I was asked for a tutorial on binding quilts with non standard corners, so I made this octagonal quilt. It could be a table topper or a picnic quilt, I think. It is like a 48″ square but with the corners taken out. I have used 1/2 yard each of two patterned fabrics, 1 yard of plain fabric and 10″ cut across the width of fabric of a batik fabric for the triangles and of fabric for the binding.
twenty five 4.1/2″ squares of both of the patterned fabrics
fifty two 4.1/2″ squares of plain fabric
eight 4.7/8″ squares of fabric for the edge triangles
four 2.1/2″ strips of border fabric
Making the octagon quilt
Cut the 4.7/8″ squares in half along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square. If you look at the photo you’ll see that every second edge of the table topper is made with triangles, while every alternate edge is made with squares. The rows are sewn together diagonally, so the first row is across the top left corner of the table topper/picnic quilt. I have alternated the squares with each patterned fabric, so that they run plain, swirl, plain, star across each row.
The first row is made using four squares with a triangle at each end. Note that the right angle (the square corner) of the triangle is at the bottom right in the left hand triangle and on the bottom left in the right hand triangle. The second row uses six squares with a triangle at each end. The third row has eight squares with two triangles and the fourth row has ten squares with two triangles.
The second four rows are simple – they are all twelve squares with no triangles. The first and third of these rows begins with a plain square while the second and fourth rows start with a patterned square. You can check your placement by making sure that the plain or patterned squares follow a diagonal line.
The final four rows are the same as the first four rows in reverse. The ninth row is made using ten squares with a triangle at each end. The tenth row has eight squares and two triangles, the eleventh row has six squares and two triangles and the twelfth row is made using four squares with a triangle at each end. Note that the triangles are now angled so that the shape of the quilt reduces in size so the square corners are now at the top of the triangle.
Sewing the rows together for the table topper
The rows are not tricky to sew together, but just remember that they are offset against each other. That just means that you sew the left hand triangle of the first row to the first full square of the second row. The best way is to match up the first seam of the first row with the second seam of the second row and then smooth the first triangle to the left to get the correct place to start sewing the two rows together. Continue sewing all twelve rows together to complete the octagon quilt top.
Layering the octagon quilt
Cut a 52.1/2″ square each of wadding and backing fabric. Lay the backing fabric with right side down. Lay the wadding on top and smooth gently. Lay the octagon quilt on top and smooth gently. Four edges of the octagon will lie in line with the wadding and backing. The remaining four edges will cut across the corner of the wadding. Begin pinning in the middle of the quilt and work out to the edges. Trim the wadding and backing to about an inch from the edge of the quilt.
Quilting the table topper/picnic quilt
You can use any quilting that you like on this quilt, but I have just used stitch in the ditch quilting. Begin with the middle line of stiching and sew along the line of the seam. You will need to do this from the top of the quilt, although the photo shows the back of the quilt with all the quilting done in one direction. When you have sewed along all the seams in one direction, moving from the centre outwards, turn the octagon quilt and begin again with all the seams going in the other direction so that you end up with all the squares outlined.
Here’s the octagon quilt pattern video:
Binding the octagon quilt
The method of binding the octagon quilt requires a little more attention than standard binding, so I have shown this in a separate article. Click on quilt binding corners.