Marmalade Squares (Two!) Quilt

Author’s Note: Thanks to readers who found errors in the tutorial. They have been fixed on the website but not pdf download.  I will post here when the download has been fixed. Apologies and thanks. 

A note from Oda May: Marmalade Squares is a popular name! I’ve called this version Marmalade Squares (Two!) so we won’t be confuse it with the first Marmalade Squares Quilt.

My name is Katie Blakesley and I blog at Swim, Bike,Quilt, and I’m sharing my Marmalade Squares quilt with you today. Marmalade, by Bonnie & Camille, is a bit of a flashback, I know! I started this quilt last fall while I was co-writing a book (Vintage Quilt Revival) and I’m so happy to be sharing the tutorial today. I backed the quilt in one of the lovely soft flannels from the line, which adds to the calm, cozy nature of this quilt. 

Marmalade Squares is charm pack friendly and fun to sew—it would be a great baby gift or a charity quilt (just wrapped up 100 Quilts for Kids 2013 on my blog– maybe you will join us next year?)

And just a note–I have included very specific instructions here, but this would be a fun quilt to “wing it” a bit with, and do a bit of improv piecing, if you are so inclined.

2 Charm Packs
1 ½  yards neutral Moda Bella Sand or other neutral solid (9900 201)

2 ½ yards backing fabric
1 ¼ yards batting (or 44’’ x 50’’ piece of batting)
3/8 yard Stripe in Raspberry for binding (55054 12) 

Note: You may be able to use 1 charm pack + a little bit of coordinating fabric from the backing or your stash if you would like–the extra charms also work great as a stripe on the quilt back. For more ideas on quilt backs, see “The Other Side of the Quilt,” a linky party. 


1. Cut solid fabric according to the chart below. I suggest cutting the longest pieces first.

2. Choose 25 five inch charm squares to make the central patchwork square, which measures 23’’ x 23’’ (unfinished). Arrange them in a grid of 5 squares by 5 squares. Sew the top row of squares together, and press seams to the right. 

3. Sew the second row of squares together and press to the left. Repeat with the third row (press to the right), fourth row (press to the left) and fifth row (press to the right).

4. Place the top and second rows right sides together, and pin at each seam intersection. Sew the two rows together, and press well. 

5. Continue pinning, sewing, and pressing the rows until you have a 5 x 5 grid. 

6. Cut 15 + charm squares in half. (You may need more or less charms, depending on how scrappy you want the quilt to look).

7. Cut the 30 (+) charm halves as follows:
    Cut some charm halves into 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ rectangles, and discard the remaining .5’’ x 2.5’’ rectangle.
    Cut some charm halves into 2.5’’ x 3.5’’ rectangles and 1.5’’ x 2.5’’ rectangles.
    Cut at least 10 charm halves in half again, leaving you with (20) 2.5’’ x 2.5’’ squares.
    Cut some charm halves into 2.5’’ x 3’’ rectangles and 2’’ x 2.5’’ rectangles.

8.  Set aside six 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ strips and eight 2.5’’ x 2.5’’ squares for the top left part of the quilt.

9. Piece the remaining charm square pieces into strips.  You will need 2 strips that are 2.5’’ x 37.5’’ and 2 strips that are 2.5’’ x 30’’.

Note: You can piece the strips together and trim them to the desired length.

Putting Together the Quilt Top

Piece the Center Portion

1. Arrange the pieced “center” square (A) and strip B and C as shown below.  

2. Place B (7.5’’ x 23’’) and A right sides together, pin if necessary, sew, and press.

3. Place C right sides together with AB, pin if necessary (I suggest in the center, at the two ends, and intermittently throughout), sew, and press.

4. Place D right sides together with ABC, pin, sew, and press.
Piece the Left Side of the Quilt
Note: This is not how I pieced it, but it will result in a cleaner look, and if I was remaking this quilt, I would piece it this way.

