The road to California quilt block formed the basis of this quilt, but I have played around with the colours a little and I’ve extended the overall design into the border – a relatively simple way of giving a different look to a quilt.
I was trying to use what I tend to think of as sea tones, but the olive green has come out in the photos looking more like brown than anything. Broadly I’ve used a strong dark blue to give a focus to the design with olive green as a medium tone fabric. The cream and light blue fabrics are there to give a good background to the main design. As we’ve had a fairly gloomy week, my photo of the quilt looks more dark than it really is, so I’m showing you the digital image and the real thing. I’m sure you’ll agree that the secondary designs show up a lot better in the digital image!
The quilt measures 42″ by 60″ – a good size for a throw or a single bed – and I have used 1/2 yard of light blue, 3/4 yard of both cream and dark blue and 1 yard of olive green. As usual you can buy these fabrics for a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the road to California quilt
3.1/2″ squares: forty eight light blue, seventy two cream
3.7/8″ squares: fifty two olive green, fifty two dark blue
For the border you will need four 3.1/2″ strips of olive green – together with eight green/blue half square triangles which have been included in the numbers for 3.7/8″ squares above.
Making the road to California quilt block
Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles. Place a dark blue and an olive green 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 produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares. Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.
Lay the squares out in three rows of three – this is a lovely simple quilt block to make. There’s a light blue square in two corners with cream squares going down the other diagonal. The remaining four squares are the half square triangles, placed so that the dark blue triangles point towards each other in those two butterfly shapes.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together. You will need to make twenty four of these blocks. You will find that you have eight half square triangles left over – these are to be used in the border.
Assembling the road to California quilt
The blocks are laid out in six rows of four and the design is achieved by rotating the blocks.
The cream diagonal in each block is probably the easiest way of identifying the blocks. In the first two blocks, this diagonal lies from bottom left to top right and the second two blocks have the diagonal going from top left to bottom right. Rows 1 and 2 are the same as each other.
In rows 3 and 4 the cream diagonals form chevrons across the quilt. In row 3 the cream diagonal goes up, down, up, down while in row 4 the cream diagonal goes down, up, down, up. Together they form those light blue squares with olive green diamonds around them.
Rows 5 and 6 are the same as each other – for the first two blocks the cream diagonal goes down and for the second two blocks it goes up.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Road to California quilt border
I am using the border to finish off the overall quilt design with a blue triangle in the middle of each border strip. If you cut carefully, you will be able to get a 15.1/2″ strip and a 27.1/2″ strip from each 3.1/2″ strip of green cut across the width of fabric.
For the top and bottom of the quilt, sew together two 15.1/2″ green strips with two half square triangles in the middle between them. Sew these to the top and bottom of the quilt, taking care to place them so that the blue triangle points away from the quilt.
For the sides of the quilt, sew together two 27.1/2″ green strips with two half square triangles between them in the middle. Sew these to the sides of the quilt.
The road to California 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:
My daughter is coming home later today so I’m planning a relaxing weekend with no painting or sorting out for a few days – maybe not even any sewing if I can keep myself away from the sewing machine! I hope that you have a wonderful Easter weekend.