Summer Garden


All sizes are based on 112cm fabric

  • 8 FQ of toning fabrics
  • 1.4m of light background fabric
  • 70cm binding - 45cm needed if continous bias techniques are used
  • 1.8m of backing
  • 110 x 150cm (44 x 60in) of wadding

Finished Size

40 x 56in (102 x 142cm)

Skill Level


This quilt was made from Mary Jane’s Great Grandma's design in her fat quarter quilt series. It is designed for rotary cutting and esay piecing. The main instructions are for the pink and purple quilt shown. An alternative layout for a slightly larger, more traditional quilt, is included.


Choose colours for the fat quarter blocks that you enjoy working with. In Mary Parry's quilt the colours have been drawn from the palette of summer annuals. Quilter Mary Parry is a teacher, quilter and has also studied garden design. She chose colours based on the pink and purple flowers blooming in her own garden.

The Quilt Block

From each FQ cut:
  • Three strips 2 7/8 x 22in. Cut the strips into 2 7/8 x 2 7/8in squares = 168 squares
  • Three strips 2 1/2 x 22in. Cut into 2 1/2 x 2 1/2in squares = 192 squares
From the background cut:
  • Twelve strips 2 7/8 x 44in, cut into 2 7/8 x 2 7/8in squares = 168 squares
  • Six strips 2 1/2 x 44in. From one strip cut four 2 1/2 x 2 1/2in squares. Save the remaining strips for the borders.

Block Construction

The block is a traditional Anvil block. It is made of half square triangles combining fat quarter fabric and background fabric.
  1. Take the 2 7/8in squares of background fabric and draw a diagonal line on the WS. With RS facing, pair each with a FQ square. Sew 1/4in either side of the diagonal line.
  2. Cut the square in half along the drawn line. Press open. Trim off the ears. You will have 336 half square triangles.
  3. Each fat quarter fabric will make 3 blocks. Assemble each block using the sewing plan shown in Figure 1.
  4. Use the layout plan in Figure 2 to arrange the quilt blocks. Check the orientation of each block as this should alternate in order to make the most of the subtle patterns. Once you are satisfied with the layout begin constructing the quilt. Piece into pairs and then in rows until the centre is complete.
Figure 1: Piecing the blocks Figure 1: Piecing the blocks
Figure 1: Piecing the blocks

Small Border

This is made from five strips of background fabric, cut originally into 2 1/2 x 44in strips.
  1. Cut one strip in half (2 1/2 x 22in). Sew the half strips to the end of two long strips (2 1/2 x 66in). Press.
  2. Measure the width of the quilt in several places. Take the average.
  3. Cut the two 44in strips to fit the average width measurements. Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt and press towards the border.
  4. Measure the length of the top in several places and add the side borders as above.
Figure 2: Quilt layout
Figure 2: Quilt layout

Sawtooth Border

  1. Take eighty eight of the remaining half-square triangles and four 2 1/2 squares of background fabric.
  2. Follow the pattern shown in Figure 2. Take note of the direction of the triangles. The top and bottom borders take thirty six half square triangles and the sides, fifty two.
  3. Sew the half square triangles together in pairs. The triangles marking the centre and one third points for each side are sewn together with the same fat quarter fabrics adjacent.
  4. Add the four background squares at either end of the pieced borders and attach to the quilt top.
Alternative colourway
Alternative colourway

Quilting and Binding

  1. Prepare the top for quilting by tacking together the three layers.
  2. Hand quilt in curves disregarding the blocks (Mary imagined the curves and whorls of a fingerprint). Work on a section at a time. Quilt a curve, then echo this pattern 3/4in from the original line. Repeat the quilting design over the entire quilt top, right to the edge.
  3. Cut bias strips 2 1/4in wide from the binding fabric to go around the quilt, plus about 12in extra. (See continuous bias method.)
  4. Press the strip in half lengthways, WS together, matching raw edges. Attach the binding, mitring the corners and hand sewing the final meeting point of the binding.
  5. Add a label to the quilt and stand back to admire!


The blue-turquoise quilt shown was made by Mary Jane Best and Gloria Gatling. The subtle blue colourway is delightful, or you can choose any colour scheme that you wish.

Figure 3: Quilt layout with sashing
Figure 3: Quilt layout with sashing

To make a larger quilt, rather than make more blocks, add sashing strips to bring uo to the desired size. Use the plan shown in Figure 3 to decide on the position of the quilt blocks. You can vary the size and look of the quilt by making the sashing strips wider or narrower. Once the sashing is added, add borders if required and quilt and bind as before.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 10 Number 6 - June 2002