The Birmingham Library quilt pattern is actually based on the paving outside the library where there are some lovely designs. I have chosen one of the patterns for this quilt. I’ve used 2.1/2″ strips so that you could use jelly roll strips to make it, and I’ve used fabrics from my stash. So the quilt pattern ticks lots of boxes: easy quilt, no triangles, jelly roll quilt and scrap quilt.
No quilt kit this week partly because I only used scraps but mainly because I’m having a sale: 17% off across everything until next Thursday (8th Oct). No coupon required: just click here.
When I was selecting fabrics, I tried to choose blue (dark) fabrics, pink (medium) fabrics and yellow/white (light) fabrics. I don’t think that I quite achieved this because I kept thinking ‘ooh that’s pretty’ rather than looking more carefully at whether it was a dark, medium or light fabric. That’s why I’m showing you the digital version of the quilt as well as the real one.
The quilt measures 68″ by 56″, using nine quilt blocks which are 20″ by 16″ finished size. There are two different blocks and you’ll need six of the basic block and three of the alternate block. Although I used lots of different fabrics from scrap, the overall fabric requirements are 1.1/2 yards of blue, 2 yards of pink and 1.1/4 yards of light fabric.
Cutting requirements for the Birmingham library quilt
These are all 2.1/2″ wide strips, so I’ll just give the lengths here.
Blue fabric: thirty 4.1/2″, twenty four 6.1/2″, six 8.1/2″, six 12.1/2″, eighteen 16.1/2″
Pink fabric: twelve 2.1/2″, seventy two 4.1/2″, twenty four 6.1/2″, twelve 8.1/2″
Light fabric: twelve 2.1/2″, twenty four 4.1/2″, twelve 8.1/2″
For the borders you’ll need to cut six 2.1/2″ strips each in pink and in light across the width of fabric.
Basic Birmingham library quilt block
Lay the strips out in eight rows for the central area, with a 16.1/2″ blue strip on either side.
Rows 1 and 8: 4.1/2″ pink with 6.1/2″ blue on either side
Rows 2 and 7: 8.1/2″ pink with 4.1/2″ blue on either side
Rows 3 and 6: 4.1/2″ light with 6.1/2″ pink on either side
Rows 4 and 5: 8.1/2″ light with 4.1/2″ pink on either side
Sew the strips together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. Finally sew a 16.1/2″ blue strip to each side of the block. You will need to make six of this block.
Alternate Birmingham library quilt block
The alternate block is for the middle row of the quilt. This provides the same design, but shifted so that the blocks are not all in straight columns. To make it more clear, I’ll show you the build up as the different fabrics are added. Basically the blue strips are in the middle of the block rather than the edges.
The pink strips are then placed at each end of the blue strips.
Finally the light fabrics are added on the ends of the middle four rows.
So the final layout is:
Rows 1 and 8: 16.1/2″ blue with 2.1/2″ pink on either side
Rows 2 and 7: 12.1/2″ blue with 4.1/2″ pink on either side
Rows 3 and 6: 8.1/2″ blue with 4.1/2″ pink and 2.1/2″ light on either side
Rows 4 and 5: 4.1/2″ blue with 4.1/2″ pink and 4.1/2″ light on either side.
Sew the strips together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. The blocks are now 20.1/2″ by 16.1/2″ and you’ll need to make three of these.
Assembling the Birmingham library quilt
The blocks are sewn together in three rows of three. Rows one and three are made with three basic blocks sewn together. The second row is made using the three alternate quilt blocks sewn together.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Birmingham library quilt borders
I didn’t use scraps for the borders, choosing instead to have each border made from one fabric only. The first border is made with 2.1/2″ strips of light fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.
For the second border I used 2.1/2″ strips of pink fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the top of the quilt. Here you see the actual quilt – I love it even though I think the design shows up better in the digital version. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video:
Off to London this afternoon to meet up with a couple of school friends – who would have thought that we’d still be in touch after all these years! Don’t forget to take a look at the fabric sale!