Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tifton Tiles Quilt Tutorial

Hi there!  Happy last day of 2011!  A week ago I was finishing up this quilt for a Christmas gift.  My mother-in-law requested something handmade by me for Christmas and so I had my mister help select some fabrics from the shop.  We decided to go with Etchings (even though it wasn't blue and mauve). Here's the stack I started with ...

I used this stack but exchanged the solid gray for more of the red tonal for the binding.  I think it was the right choice. Anyway, some details about the quilt ...

Quilt Name:  "Tifton Tiles" - my mother-in-law is from a town called Tifton and the blocks reminded me of tiles.  And I like alliteration. :-)

Finished size:  approx. 49 x 59 inches

Materials Needed: 
  • 9 FQ for the top.  I used Etchings by 3 Sisters for Moda.  (* I used 7 prints - 5 FQ and 2 half yards.  I would recommend 9 prints as it will be easier to spread out your prints in the quilt.)
  • 3.5 yards for the backing  (you may feel more comfortable with 4 yards if you need more extra around the top for longarm machines, etc.)
  • 0.5 yards for the binding  (Note - I used the bias binding tutorial linked below.)
  • Batting
  • General sewing supplies - thread, rotary cutter, ruler, pins, etc.
Ready to start sewing?!

Step 1:  Cut Your Blocks.

Press your fat quarters and lay them on your cutting mat. I cut two prints at a time.  From each FQ, cut three long strips 6 inches wide x 21 inches long.

Subcut one strip into two pieces - Block A - 6 x 6 and Block B - 6 x 15.

Subcut another strip into two pieces - Block C - 6 x 9 and Block D - 6 x 12.

Leave the third strip alone as Block E - 6 x 21.

Continue cutting until you have 9 of each size piece. 

Step 2:  Arrange Your Blocks.
Lay out all the blocks and move them around until you are happy with the layout and distribution of fabrics.  (This is where I wished I had 9 different prints instead of 7.)

(Click to enlarge.)

You should have 9 columns, each with one of each block A, B, C, D, and E.  (See diagram above.)

** Note - I have two extra A blocks since I had a cutting *incident* and ended up cutting two of my E (6 x 21) blocks and adding an A block to get the length. Whoops!

Step 3: Join Your Blocks.
Start by joining all the blocks together in each column. 

Then join the columns together.  I joined them in pairs and then joined the pairs together.  I also lined up all the bottom edges of each column together as I went along.

Step 4: Sandwich, Quilt & Bind
Prepare your backing by cutting your fabric in half.  I sliced mine at 55" and then joined the two pieces along the selvage so there was one horizontal seam running the width of the quilt on the back.  (Sorry I didn't take any photos of this part.)

Layer your quilt on a flat surface, backing face down, batting on top, then the quilt top face up on top of the batting. Pin the layers together.  (Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson, has an awesome basting tutorial and this illustrates the method that I use.)

I have a basic tutorial here for quilting and binding from another project. 

For this project, I did a free motion meandering design.  It was pretty fast to zip around the quilt and I think it complemented the fabrics well.  If I was using more modern or geometric prints, I may do a straight line or "edgier" design for my quilting.

To make my bias binding, I used this tutorial here from Tracey. 

I also handstitched my binding to the back.  I briefly thought about trying machining it on since it was only about 36 hours until Christmas, but was concerned about trying something new in a time crunch and then possibly wishing I had handstitched it.  :-)

Step 5:  Wash, Take "Zombie Photos" and Enjoy :-)
I held my breath when I threw this into the wash.  I also threw in FIVE Shout Color Catcher sheets just. in. case.  And it came out beautifully with no bleeding.  Thank goodness.  :-)

I took some "Zombie Photos" ... you know where you stand behind your quilt with your arms in the air.  The front ...

The back (so glad I changed my mind and went with the red binding) ...

And one more shot...

Hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial.  I know I don't have as many pictures as I normally do, but hopefully its clear as mud.  If you have any questions, please email me or leave a comment below.  This pattern is great for a quick turnaround project or one with fabrics that are just too pretty to cut up in super small pieces.  I'd love to see your version if you make one. :-)

Happy Sewing! :-)


  1. It's beautiful Chrissy and so are you! =) Great job on the quilt...I think this is one I might actually be able to handle. =) Gonna check my FQ stash!

  2. Great job!!! I love the fabrics you chose, too!

  3. Looks great! Thanks for sharing this!!I am going to make this quilt with some sock monkey fabric I have for my niece! Her birthday is in Feb so as soon as it is finished I will send you a picture! Also, I am a new follower of your blog. Thanks so much!!

  4. Saw this on Pinterest and can't wait to get started sewing. Have some French General that I think would be perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Have a whole bunch of gorgeous orange I know what to do with them. I am going to put terry cloth on the back and use it as a beach blanket. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Where can I find this fabric ?

  7. just piecing my third ever quilt top this might be my fourth! Love it! X

  8. This is really easy to follow, I bet even I will be able to use it (ha!) Seriously, though, you make this whole process so easy to understand that I really am looking forward to trying it.

  9. I love it, and the directions were great!

  10. I made one, can I send you a picture?

  11. Great directions! You should teach. Love it.

  12. Great directions. You should teach. Love it.

  13. I love it and so well done! i hate pre washing so will try to get the colour catching sheets! Thank you for the great tutorial

  14. Is there a way to get a printer friendly version? When I try to print, all the red/pink print on the left ends up mixed with the instructions on the right side of the page. That makes it almost impossible to read. Thank you.

  15. I'm a new quilter and I'd like to make a queen sized quilt using this pattern. What's the best way to enlarge this pattern? Thanks!


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