July 21, 2014

Text Me a Quilt

At first, I didn't have a plan for using all the text fabrics I've acquired over the last year or so.  I just bought obscene quantities of fabric and watched my stash grow.  Eventually, I "destashed" some of it after the realization that I won't live long enough to use it all.  It took a while to choose a design.  I wanted to use small pieces of text fabrics in the background so that snippets of words, letters and numbers appeared throughout the background randomly.  I also wanted to use color prints for the main fabrics, but wanted to use more text fabrics than color.  Here's what happened.


This is only a portion of the quilt top that's finished -- I have a long way to go.  But I've had so much fun working on it that I decided to share the instructions in case you'd like to sew along with me.  If you don't have any text fabrics, you can always use "low-volume" backgrounds instead.  Or a combination of both!   
I shared the instructions with a couple of my Instagram friends who are fellow text fabric junkies.  They've been busy making quilts of their own.  I'm hoping Peggy (Stitchin with Peg) will be blogging about her finished finished quilt soon.  You can see it on her Instagram feed, too (paront1222).  It's fabulous!  Peggy made 10" blocks using both text fabrics and low-volume prints. 

Susan (yardgrl60 at Instagram) doesn't have a blog, but will be sharing her project soon on her Instagram feed.  She's making 7 1/2" blocks using text fabrics with subtle color prints.  If you know Susan, you'll recognize her signature style.  I love everything she makes. 

The instructions below are for a 60" square quilt, with options for two different block sizes.  Use 2" strips for the smaller 7 1/2" finished block, and 2 1/2" strips for the larger 10" finished block.  I've used the smaller block in my quilt, but the 10" block is easier to make, and you won't need as many blocks.  The instructions provide for a certain number of 2" or 2 1/2" strips, but I used as many fabrics as I could find, sometimes using only scraps or partial strips of text fabrics.  And I used only scraps for the colored squares.  If you need a little help deciding which block size to use, try making test blocks of each size before cutting your "real" fabric.  I threw together the instructions after I made a lot of blocks, so I haven't tested the instructions.  If you notice anything weird, just let me know. 

(You'll need 64 blocks for a 60" square quilt.)
From Light Fabrics:
     Cut 51 strips, 2" x the width of fabric.
           From 26 strips, crosscut:
                3 rectangles, 2" x 5" (78)
                2 rectangles, 2" x 3.5" (52)
                9 squares, 2" x 2" (234) *
           From 25 strips, crosscut:
                2 rectangles, 2" x 5" (50)
                3 rectangles, 2" x 3.5" (75)
                9 squares, 2" x 2" (225) *
        Cut one more 2" x 3 1/2" rectangle from leftover scraps.
        *  You will have 11 squares left over.

From Dark Fabrics:

        From assorted dark scraps, cut 128 matching sets of 4 squares, 2" x 2".

(You'll need 36 blocks for a 60" square quilt.)

From Light Fabrics:
        Cut 36 strips, 2 1/2" x the width of fabric.  From each strip, crosscut:

                2 rectangles, 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" (72)
                2 rectangles, 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" (72)
                7 squares, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" (252)

From Dark Fabrics:

         From assorted scraps, cut 72 matching sets of 4 squares, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".


For each block, arrange the pieces as shown in the illustrations below.  (The first illustration shows the measurements of the pieces for a 7 1/2" finished block; the second illustration shows the measurements of the pieces for a 10" finished block.)  Sew together the pieces in vertical rows, pressing the seam allowances toward the dark fabric squares.  Then sew the vertical rows together, pressing the seam allowances in the direction indicated by the arrows.  If you follow the pressing directions, the seams will nestle, you'll hear birds singing, and a rainbow will appear.  Probably.
Layout for 7 1/2" finished block.

Layout for 10" finished block.

Finished Block
Here are the 10" and 7 1/2" blocks side by side, just for perspective.
Sew the blocks together in horizontal rows, rotating every other block a quarter turn.   Press the seam allowances in the direction indicated by the arrows.  Sew the rows together; press the seam allowances in the same direction.

Layout for 7 1/2" finished blocks.  Quilt measures 60" x 60".

Layout for 10" finished blocks.  Quilt measures 60" square.
So there you go! Hope you'll grab a stack of fabrics and sew along with me.  If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me (link in profile) or leave a comment here.  Have fun!


Ruby Blue Quilting Studio said...

