World's Easiest Beginner Quilt (Brick Wall Quilt)





Introduction: World's Easiest Beginner Quilt (Brick Wall Quilt)

About: I have taught math for 30 plus years. I am one of the crazy ones who actually think math is fun. I am still adapting to the loss of my husband of 18 years. He was the love of my life. I am returning to t...

The hardest thing for beginner quilters to get right is matching up the corners of each piece. This quilt looks great and has no corners to be matched. The drawing shows what unmatched corners look like. This is very noticeable in the finished quilt--and the first thing that some quilters notice about any quilt. So with this design, all the corners are intentionally unmatched.

You can create many different looks for your quilt with this same design. You just have to switch up the colors. I have shown just a few of the possibilities.

Step 1: Cutting the Pieces

There are only 2 different pieces to cut out. You can choose any size square to start with--I have been working with 3 inches a lot lately. The pieces are large enough to allow the quilt to come together quickly but small enough that you can see the overall design in even a lap sized quilt.

The project will work equally well with a 2 inch square as well as 4 inches. Just pick a number and let's move on.

My finished quilt is a 36 inch square (but your can be just about any size) To figure out how many pieces to cut, there is a little math--sorry. 36 divided by 3 means that there will be 12 rows in my quilt. Most of the pieces will be rectangles that are 3 by 6 inches. 36 divided by 6 means that half of the rows will have 6 rectangles in them. The other half of the rows will have 5 rectangles (one less than the number just calculated) and 2 squares each.

6 rows of 6 rectangles = 36 rectanglar pieces
6 rows of 5 rectangles = 30 rectangular pieces
6 rows with 2 squares = 12 square pieces

Total of 66 rectangles and 12 squares.

Since you need a seam allowance, you need to add a half inch to both the length and width--in my case, I cut my rectangles 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches and my squares 3 1/2 by 3 1/2. (Quilts are usually made using a quarter inch seam.)

If you are using scrap fabrics (like I have been doing a lot lately), I just cut a great big pile of pieces. If you want to arrange the colors to make a design, you may want to sketch it out and count.

If you are using 'new' fabric--I recommend 100% cotton woven (non-stretchy) fabric and wash/dry it first. This will pre-shrink it. If you are using old clothes, they are probably already pre-shrunk. I am planning one of these out of my husband's collection of Hawaiian shirts. I cut using a rotary cutter but sharp scissors work too.

Step 2: Sewing Strips

I am making a scrap quilt so my only rule for color arrangement is that I don't sew any fabric to itself. I do try to keep too much of any one color in one spot. If you are trying for a pattern, you may want to keep your sketch close by--easy reference.

I like to see by hand but a sewing machine makes the process go faster. Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew the short end of rectangles together. Remember that half of the strips are made using one less rectangle and get a square on both ends.

If you are machine sewing, you can probably use the edge of your pressure foot to get the seam allowance. If you are hand sewing, you can draw a pencil line on the back of the fabric to keep your seam straight and accurate. Use a light colored pencil on dark fabrics.

Step 3: Joining the Strips

Once all the strips are sewn, get out your iron and press your seams. Most quilts are pressed with the seams 'closed'--this means that both edges of the fabric are pressed in the same direction.

Select 2 strips--one with squares on the ends and one without. Pin the end corners together. Then pin along the length of the strip. Sew again--same quarter inch seam allowance.

Add additional strips, alternating the strips, until you have them all together.

Step 4: Press and Baste

Press the project one last time--last chance so get all the wrinkles and creases out. I use a lot of steam.

Lay a piece of pre-shrunk backing fabric (muslin is traditional but I use a lot of different things including sheets) on the floor/table. Lay down a layer of quilt batting--be careful not to stretch it. Lay your quilt top over this (face up). Be gentle. Smooth out the wrinkles.

Basting is the temporary attachment of the layers together. You can do this with a needle and thread--just make a really big running stitch line across the whole thing every 4 to 5 inches. I like the safety pin method better. I put a pin in each piece starting in the middle and working outward.

Step 5: Quilting

With this particular design, I usually just quilt 'in the ditch' along the seam that joins the rows. 'In the ditch' means that you are sewing in the actual seam. To me, it makes the quilt look like a brick wall by emphasizing the horizontal lines of the strips.

As you work, you can remove the safety pins or clip the basting threads.

Step 6: Binding

Binding covers the raw edges of the quilt. Most quilters cut their binding fabric into 2 inch strips. I usually prefer 2 1/2 inches.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise. Line up the raw edges of the binding with the edge of the quilt. Sew it in place with the same quarter inch seam allowance.

Trim the excess fabric from around the outside edge.

Wrap the folded edge of the binding to the back side of the quilt and whip stitch it in place.

I am planning another instructable with more details on binding a quilt. I will try to post it soon.



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    15 Discussions

    A friend made one of these quilts for me as I was recovering from a serious illness. It is beautiful! It has also inspired me to take up quilting....and I'm loving it! I've discovered that it takes a quilter to appreciate a quilter...the time and love that was put into my quilt will be cherished forever!! I can hardly wait to make one of these for a dear niece of mine, who has had a lot of obstacles to overcome. Thank you VERY much for the lovely tutorial!!

    6 replies

    When you get to the binding step, I have a tutorial that specifically deals with binding your quilt. I called it 'Perfect Binding'. I hope it helps too.

    mrsmerwin, I have about finished a quilt top, and will be binding it sometime over the next two weeks. Would you post the link to your quilt binding. I would love to see it, so that I can get my binding done. Thank you

    I am somewhat technically challenged and do not know how to post a link, but when I typed 'perfect binding' in the little 'lets make' box at the top of this page, it was the first one that came up.

    I think I've got it. Thank you for the tutorial (which was at the end of the brick wall quilt. This will work perfectly for my quilt. Thank you, again.

    the one I called 'perfect binding' is just the binding--in a lot of detail.

    I am glad I was able to help inspire you. The quilt shown in this instructable is a donation to a local hospital. One of the chaplains gives them to patients.


    Nice quilt thank you!! I see you have a jelly roll ruler, they are just the very best thing aren't they for making those 2.5 inch precuts and can work out to be much cheaper than buying jelly roll strips.

    1 reply

    This is actually my second of these rulers (I never knew people called it a jelly roll ruler). The first one is 25+ years old and has a crack (I abused it, they are not fragile). This one cuts 1/4 inch increments. I really love the versatility. I use my rotary cutter/ruler for everything. They are great.

    I've been trying to make a quilt for about 3 years lol Thank you I think I'll try it again
    I watched a guy in his 20's that makes rock and roll themed quilts that are hung in museums all over now and want to eventually make one of those
    this method looks like where I need to start

    3 replies

    Do you have a picture of the rock and roll quilt. I am curious to know where you want to go with this?

    Glad I could get you to try again. Let me know if you run into a problem. I may be able to talk you through it. I am working on an instructable that will walk you through binding the outer edge so that you cannot tell where you started and ended the binding.