I have named this quilt the Hereford quilt because it’s based on some of the floor tiles in Hereford Cathedral. I’m delighted with the way that it has turned out. The main part of the quilt top is very simple but the second quilt border is a bit more challenging. If you are a beginner quilter you may wish to finish after the first border – it will still be a very pretty quilt. The Hereford quilt measures about 52″ square and I have used 1.3/4 yards of red, 1.1/2 yards of cream and 1 yard of brown fabric.
Cutting requirements for the Hereford quilt pattern
The quickest way is to cut strips of fabric across the width of fabric and then cut them to size.
2.1/2″ strips: thirteen red, five cream, five brown
2.7/8″ strips: five each in red, cream and brown
2″ strips: nine cream
Making the Hereford quilt
You will need to cut 2.1/2″ squares and 6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles in all three colours. The quilt layout is seventeen rows of seventeen squares each – that’s counting each 6.1/2″ rectangle as three squares. The first eight rows are repeated to give sixteen rows and then row 1 is repeated again to make the 17th row.
The first row is shown on the right: four 6.1/2″ red rectangles with two brown squares and two cream squares between them. I had to show it in two sections because the row was too wide for the camera otherwise. Sew all the patchwork pieces together across the row using a 1/4″ seam.
The first four rows are shown on the left and rows five to eight on the right. I don’t think there’s any benefit in me listing them all. You can see the stepped pattern beginning to form. If you look at the brown fabric, for example, you’ll see that there is a brown square in the top row then a brown rectangle underneath it in the second row, with a brown square underneath the right hand edge of the rectangle in the third row. That pattern of square, rectangle, square follows for all three colours with the colour placement being red, brown, red, cream, red, brown and so on.
The point that you need to watch is the beginning and end of each row. Check with the photos as you begin each row to make sure that you keep the pattern running. Repeat rows one to eight to make the second half of the quilt and then add a further repeat of row one to make the seventeenth row. That way the top and bottom of the quilt are the same.
First border for the Hereford quilt
For the first border I used 2″ strips of cream fabric to separate the main border from the quilt top. Cut two at 34.1/2″ and sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt. Cut two at 37.1/2″ long and sew one to each side of the quilt. You may wish to stop there if you are not a confident quilter. You will have a 37″ quilt which is pretty in its own right. Or you may prefer to add the next two borders …
Second border for the Hereford quilt
For the second quilt border you will need to make half square triangles with brown and cream 2.7/8″ squares. 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 to produce two half square triangles. These are 2.1/2″ squares.
Make strips using two half square triangle units, one 2.1/2″ red square and two red triangles made by cutting a 2.7/8″ red square along one diagonal. You will need thirteen of these strips for each side of the quilt, which means making fifty two of them altogether. Lay these out as shown on the right, with each strip moved one square to the right compared with the one above it (technical term – offset). The left hand red triangle will be sewn to the brown triangle of the row above it.
Make four border panels of thirteen strips each. Sew the first one to one side of the quilt. As you can see there is a diagonal edge extending out to the left hand side of the quilt. Lay the second border panel in place along the next edge of the quilt and you will see that there is a triangular gap between the edges of the two border panels.
To fill this gap you will need a corner triangle. Lay out the patchwork pieces shown on the left – four half square triangles, two red 2.1/2″ squares and four red triangles cut from 2.7/8″ squares. Sew the pieces together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete a triangle. Check the photo to ensure that you have the half square triangles facing the correct way. On the right you can see how the triangle fills the gap nicely while keeping the pattern running. Make four of these corner triangles.
Sew the corner triangle to the second border panel and then sew this to the first border panel and the next edge of the quilt. At the corner where you need to change direction, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and swivel the two fabrics so that they are in line with each other for the next part of the seam. I know that this is almost impossible to explain even with a photo, but I hope it will become clear when you see the video.
The third border panel is added in exactly the same way. For the fourth border panel you will need a corner triangle at each end. Sew these to the border panel and then sew to the quilt top in the same way as for the previous border panels.
Third quilt border for the Hereford quilt
For the third quilt border I used 2″ strips of cream fabric again – two at 49.1/2″ long for the top and bottom and two at 52.1/2″ for the sides of the quilt.
That completes the Hereford quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.
You might be interested to see the photo of the original floor tile pattern in Hereford Cathedral along with some photos of the cathedral itself – you can see them here.
Here’s the video: