I have based the V&A museum floor tile quilt on the corners of a floor tile design in the museum. There are many beautiful things to see in the museum, but I can’t help looking down at my feet wherever I go because there is so much inspiration down there on the floor.
I have simplified the design and also added some red to give some pop to the design. I’m hoping that I have achieved the aim of showing the blue square frame in the middle weaving over and under the grey and black strips.
You’ll be pleased to hear that this quilt is made with 2.1/2″ strips only – not a half square triangle in sight.
The quilt measures 50″ square, using sixteen 10″ finished size blocks. Fabric requirements are 1/4 yard of red, 3/4 yard each of blue and black with 1 yard of grey fabric. You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the V&A museum floor tile quilt
The fabrics are all 2.1/2″ wide strips, so I have just specified the lengths of the pieces below.
Red fabric: seventeen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips
Blue fabric: sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips, sixteen 8.1/2″ strips, sixteen 10.1/2″ strips
Black fabric: sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 4.1/2″ strips, thirty two 9.1/2″ strips
Grey fabric: sixteen 2.1/2″ squares, sixteen 6.1/2″ strips, four 22.1/2″ strips, two 46.1/2″ strips, two 50.1/2″ strips
Make the individual blocks
Lay the strips out as shown. The 10.1/2″ blue strip is across the top of the block, with the 8.1/2″ blue strip down the left hand side. 8.1/2″ black strips are placed horizontally above and below the central area. The central area is made with a 4.1/2″ black strip on the left, a 4.1/2″ red strip above a red square. To the right of these are a black square and a 4.1/2″ blue strip.
Sew the central area together first: that’s the red strip with a black square in one row and the red square with a blue strip in the other row. Join these two rows as shown on the right of the photo.
Now you can sew the black strip to the side of the unit and then black strips to the top and bottom. Finally sew the blue strip to the left hand side and then the blue strip across the top of the block.
It really is a very simple block to make!
Make the sashing strips
For the sashing, sew together a 6.1/2″ grey strip with first a blue square and then a grey square.
You need to make sixteen blocks and sixteen sashing strips.
Assemble the V&A museum floor tile quilt
Make the quilt in four quarters, using four blocks for each quarter. Form one row with two blocks and a sashing strip between them. For the second row sew together two sashing strips with a red square between them. In row three place two blocks with a sashing strip between them.
Rotate the blocks so that the blue is always on the outside. This is how you form the blue square frame weaving over and under the black and grey strips.
Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. Make four of these sections.
For the the sashing between the quarters use the 22.1/2″ grey strips with just the one red square in the middle. So rows one and three consist of two blocks with a grey strip between them. Make the second row with two grey strips and a red square between them.
Sew the sections together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Add the quilt border
Finally, for the border I have basically continued the sashing. You’ll need two lengths of 46.1/2″ across the top and bottom and two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the V&A museum floor tile 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.
Here’s the video:
Birmingham Back to Backs
Yesterday I went into Birmingham centre and was rather surprised to see crowds of people just around the area that I was visiting. It turned out to be the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent.
There were huge numbers of people waiting to get in to the theatre – they were very good natured and every now and then there was a huge roar of approval, presumably when someone well known arrived.
The reason that I was there was to visit a place called Back to Backs, which was absolutely fascinating. These are houses set around a courtyard, but each house had another one attached to the back of it. They had re created the interiors of the houses to show how they would have been at various times. For this they had used actual families that had lived in the houses.
The earliest was set up as 1870, when the houses were built. So much attention had been paid to making the details accurate that it was a real treat to see them. In the most modern house – around 1970 – a tailor had been the tenant and there was evidence of his sewing all over the house. I really wish that I had been able to take photos inside the house to show you. I saw two sewing machines – one the treadle type which I’m sure you have seen, but the other was even older than that. It looked very big and bulky and really interesting. Apparently this tailor was so good that people used to come to him from London to get their suits made.