Monday, October 23, 2006

Native American Inspired Quilt

By Brandi M. Seals

If you are looking to spice up your quilt collection, consider following this pattern for a Native American inspired quilt. It is very easy to make so even first timers will do well at it. Plus, there is very little sewing time involved.

To make the Native American inspired quilt go out and stock up on your fabrics and batting that you will need. The colors I choose were merely arbitrary. See what you can find at the craft store that will look great in this quilt.

After you have washed, dried, and ironed your fabric it is time to begin cutting. I like to take my material and fold it in half. You want to fold it so that the long sides are on the outside and the short sides are folded together. Now using a rotary cutter and a self healing mat, even up the edges on the long sides and begin cutting strips in the appropriate width. After the strips are cut they can be turned into squares and then triangles if needed.

For this quilt pattern in a queen size (86 inches by 90 inches) you will need to cut the follow:

From the white fabric:
12 - 4.5 inch squares that you will then need to divide into 2 triangles
4 - 19.25 inch by 4.25 inch strips
2 - 22.75 inch squares that will then need to be divided into 2 triangles

From the gray fabric:
2 - 6.75 inch by 46.75 inch strips
2 - 6.75 inch by 63 inch strips
2 - 6.75 inch by 79.25 inch strips
2 - 6.75 inch by 70.5 inch strips

From the blue fabric:
48 - 4.5 inch squares

From the gold fabric:
2 - 79.25 inch by 4.25 inch strips
2 - 83 inch by 4.25 inch strips
2 - 63 inch by 4.25 inch strips
2 - 59.25 inch by 4.25 inch strips
1 - 19.25 inch by 16.75 inch rectangle

Now that all the fabric has been cut out, it is time to begin sewing. Like with any quilt, you are going to want to begin in the center. Sew together the white strips and a blue square. Next begin attaching these to the gold rectangle. Work all the way around. It will probably be easiest to have attaches a blue square on both ends of 2 of the white strips. You would then want to attach the uncapped white strips to the gold rectangle and finish by adding the blue capped pieces.

Moving outward it is easiet to sew the blue block design together by doing straight rows or columns. For example, if I were to sew them in columns and I started at the top of the pyramid shape that is facing straight up, I would piece together three blue squares. If I moved one space over I would sew together a white triangle, and two blue squares.

When all the columns for one particular pyramid is completed, sew them together to form the completed pyramid. You will notice that if you have attached the white triangles where you should have, you do not have jagged edges, but rather a smooth triangle.

Sew the proper side of this completed triangle to the center piece you have already put together. Once all of these pyramid pieces have been attached you can move on. It is time to attach the large white triangles. With those added in, you now have a large part of the center done. All that is left is adding on all of the different borders.

Start by adding the shorter gray pieces to the top and bottom the pieced together quilt you have created. Then add the sides. Keeping going like that until you are complete, except do the opposite for the next gray layer. Remember to attach the blue blocks to the long gold strips before attaching the strips to the quilt.

With the quilt top done the only thing left to do is to put the whole thing together. There are a number of ways to put a quilt together. Pick the one that suits you best and go with it. Regardless of what method you decide on, remember to make sure your backing is slightly larger then the quilt top. It is always easier to trim things down and you would not want the backing to be too small.

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