The San Marco quilt is the result of a quick trip I took to Venice last week. It’s the most beautiful, inspirational city: I’ve added a link to my Venice photos at the bottom of the page – together with a short video of a gondolier serenading his passengers. This quilt is based on a small portion of the incredible floor tile designs that I saw in the San Marco basilica.
The quilt is rectangular, measuring 67″ by 85″, and I have used 3 yards of grey fabric with 1.1/2 yards each of red and black. I’ve made sixty three blocks, all 9″ square finished size. You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.
The combination of a plain square with a diamond in a square is quite common in these floor tiles – you can see it in diagonal lines at the bottom of this photo. It formed the basis of many of the designs.
The fact that there are plenty of plain grey squares make it a simple and quick quilt to make. I have added the red part of the quilt design to give it some pop.
Cutting requirements for the San Marco quilt
9.1/2″ squares: twenty eight grey
6.7/8″ squares: sixteen grey, fourteen red
5.3/8″ squares: sixty black
3.7/8″ squares: ten red, ten grey
3.1/2″ squares: twenty grey, five red
Make the half square triangle units for the stars
Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units. Place a red and a grey square 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 produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.
Press the seam allowances towards the red fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.
Make the star quilt blocks
Lay the 3.1/2″ squares and the half square triangles out in a nine patch formation. There’s a red square in the middle, a grey square in each corner and half square triangles in the remaining spaces. Check the photo to be sure of getting the triangle placements correct.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other. You need to make five of these star blocks.
Make the diamond in a square blocks
Cut the 5.3/8″ black squares along one diagonal to create two triangles from each square. Lay a triangle on each edge of the central 6.7/8″ square. Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square first. Then press these open and sew the remaining two triangles in place.
You will see that there are triangle tips sticking out in the middle of each edge. Trim these to reduce bulk when you’re sewing the blocks together.
You need to make sixteen of these blocks in grey on black together with fourteen blocks in red on black.
The other block required is a plain 9.1/2″ grey square.
Assemble the San Marco quilt
Sew the blocks together in nine rows of seven blocks. I’ll show you the rows three at a time. In the first and third rows place the plain grey squares in positions one, three, five and seven. The second row contains grey squares in positions two, four and six. Place a red diamond in square in the middle of the first row with two red diamonds diagonally below it in row two. Continue the diagonal lines with two red diamonds in row three. Fill the remaining spaces with grey diamonds – two each in rows one and two with just one in the third row.
Rows four to six form the central area of the quilt. Place a star in the middle of rows four and six, with three stars in row five.
There are two plain grey squares in each of these rows, together with two grey diamonds in each row. The red diamonds appear twice in each of rows four and six but there are none of them in row five.
Finally, rows seven to nine are very similar to rows one to three.
The red diamonds are now forming a V shape to complete the overall diamond shape begun in the top of the quilt.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Add the quilt border
For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 63.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 85.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the San Marco 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:
Last week I had a magical few days in Venice. I had so many photos that I’ve written a separate article about the gorgeous city. Click here to see my photos and a very short video of a singing gondolier.