Soar Quilt Pattern

Soar quilt

Soar quilt

The soar quilt is made using a Kona Bay fabric range called Soar which I think is quite beautiful.  I’ve begun with a rectangle that I have cut to the proportions of the golden rectangle, considered to be the most pleasing to the eye.  You can read more about the golden rectangle here.  The quilt pattern is very simple, the point being to show you an easy way of showcasing a fabric that you are particularly fond of.  I’m assuming here that you can choose from amongst all the fabrics in your stash that you know you can’t live without!

The quilt overall measures 41″ by 59″.  This is not completely the golden rectangle proportions, but is near enough for me to be happy with it.  I’ve used a fat 1/2 yard for the panel, with 1 yard of white fabric, 3/4 yard of red and 1/2 yard of blue.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the soar quilt

Central panel:  21.1/2″ by 33.1/2″

3.1/2″ squares:  fifty four white, twenty four red, twenty eight blue

First frame:  3.1/2″ lengths of white – two 21.1/2″ long and two 39.1/2″ long

Border:  two 4.1/2″ red strips 39.1/2″ long, two 1.1/2″ strips 59.1/2″ long

First frame of white fabric

First frame of white fabric

Making the soar quilt

Sew a strip 3.1/2″ by 21.1/2″ of white fabric to the top and bottom of the panel.  Sew a strip 3.1/2″ by 39.1/2″ of white to each side.

Just a few words about the size of the central panel:  I’ve chosen this size because it’s an approximation to the golden rectangle proportions, the width and length have been adjusted so that they are both divisible by 3, meaning I can sew 3″ squares all round it, and also I can cut two panels side by side from 1 yard of the soar fabric.

Sew strips of fabric together

Sew strips of fabric together

The next two frames are made with white squares alternating with either red or blue.  The red is chosen to tie in with the red markings on the heads of the storks and the blue is quite a major part of the panel.  You can save some time by sewing together a 3.1/2″ strip of white with red and with blue.  Cut this at 3.1/2″ intervals to give rectangles made up of one square each of either red and white or blue and white.  This can speed up the piecing, but you will also need individual squares.

Next frame made with red/white squares

Next frame made with red/white squares

Make up two strips of nine squares of red and white, each strip beginning and ending with red.  Sew these to the top and bottom of the quilt.  Make two further strips of fifteen squares beginning and ending with white.  Sew these to the sides of the quilt.

Frame of blue and white squares

Frame of blue and white squares

The third frame is made in a similar way but using blue and white squares.  You’ll need two strips of eleven squares beginning and ending with blue for the top and bottom of the quilt.  For the sides you will need two strips of seventeen squares, each strip beginning and ending with a white square.

At this stage the quilt measures 39.1/2″ by 51.1/2″, which is no longer the proportions of the golden rectangle.  If I wanted to keep these proportions all the way through the quilt I would have needed to use different sized strips on the sides compared with the top and bottom – and the maths would have become awfully complicated!  So instead I have chosen to use different widths of red fabric for the quilt border.

Add the border

Add the border

For the top and bottom of the quilt I have used 4.1/2″ strips – two lengths of 39.1/2″.  For the sides I have used 1.1/2″ red strips – two lengths of 59.1/2″.  A true golden rectangle quilt would have finished 41″ by 66″ but that would have meant too big a difference between the sizes of the border strips.  I’m happy with the size as it is.

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

Gold beads for the quilting

Gold beads for the quilting

I thought hard about how best to quilt the soar quilt.  The frames are easy enough – I will stitch in the ditch between the frames and then add some diagonals to make diamond shapes – but the central panel is a different matter.  It’s large enough that it needs some quilting to stop the layers moving against each other, but I didn’t want any quilting that would compete with the beauty of the fabric.  In the end I chose gold beading.  I’ve drawn lines along the diagonals and down and across the middle and I am going to sew beads along that star shape.  Obviously you need to be careful with the beads if there are young children around.

Here’s the video:

I seem to have ended up with another manic weekend planned:  this afternoon I am going to the ballet to see Taming of the Shrew.  Tomorrow there is dragonboat racing on the canals as well as a Street Art festival in town.  I just hope that we don’t have any more of the torrential rain that has been a feature of this week so that I can bring you some photos next week.  Then on Sunday I’m going to Sandown Racecourse for a quilt show followed by a quick visit to an old schoolfriend while I’m in the area.  I think I shall be exhausted by Monday!


