Friday, December 7, 2012

Putting the QAL quilt top together

Hi everyone,

Today I am going to show you how I put the quilt top together for the How far will you go? QAL.

Remember though that you don’t have to make the whole quilt for a chance to win something, even if you only managed a block or two you can make that into something like a potholder, cushion or tote bag. Don’t feel pressured just have fun!


This is my quilt top all put together. I did it exactly to the layout that we started with at the beginning (except my outside border is bigger)….but if you are concerned about colour balance feel free to switch blocks around so that you are happy!

Layout sections

When I put the blocks together I broke the quilt up into sections. In the picture above you can see there is a section 1, 2, 3 and 4.

My biggest tip for joining the blocks together is to line up any seams that match and use pins. Sew with 1/4” seam allowance and it is a good idea do do a little back stitch at the beginning and end of each seam to hold it all together.

Section 1

Section 1 - block names

Section 1 is actually broken up into smaller sections to sew it together.

Sew the smaller blocks together first. Another Star, St. Louis Star and the 2 Susannah blocks all get sewn together. Then join these onto the Dutch Rose block.

Sew the Tippencanoe blocks together in a row, and sew the 2 Clay’s Choice blocks together. Join these together before sewing them onto the Wandering Foot block.

Then finish section 1 by joining the two part sections together.

Section 2

Section 2 - blocks named

Sew the Farmers Daughter and the Jack in the box blocks together first.

When you join together the Pieced Star blocks be aware that a 3rd pieced star block is in section 3, check that you have these 3 where you want them for colour balance.

Join the Pieced Star blocks to the right-hand side of the Arrowhead block. Then join the 3 top blocks to the top of the section.

Section 3

Section 3 - blocks named

Join the 4 Seesaw blocks together in a row.

Join the 2 Pinwheel Skew blocks together and then sew these to the bottom of the 3rd Pieced Star block.

Sew the 2 Crazy Ann blocks together. Join the row of Seesaw blocks to the top of the Crazy Ann blocks. Then join the Pieced Star/Pinwheel Skew section onto the right-hand side.

Section 4

Section 4 - blocks named

Sew the 3 Windblown Square blocks into a row.

Join the Grandmothers Choice block to the Weathervane block. Then sew these to the left-hand side of the Tassel Flower block.

Sew the row of Windblown Square blocks to the top of the Tassel Flower section.

Joining the sections

Joining sec 2,3,4

Sew section 2 to section 3 first.

Then add section 4 onto the bottom.

Blocks all together

Then sew section 1 onto the left-hand side of the larger section 2, 3 and 4.

Your blocks are now all together.

You can leave it like this and finish the quilt without borders if you like…or you can continue on with the next steps!


The inner border is 1” wide finished.

Cut 7 strips 1.5” x width of fabric. Trim off the selvedge's.

To make the side strips join 2 sets of 2 together (LOL a bit of double dutch there).

You want 2 strips that are 1.5” wide x 75.5” long. This is the EQ measurement, which worked perfectly for my quilt, but you may want to double check by measuring your quilt through the middle.

Sew these to the long sides of the quilt top. Start by pinning each end and pin in the middle and then ease it all in.

Press the seam to the border.

You should have 3 of the 1.5” strips left. Cut one in half and join each half to a full length strip. And then trim to the right length.

You want 2 strips 1.5” wide x 52.5” long.

Sew these strips to the short sides of the quilt in the same manner as the long strips.

The outer border in the original pattern is 5” wide.

I have made mine 6” wide. Mainly because that is the width of my long ruler. I also cut my borders from the length of the fabric - so I had a 2 metre piece of fabric, leaving it folded I cut off the selvedge's and then cut 2 strips 6.5” wide down the length of the fabric. Giving me 4 strips 2 metres long.

Anyway that is a bit of a side note…

For 5” finished borders you will need -
2 strips 5.5” wide x 77.5” long
2 strips 5.5” wide x 62.5” long

Using the same method as for the narrow border - sew the longer strips to the long side of the quilt first. Press seams out to the border.

And then sew the shorter strips to the short sides of the quilt in the same way.


You have completed your quilt top! You can give yourself a big pat on the back!

Now we are going to have a 2 week break to let everyone catch up and put their quilt tops together. On the 21st of December Jess will be over on her blog giving you all ideas for quilting your quilt.

Don’t forget to put any photos you have taken on the flickr group.

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Oops-Lah said...

Your quilt turned out absolutely lovely. I'm torn between just doing something with the few blocks I've made to have a chance of winning something or keep going and make the whole quilt but then miss out on the dead line. Decisions, decisions ;). Hope you are having a great Advent. xx

Quiltjane said...

That looks fantastic Jess. Wow, cannot believe the QAL is finished. Great job.

Quiltjane said...

That looks fantastic Jess. Wow, cannot believe the QAL is finished. Great job.

Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts said...

Jess it looks awesome - excellent post too, you've explained it beautifully.

Lucy | Charm About You said...

Yours look so beautiful! I'm still block making but I'll be using your instructions to put it together, thank you :)

Angela Bullard said...

Your quilt top looks amazing! I'm going to try to get caught up this weekend (fingers crossed).

Rosa said...

Your quilt is jus fabulous!!