1. Choose eight 2.5’’ x 2.5’’ charm squares and one solid center square the same size to make the nine patch at the top left corner of the quilt. Sew the nine patch together, the top row, then the center row, then the bottom row. Press well. Pin the top and center row together, sew, and press. Pin the bottom row to the rectangle, sew and press well. The 9 patch square will measure 6.5” x 6.5”.

2. Continue to build the upper left corner of the quilt—see diagram below for layout.  Sew “Row 1” together as shown and press.  

3. Sew together two 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ charm rectangles with one solid 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ rectangle in the center as shown below, and sew it to the left side of the 9 patch square. 

4. Repeat step 3, and sew it to the right side of the charm square. Note: You can also piece charm strips together to make a 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ strip as shown on the right side of the diagram, if you prefer a very scrappy look. 

5. Pin Row 1 and the extended 9 patch rectangle right sides together, making sure to match intersecting seams, pin, sew, and press. 
6. Place strip E (4.5’’ x 37.5’’) and F (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 37.5’’) right sides together, pin, sew, and press. Sew strip G (2.5’’ x 37.5’’) and strip H (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 37.5’’) right sides together, pin, sew, and press. Sew EF to GH. Press well. Sew EFGH to I. Press well.


7. Pin the top half of the left side (includes the 9 patch square) to the bottom half of the left side (just sewn above). Be sure to match intersecting seams, pin, sew, and press. Set aside. 

Piece the Top Right Half of the Quilt

1.  Place strip J (solid 4.5’’ x 30’’ strip) right sides together with strip K (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 30’’), pin, sew, and press.

2. Repeat with strip L (solid 2.5’’ x 30’’ strip) and M (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 30.5’’), pin, sew, and press.

3. Pin and sew JK and LM together, press well. 

Piece the Quilt Top
1. Pin the piece just sewn (JKLM) to the center square (ABCD), and sew. Press well. 

2. Piece the left side of the quilt top (EFGHI) to the right side of the quilt top. Take care to pin the intersecting seams at the top and match points. Sew together. Press. Voila! Quilt top is finished!


Finishing the Quilt

1. Cut six 2.5’’ x width of fabric strips. Join them together, and bind according to your favorite method. [I have a machine binding tutorial on my blog that I used].

2. Baste your quilt top, batting, and quilt back and quilt using your favorite method. I used a serpentine stitch on my Bernina; you could also do something similar with a free hand free motion quilting stitch. Bind the quilt, and do a happy dance! You made it.

The finished quilt top measures 44.5” x 47.5” — it has been rounded up for convenience.

Note on quilting this quilt—as you can see, it is easy to “pull” the charm pack chains as you quilt the quilt. If you are doing horizontal or vertical quilting (in contrast to an all over free motion design), make sure to quilt a few lines from top to bottom, then a few lines starting at the bottom and going to the top, alternating often so you don’t “pull” the quilt. 


Thanks, and I would love to have you visit me at Swim, Bike, Quilt!

Quilt measures 45’’ x 48’’

Katie Blakesley
{Swim, Bike,Quilt

I Spy Ten Little Things Quilt

My name is Katie Blakesley, and I blog at Swim, Bike, Quilt.  Today I am happy to share a simple, charm pack friendly I-Spy quilt using Jenn Ski’s new line Ten Little Things and Moda’s Half Moon Modern. Ten Little Things works wonderfully for an I-Spy Quilt—in this version, the owls, construction scenes, numbers, and geometric prints are supplemented by oval, scissors, and polka dot prints from Half Moon Modern.

