Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Lifetime Quilt

The other day I posted about this wonderful antique quilt I have to replicate:

So I got started by making a plan.  The half-square triangles (HST) in the antique finish at 1.25" and that was fine by me.  I thought I would start with 2" squares and sew a very narrow, small seam allowance.  That didn't work out so well--the blocks were a smidge too tiny. I increased the square to 2.25" or even 2.5" if that was the size square I already had cut. Here is the process:

Chain, chain, chain...

Trim precisely

Make units of 4 HSTs

I pressed seams open across the middle seam, do as you like

Yes, I pin a lot with these small units-the pin at the bottom helps keep me straight all the way to the end of the seam
More open seam pressing, again, do as you like
Only 286 more of these blocks to go...

As these fill up, I'll make more 5" blocks, no rush
If you prefer words:

1. Pair up 2 squares, 2.25", place right sides together
2. Draw a diagonal pencil line on the back side of the lightest square.
3. Sew a narrow seam on both sides of the diagonal line.
4. Cut apart on diagonal line.
5. Press toward the darker triangle.
6. Trim to 1.75" precisely.
7. Join 4 HSTs into a block--it should measure 3" raw edge to raw edge.
8. Join 4 of those blocks into a larger block--it should measure 5.5" square, raw edge to raw edge
9. Lather, rinse, repeat...  My plan is to make this quilt 16 x 18 blocks, 80" x 90".

Because this is a Lifetime Project, all I'll do from here on out is cut 2.25" squares of leftover fabrics that I want to incorporate into this quilt.  When I need a "leader/ender", I'll grab 2 paired squares and sew them at the beginning or end of my sewing.  Then I can cut and trim the HSTs as I get time, and throw them into a box or bag until I feel like making more blocks.

If I  had to do nothing but this quilt over and over, I'd hate it before I was close to done.  This way, I just get to play with favorite fabrics over time and eventually it will get done.  Assuming I live that long.  And if I don't, someone else can finish it.

Let's Quilt!



  1. Wow, what a wonderful quilt journey. Keep us posted with photos :)

  2. We all, quilters, should do this. Even if we don't finish the quilt think of the wonderful "find" some quilter in the future would discover..

  3. Love this quilt, Barbara! You might consider the BlocLoc rulers for squaring up all those HSTs! http://www.blocloc.com/blocloc.htm

  4. Wow! What an undertaking; but, what a beautiful quilt! --Terry

  5. You've got a great practical plan to make all those hst's. The lenders and Enders process will keep you sewing and motivated with out even realizing you're making progress.

  6. It is a magnificent lifetime project, Barbara! Taking it in small bites is a good plan. I especially like the "lather, rinse, repeat"! *LOL*

  7. Try using Pam Bono’s method for cp tinuous flying geese as shown on YouTube. Looks simpler and more accurate.