Our Blooming Florals Quilt is a throw size with an expanding half square triangle design that is echoed in the throw’s unique angled corners. We selected and positioned delicate floral colors and motifs, perfectly positioning them from the center out to simulate a flower opening up to the sun.
We used 10” layer cake squares to create our half square triangles, alternating the prints with pure white solid. The small scale of the motifs allows you to really see and appreciate the sweet designs within each 9” finished square.
Our original fabric choices came from Bespoke Blooms by Brenda Riddle for Moda Fabrics. This is a older collection that is no longer readily available. As you decide on your favorite fabrics to use, we suggest looking for variety of dainty florals as well as coordinating tone-on-tone prints, stripes, and classic ginghams. We used a gingham for our binding, adding another diagonal element to reflect the main triangle blocks.
The smaller size of this 54” x 54” throw makes it a good alternative as a gift quilt. The patchwork pattern is interesting but not complex. If you’re brand new to quilting, it would make an excellent project to practice working with triangles.
Our choice for quilting was a classic diamond grid pattern. It’s easy to do on your home sewing machine with a Walking or Even feed foot, especially since you can use the intersecting seams of the half-square triangles as the starting guide lines. The criss-crossing lines of quilting look lovely from the back as well.
The simplicity of this patchwork design would also lend itself to a more random quilting pattern. In the photo below is an extra block done with all-over stippling to show you how lovely a meandering pattern looks, softening the crisp straight lines of the triangles.
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system such as the we AcuFeed™ Flex system we use on many of our Janome studio machines
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ONE Layer Cake print collection; we originally used Bespoke Blooms by Brenda Riddle Designs for Moda
- ONE Layer Cake solid collection; we originally used Snow from the Moda Bella Solids collection
NOTE: If you choose not to use Layer Cakes, you will need eighteen 10” print squares and sixteen 10″ solid squares.
- ½ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the binding; we originally used Gingham Garden in Pebble from the Bespoke Blooms collection by Brenda Riddle Designs for Moda
- 1¾ yards of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the sides of the backing; we originally used Tonal Rose Rows in Pebble from the Bespoke Blooms collection by Brenda Riddle Designs for Moda
- 1¾ yards of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the center of the backing; we originally used Gingham Garden in Natural from the Bespoke Blooms collection by Brenda Riddle Designs for Moda
- 1¾ yards of 60”+ wide low loft batting; you need a 60” x 60” cut square – you can purchase batting by the yard or a packaged pre-cut batting in a twin size (72” x 90”), throw size (60” x 60”) or similar
- All-purpose thread to match fabric; we used 50wt Aurifil thread for both piecing and quilting
- Binding Miter Tool; optional – we used the Binding Miter Tool by Animas Quilts
- See-through ruler; we recommend a 2” x 18” quilter’s ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Large safety pins for quilt basting or quilting spray adhesive; optional, use your favorite method for basting – we hand-basted
- The illustration above shows our selection and placement pattern. The print designs from Bespoke Blooms are shown at two-times the actual size for easier identification. To achieve our Blooming look of a flower opening up to the sun, precise placement of the prints is important.
- Select EIGHTEEN squares from the Bespoke Blooms Layer Cake.
- From the print squares, select the two for the angled corners and cut each in half diagonally. Set these FOUR triangles aside.
- Select SIXTEEN 10” squares from the Bella Solids Layer Cake
- From the fabric for the center of the backing (Gingham Garden in Natural in our sample), cut ONE 18½” wide x length of fabric (63” in our sample) rectangle.
NOTE: You will end up with a large panel for your scrap stash. This neutral fabric would be fabulous in a myriad of projects.
- From the fabric for the sides of the backing (Tonal Rose Rows in Pebble in our sample), fold the fabric in half lengthwise and slice along the fold to create TWO panels that are approximately 22” wide x length of fabric (63” in our sample) rectangles.
- From the fabric for the binding (Gingham Garden in Pebble in our sample), cut SIX 2” x width of fabric (44” in our sample) strips.
- Cut the batting into a 60” x 60” square.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the half square triangles
- Match up each print square with a solid square. You should have sixteen pairs.
- Place each pair of squares right sides together, aligning all the raw edges.
- Using the see-through ruler, draw a diagonal line corner to corner.
- Using a Quarter Inch Seam foot, stitch ¼” to one side of the drawn line.
- Then, stitch ¼” to the other side of the drawn line.
- When both seams are complete, cut along the drawn line to separate into two half square triangles.
- Press the stitched triangles open, taking care to not stretch the bias seam. The seam allowance should be pressed together and toward the print fabric.
