Good Friends Quilt Pattern

Good friends quilt

Good friends quilt

I began this quilt with the Good Friends quilt block but then changed it so much that now it only vaguely resembles that block – but I thought that the name was very appropriate for this time of year so I’ve stuck with that.  The block may look complicated, but each step is simple to do.  To make the quilt I’ve used four 24″ quilt blocks to make a 54″ square quilt, needing 3/4 yard each of red, light blue and dark blue with 1.1/2 yards of a pale yellow fabric.

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

Cutting requirements for the Good Friends quilt

Good friends quilt block

Good friends quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  sixteen red, sixteen yellow, sixteen light blue, sixteen dark blue

3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen dark blue

3.7/8″ squares:  eight each in red and yellow, eight each in red and light blue for the half square triangles.  In addition you will need sixteen dark blue and sixteen yellow 3.7/8″ squares for the diamond in square blocks

4.3/4″ squares:  sixteen red

6.7/8″ squares:  eight yellow

9″ squares:  four light blue

For the border you will need five 3.1/2″ dark blue strips cut across the width of fabric

Diamond in square section

Diamond in square section

Make the diamond in square sections

Make the central section of each block with a diamond in a square.  Begin with a 9″ light blue square.  Cut the 6.7/8″ yellow squares along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  Lay one triangle on each edge of the square.

Sew the triangles on two at a time

Sew the triangles on two at a time

Sew the top and bottom triangles to the square first.  Press the triangles open with the seam allowances away from the square and then sew the remaining two triangles in place.  The block now measures 12.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Smaller diamond in square

Smaller diamond in square

You will also need to make smaller diamond in a square sections.  For these begin with a 4.3/4″ red square and cut the 3.7/8″ dark blue and yellow squares along one diagonal.  Place dark blue triangles on two adjacent sides of the square and yellow triangles on the other two sides.  Continue as above:  sew the top and bottom triangles on first, press and then add the remaining two triangles.

This block now measures 6.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.

Make the half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Place two 3.7/8″ squares right sides together in the colour combinations listed above – red with either light blue or yellow.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

Make the good friends quilt block

Layout of the central area

Layout of the central area

Place the large diamond in a square in the middle of the block with a small diamond in square in the middle of each edge of the central square.

Complete the rest of the frame with a 3.1/2″ dark blue square on either side of the top and bottom red diamonds and a dark blue rectangle on either side of the other two red diamonds.

Add the red corners

Add the red corners

In the outer frame of the block, the red triangles at the corners are made using a red square with two red triangles.  Notice that the half square triangle units are different on each corner – some are red/yellow and some are red/light blue.

Add yellow squares to the remaining spaces in the top and left hand side of the block but add light blue squares to the spaces in the bottom and right hand sides of the block.

Sew the block together

Sew some squares together in pairs

Sew some squares together in pairs

Begin by sewing some of the squares together in pairs.

You are aiming to create three columns, so the squares are only sewn in pairs within each column.

Create three columns

Create three columns

One column is made of the central diamond in square with the squares above and below it while the other two columns are the side sections.

Once you have sewn together all the pieces within each column it is a simple matter to sew the three columns to each other to complete the good friends quilt block.  You need to make four of these.

Sew the blocks together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  Rotate the blocks so that the two yellow sides of the block are always on the outside with the light blue sides within the quilt forming a cross shape.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the border

Finally, for the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the good friends 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.

Confession time:  my original plan was to make the red diamond in square blocks with either yellow or light blue on two sides.  When I had finished making the blocks I realised that I had made them all with dark blue and yellow only.  Funnily enough I prefer the design this way, so that was a happy mistake to have made!

Here’s the video:

Magical lantern festival

Magical lantern festival

Tonight I am thrilled to be going to the Botanical Gardens to see the Magical Lantern Festival.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good weather.  It looks absolutely stunning and has been on my to do list ever since it opened last month.

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  1. Another beautiful pattern. I always enjoy watching you put your patterns together. I got the okay to sew from my doctor so I will try to make the Christmas tree table runner that I started last year. Everything is cut out and I printed your instructions but I’ll also watch your video to make sure I do everything right. Enjoy the festival!

