Bright Futures Quilt Pattern


Bright futures quilt

Bright futures quilt

The bright futures quilt block is also known as the trails block.  It is a four patch block, very simple and quick to make.  It measures 54″ square and I have made sixteen bright futures quilt blocks which are 12″ square finished size.  The fabrics are from Fabric Freedom’s Renaissance range and I have used 3/4 yard each of the rose on white and rose on black fabrics, 1 yard of white and 1.1/2 yards of red fabric.  Actually I used fractionally over 1.1/4 yards, but you will probably need to buy 1.1/2 yards to be safe.  As usual, you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.

The blocks make a pretty quilt just placed side by side, but I have used rotation of the blocks to give the quilt more interest – giving a diamond or a square design around the central square, depending on which way you look at the quilt.

Bright futures quilt block

Bright futures quilt block

Cutting requirements for the bright futures quilt

3,1/2″ squares:  sixty four each of rose on black and rose on white

3.7/8″ squares:  sixty four each in white and in red

For the border you will also need five 3.1/2″ strips of red fabric, cut across the width of fabric

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the bright futures quilt blocks

Make half square triangles with the 3.7/8″ squares.  Place a red and a white 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 and trim the two corners where the tips of the triangles stick out.

Lay the squares along the diagonals

Lay the squares along the diagonals

The block layout is simple, but to make it even more clear, I have begun by showing you just the squares across the two diagonals.  There are four black squares running along the diagonal from top left to bottom right and four white squares running along the diagonal from bottom left to top right.

Bright futures quilt block layout

Bright futures quilt block layout

Now place a pair of half square triangles in the spaces along the edges between the corner squares.  Notice that the red triangles are placed so that they form a larger red triangle pointing away from the middle of the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You will need to make sixteen of these.

Rows 1 and 2 of the quilt

Rows 1 and 2 of the quilt

Assembling the bright futures quilt

The blocks are sewn together in four rows of four.  The design is formed by rotating the blocks across the rows.   Rows 1 and 2 are the same as each other.  Look at the black diagonal to see which way to rotate the blocks:  in the first two blocks the black diagonal runs from bottom left to top right, while in the second two blocks the black diagonal runs from top left to bottom right.

Rows 3 and 4 of the quilt

Rows 3 and 4 of the quilt

Rows 3 and 4 are also the same as each other.  This time the black diagonal runs from top left to bottom right for the first two blocks, and then from bottom left to top right in the second two blocks.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the quilt border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the bright futures quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

One of Birmingham's owls

One of Birmingham’s owls

I have enjoyed a happy week exploring Birmingham – as well as unpacking still more boxes.  Birmingham is full of owls at the moment.  It’s called the Big Hoot and there are 89 owls situated in a trail all over the place.  Each one has a unique design from a different artist and eventually they will all be auctioned to raise money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  What a lovely idea!

This particular one sits in one of Birmingham’s many squares and I’m hoping to bring you many more photos of them in the next few weeks.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Rose


  1. Beautiful as usual. Roses are my favorite so i really do love this fabric, the color blend is breathtaking.

  2. Robyn Stewart says:

    hurrah for Rose. I came to your site searching for how to do a cathedral windows block and fell onto the video for machine made. I joined your site and just now went looking for the video and landed on the HANDMADE one, which is just as succinct as the other method. So now I go to cut my squares out and begin stitching at my local CWA (Country Women’s Association) which I think equates with your Women’s Institute.I have been shown a method that does the bag/pouch step by hand, and my straight sewing is not so good, so now I shall set up your handmade one and show it to the women tomorrow. Thank you for your clear instructions and i hope all goes well in Birmingham.

    • Thanks, Robyn. I think everyone loves the cathedral windows type of quilting. I’m glad you found my instructions helpful.

  3. Bronwyn Hughes says:

    Hi Rose, this is my first comment here. I love receiving your emails, patterns and photos. This quilt is so pretty and fresh. I’ll have to see if I can buy that fabric range here in Melbourne Australia. All the best to you Rose. We are off to celebrate my daughter’s 45th birthday today!

    • Hi Bronwyn – now there’s a good Welsh name!. Thanks for your comments. I hope you have a wonderful time with your daughter.

  4. hope you enjoy your new home a lot and that it inspires you to continue adding to the knowledge and happiness of all the people follow your emails/web etc
    best wishes amd love

  5. Margaret Garlinge says:

    Lovely the colour, nice to see bright colours.

  6. Beryl Holmes says:

    What a delightful quilt showing really good use of light, medium and dark fabrics to such good effect. Thanks for all your interesting quilts and it amazes me how you manage to produce a different quilt each week!

