Plaid Quilt – Free Pattern Beginner Quilting

Plaid quilt

Plaid quilt

The Plaid quilt block is somewhat unusual looking – it has dark blue strips on two sides only so looks a bit lop sided.  However it makes an interesting quilt because you can rotate the blocks and make quite a difference.  The curtains that I made recently had blue squares and I felt that this quilt would match the room perfectly.

In case you haven’t come across the word before, plaid is another name for tartan.  The block is super easy to make – not a triangle to be seen.

The quilt measures 76″ square using sixteen blocks which are all 18″ square finished size.  I needed 2.1/4 yards of dark blue, 2 yards of light blue, 1.1/4 yards of medium blue together with 3/4 yard of red fabric.  Unfortunately I used up all my dark blue batik fabric so I can’t offer these fabrics as a special this week.

Completed plaid quilt block

Completed plaid quilt block

Cutting requirements for the plaid quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  one hundred and twenty eight medium blue, sixteen light blue, sixty four dark blue

9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixty four light blue

15.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen dark blue

18.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  sixteen dark blue

For the border you will need to cut eight 2.1/2″ lengths of red fabric across the width.

Make the nine patch unit

Make 9 patch blocks

Make 9 patch blocks

The simplest way to make the nine patch unit in the middle of the block is by using strip piecing.  Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of fabric along the length:  one panel of medium, dark, medium blue and another panel of dark, light, dark blue.

Cut these panels at 3.1/2″ intervals.  This produces rectangles 9.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, each one made of three squares.  Lay down two of the medium, dark, medium rectangles with a dark, light, dark rectangle between them, as shown on the right of the photo.

Sew the three rectangles to each other to create a 9.1/2″ squares.  You need to make sixteen of these.

Add the first frame

Add the first frame

Make the rest of the block

On each edge of the nine patch unit place a 9.1/2″ light blue rectangle.  Lay a medium blue square in each corner.  Sew these pieces together in three columns and then sew the columns to each other.

Add the dark blue strips

Add the dark blue strips

Now it just remains to add a 15.1/2″ dark blue rectangle across the top and then an 18.1/2″ dark blue rectangle down the left side of the block.

The block now measures 18.1/2″ square and you need to make sixteen of these.

Rows one and two

Rows one and two

Assemble the plaid quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  Concentrate on the dark blue outer strips when laying out the blocks.  In row one the dark blue runs on the left and across the top of the block.  In the second block the dark blue runs across the bottom and up the right side.  This is reversed in the third block where the dark blue runs down the left and then across the bottom.  Finally the fourth block has dark blue on the top and down the right.

In row two the first two blocks have the dark blue across the top and down the left.  The second two blocks have the dark blue across the top and down the right.

Rows three and four

Rows three and four

In row three the dark blue forms an L shape in the first two blocks. The second two blocks have a back to front L instead.

In row four the dark blue runs down the left and across the bottom, then across the top and down the right in the second block.  For the third block the dark blue runs across the top and down the left.  The fourth block has the dark blue running across the bottom and up the right.

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

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the plaid quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ strips of red to make the border.  I decided to introduce an extra colour for the border as I thought it would give a bit of pop to the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of 72.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 76.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the plaid 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:

Birmingham bear

Birmingham bear

The Bears have come to town!  Two years ago, when I moved to Birmingham, the city was full of owl sculptures.

Birmingham owl

Birmingham owl

They were all decorated in totally different ways and at the end of the summer they were auctioned off and raised huge amounts of money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  They resulted in my Owl and Pussycat quilt pattern.

This year the whole thing is being repeated but with over 100 bears.  The first few are on display already and I saw my first one yesterday.  Needless to say, there will be a teddy bear quilt pattern arriving some time soon!

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  1. Very attractive quilt – and the red does make the colours pop. Love the owl and bear – I remember when we met in London a few years ago there was a similar thing with elephants.

    • Hi June. There are bears everywhere at the moment – they brighten up the place so much! The owls made something like £500,000 for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, so we’re all hoping these will do the same.

  2. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose
    Love this quilt. Looks like someone was taking a nip. Can’t wait to see the teddy bear quilt that you will come up with. I love bears. Have quite a few in my collection.
    Am working on a buzz saw quilt just have to put on the borders and then build the sandwich.
    Hope you have a great weekend and Happy Quilting

    • Hi Sandra. Isn’t it funny how bears have become such a cuddly part of our lives. The Birmingham cricket team are called the Bears, so they have special significance for Birmingham. The buzz saw quilt sounds interesting.

  3. Sue Craighead says:

    Rose, I love your newsletters! You make your tutorial and video so easy to understand. This one I am starting next week… And the painted bears are so fun. I enjoy your ‘travel’ news and pictures. I may not be able to visit England but you always share so much bits and pieces that I feel that I learn more about your beautiful homeland with each posting. Thank you for sharing your patterns and your land.

    • Hi Sue. Thanks for your kind comments. They should have finished placing the bears around Birmingham next week, so I’m looking forward to going on a bear hunt!

  4. Margaret Jowett says:

    Hi Rose, a lovely looking quilt and in my favourite colours. I look forward to having a go at making it. Margaret

    • Hi Margaret. My favourite colours as well. The quilt was made to match the curtains that I made recently for my son.

  5. Pam Nix says:

    I love your comments!

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