I began this quilt with the Good Friends quilt block but then changed it so much that now it only vaguely resembles that block – but I thought that the name was very appropriate for this time of year so I’ve stuck with that. The block may look complicated, but each step is simple to do. To make the quilt I’ve used four 24″ quilt blocks to make a 54″ square quilt, needing 3/4 yard each of red, light blue and dark blue with 1.1/2 yards of a pale yellow fabric.
You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the Good Friends quilt
3.1/2″ squares: sixteen red, sixteen yellow, sixteen light blue, sixteen dark blue
3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles: sixteen dark blue
3.7/8″ squares: eight each in red and yellow, eight each in red and light blue for the half square triangles. In addition you will need sixteen dark blue and sixteen yellow 3.7/8″ squares for the diamond in square blocks
4.3/4″ squares: sixteen red
6.7/8″ squares: eight yellow
9″ squares: four light blue
For the border you will need five 3.1/2″ dark blue strips cut across the width of fabric
Make the diamond in square sections
Make the central section of each block with a diamond in a square. Begin with a 9″ light blue square. Cut the 6.7/8″ yellow squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square. Lay one triangle on each edge of the square.
Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square first. Press the triangles open with the seam allowances away from the square and then sew the remaining two triangles in place. The block now measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.
You will also need to make smaller diamond in a square sections. For these begin with a 4.3/4″ red square and cut the 3.7/8″ dark blue and yellow squares along one diagonal. Place dark blue triangles on two adjacent sides of the square and yellow triangles on the other two sides. Continue as above: sew the top and bottom triangles on first, press and then add the remaining two triangles.
This block now measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.
Make the half square triangle units
Place two 3.7/8″ squares right sides together in the colour combinations listed above – red with either light blue or yellow. Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line. Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.
Make the good friends quilt block
Place the large diamond in a square in the middle of the block with a small diamond in square in the middle of each edge of the central square.
Complete the rest of the frame with a 3.1/2″ dark blue square on either side of the top and bottom red diamonds and a dark blue rectangle on either side of the other two red diamonds.
In the outer frame of the block, the red triangles at the corners are made using a red square with two red triangles. Notice that the half square triangle units are different on each corner – some are red/yellow and some are red/light blue.
Add yellow squares to the remaining spaces in the top and left hand side of the block but add light blue squares to the spaces in the bottom and right hand sides of the block.
Sew the block together
Begin by sewing some of the squares together in pairs.
You are aiming to create three columns, so the squares are only sewn in pairs within each column.
One column is made of the central diamond in square with the squares above and below it while the other two columns are the side sections.
Once you have sewn together all the pieces within each column it is a simple matter to sew the three columns to each other to complete the good friends quilt block. You need to make four of these.
Sew the blocks together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other. Rotate the blocks so that the two yellow sides of the block are always on the outside with the light blue sides within the quilt forming a cross shape.
Add the border
Finally, for the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the good friends quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.
Confession time: my original plan was to make the red diamond in square blocks with either yellow or light blue on two sides. When I had finished making the blocks I realised that I had made them all with dark blue and yellow only. Funnily enough I prefer the design this way, so that was a happy mistake to have made!
Here’s the video:
Tonight I am thrilled to be going to the Botanical Gardens to see the Magical Lantern Festival. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good weather. It looks absolutely stunning and has been on my to do list ever since it opened last month.