Octagon quilt

Octagon quilt

I was asked for a tutorial on binding quilts with non standard corners, so I made this octagonal quilt.  It could be a table topper or a picnic quilt, I think.  It is like a 48″ square but with the corners taken out.  I have used 1/2 yard each of two patterned fabrics, 1 yard of plain fabric and 10″ cut across the width of fabric of a batik fabric for the triangles and of fabric for the binding.

Cutting requirements

twenty five 4.1/2″ squares of both of the patterned fabrics

fifty two 4.1/2″ squares of plain fabric

eight 4.7/8″ squares of fabric for the edge triangles

four 2.1/2″ strips of border fabric

Making the octagon quilt

Layout for the table topper/picnic quilt

Layout for the table topper/picnic quilt

Cut the 4.7/8″ squares in half along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.  If you look at the photo you’ll see that every second edge of the table topper is made with triangles, while every alternate edge is made with squares.  The rows are sewn together diagonally, so the first row is across the top left corner of the table topper/picnic quilt.  I have alternated the squares with each patterned fabric, so that they run plain, swirl, plain, star across each row.


First four rows of the octagon quilt

First four rows of the octagon quilt

The first row is made using four squares with a triangle at each end.  Note that the right angle (the square corner) of the triangle is at the bottom right in the left hand triangle and on the bottom left in the right hand triangle.  The second row uses six squares with a triangle at each end.  The third row has eight squares with two triangles and the fourth row has ten squares with two triangles.



The middle four rows of the octagon quilt

The middle four rows of the octagon quilt

The second four rows are simple – they are all twelve squares with no triangles.  The first and third of these rows begins with a plain square while the second and fourth rows start with a patterned square.  You can check your placement by making sure that the plain or patterned squares follow a diagonal line.




Final four rows of the table topper/picnic quilt

Final four rows of the table topper/picnic quilt

Right hand view of the final four rows

Right hand view of the final four rows

The final four rows are the same as the first four rows in reverse.  The ninth row is made using ten squares with a triangle at each end.  The tenth row has eight squares and two triangles, the eleventh row has six squares and two triangles and the twelfth row is made using four squares with a triangle at each end.  Note that the triangles are now angled so that the shape of the quilt reduces in size so the square corners are now at the top of the triangle.


Sewing the rows together for the table topper

Sewing two rows together

Sewing two rows together

The rows are not tricky to sew together, but just remember that they are offset against each other.  That just means that you sew the left hand triangle of the first row to the first full square of the second row.  The best way is to match up the first seam of the first row with the second seam of the second row and then smooth the first triangle to the left to get the correct place to start sewing the two rows together.  Continue sewing all twelve rows together to complete the octagon quilt top.



Layering the octagon quilt

Layer the octagon quilt

Layer the octagon quilt

Trim the wadding and backing

Trim the wadding and backing

Cut a 52.1/2″ square each of wadding and backing fabric.  Lay the backing fabric with right side down.  Lay the wadding on top and smooth gently.  Lay the octagon quilt on top and smooth gently.  Four edges of the octagon will lie in line with the wadding and backing.  The remaining four edges will cut across the corner of the wadding.  Begin pinning in the middle of the quilt and work out to the edges.   Trim the wadding and backing to about an inch from the edge of the quilt.

Quilting the table topper/picnic quilt

Quilting the octagon quilt

Quilting the octagon quilt

You can use any quilting that you like on this quilt, but I have just used stitch in the ditch quilting.  Begin with the middle line of stiching and sew along the line of the seam.  You will need to do this from the top of the quilt, although the photo shows the back of the quilt with all the quilting done in one direction.  When you have sewed along all the seams in one direction, moving from the centre outwards, turn the octagon quilt and begin again with all the seams going in the other direction so that you end up with all the squares outlined.


Here’s the octagon quilt pattern video:


Binding the octagon quilt

The method of binding the octagon quilt requires a little more attention than standard binding, so I have shown this in a separate article.  Click on quilt binding corners.


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  1. Lyn Macpherson says:

    Hello Rose: I am new to quilting and have bought at 4-1/2 in template hoping I could use it some time for something nice. I have just watche your video and am going to make it. Thanks for being so informative and interesting.
    Lyn Macpherson

  2. Bonnie Jenkins says:

    Hi Rose,
    I just love the fabrics you used for this quilt. Lovely shades of green. I always learn so much from your tutorials. Regards Bonnie

  3. Thank you rose for helping me understand how to do this. Now I am not afraid to try it. I can’ t wait for Fridays to come because I know you will have another tute. For us. Keep up the great work. You make everything look easy.