    • Thanks, Beryl. Don’t you think that that’s the beauty of quilting – there are infinite ways for us to chop fabric up and then sew it back together again!

  7. Love the quilt pattern! Also wanted to thank you for sharing all the pictures that you take and send to everyone, I have always enjoyed looking at them! Have a great weekend!!! Marge

    • Thanks, Marge. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo of Birmingham – I’m never sure whether I should stick to quilting only.

  8. Margaret Wilson Faorgrieve says:

    Rose your quilt is wonderful
    I wish you many many Happy Years in your new home????
    Love and light from Margaret W Fairgrieve

  9. Hi Rose, Glad to see your exploring your new surroundings.
    The pattern is stunning thank you.
    .Have you plenty of space, in your new home, for all your machines?
    Love the owl.
    Have a lovely week-end.

    • Hi Mary. Glad you like the pattern. I’m a bit stuck for space as this house is smaller than my last one, but I’ll definitely make sure that I have room for my sewing machines!

  10. yvonne sharpe says:

    are you planning an owl quilt with different features of them. they are so unique.

    • Hi Yvonee. That was definitely going through my mind – they would make a lovely quilt.

      • Nola Sue Strang says:

        Rose you always make me so HAPPY when I receive your patterns! I absolutely love them. You make them easy to do. Thank you, Sue

  11. Rose, your quilt is absolutely gorgeous. And what beautiful fabric – so vibrant. Is it a lap quilt?
    Great that you are taking it one day at a time and getting used to your surroundings. Hope all is smooth sailing from now on.

    • Thanks, Claire. The quilt is probably bigger than what I would normally call a lap quilt – perhaps more of a throw. Yes, it’s great being able to explore – I always feel good when I can find my way somewhere (and back!) without satnav.

  12. Hi Rose,
    The quilt is Beautiful. Love the colors. I have been working on a small project. My son is getting married on Saturday, so I guess the sewing will go on the back burner for now.
    Take care, Carol

  13. What an attractive pattern and beautiful fabric choices – look forward to your emails and hearing of your ‘doings’ each week. Quinton looks to be a village and fairly rural, so you have the best of both worlds with Birmingham nearby.

    • Thanks, Carole. I’m an easy bus ride from Birmingham centre and also close to the M5 for when I want to go off on my travels. I’m really pleased with my new house.

  14. We have ‘Dragons’ on Norwich…120 of them!!..they will be sold/Auctioned for the Norfolk Chsrity Break…holidays for children in need of a holiday, on our lovely Norfolk Coast.

    • Thanks for that info, Brenda. I must definitely make sure that I get to Norwich while the dragons are still there. The owls here make everywhere so bright and cheerful and I’m sure your dragons do the same.

  15. Hi Rose, I love this pattern and love that you give info on fabric range which is helpful for me as I don’t seem to have an eye for fabric colours. You seem to be settling in very well in your new city, I look forward to seeing more photos of your explorations.

    Best wishes.


    • Thanks, Denise. The beauty of choosing fabric from within one fabric range is that you know the fabrics will all blend with each other. Some of the manufacturers release new ranges so often that it’s difficult to keep up with them.

  16. Hi again Rose, I just wanted to say thank you for another lovely pattern. It’s beautiful.
    Also, I would like to wish you a ‘bright future’ as you get to know your new home town, and settle in. Love the owl!
    I’ve had my family here from Australia for a week, and we met our new little granddaughter for the first time so it’s been an emotional, but wonderful time for us.
    She’s so sweet, and they’ve called her Grace. She is three months old now.
    All the best to you, Brenda

    • Thanks for your wishes, Brenda. How exciting to meet your grand daughter for the first time – your family are very brave travelling that distance with a three month old baby!

      • Love the pattern and the owl Rose. I have been in France on holiday so haven’t been in touch. Hope you are getting settled into Birmingham – looking forward to seeing the next owl?.

        • Thanks, Dianne. I hope you had a lovely time in France – did you have any trouble at Calaid, or did you fly to avoid it?

  17. Hi Rose love the owl. I only live about 20 miles north of you, so welcome to the area.


    • Thanks, Miriam. No doubt you’ve seen the owls then. I thought that they were only in Birmingham centre, but then I saw some from the bus the other day on the University campus.

  18. What a gorgeous quilt. I might do this one when I finish all my ufo’s. Done very little over past year due to ill health but recovering well now. Enjoy Birmingham and love the owls! Be happy in your new home. Sheila

    • Thanks, Sheila. Sorry to hear that you’ve not been well – I hope that you find the quilting therapeutic when you do begin again.

  19. This is truly a lovely design and your choice of colors makes it!