2 or 3 charm packs
Solids jelly roll or assortment of ½ yard and ¼ yard Moda Bella solids as listed below:
½ yard blue solid (9900-138 Sea)
¼ yard red solid (9900-123 Betty’s Red)
¼  yard light blue solid (9900-84 Blue Raspberry)
¼ yard brown solid (9900-106 Earth)
¼ yard yellow solid (9900-131 Lemon)
¼ yard green solid (9900-192 Leaf)
¼ yard orange solid (9900-80 Orange)
2 3/4 yards OR 1 Ten Little Things Panel + 2 1/4 yards solid for backing
52’’ x 54’’ piece of batting
1/3 yard for binding

Cutting Instructions:
For sashing, cut (24) 2’’ x 9 ½’’ strips and (24) 2’’ x 17’’ strips total, as shown in chart below:

There are 42 charms in each Moda charm pack, you need 72 for this quilt. I used 2 Ten Little Things and 1 Half Moon Modern charm packs. Depending on how many charms you choose from each pack, you can make this quilt with 2 charm packs instead of 3.
Assembly Instructions:
1. Choose 72 charms, and divide charms into 12 piles of 6, paying attention to both color and pattern.

2. Arrange the first set of 6 charms in a 2×3 grid as shown; repeat with remaining 11 sets.

3. Using a 1/4” seam allowance, place the top 2 charms right sides together and sew; repeat with the middle 2 and bottom 2 charms.  Tip: Chain stitching the blocks will help you sew more quickly and keep the pairs organized and in the right order. Instead of cutting the thread in between sewing each pair, sew the blocks together in 1 long chain. I sewed all of my pairs together, and then cut them into groups of 3. 
4. Press the seams, alternating direction to allow the seams to lock.  Press the top and bottom row to the left, and the middle row to the right.

5. Place the top and middle rows right sides together, pin on either side of the seam, and sew. Next, place the bottom and middle rows right sides together, pin on either side of the seam and sew.  Press seams.  Repeat with the remaining 11 sets of 6 charms.

6. Choose sashing for each block, which now measures 9 ½” x 14”. In the sample quilt, there are 3 blue,  2 red, 2 light blue, 2 brown, 1 yellow, 1 green, and 1 orange sashed blocks.

7. Pin a 2’’ x 9 ½’’ strip to the top and bottom of each set of 6 charms and sew. Press seams.

8. Pin a 2’’ x 17’’ strip to the left and right side of each block and sew. Press seams. The block now measures 12 ½” x 17”.

9. Arrange the 12 blocks together in a 4 x 3 grid as shown.

10. Put the top and center row right sides together. Match seams, and pin on either side of each seam.  Sew rows together and press well.

11. Repeat with the center and bottom rows–match seams, and pin on either side of the seams. Sew rows together and press well. Admire your finished quilt top, which measures 48 1/2” x 50”.

12.  Piece the quilt back.  I chose to use a Ten Little Things panel and added a strip of leftover blue solid on the left side of the panel, a piece of light blue fabric on the right, and a strip of light blue along the bottom, so that the back measured about 54” x 54”.
13. Baste the quilt top, batting, and backing together.
14. Quilt as desired.  I used organic straight lines, and quilted 3 vertical lines in each of the vertical sashing pieces about a ¼’’ apart, and one vertical line in each of the rows of blocks.  I also quilted a ¼’’ above and below each piece of horizontal sashing, and various groups of 3 or 5 lines horizontally throughout the blocks. I find straight line quilting is more effective when the quilting is closer together; this pattern allowed for the look of organic straight line quilting while still ensuring the quilt will remain soft and snuggly.

15. Square the quilt and bind—I bound the quilt in my favorite coordinating solid using the same method as my machine binding tutorial.

Finished Quilt: 48 1/2” x 50” –the perfect size for a preschool aged child to curl up with!  This one is already on its way to Arkansas to a friend who could use a bit of extra love right now.
Finally, for more inspiration, here is a picture of a scrappy I-Spy quilt I completed last year, as well as a variation of this quilt– a simple layout that includes the I-Spy element with a more streamlined feel.

I spy quilt

I hope you have as much fun making an I-Spy quilt as I did–if you make one, I’d love to see a picture of it in the Moda Bake Shop Flickr group.

Katie Blakesley
{Swim, Bike, Quilt}