- Square-up the half square triangle to create a finished 9½” x 9½” square. To “square-up” means to trim a tiny bit off one or more sides to insure the block is a true square with all sides equal and 90˚ corners. We like to use the grid lines on our cutting mat.
- Repeat for the remaining 15 pairs to yield 32 half square triangles.
Stitch all the rows
- Using a large, flat surface, lay out all the half square triangles in order, following our diagram above. Most people simply use the floor for this step, just make sure its clean.
- Arrange all the half square triangles, then add the remaining print triangles at each corner.
- Pick up the squares in order, row by row. Remember, the first and last rows will include the triangle corners. There are a lot of pieces to keep track of, so work in a specific order, like a grid. We worked from top to bottom and left to right.
- Collect the four half square triangles and the two corner triangles for the first row. Remember to refer to the diagram above to make sure each corner triangle is correctly oriented.
- Pin the corner triangle right sides together with the first square.
- Stitch together, using a ¼” seam allowance.
- Repeat to add each remaining half square triangle and the opposite corner triangle.
- Repeat to create the remaining five rows in the same manner. The center rows are six half square triangles across. And, the last row has just four half square triangles plus two angled corners just like the first row.
- When your six rows are complete, you can stitch them together. Working from the top row down, pin the first two rows right sides together. The most important thing to remember is to keep your seams in line with one another. It helps to place a pin in the seam.
- In addition, in order for your seams to ‘nest together’ and create perfect points on the front (a perfect intersection of the corners), you need to alternate the direction of the seam allowances you are matching up. If the seam allowance in the row above lays flat to the left, the seam allowance in the row below must lay flat to the right.
- When all the rows are complete, press flat from both sides.
Assemble the backing
- Find the three backing panels. Stitch a side panel to either side of the center panel, using a ¼” seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowances toward the center panel.
- When complete, press flat from both sides.
Create the quilt sandwich and baste
- Place the completed backing panel right side down on your large, flat surface (probably still that nice, clean floor).
- Place the batting square on top of the backing.
- Place the completed quilt top right side up on top of the batting. Make sure the quilt top is centered on the backing by lifting and checking all the layers.
- When everything is in place, pin or hand baste the layers.
- Many quilters use large safety pins to baste their quilts. Another option is to use a temporary basting spray. The option chosen for this quilt was to hand baste around the outer edge, across the center in both directions and then between the center line and the outer edge.
- This takes a little time to do, but saves time when you quilt because there are no pins to remove!
- There are so many options for quilting! We used some of our leftover squares to create a sample block so we could try out some patterns, settling on a classic diamond grid, which can be done on any home machine using a Walking or Even Feed foot, or as we did, using our awesome Janome built-in AcuFeed Flex™ fabric feeding system.
- With a fabric marking pencil, mark a diagonal line in each direction, from the midpoint of one corner triangle to the midpoint of the opposite corner triangle.
- Additional lines were drawn parallel to these first diagonal rows, using the squares as a guide for the placement. As our squares finished at 9″, our spacing measured about 6¼”.
- Set up your machine with a Walking foot or similar and lengthen the stitch.
- Stitch along each drawn guideline, working from the center out in each direction.
- After these rows are stitched, additional rows were added between the rows.
- Our finished grid is approximately 1½” between rows. We added a quilt bar to the Walking foot, adjusting its position to continue adding the parallel lines.
- When all the quilting is complete, trim the excess batting and backing so all three layers are perfectly flush on all sides. This trimming includes trimming the corners of the backing and batting at a diagonal to match the quilt top.
- Find the six 2” binding strips. Pin two strips right sides together along the 2” ends at a 90˚angle. Stitch across the overlapped ends on the diagonal. Trim back the seam allowance and press open.
- Repeat to create one continuous binding strip.
- Our sample quilt is finished with a standard ¼” French binding.
- Press the completed strip in half wrong sides together.
- Starting in the center of the bottom edge, pin the binding to the front of the quilt top, aligning the raw edges.
- Stitch in place with a ¼” seam allowance, mitering each corner.
NOTE: With the pretty angled corners of this throw, the corners are actually 135˚ rather than the standard 90˚. A helpful tool to keep these corners precise is a binding miter tool.
- Join the ends of the binding using your favorite method.
- Wrap the folded edge of the binding around to the back of the quilt and hand stitch in place.
- Don’t forget to add a label. Quilters always “sign their work.”
- If you are brand new to quilting, this is an easy project to tackle, but you might want to review one of more of our basics tutorials listed below.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation, Quilting Design, and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler