Mrs Tafts Choice Quilt Pattern

Mrs Tafts Choice quilt

Mrs Tafts Choice quilt

The Mrs Tafts Choice quilt block that I have used in this week’s quilt is a simple four patch block.  I have used some of my new fabrics from Inprint at Makower and I’m thrilled with them.  Mrs Taft was a first lady of the United States about a century ago.

I have used sixteen 12″ blocks, using rotations to make the design.  The quilt measures 58″ square and I have used 1.1/4 yards each of lilac and floral fabrics, together with 2 yards of purple.

The lilac may not look very lilac in the images, but it’s a lilac background with a cream weave design over it and looks more lilac in real life.

You can buy these fabrics in this week’s special offer.

Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for Mrs Tafts choice quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  thirty two lilac, thirty two purple

3.7/8″ squares:  forty eight each in floral and lilac, thirty two each in purple and lilac, sixteen each in floral and purple

For borders one and three you will need to cut eleven 2.1/2″ strips of purple, while for border two you will need to cut six 1.1/2″ strips of floral fabric

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units in the colour combinations listed above.  Place two squares 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 give you two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Make Mrs Tafts Choice quilt block

Mrs Tafts choice quilt block layout

Mrs Tafts choice quilt block layout

Lay the patchwork pieces out in four rows of four.

Place the squares along one diagonal:  a lilac square in each corner and two purple squares along the middle of the diagonal.  Place three floral/lilac half square triangles around the remaining two corners.  Then place two purple/lilac and one purple/floral half square triangles on each side of the diagonal made with squares.  Look at the larger shapes to check that you have these placed correctly:  all the purple squares and triangles follow that diagonal and the floral triangles make a sort of bowl shape either side of the purple diagonal.

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

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assembling Mrs Tafts choice quilt

Place the blocks in four rows of four.  Rows 1 and 2 are the same as each other.  Look at the purple shape to see how to rotate the blocks.  In the first two blocks the purple goes up from bottom left to top right.  In the last two blocks the purple goes down from top left to bottom right.

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

Reverse the rotations for rows 3 and 4:  the purple shape goes down for the first two blocks and then up for the next two blocks.

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

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

For the first border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of purple fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

For the second border I have used 1.1/2″ strips of floral fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally for the third you’ll need 2.1/2″ strips of purple again:  two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Mrs Tafts Choice 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:

Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace

Yesterday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London’s Alexandra Palace.  It was the first time that I’d been to this show and the first time I’d been to Alexandra Palace, so it was a double treat for me.  It was so interesting to see so many different types of needlework represented.  I had stocked up on fabric last weekend so I was able to restrain myself from buying much and just enjoy the sheer beauty of all the things on display.

What a setting for a show!

What a setting for a show!

What really struck me was the number of different countries represented – there seemed to be stalls from every part of the world.  Definitely a show that I’ll go to again.

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About Rose


  1. Kathryn Hobbs says:

    Hello Rose. A very pretty quilt, thank you for the inspiration.
    I am glad you enjoyed AllyPally. My husband (the north Londoner, ) used to play in those grounds as a child, but as a South Londoner, I have only been there to the quilt show. It is a lovely place for an exhibition.
    Our first Grandchild was also a girl, who although born into this house, moved with her family to Birmingham, Now 16 years later, she is studying in London and living with us. She is, as are all our grandchildren, a joy. Its so lovely to be a Grandma,
    I hope your Granddaughter arrives safely, and best wishes to all her new family.

    • Hi Kathryn. Thanks for your comments. How lovely to have your grand daughter staying with you. It must be a huge relief for her parents as well, knowing that she is safe with you. I’m really pleased that I have finally been to the Alexandra Palace – somewhere I had always wanted to visit.

  2. Hello Rose what lovely colours you have used for this quilt. Even though I still have more than enough to do I am vey tempted. Good news about the new baby. I do hope all goes well and look forward to hearing more news. I can remember going to a jazz festival in the grounds of Ally Pally many years ago. Had a fantastic time.

    Take care of yourself. Janny

    • Hi Janny. I was thrilled with the new fabrics. In fact the kit was so popular that I sold out very quickly, and I’m now waiting to hear if Makower have any more for me. I didn’t notice the grounds at the Palace – they must be round the back. I’ll make a point of having a look next time I go there.

  3. Hello Rose! I am in love with this quilt, and purple is one of my favorite colors. I am in coastal South Carolina, in the US, recovering from Hurricane Matthew. We don’t have electricity yet, but are blessed with just minimal damage from strong wind.

    Thank you for all you do for us! Your quilts are beautiful, and I appreciate you very much!
    Have a great week ?

    Darlene in SC

    • Hi Darlene. I am so pleased that you only had minimal damage – it must be such a relief for you. Hurricane Matthew seems to have been a terribly destructive force – the pictures that we see coming from Haiti are dreadful.