    • Hi Claire. That’s great news – your doctor must be pleased with the progress on your hands. Good luck with the table runner. You’ve got just two weeks left before Christmas to complete it! The festival was magical – I’m just not sure if any of the photos turned out well enough for me to show you next week.

  2. Oh wow, I didn’t know you were born in Zambia, Rose. I recommend joining the sew powerful Facebook group if you decide to make the purses. It’s a great group of women who post tips and shortcuts and also photos of purses as they make them which is very inspiring.

    As far as your video of each quilt top, it would still be nice to see some of the blocks pieced together for 5-10 seconds. The computer image just doesn’t inspire me! I’m a musician and create music using notation software. When it is played through the computer it sounds quite dull but when it is played live on real instruments with real musicians, iit can sound magnificent.

    Thanks again for teaching me so much!

  3. Clara M Wooton says:

    Beautiful quilt, gorgeous fabric, and very clear tutorial. Thank you for sharing it with us. Great job.

  4. Tina WEMYSS says:

    Gorgeous block, love it, I got different colours for it and I am sure that will come out good too! I am a real european, love bright colours especially now it is summer in New Zealand and being in the north of the North Island ( no earthquakes felt as yet) it is lovely to sew such cheerful colours for Age Concern! Thank you Rose!!

    • Thanks, Tina. I’m glad you’ve escaped the earthquakes. I’m sure Age Concern will be thrilled with some bright and cheerful quilts.

  5. Bonnie Jenkins says:

    I love the colour combinations you have chosen Rose. Hope you have a wonderful time at the Botanic Gardens.
    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and all the best for 2017.
    Best wishes from Bonnie and Bob, from South Australia.

    • Thanks, Bonnie. The lantern festival was magnificent – the displays were so creative. They had even created a Birmingham bull in lights. All the best to you and Bob for Christmas and the New Year. Do call in if you’re in the UK again next year.

  6. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Great quilt for any time of the year not only at Christmas. I am thinking of making this for next Christmas. Will look great in other colours too. Have one more cokie reciepe to make and then to box them up for damily and friends. Quilting at a stand still for now, until January.
    Hope you have fun at your festival. Enjoy.
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. I think many quilters have had to give up quilting in the runup to Christmas. I know that most of my time is spent on last minute presents that I’ve decided to make. You’re very organised if you only have one more set of cookies to make.

  7. I hope your aunt likes your quilt. I gave my 93 year old Mum one flying geese specially quilted with hearts. She told me she liked the back better!

  8. patricia jephson says:

    Thank you Rose for going to see Shelia after her fall. I am a long time friend and we do patchwork together and I also get your emails, pity you coudnt get to see her.
    hope you have a good Christmas and keep the patterns coming love Pat

    • Thanks, Pat. It was so unfortunate that they shut the ward on the day I went – maybe they knew that I was planning a visit! Thanks for your good wishes.

  9. I love learning from you, Rose. You are such a great teacher! May I make a suggestion? When you are siting at your table at the beginning of each video, it would be so lovely if you could hold up at least part of your quilt top so we can see the fabrics and imagine how the quilt will really look. Showing just the computer image is not very inspirational.
    Thanks so much for sharing your talent!

    • Hi Suzanne. I think you’ll find that all the parts of the quilt top in fabric are shown during the course of the video. I was impressed with the purses you made for sewpowerful – I’ll try and publicise them on this website after Christmas. Most quilters are happy to make projects for charity. I was born in Zambia, so the purse project for Zambian girls appeals to me.

  10. Patsy Edwards says:

    A stunning quilt. One to ear mark for the future. Enjoy the festival. I look forward to photos next week!

  11. Such an attractive quilt and you’re right, the name is very appropriate for this time of year as we write our Christmas cards. I’m sure the festival will be spectacular – enjoy!

    • Thanks, June. Good friends matter all year round, but perhaps we’re more grateful for them at Christmas! I’m so looking forward to the lantern show – I was terrified that it would be sold out by the time I eventually booked my ticket.