Introduction: Make an Easy Weekend Patchwork Quilt Topper

The first quilt I ever made was a simple hand sewn patchwork quilt worked in strips at my Grandmothers knee.   A pattern now done on a machine and committed to memory that has been repeated many times over as Christmas, Anniversary, Wedding and Shower gifts.

The size of the squares can be adjusted to make it fit any size bed, crib or daybed by simply measuring the mattress top, dividing by 6 and adding 1/2 inch per square for seam allowances.

Step 1: Materials and Prep

You will need:
  • 2 yards of each, 3 plain, 3 pattern fabrics  cut into 6 inch Squares for Full/Queen Size Quilt.
  • Pattern, (below)
  • Rotary Mat and Cutter (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or Pinking Shears
  • Sewing Machine or Serger
  • Iron
  • Ironing Board


When selecting your fabrics try to stick to the same weight and type of material. I found after cutting my squares that the pink butterfly fabric was too heavy or bulky with the other fabrics and had to make a trip back to the fabric store to choose another material. Also make sure your fabrics are machine washable to avoid dry cleaning bills on such a large item.

Wash, dry and iron all fabrics to eliminate the possibility of shrinkage after your quilt is finished.
Cut 33 squares of fabrics 1 through 5 and 34 squares of fabric 6.

Once your quilt squares are cut lay them side by side  plain, pattern, plain (or vice versa) to determine how you want your pattern to work out. The last color will be the most prominent on the quilt. Once you have decided how you want your pieces to lay in the design assign each fabric a number from 1 to 6 and set them in order on the table so you only have to move down the line when you pick them up from the pile as they are added to your quilt.

*Note: If you have access to a serger and a rotary cutter and mat I highly recommend using them as it will save 2/3 of the time you will spend cutting squares with scissors, trimming and pressing seams open during the assembly of your quilt and will provide more uniform squares.

If you must cut your squares by hand pinking shears are your best choice to prevent raveling because of heavy handling and will reduce raised or lumpy areas under your seams.

Step 2: Begin First Rows

Starting on row one and following the pattern chart below, with right sides together match up edges and stitch pieces together at the 1/4 inch mark making one long strip, beginning and ending each row with the same fabric piece.

As you finish each strip match it lengthwise to the previous sewn strip. (If you are using a regular sewing machine press seams open first) Pin on seam lines with the seams facing the center of the quilt row.
6 12 34 56 54 32 16
12 34 56 16 54 32 1
2 34 56 12 16 5432
34 56 1232 16 54 3
4 56 12 34 32 16 54
56 12 34 54 32 16 5
6 1234 56 54 32 16
56 12 34 54 32 16 5
4 56 1234 32 16 54
34 56 12 32 16 54 3
2 34 56 12 16 54 32
12 34 56 16 54 32 1
6 12 34 56 54 32 16

Step 3:

Once you reach the center square, which will be the same as the first and last squares you will pin one facing to the right, the next side facing to the left and continue pinning left to the end of the row.

Step 4: Half Way Through

As you add rows to your quilt it will become bulky to manage on the machine.

I recommend sewing strips together until you reach the middle row, which will be a repeat of the very first row you made, set the piece aside and continue making strips, following the pattern for the lower half of the quilt as you did for the upper half.

Once the bottom half is complete pin it to the upper half and stitch both halves together. This way you only have to deal with the full bulk of the quilt once.

Step 5: Finishing

The picture below shows how your quilt will lay on a double bed with the pattern dropping off the outer edges. On a queen size bed it will all lay on top.

You can add borders now if you want more overhang or extra for tucking pillows under - if you choose not to add a border you are ready to add your batting and backing and finish the quilt.

Note: It is generally less expensive to purchase a flat sheet or sheet set for you backing piece, if you purchase a sheet set then you also have pillow cases and a bottom sheet to match.
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