Road to California Quilt Pattern


Road to California quilt

Road to California quilt

My road to California quilt

My road to California quilt

The road to California quilt block formed the basis of this quilt, but I have played around with the colours a little and I’ve extended the overall design into the border – a relatively simple way of giving a different look to a quilt.

I was trying to use what I tend to think of as sea tones, but the olive green has come out in the photos looking more like brown than anything.  Broadly I’ve used a strong dark blue to give a focus to the design with olive green as a medium tone fabric.  The cream and light blue fabrics are there to give a good background to the main design.  As we’ve had a fairly gloomy week, my photo of the quilt looks more dark than it really is, so I’m showing you the digital image and the real thing.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the secondary designs show up a lot better in the digital image!

The quilt measures 42″ by 60″ – a good size for a throw or a single bed – and I have used 1/2 yard of light blue, 3/4 yard of both cream and dark blue and 1 yard of olive green.  As usual you can buy these fabrics for a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.

Completed road to California quilt block

Completed road to California quilt block

Cutting requirements for the road to California quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  forty eight light blue, seventy two cream

3.7/8″ squares:  fifty two olive green, fifty two dark blue

For the border you will need four 3.1/2″ strips of olive green – together with eight green/blue half square triangles which have been included in the numbers for 3.7/8″ squares above.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the road to California quilt block

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a dark blue and an olive green 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 produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the darker fabric and trim the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Road to California quilt block layout

Road to California quilt block layout

Lay the squares out in three rows of three – this is a lovely simple quilt block to make.  There’s a light blue square in two corners with cream squares going down the other diagonal.  The remaining four squares are the half square triangles, placed so that the dark blue triangles point towards each other in those two butterfly shapes.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together.  You will need to make twenty four of these blocks.  You will find that you have eight half square triangles left over – these are to be used in the border.

First two rows

First two rows

Assembling the road to California quilt

The blocks are laid out in six rows of four and the design is achieved by rotating the blocks.

The cream diagonal in each block is probably the easiest way of identifying the blocks.  In the first two blocks, this diagonal lies from bottom left to top right and the second two blocks have the diagonal going from top left to bottom right.  Rows 1 and 2 are the same as each other.

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

In rows 3 and 4 the cream diagonals form chevrons across the quilt.  In row 3 the cream diagonal goes up, down, up, down while in row 4 the cream diagonal goes down, up, down, up.  Together they form those light blue squares with olive green diamonds around them.

Rows 5 and 6 of the road to California quilt

Rows 5 and 6 of the road to California quilt

Rows 5 and 6 are the same as each other – for the first two blocks the cream diagonal goes down and for the second two blocks it goes up.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Use half square triangles in the border

Use half square triangles in the border

Road to California quilt border

I am using the border to finish off the overall quilt design with a blue triangle in the middle of each border strip.  If you cut carefully, you will be able to get a 15.1/2″ strip and a 27.1/2″ strip from each 3.1/2″ strip of green cut across the width of fabric.

For the top and bottom of the quilt, sew together two 15.1/2″ green strips with two half square triangles in the middle between them.  Sew these to the top and bottom of the quilt, taking care to place them so that the blue triangle points away from the quilt.

For the sides of the quilt, sew together two 27.1/2″ green strips with two half square triangles between them in the middle.  Sew these to the sides of the quilt.

The road to California quilt top is now complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

My daughter is coming home later today so I’m planning a relaxing weekend with no painting or sorting out for a few days – maybe not even any sewing if I can keep myself away from the sewing machine!  I hope that you have a wonderful Easter weekend.

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  1. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great quilt. It is going on my list of To do’s. I have stopped sewing until Monday as I am getting ready for Easter. I’ve been at it most of the week. I have a lot of traditions that I follow for this holiday. Love the colours and the easy way you explain everything.
    Hope you have a great holiday with your daughter, and yes, take a break and enjoy just enjoy each others company.

    • Thanks, Sandra. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. Like you, I feel that sewing can wait until after the weekend.

  2. thank you rose you have a wonderful Easter 2

  3. As usual Rose your inspirational work is impressive. Love the California quilt.
    Have a lovely Easter.. X

  4. Marilyn Larkin says:

    Wishing you a wonderful Easter no matter the weather, it is always wonderful when family comes to visit. You have worked so hard these last few months a few days break is well deserved. I can see now why you would like to move to Birmingham, being closer to family is a strong attractor. I love the quilt encroaching into the borders, it is quite dynamic. The colour choice is great too. Take care and enjoy the Easter celebration.

    • Thanks so much, Marilyn. I’ll enjoy having her company for a few days – even though she has just asked me to replace a zip on her clothes! Glad you like the quilt.

  5. Rose I enjoy your quilt designs and hearing about places in the UK. Since I live in California USA this is a particularly special block for me. My “road to California” was to move 3500 miles across the US from the State of New Hampshire to the State of California, a life long dream. Thank you for taking the time to create and explore quilt block options and then share it with all of us.

  6. Debbie Calvert says:

    Awe. Rose this is a lovely quilt the colours complement each other. Very well done honey. Debbie xx

  7. This a pattern that I really like and I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks.

  8. Rose,
    This is going to the top of my list.
    A really lovely pattern. Enjoy your well deserved break with your daughter.
    Don’t overdo the Easter Eggs (lol)
    Thank you for another lovely pattern and tutorial.

    • Thanks, Mary. I haven’t even bought her an Easter egg yet – I hope they aren’t sold out when we go shopping tomorrow!

  9. Barbara says:

    Another stunner, Rose, I don’t know how you do it! Definately one to save for when I have more time. Happy Easter, Barbara x

  10. Hi Rose, What a beautiful pattern! Not only are you creative but you also have the ability to describe in detail how to put the quilt together.

    Happy Easter to you and your daughter. I’ll be busy making (easy pattern) dresses for my great niece and her doll.

    • Hi Claire. You’re very kind. I’ve never made doll’s dresses but what a lovely idea to make them for your great niece and her doll.

  11. This may be your best one yet! Love you!

  12. Hannah Veale says:

    Hi Rose,Another lovely quilt pattern from you,I love how you alway’s create so many secondary blocks in your quilts, I look forward to your tutorials, so easy to follow, you are a great Teacher,I have learned a lot from you, I am currently making a Kaleidoscope quilt with 6″ blocks,a lot of concentration required,
    Wishing You & Yours a very Happy Easter,


    • Thanks, Hannah – and Happy Easter to you. Good luck with the kaleidoscope quilt: as you say, plenty of concentration required, especially with small blocks.

  13. I just finished organizing my patterns and putting my favorite designers in notebooks. Your patterns are among the most saved and used patterns I have. You are amazing and I love it! Keep them coming!

    • Thanks, big2240. I’m so glad that you find my patterns useful. It’s always nice to know that they get used!

  14. Margaret Wilson Fairgrieve says:

    Rose I do love the small change to this design will be having a go at this one but not for a while as I’m quite busy many thanks for all the work you but in for us ladies cheers Margaret

  15. Olive Procyshyn says:

    Rose enjoy the Easter break with your daughter. I will have my family up from Kent which although a lot of extra cooking is so nice for us all. Just got the turkey out of the freezer.
    Will get cracking on that jelly roll next week the California quilt is super.
    Olive in a damp miserable Suffolk. Yesterday was so lovely with sunshine and blue skies by the sea at Felixstowe.

    • Thanks, Olive. I’ve just picked my daughter up from Birmingham and we had rain (headlights on) all the way back. I gather the weather should improve over the weekend, and I hope they’re right. Enjoy your weekend with your family.