  4. Hi Rose – This is a lovely quilt – another one of yours I hope to make. I am going to the Knitting & Sewing Show at Alley Palley tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it. Always look forward to seeing your quilts every Friday.

    • Hi Linda. I hope you enjoy the show as much as I did. There are so many different types of needlework to look at.

  5. HI Rose, love this beautiful quilt. The colors are magnificent together. I’m so glad you enjoyed the palace. Sounds like a great way to spend the day. I’m up to my eyeballs in quilt ideas and sewing, but I may have to add this beauty to my list. Really georgeous. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  6. Hi Rose, This is a lovely quilt. I love the design and the colors. I still have 1/2 square triangles that I cut out many months ago when I started one of your quilts. I have stopped sewing because next week I must have hand surgery for 2 fingers – a trigger thumb and a middle finger. I will most probably only have the use of one hand until things heal. I will keep you posted.

    • Hi Claire. I am so sorry to hear that you need surgery on your hand – but also glad if it means that your fingers will be better afterwards. Good luck – I’ll be thinking of you.

  7. Sandra Barnett says:

    O h Rose,
    Love the colours My favorite. Definitely have to make this one next. Have been busy making Christmas presents along with quilting my disappearing nine patch quilt. Getting there.
    Glad you had a great time at Alley Palley. I have done crocheting in the past.
    Good luck with the little one coming. You will love being a Granny.
    Have a great weekend. Happy Quilting

    • Hi Sandra. I knew you’d go for these colours! I have now decided on several of my Christmas presents so can get started on making them soon – I’m not as organised as you are.

  8. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Lovely quilt pattern….lilacs are a favourite of mine. I live just outside Vancouver Canada and the Lilacs always bloom in May to herald the beginning of spring. So excited for you re the new baby. My first grandchild was a little girl…..such special memories holding her for the first time…..a special time for you.??so enjoy your comments re places you visit. Must save my pennies for another trip to Great Britian….past home to my Welsh, English and Scottish parents and grandparents. Celebrating Thanksgiving this rainy, blustery weekend. Hope your weekend has better weather.

    • Thanks, Colleen. Lilacs are so pretty and as you say they’re a wonderful indicator of spring. I must try and get one for my new garden. You certainly do have a United Kingdom family heritage. Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. Hi Rose A lovely pattern and I love the layout.
    Was the knit and stitch show very busy?
    Hopefully next week you will be telling us about the new addition to your family.
    Thank you Rose for a lovely pattern.

    • Hi Mary. I could move around the halls at first but by lunchtime it got too crowded for much movement. Luckily I’d seen all the stalls by then so I could leave. The lady on the Quilters Guild stall told me that the first day (Wednesday) is the least busy day, so I’ll try and remember that for next year.

  10. Olive Procyshyn says:

    Rose love this design and colour ways.
    Glad you enjoyed Alley Palley. I am going tomorrow missed it last year due to an operation on my leg.
    Hope your baby Grand daughter arrives safely.
    Olive in a damp chilly Suffolk.

    • Hi Olive. I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time at the show. There’s just so much to see. I don’t knit so I was filled with admiration for all the lovely things on the knitting and crochet stalls. It’s also been damp and chilly over here in Birmingham!

  11. Doe Harden says:

    Beautiful fabrics!! And such a pretty pattern to use with them!! Once again a winning combination from Ludlow Quilt and Sew!! Thank you, Rose!!

  12. Hello Rose, I jus love your quilt, the colours are just lovely. When I have time I would like to make this. I also love Ali Pally, did contemplate going, but think I will leave it until the Spring time. Wishing you a lovely weekend

    • Thanks, Margaret. It’s a very easy quilt to make – provided you don’t mind half square triangles! Alexandra Palace is a wonderful place for an exhibition – I’m so glad that I’ve finally been there.

  13. Thank you Rose! I love your fabric choices. The white with floral is brilliant! Many thanks for your continued encouragement!

  14. Trish Tarbuck says:

    Really like this quilt Rose, looks so nice and fresh.Bet you are really excited about the baby.Our next door neighbours brought their new son home last night.I have just been in for a cuddle he is gorgeous.

    • Thanks, Trish. Yes, I’m thrilled at the prospect of a baby in the family – I always find that you forget how small they are until you hold another one. Ben himself (the father and my son) was premature and I could carry him in one hand when he was born.

  15. Such lovely fabrics, put together beautifully to show them off at their best. I’ve never been to Ali-Pali but always intended going…maybe I will some day.

    • Thanks, June. It would be quite a trek from the Wood Green tube station, but they lay on free courtesty shuttle buses which makes it much easier. It’s certainly a lovely place – you go through the gorgeous Palm Court before getting to the exhibition rooms.