The Mrs Tafts Choice quilt block that I have used in this week’s quilt is a simple four patch block. I have used some of my new fabrics from Inprint at Makower and I’m thrilled with them. Mrs Taft was a first lady of the United States about a century ago.
I have used sixteen 12″ blocks, using rotations to make the design. The quilt measures 58″ square and I have used 1.1/4 yards each of lilac and floral fabrics, together with 2 yards of purple.
The lilac may not look very lilac in the images, but it’s a lilac background with a cream weave design over it and looks more lilac in real life.
You can buy these fabrics in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for Mrs Tafts choice quilt block
3.1/2″ squares: thirty two lilac, thirty two purple
3.7/8″ squares: forty eight each in floral and lilac, thirty two each in purple and lilac, sixteen each in floral and purple
For borders one and three you will need to cut eleven 2.1/2″ strips of purple, while for border two you will need to cut six 1.1/2″ strips of floral fabric
Make half square triangle units
Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above. Place two squares 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 which are now 3.1/2″ squares.
Make Mrs Tafts Choice quilt block
Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows of four.
Place the squares along one diagonal: a lilac square in each corner and two purple squares along the middle of the diagonal. Place three floral/lilac half square triangles around the remaining two corners. Then place two purple/lilac and one purple/floral half square triangles on each side of the diagonal made with squares. Look at the larger shapes to check that you have these placed correctly: all the purple squares and triangles follow that diagonal and the floral triangles make a sort of bowl shape either side of the purple diagonal.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. You need to make sixteen of these.
Assembling Mrs Tafts choice quilt
Place the blocks in four rows of four. Rows 1 and 2 are the same as each other. Look at the purple shape to see how to rotate the blocks. In the first two blocks the purple goes up from bottom left to top right. In the last two blocks the purple goes down from top left to bottom right.
Reverse the rotations for rows 3 and 4: the purple shape goes down for the first two blocks and then up for the next two blocks.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Add the quilt borders
For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of purple fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.
For the second border I have used 1.1/2″ strips of floral fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.
Finally for the third you’ll need 2.1/2″ strips of purple again: two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the Mrs Tafts Choice quilt top. 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:
Yesterday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London’s Alexandra Palace. It was the first time that I’d been to this show and the first time I’d been to Alexandra Palace, so it was a double treat for me. It was so interesting to see so many different types of needlework represented. I had stocked up on fabric last weekend so I was able to restrain myself from buying much and just enjoy the sheer beauty of all the things on display.
What really struck me was the number of different countries represented – there seemed to be stalls from every part of the world. Definitely a show that I’ll go to again.