Living on the quilting grid
There’s nothing faster and easier than taking square or rectangular pieces of fabric and sewing them together side by side to make rows; then take those rows and sew them together to make a quick and easy quilt top.
Now, as much as I’m a fan of easy and quick, I also like to add some interest to such quilts. So, after seeing a quilt my friend Lucien made, I was inspired to try different ideas using grid lines. They’re a bit more work but can add so much visual interest to your quilts.
Some of you may be asking what the difference is between a quilt using a lattice or a quilt using a grid. For me, the difference lies in the narrower width (normally only 1½” or less) of the grid fabric as compared to lattice fabric width, which may be wider.
Before I start I would like to thank Northcott for the fabrics from the A Little Birdie Told Me line that they supplied for this project.
When I want to make a quilt using grid line I construct the quilt in the same fashion as I would a quilt with lattice; that is, I construct it in rows of pre-sewn blocks. The grid height will be the same height as the block and as wide or as narrow as you wish.
Once you have sewn your grid fabric and your squares or blocks into rows press your seams open or to one side, as you prefer.
It’s at this point in construction that I gather up all the fabric strips that will separate the rows so I can mark them. Why do I mark? I know that if I simply sew the grid strips to the rows without marking, I am pretty much guaranteeing that the grid lines going up and down will not match. When grid lines don’t match it will be very obvious when you are looking at the quilt, you will not be happy with the results. In the past I’ve marked my fabrics on the right or the wrong side of the fabric depending on the fabric’s “busyness” and/or on the color of the marking tools. Long story short: better safe than sorry, I mark my grid fabric strips before sewing.
The squares and strips that I’m using are respectively 5½ʺ x 1” when sewn. The strips separating each row must be marked on both long edges. Only the first mark will be at the 5¾” mark, then the 1” mark* followed by 5½ʺ, 1” and so on. Following the final 1” mark there should be 5¾” to the edge. (I used pen to mark the fabric in the example below in order to better illustrate my marks. Normally, I use an appropriate marking tool to mark my fabrics.)
*When marking, you must consider the width of the mark and the width of the lines on the ruler and compensate for them when measuring and marking. To do this, when I mark, I typically put the ruler line to the left of the mark on the fabric.
As you align the marking of the strips I suggest that you not be afraid to use pins.
Once your strips are sewn to the rows you can sew on the borders.
Before sewing the borders on I add little corner squares to the other border. Once they’re added you’re ready to sew on the border. Once completed you have a great baby quilt. This quilt should measure about 40½ʺ x 40½ʺ.
The material list for this blog’s quilt is as follows:
36 (6″ x 6″ squares)
30 (1½ʺ x 6” grid lines)
4 (1½ʺ x 1½ʺ squares for outer corners)
9 (1½ʺ x 38” (4 for grid lines and 4 for the borders*)
*Should you prefer not to put little corners squares as I have you’ll need 2 of the border pieces to be 41” instead of 38”.