When I stumbled upon Drygoods Design Online my jaw dropped, what a mix of modern fabrics put together so skillfully! TRUELY I had landed in fabric heaven. Keli had somehow sourced fabrics that I had never laid eyes on and that’s saying a lot considering looking at fabric online is one of my favorite
time sucks past times.
Keli, the brainchild behind Drygoods Design Online runs her shop out of Seattle, so I skipped right over to go shop in person. I had my mind set on a simple cross quilt and had to continually refocus due to all the fabric I wanted to play with.
I picked a cross quilt because the design is simple for beginners, they are fun for showcasing favorite fabrics and I’d seen a few that have inspired me in our guild.
They go together quick, making them ideal for a unique baby gift. Simply add more rows or columns if you desire a larger size. Any size square will do, but I went with 4” squares.
I give basic directions for making the quilt, but if you need more detail check out I Heart Patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale, she has a similar quilt constructed with squares and rectangles or my friend Meaghan’s online tutorial.
Most important mantra when designing a quilt and choosing fabrics, pay attention to value. Everyone say it together, “Value is important.”
Value, defined as the relative lightness or darkness of a color is what creates contrast, allowing the design to emerge.
The diagram above roughly shows what the values in this quilt are broken down to. When we see a quilt we would like to duplicate it is likely that we won’t find all the fabrics used, so removing color and focusing on value can make choosing replacement fabrics easier.
Pick a mix of light, medium and dark fabrics. Try not to place lights next to lights or darks next to darks, fabrics too close in value or a high percentage of one value will create a less defined or softer design, mucking the definition of each cross.
Large-scale prints often contain more than one value, such as the View Finder fabric I picked as my starter/focus fabric. To maintain contrast try to stick to one, maybe two of these larger scale fabrics with mixed value for a few crosses and surround those crosses with smaller scale prints or solid fabrics of a different value.
To produce a similar quilt with 4” squares you will need about 8 different fabrics.
There are 143 squares total if you wish to use scraps. Each cross uses 5 squares. I bought enough of each fabric to play around with the layout. You can use leftover squares on the backing, but the 4″ square size allows you to use a single selvedge to selvedge piece of fabric for the backing, no piecing required.
Finished size 38.5” x 45.5”
Here are the fabrics I used rounding up to the nearest 1/3 or 1/4 yard:
*1/2 yard or 24 squares of Nettie Dot Purple by Hoodie
*1/3 yard or 20 squares of View Finder in Cool by Melody Miller
*1/4 yard or 15 squares of Kona mustard
*1/2 yard or 24 squares of Geometric Mikaela Golden by Jennifer Paganelli
*1/4 yard or 18 squares of Toomuchery Damask Steel
*1/4 yard or 16 squares of Alexander Henry Heath in lavender
*1/4 yard or 11 squares of Heather Ross Far Far Away
*1/4 yard or 14 squares of Smirk Grey Grid by Kayla May
*12” of fabric for 2 1/4” cut binding
*1 2/3 yards of fabric for backing
To cut the squares, align the selvedges of each fabric and cut a four-inch strip, then sub cut the strips into 4” squares.
Follow the diagram or quilt photo to layout your squares.
I free-motion quilted it with the same orange peel design I used on my Mom’s Birthday Quilt last May.
It was a very simple design to execute free-motion because of the built in grid pattern of the squares. I used a hera marker to mark a line through the middle of each row and a vanishing marker to mark the middle of each square.
I took into account the extra 1/4″ not yet taken up by binding at the raw edge of each square when marking the middles of the outer squares. I attempted when quilting to kept the stitches in a 1/4″ from the perimeter so it wouldn’t be covered by binding. It sorted itself out well enough.
Thanks Keli for the fabric inspiration and my friend Rendy at rendytuckerphotography.com for the photos!