I LOVE IT!!!!! I don't have many text fabrics in my stash, but I'm thinking I need to stock up before they're gone. I can't wait to see this finished!

Abby and Stephanie said...

Fun and fabulous! I love text fabric and have only a small bit left as I've used it for other projects. Waiting for your finish. Waiting...waiting...

Anonymous said...

Where did you find so many text prints? This is stunning!

Beth said...

Love this!

Barb said...

Awesome Quilt!! so fun to look at

Carol said...

I think I have as many text fabrics as you do but I needed some ideas. This is a great one. I also have some wonderful coloured text fabrics that I could use in the chains. Oh no....another start but I just completed two tops.

Pinkadot Quilts said...

This is such a cool quilt!

Karen said...

You are a master at writing instructions. Love the look of this one. Can't wait to see it in person.

Darlene said...

Wow, Kim, I do love it. Looks like a fun project. Wish I had a stash of text prints.

Need to do some serious thinking! LOL

Angie said...

Love it!! It reminds me of photographs from the Depression of folks who "wallpapered" their walls with newspaper & magazine cutouts. Now that I've increased my stash of text fabrics under your tutelage, I can't wait to give this a try!

Little Penpen said...

Beautiful!!! I never see the text print fabrics. I must be shopping in the wrong stores! Love this quilt!!

Auntie Pami said...

I love it! I have bits and pieces, but may have to get more so I can make this. My mom lived getting your book. We had to go home so I hand delivered. She's already plotting her next project.

Thimbleanna said...

It's FANTASTIC Kim! I LOVE your wonderful use of text fabrics. And I admire your ability to destash -- I'm a hoarder LOL!

Lynn said...

I love it!

Unknown said...

I am a huge text print lover too! I have been anxiously awaiting your instructions for this quilt. I am going to start on it when I get home from work. Thanks for sharing.

Heartsdesire said...

Who knew there were so many text fabrics? Looks like another collection will be started. Thanks for the directions for this quilt. I'll have to use low-volume fabrics as I only seem to have one text fabric in my stash. At the moment!

Sherri said...

I absolutely love this!!!!! Must make for sure!!!

Vivian said...

I've never seen anybody with so many text prints. Any quilt made with those would be doubly enjoyable--admire the beauty of the design, and sit and read a while. Great fun! Thanks for the excellent directions, Kim. This looks like a pattern to try for sure, maybe with my neutrals I have left from a couple projects.

Michele said...

Wow! This amazing!! So many text fabrics! This is one of the coolest quilts I've ever seen!!!

Loris said...

Sweet! Great pattern! Fun fabrics :-)

Micki @ 2 Dogs Studio said...

great looking quilt. Thanks for sharing the block dimensions.

Lori said...

That quilt is a great pattern for the text!

antique quilter said...

Absolutely love this quilt. Wow. I just started collecting text fabric. I will be making this quilt as soon as I collect enough word fabric. Look forward to seeing the others quilts too. Thanks for the pattern and inspiration

Carla said...

WONDErful! Thank you for the measurements. Saw this on IG. Love at first sight ; )

lissa said...

I love it. I have been collecting text prints but don't know if I have enough yet. Maybe I should just jump I. And get started and continue to collect along the way. Thanks for sharing the inspiration and pattern.

Litamora's Quilt & Design said...

I love your quilt, and this one will be on my to do list for next year for sure!

Craftyheart2 said...

When you are collecting text fabrics for variety how much are you buying? Is 20 cm enough?

Seams Sew Together said...

This is so pretty will add this one to my list of to do's thanks so much

Anonymous said...

LOVE this! This is so cool! This gives me an idea. I wonder what it would look like if you did various colored squares for the background and various light (white & off-white) tonals &/or blenders for the chains. Might have to make a doll quilt to see how it would look.

Ruthie said...

I am so happy to have found your pattern - and how wonderful that you made two different size diagrams to help - I love 2.5" squares and text fabric - oh boy, this is the pattern for me.

doni said...

Love the tutorial - I just finished (as in it's still smoking) a low volume quilt. You can see it on my blog - doniquilts.blogspot.com And surprise, surprise I still have more word fabric galore! I loved working with it. I don't think text fabric will ever die down. After all - there are still scads of "I Spy" fabric and that has be decades!!

I'm putting your quilt on my 'very long NEXT' list! Thanks for sharing!

doni @ Oregon coast

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