Summer's Coming

Materials

  • 1 1⁄2m in total of assorted fabrics (to cut 3 1⁄2in squares so scraps are okay)
  • 1m of 44in wide feature fabric
  • 150cm of backing fabric
  • 115 x 150cm of wadding (a readycut piece crib size will be sufficient)
  • 50cm of fabric for binding

Finished Size

48 1⁄2 x 37in (122 x 94cm)

Skill Level

Beginner

You can download a copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Summer's Coming

Read through the whole project first. Cut four border fabric strips and then cut squares from the remaining material. It is advisable to cut the border strips over-long, then trim them to the exact measurement required once the quilt top is pieced. Look at Figures 1 and 2 to understand the basic concept. Figure 1 shows the straightset fabric layout for Summer’s Coming.

To make a simpler version keep the blue feature fabrics in place and have different fabrics making up the rest of the quilt top. Note the numbers around the sides. Figure 2 shows the fabric positions after slicing and re-sewing.

Now you can see which fabrics started on the outside edge of the pieced top, where they end up, and what they are now adjacent to. Use this as a guide to avoid having two identical fabrics next to each other in their final arrangement.
 
TIP! Press seam allowances open. This will avoid unwelcome bulk at seam intersections when you slice and re-sew.
 
  1. Cut 118 3 1⁄2in squares from the assorted fabrics and 22 3 1⁄2in squares from the feature fabrics. Taking into account the guidelines suggested (Figure 1), arrange the squares on a design wall or table in a rectangle 10 squares wide by 14  squares long. If possible, leave this in place for a few days and look at it every time you walk past. Eventually you will stop moving patches around and be ready to sew.
  2. Take the first two patches from the top left-hand side and sew together with a 1⁄4in seam. Press and return the unit to its position on the design wall. Repeat until all patches are sewn into pairs.
  3. Sew pairs into four-patch units. Sew the four-patch units together. Continue until the top is complete.
  4. Mark a line through the featured fabric from the bottom left-hand
    corner to partway up the right-hand side as shown in photo 1. Jayne has used ordinary children’s chalk but you can also
    use a fine pencil or removable quilt marker. Note: The front of the fabric was marked for clarity in the photograph – you may prefer to mark the back.
  5. Stay stitch 1⁄8in either side of the drawn line (photo 2) using a slightly longer stitch length than for piecing. Use a thread which will blend with your fabrics. The stay stitching is very important. The ‘new’ outside edge of your quilt top will be on the bias and it is vital that you stabilise this edge before it is distorted by being handled.
  6. Cut along the drawn line and re-arrange the pieces as shown (photo 3). Sew together to create a parallelogram.
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to mark the next cutting line through the feature fabric squares. Cut along the drawn
    line as before.
  8. Sew the sections together as shown and you have a quilt top on point!

Figure 1 and 2
Figure 1 (Left) Laying out the squares, Figure 2 (Right) The new arrangement after resewing

Photo 1Photo 2
Photo 1 (Left), Photo 2 (Right)

Borders and Quilting

Photo 3
Photo 3
Cut four strips 4 1⁄2in wide from the feature fabric.
  1. Measure each of the long sides of your quilt top and the length through the middle, add the three measurements together and divide by three. This will give you the length to cut the border strips for these edges.
  2. Pin these strips in place, easing if necessary and sew with a 1⁄4in seam. Press seams towards the border.
  3. Measure both the shorter sides of your quilt top and width through the middle as before but including the border just added. Cut two strips to this length. 
  4. Pin into place, easing either the border strips or the quilt top if necessary. Sew the borders in position, press as before.
  5. Press your entire quilt top, paying attention to which direction yourseam allowances lie. This is the last time you will ever press the top, so it’s worth spending sufficient time to get it right.
  6. Layer your quilt top, wadding and backing, and tack.
  • If you have made a true scrap quilt and used a multitude of fabrics then Jayne doesn’t advise you to do a lot of intricate quilting as it won’t show.
  • Hand-quilters could stitch each square 1⁄4in in from the seam allowances as shown in Figure 3. Bigstitch quilting using a perlé cotton thread looks good. If you are quilting by machine you could use a simple quilt grid, as shown in Figure 4.
  • Jayne’s top was quilted using her longarm quilting machine. She stitched a freehand meander using a Star 100% cotton variegated thread by Coats.
  1. After quilting, trim your quilt square. Cut the binding fabric into strips 2 1⁄2in wide and join into one length. You need enough to go all round the edges of your quilt plus four or five inches to overlap. 
  2. Fold in half lengthwise and press. With raw edges matching-pin to the quilt edge. Bind with mitred binding. Don’t forget to add a label with your name and the date.

First published in Popular Patchwork July 2003