Nosegay Quilt – Free Pattern

Nosegay quilt

Nosegay quilt

The Nosegay quilt may look complicated, but each block is easy to make.  I was trying to capture the magic of early summer, nosegays at weddings and all that sort of thing.

The quilt measures 64″ square, using sixteen blocks which are 15″ square finished size.

I have used 1/2 yard of lilac, 1.1/4 yards of purple, 1.1/2 yards of green and 2 yards of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Completed nosegay quilt block

Completed nosegay quilt block

Fabric requirements for the Nosegay quilt

11.1/4″ by 6.1/4″ rectangles:  sixteen white, sixteen purple

8″ by 3″ rectangles:  sixteen white

10.1/2″ by 3″ rectangles:  sixteen white

5.7/8″ squares:  sixteen purple, sixteen white

3″ squares:  eighty green, sixty four lilac

For the border you will need to cut six 2.1/2″ strips of green across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangles

Use the 5.7/8 ” squares to make half square triangles.  Place a purple 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 to produce two half square triangle units.

These are now 5.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the purple and trim the two corners where the fabric sticks out.  You need to make sixteen of them.

Make the nine patch units

Make the nine patch units

Make the nine patch units

These are dead simple – just 3″squares sewn together in rows of three.  Place green squares in the corners and the middle, with lilac squares in the other positions.

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

These now measure 8″ square and you need to make sixteen of them.

Cut the rectangles along one diagonal

Cut the rectangles along one diagonal

Make the half rectangle triangles

Cut each 11.1/4″ by 6.1/4″ rectangle in half along one diagonal, making two triangles from each rectangle.

Place one purple triangle with one white triangle to re form a rectangle.

Sew the triangles together

Sew the triangles together

Sew the two triangles together along the diagonal seam.  Do be careful at this stage:  it’s very easy to sew these together incorrectly and end up with a weird shape that definitely isn’t a rectangle!

Mirror image rectangles

Mirror image rectangles

Note that you will end up with two different rectangles – they are mirror images of each other.  Sometimes this causes a problem, but for the nosegay quilt block you will need both versions of the rectangle.

These will be slightly larger than you require.  Trim them to 10.1/2″ by 5.1/2″.  I have suggested this to give your triangles better points – yes, mine do sometimes come out different sizes!  You will need sixteen of each version of the rectangle (thirty two in total).

Nosegay quilt block layout

Nosegay quilt block layout

Assemble the nosegay quilt block

Lay the pieces out as shown in the photo.  The nine patch unit is in the middle with an 8″ white rectangle above it and a 10.1/2″ white rectangle to the right of it.  Place the half square triangle in the bottom left corner with the white on the outside.

The half rectangle triangles take the remaining places – one of each kind.  Check the photo to make sure that you have the triangles placed correctly.

Make two columns

Make two columns

Sew the 8″ white rectangle to the nine patch unit and then sew the 10.1/2″ rectangle to the side.  Now sew the half rectangle triangle to the bottom to form one column.

On the left hand side, sew the half rectangle triangle to the half square triangle to make a second column.  Sew the columns to each other to complete the quilt block.

The block should measure 15.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make sixteen of them.

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Finish the quilt top

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Rows 1 and 2 are the same as each other.  Note the position of the half square triangle in order to get the rotation of the blocks correct.  In the first two blocks the half square triangle is on the top left of the block.  In the second two blocks, the half square triangle is on the top right.

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4 are also the same as each other.  The half square triangles are in the bottom left position for the first two blocks.  They are in the bottom right position for the remaining 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

Add the border

I have used 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt, with two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the nosegay 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.

Here’s the video:


Torre Abbey ruins

Torre Abbey ruins

Last week I visited Torquay on the south coast to see a quilt exhibition at Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens.  The quilts were supplied by the Quilter’s Guild.

The gardens and greenhouses of the Abbey were absolutely beautiful.

Flame Lily

Flame Lily

In one of the greenhouses I found a flame lily – this is the national flower of Zimbabwe and when I was a child we used to pick them for the house at Christmas time.  I don’t think that I have seen one growing for over 40 years, so I was jumping with excitement when I saw this one.  What an idiot I must have looked!

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  1. Margaret says:

    Love to see all your patterns Rose. I will hopefully get round to making one of your Quilts soon. Like you I love flame lilies as I too grew up in Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia as I knew it!). Happy quilting.

    • Thanks, Margaret. Seeing the flame lily was so exciting – it brought back so many memories! I was born in Zambia and my sister still lives in Zimbabwe.

