I’ve called this quilt Tranquility because it seems to have such a feeling of serenity. Obviously that’s partly because of the pastel colour, but I also think that it’s quite a restful quilt block as well. For some reason I felt really calm while I was making it – I didn’t even need to unpick any seams! It is a variation of the spool quilt block. I have used twelve quilt blocks in four rows of three and the final quilt size is 52″ by 42″. I have used 1.1/4 yards of white fabric and 1.3/4 yards of green fabric.
4.7/8″ squares: twelve each in green and white
2.7/8″ squares: twenty four each in green and white
2.1/2″ squares: ninety six white and forty eight green
Don’t cut all the 2.1/2″ squares yet as some of them can be made more easily using strip piecing.
For the border you will need eleven 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric cut across the width of fabric and three 2.1/2″ strips of white.
Making the tranquility quilt block
Make half square triangles with the 4.7/8″ squares and the 2.7/8″ squares. Place a green and a white square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This will give you two half square triangle units. Press the seam allowance towards the green and trim the corners of the squares.
You will also need lots of 2.1/2″ green and white squares side by side in the quilt block, so it will save time if you sew 2.1/2″ strips of green and white fabric together. Cut these panels at 2.1/2″ intervals to give you rectangles of fabric that are 2.1/2″ wide and 4.1/2″ long. They are basically two 2.1/2″ squares sewn together. Do this with three strips each of green and white fabric.
Lay the patchwork squares out in what would be five rows of five if you count the large squares as four at a time. You can use the strip pieced green and white squares in rows one, two, four and five. There are two large half square triangles in two of the corners and a small white square in the other two corners. The remaining spaces are taken up with either white squares or half square triangle units. You can check which way to place the half square triangles with the photo.
Sew the three squares across rows one and two together and and then sew the two rows together. They are now the right size so that you can sew the large half square triangle to them. Repeat for rows four and five. For row three in the middle the squares can just be sewn together right across the row.
Sew all the rows to each other to complete the tranquility quilt block. Make twelve of these.
Assembling the tranquility quilt
There are two ways of placing these quilt blocks. On the left you can see how it looks when you place the blocks so that the spool shapes form a zigzag. You end up with two different shapes being formed in the middle of the quilt. This is an interesting layout option, but I decided that I preferred the symmetry given by the second option shown below.
My preferred layout option for the quilt is to have all the blocks facing in the same direction. This gives the same shape repeated across the quilt. It rather reminds me of a vase with white diamond shapes running down the middle of it.
Whichever option you choose, sew the quilt blocks together in four rows of three and then sew the rows to each other. At this stage the quilt measures 40.1/2″ by 30.1/2″.
Tranquility quilt borders
I have used three borders to frame the quilt. For the first border I cut 2.1/2″ lengths of the green fabric. I have sewn the border to the long edges first and then the shorter edges as this means that you don’t have to sew two pieces of fabric together to make the border strips. So for the long edges you will need two strips 40.1/2″ long and for the remaining two edges you will need two lengths 34.1/2″ long.
For the second border I have used strips of alternating green and white squares. Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of green and white fabric and cut them at 2.1/2″ intervals to make pairs of squares. This is just the same as you did above to make the quilt blocks and you will need three strips each of green and white.
Sew the pairs of squares together side by side to form strips. You will need two lengths of twenty two squares for the long edges and two lengths of nineteen squares for the short edges. The two longer lengths will both begin and end with a different colour. The shorter lengths don’t – make sure that one of them begins and ends in white and the other begins and ends in green. That way you should be able to keep the alternating pattern going all the way round the quilt.
Finally for the third border I have gone back to the 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ and two lengths of 42.1/2″. The tranquility quilt top is now complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video: