Concept to Quilt

In this post, I’ll discuss the process of drafting and creating my tea quilt. If you’ve seen my latest Instagram post, I uploaded a picture of a quilt I made. The tea quilt was a concept inspired by my recent journey into the world of loose leaf teas! I don’t own any fancy quilting software to help draft quilt blocks and didn’t have any graph paper on hand. So, I made a table in Microsoft Word to simulate quilt blocks. Below is a sample of the table and my drawn concept. The fun thing about this quilt is that you can change the orientation of the triangles to make them go up or down, make them into a diamond or slanted lines. 

Once I had a concept in mind, I began thinking about color schemes. I love high contrast colors and hues of blue and green. I began looking through my fabric stash and decided on using black, white, grey, aqua green, teal green, and a light brown color. This entire quilt was made from remnants! Since I’m using high contrast colors, I decided to prewash my fabrics to ensure the colors don’t bleed when washing. 

The majority of this quilt is made with half-square triangles. Two of the blocks, which I made to appear as steam used the flying geese technique. Below I’ll describe how I constructed these two types of quilt blocks. 

Half-Square Triangle

All of my quilt blocks in this project used 8″ x 8″ square blocks. To make the half-square triangles I began by placing two of my fabrics right sides together. Since I used solid colors, it didn’t matter how I placed the fabric together. If you choose to use a printed fabric, make sure the printed side is facing each other. Then I used my ruler on the fabric as a guide to form a diagonal line from one corner to another. Using my drawn line as a visual guide, I sewed two lines on each side of my drawn line. 

After the lines are sewn, I used my rotary cutter to cut along the line I drew. When opened, I now have two half-square triangles! The corners may need to be trimmed a bit as you might get little “dog ears” that appear. 

To make the letters, I used McCall’s Free Alphabet Character Block Patterns For Quilting as a guide and trimmed the blocks down to 8″ x 8″.

Flying Geese Quilt Block Technique

For the steam, I used the flying geese technique. There are many ways that this technique can be implemented, but this is the style I use. First, I took one of my 8″ x 8″ blocks and placed right side up. Then, I cut 2 squares each measuring 4 1/2″ of the grey fabric. I placed each square on each side of the top corners.  I drew a diagonal line on each grey block and sewed on the line. Once sewn, I trimmed the top corners. I repeated this step as I made two of these blocks.

Lastly, for the teacup, I placed my light brown fabric and aqua fabric right sides together and sewed a line directly in the middle. I opened the fabric and pressed with the iron. On each end of the teacup, I made half square triangles using the aqua and brown fabric. 

To get the angle I was looking for, I sewed one-half of the aqua fabric right sides together and cut the bottom portion off. 

Here’s a VERY wrinkled pic of my pieced quilt minus the bottom arrows :). Is it perfect? Heck no!, but as I’ve stated in previous posts, I love trying out new things to execute and improving as I keep practicing. 

I’d love to hear from you. How do you draft your quilting projects? Do you use special software or draw your concepts on paper?

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