  2. doetexas says:

    HI, Rose! Me Again!
    I forgot to ask you about something, I’d like to make a very small (about 30 inches square) lap quilt for my daughter with bunnies on it! We just need something to protect our thighs when we are wearing shorts from sharp little claws! (I have several cats who like to get in my lap, too!) Anyway, I thought I had a pattern, but I haven’t been able to find anything here!
    I would appreciate any help you could give me!
    Thanks, Doe!

    • Hi Doe. I’m afraid that I don’t have anything with rabbits in the pattern. The nearest that I have is the March madness mug rug which features a March hare. You might be able to use the applique template from that in your lap quilt.

  3. doetexas says:

    Howdy from Texas, Rose!!
    This is a very, very pretty Quilt! The nose gay concept escapes me for the moment, but I bet as it comes together I’ll be able to see it much better! I’m going to audition blue for the green, since I like blue better, just to see which might go better in my house.😊

    • Hi Doe. A nosegay is defined as ‘a small flower bouquet, typically given as a gift. They have existed in some form since at least medieval times, when they were carried or worn around the head or bodice’. You can see it in the individual blocks, not the overall quilt. I’m sure it will look great in blue.

  4. I’d have jumped up and down too if I’d seen a flame lily – lucky you! I know you think I comment on here just because we went to school together but Rose, I’m constantly amazed at the beautiful designs you demonstrate and at how you cleverly combine fabrics to stunning effect. This nosegay quilt (great name!) is yet another triumph!

    • Aw, thanks June. All I do is make quilt blocks that were designed a good hundred years or so ago and then sew them together.

  5. Shirley McCormick says:

    Hi Rose, This is a rather lovely quilt, very unusual. I look forward each Friday to receiving another lovely quilt you have designed. I have been busy making patchwork pot holders for our Stretch Festival this weekend. The art & craft group which I am a member will be taking over the Senior’s centre large room to show what art and craft we do. I belong to the needlecraft, bobbin lace and patchwork groups. Kind regards from Shirley, Western Australia.

    • Hi Shirley. It sounds like you have been very busy. I’ve never made bobbin lace although I think it’s beautiful. I hope your Stretch Festival goes well this weekend.

  6. Sharon Lowe says:

    I really enjoy your projects Rose, the new pattern is lovely and I shall have to try it. The Flame lily is very spectacular, very pretty. I can see why you picked it when you were younger. You also have a special weekend and thank you so very much, I really enjoy your column.
    Sharon Lowe

    • Thanks, Sharon. The flame lily works twice for me – once because it’s so pretty and once because of the childhood memories.

  7. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great quilt. I like it not only because of the purple but it also looks fantastic.
    Our weather today is rainy and cold. Our power went off on Monday night as we had a very bad storm,with thunder and lightning and heavy winds. Some trees were blown down, not ours. Some towns had a small tonado go through. Our power did not come back on until Tuesday night which wasn’t bad because at first they told us Thursday. It was like living off the grid even though we had a generator. We did not run it all the time as it would eat up too much gas. Am in the process of making one of your designs but have forgotten which one.
    Hope you have a great weekend and thank you for the pictures of Torre Abbey.
    Happy quilting

    • Hi Sandra. I knew you’d like the purple. What a difficult time you have been having. Presumably you must be used to power cuts if you have a generator. It makes the winds that we’ve been having seem very tame by comparison!

  8. Rose, this pattern is different-different in a lovely way.
    Thank you for a very understandable tutorial.
    Your photos are lovely. I think there’s nothing like putting hands
    into the garden earth. I’ve loved it since I was a small child.
    The Flame Lily is stunning. Any quilts take your fancy at the show?
    Hope the weather stays fine whilst your building the rockery.
    Enjoy the week-end.

    • Hi Mary. Gardening at my last house was very much along the lines of just cutting back things that had grown too large, so I’m enjoying planting out my new garden. The quilts were actually quite disappointing – not at all what I’d expected. Luckily the rest of the trip was really interesting to make up for it!

  9. I love this block, you are very inspiring. Thank you, Rose

  10. Sue Craighead says:

    Rose, thank you for again offering a beautiful quilting pattern to you followers. Your patterns are always lovely, with gorgeous colors and your instructions are straightforward and easy to follow. Again, thank you. Have a great weekend. Sue

  11. Hi Rose,
    Your quilt pattern is quite different from any other that I have come across. I like it.
    Lucky you with all that sunshine. It’s cold and rainy here today and a good time to sit at my sewing machine. I have finished one of the pillow shams and will start on the other today.
    Happy gardening! It’s something I never enjoyed doing. I do, however, love to see all the pretty flowers.

    • Hi Claire. Glad you like the quilt pattern. Shame about your weather. Our weather is really sunny but not as warm as we’d like because of the wind. Like you, I enjoy the results of my gardening more than the actual gardening itself.

  12. Gwendy Burtz says:

    very pretty pattern! and a always love the fabric you pick out.

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