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  1. MarleneC says:

    Beautiful quilt. At first I wondered are those angels and then looking closer I could see the birds. I am excited for you to have all the activities to attend and hoping you have delightful weather.

  2. Carol Tambourine says:

    Another gorgeous design. Have a sunny weekend.

  3. Janet Gould says:

    Been to Sandown today Rose. Very enjoyable day. Hope you enjoy yourself

  4. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Great quilt. I too have a few main panels and did not know what to do Thank you for the great idea. Love the beading would not have thought about that on a quilt. Under the weather yesterday and today. Suppose to go to an Native American Powpow tomorrow. Must get better.
    You have a fun filled weekend set hope weather cooprerates. Enjoy yourself and Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. Sorry to hear that you’ve not been well. Hope you feel better soon. A Native American Powpow sounds interesting.

  5. Anne Kay says:

    Hi Rose, I love the idea of using gold beads, where did you get them from? I have just done a quilt in Japanese fabric with a similar panel in the centre and was wondering how to quilt it without detracting from the beauty of the fabric. I did think about doing big stitch quilting around some of the pattern of the fabric but I am going to look at whether I can use the gold beads somewhere. Thanks for the idea!! Anne x

    • Hi Anne. Like you, I also thought of big stitching around parts of the design. I bought the gold beads from a stall in the market – they’re small enough that I hope they’ll achieve their object without dominating the panel.

  6. Margaret says:

    Sandown on the Isle if Wight? Gosh, you are going to be busy! Love this quilt – perfect and quick way to frame a lovely piece of fabric I think. x

    • Hi Margaret – no, it’s Sandown racecourse just below London. I think it’s in Esher in Surrey. They have a lovely quilt show there – I last went two years ago.

  7. Hi Rose,
    I never know what to expect from week to week. I like this as much as I like all your other patterns. When I think about you configuring (all that math) out the pattern, putting it together and sewing it, I roll my eyes and say “how does she do it and and have the time to see a show, go to a festival and visit an old friend? Whew! Enjoy, enjoy.

    • Hi Claire. I made the quilt design simple precisely so that I didn’t have to worry about too much maths! I just love having so many things available for me to go and see.

  8. Jenny Schollaert says:

    It looks like a very buzzy weekend. Enjoy all of it.

  9. Great tutorial for showing of a lovely panel. Thanks Rose.
    Enjoy the ballet.

    • Thanks, Mary. The ballet was delightful – one of several Shakespeare adaptations that the Birmingham Royal Ballet are doing. It was very amusing.

  10. francesca says:

    Preciosos trabajos .felicidades.

  11. Olive Procyshyn says:

    Love this one Rose. As a beader myself those beads will be lovely.
    I too was going to Sandown on Sunday, but as I have had a very bad chest infection this past week I am afraid I do not feel strong enough. Disappointed but health comes first.
    Enjoy your weekend Rose

    • Hi Olive. Sorry to hear you’re not well. We could have met up for a coffee at Sandown. Hope you feel better soon.

  12. Wow this is quite stunning Rose. Hope you have a fabulous time over this weekend – sounds amazing. Thank you again for this beautiful quilt.

    • Thanks, Monica. Glad you like the quilt. Kona Bay certainly do some beautiful fabrics. I’ve ordered some more called Dragon Moon which is out of this world, but I’ve been waiting ages for it now.

  13. Thank you again, Rose. I have 2 panels that I had no real purpose for. Now I do! Love this weeks pattern.

    • Hi April. Glad if the quilt pattern has give you some ideas. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do with special fabrics – it would be such a waste to just cut them up, wouldn’t it.

  14. Wendy Hansen says:

    Lovely, lovely quilt. Sounds like your weekend will be much more fun than mine. I am striping wallpaper off my walls. But I will sneak in some sewing?

    • Hi Wendy. Sounds like one of those jobs that’s not enjoyable but has to be done. I hope the wallpaper comes off relatively easily. Just think how glad you’ll be when you’ve finished re decorating.

  15. Beautiful!!! Love it!!!