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
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 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
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
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
As you work, you can remove the safety pins or clip the basting threads.
Step 6: Binding
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.