁄2in wide
  • N: 5in long x 4 1⁄2in wide
  • O: 13in long x 4 1⁄2in wide
  • P: 19in long x 5in wide
  • Q: 6 1⁄2in long x 5in wide
  • R: 6 1⁄2in long x 5in wide
  • S: 2 1⁄2in long x 5in wide
  • T: 12in long x 5in wide

STRIP 3

For the blocks, carefully cut the following pieces:

BLOCK 14:

  • One centre 2 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄4in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 2 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 5 3⁄4in

BLOCK 15:

  • One centre 3 x 4in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 6 1⁄2in

BLOCK 16:

  • One centre 3 x 4in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄8 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄8 x 5 3⁄4in

You will need the following filler pieces (unfinished sizes):

  • U: 6 1⁄4in long x 5 3⁄4in wide
  • V: 12 3⁄4in long x 5 3⁄4in wide
  • W: 6 1⁄2in long x 1 3⁄4in wide
  • X: 12 3⁄4in long x 5 3⁄4in wide
  • Y: 6 1⁄2in long x 5 3⁄4in wide

STRIP 4

For the blocks, carefully cut the following pieces:

BLOCK 17:

  • One centre 2 x 3in
  • One strip 1 1⁄4 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 3⁄8 x 2 3⁄4in

BLOCK 18:

  • One centre 3 x 4 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄8 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 5 3⁄4in

BLOCK 19:

  • One centre 2 7⁄8 x 5in
  • Two strips 2 1⁄4 x 2 7⁄8in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 8 1⁄2in

BLOCK 20:

  • One centre 3 x 4 3⁄4in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 3in
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 6 3⁄4in

You will need the following filler pieces (unfinished sizes):

  • AA: 3 3⁄8in long x 2 3⁄4in wide
  • BB: 14 3⁄8in long x 2 3⁄4in wide
  • CC: 11 1⁄2in long x 5 3⁄4in wide
  • DD: 6in long x 5 3⁄4in wide
  • EE: 8 1⁄2in long x 2 3⁄8in wide
  • FF: 4 1⁄2in long x 6 3⁄4in wide
  • GG: 12 1⁄2in long x 1 3⁄4in wide
  • HH: 13 1⁄2in long x 6 3⁄4in wide
  • II: 17 1⁄2in long x 1 3⁄4in wide

First published in Popular Patchwork February 2009