  4. Love this quilt Rose ,the material is stunning,it’s just perfect for a picnic or for a little one who can’t walk yet -[thinking of my great granddaughter]to enjoy family time outdoors.Hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoyed the quilt show.Thanks for the binding tutorial,so gratefully received, Carole

    • Thanks, Carole. The fabric is from the Ocean Waves range – beautiful fabrics. Yes, I see it as a go anywhere quilt for any function. The quilt show was great – there were some beautiful quilts on display.

  5. Thanks Rose i like the quilt. Might try it myself.

  6. I’ve always loved your patterns. This is the first video I’ve watched. It was great watching the octagon quilt come to life. I can see downsizing the pattern for making placemats for any season too! Thanks for all the care you put into your lessons.

  7. Theresa Stratton says:

    Hi Rose,
    I love watching your videos. You make everything seem achievable to us beginners! I love your ideas too! Thankyou

    kind regards Theresa

  8. Shirley says:

    Hi Rose, Just love what you come up with, wouldn’t miss reading your emails that you send me. You have given me some great ideas to what quilt I will make out of my fabric. Kind regards, Shirley

  9. Hi Rose.
    Another beautiful table top/quilt.
    I enjoy seeing all your work.
    Enjoy your free time.
    Rose J.

  10. this looks sort of easy going to try it could also be a quilt for the dog love all the quilts you make wish I could get pepped up like you Have a nice time at your show tomorrow

  11. This would make such a nice baby quilt for floor play, too.

  12. Frances Nager says:

    Nice pattern, thank you!!

  13. Shirley says:

    Yet again a brilliant tutorial – love the quilt. Enjoy your day out – wish I was there.

  14. Marilyn says:

    Thanks so much Rose for another lovely quilt and the tip about sewing a scrap square to remind you of where the rows start in the middle of quilt, good tip. Dont know how you find the time to do it all?

    • Hi Marilyn. I find anything that saves time is useful. Don’t you think we all find time to do things that we really enjoy.

  15. Thoroughly enjoy your tutorials and they make quilting for beginners like me have more confidence that we can accomplish something that looks so complicated. You make it so easy to follow. Bless you for sharing all of your works.

  16. Michele says:

    Great easy quilt! I could do several for different seasons! Thank you!

  17. Hi there, Rose…………My lucky day to have found you on line a while back! You are so thorough and efficient–no wasted fabric and all your tutorials are well-explained………….You Rock!!! I always look forward to the next project, so go and have a wonderful time this weekend and I know there will be more inspirational projects very soon……Love and hugs………….would love to meet and greet you one day !!!

    • Thank you, Beverly. Your comments are very kind. I am actually thinking of starting to do workshops, but I haven’t quite finalised my plans yet.

  18. Caroline D says:

    Dear Rose
    This is the first video of yours that I have seen. Lots more please….easy to follow and quite inspirational.


  19. Thanks so much for an interesting table topper, and how to do the binding on such a quilt.

  20. Quiltingle Sue says:

    Have a super day at the Quilt Show tomorrow…..you deserve it!

  21. Jo Ann sutton says:

    Love your tutorials !!!! Great job you are doing. Thank you!

    J.Sutton. U.S.A

  22. Thank you Rose for this beautiful table topper. I like to make lots of
    toppers and I love this one. I will be making one today hopefully.
    When do you have time to make all this quilts. You are amazing. I
    love watching your videos. Thanks again

  23. Hi, I look forward to Friday for each new quilt you show us. I did something similar to make a Christmas tree skirt.
    Thanks again for making Friday much more interesting.

  24. Sharon Davis says:

    I love this pattern can’t wait to give it a try.

  25. Hi Rose
    This is really beautiful, and I think I will give it a go. I am amazed at how quickly you make these quilts and produce the video also. Enjoy your day out, I guess you will be inspired by what you see there.

    • Thanks, Irene. It’s unusual for me to get as far as finishing the quilt before I video it, but the binding was the point so I had to press on with it!

  26. Thank You for another wonderful quilt pattern. I am so glad you included the instructions for the binding, it will be a great help.

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