Sweet Baby Diamonds Quilt

For those who don’t know me — I’m Tracey from traceyjay quilts (and traceyjay quilts pattern shop)!  I have one handsome husband, two sweet and adorable children, and I love to quilt when I have the time (which is rare these days!)

I made these two quilts for two sweet babies in my life (no, not my own).  This little tutorial has been in the works a long time!  I actually finished a second one for my niece (in Sunkissed) before the original was done.  I hope you can forgive the delay; I would personally like to think I have a good excuse.  😉  So — even though these particular lines are now hard to find, I have no doubt this design would sew up beautifully in Reunion, the new Lucy’s Crab Shack or even Mama Said Sew… as it already was adorable in two other Sweetwater lines.

I need to note for those who want to make one of their own — there was a lot of “winging it” while making this quilt, and the measurements are not exact and precise in all ways.  This tutorial is then my attempt to give you a bit of insight in to my (less than perfect, but hey they work) methods.  I would not recommend this design for a first project, because you are working with so many bias edges, as well as oddly shaped setting triangles.  If you’re willing to exercise a little patience, I’m confident though that you’ll love the results.

1 Jelly Roll (Pure by Sweetwater featured)
WIP to be finished

1 yd. contrast for sashing (will have some leftover for binding)
1 yd. for setting diamonds and triangles
1/2 yd. or charm pack for border
2 yards backing (might need more if sending quilt to a long-arm)
leftover jelly roll strips and sashing for binding

– Sort your jelly roll strips by dark, medium, and light value

– Group in to sets of five, following the pattern of dark/light/dark/light/dark and light/dark/light/dark/light.  If your sashing is dark in value, you will need three sets with light on the outside, and two sets with darks on the outside.  Switch if your sashing is light (like in the Sunkissed example), and make more groups with dark on the outside (twenty-five strips total, with thirteen light and twelve medium or dark — reverse if using light sashing).  The picture below shows a set of strips that are dark/light/dark/light/dark.

– Sew in to sets with a 2″ off-set for each strip (see picture).  There is no need to trim selvage.  Press very well (either open or to one side; I alternated directions for the dark vs. light strip set)

– Rotate strip set to opposite side (so that the one on top is now on bottom — the green in this picture) and trim at a 45 degree angle.  I use both the line on my quilting ruler as well as the line on my cutting mat, to ensure accuracy and consistency.
– Flip strip set back over, and continuing to follow the 45 degree line, cut 2 1/2″ wide pieced strips.  You can get as many as ten pieced strips per strip set, but you only need to get eight.  Be very careful with your cutting, continuously checking for the accuracy of your angle and 2 1/2″ width and 45 degree angle.

– You will be piecing the strips together like this, alternating a strip with dark on the outside, next to one with lights on the outside.  Here are some tips for helping to ensure good matching points.
– I found that pressing the side down 1/4″ on one of the strip sets was sometimes helpful to see directly where the two sections lined up.
– This picture shows the piece with the 1/4″ pressed over lined up and pinned in place next to the other piece.  You will then stitch directly on the wrong side of the pressed crease.  
This is an up close shot of how it looks at the intersections of your pieces. 

Press seams open when joining sections. 

There is a quarter inch off-set when each section is joined to the next.

– Make eight diamond blocks (each with five strip pieced sections — see pic directly below for what a finished block looks like)


Setting triangles:

Start by making a template.  I use freezer paper, but regular paper (or something else you choose) would work too.  Trace the diamond on to the freezer paper, and cut it out.

Using the template, you need to make setting triangles for your sides, corners, and top/bottom.  Depending on your fabric choice (if it is directional or not), you will need to pay attention to how you orient your template.  I like freezer paper because I can just iron it down, and then use the rotary cutter to cut my setting triangle.

This is an example of a corner setting triangle (the top right to be specific)  You want the fabric to extend past the mid point of the diamond shape.  It helps to draw midlines on your template (vertical and horizontal through the centers) so that you can make sure your setting triangle is larger than those midlines.

This shows how the template is placed for the bottom middle setting triangle.  When you cut — extend the lines straight at the bottom (rather than cutting along the template edge — the black line in the picture shows the cutting line).
Here is how the side setting triangles will be.  Again — extend the cutting line past the midpoint, and cut straight past the edge of the template like you did with the other pieces.
Lay your blocks out as shown.  If using dark sashing, place the blocks with light at the points for the top three, then dark for middle two, and light again for the bottom row.  You can see how the setting triangles will be arranged with the blocks.  (and yes, having tractors to watch really does help). 😉

This picture also shows how your rows will be sewn together (diagonally).

 Cut and piece 1 1/2″ strips long enough for your length of sashings.  You will need some “short” sashing strips (that go along the edge of the blocks/setting triangles in one direction, and some “long” (that go along the edge of the rows to join the rows together).  Use your template, or measure the edge of your block, and make sure there is enough length to fully extend past the edge, so it can be trimmed later (this is important when dealing with bias edges.

Sew a length of sashing along the “short” edge of your setting triangles or block.  The end of the sashing will extend past the end of the triangle or block.  Use your ruler to trim the edge.

Here is the “short” piece of sashing trimmed.

When joining two blocks together along the “short” edges, use your quilting ruler and measure 2 1/4″ from the edge (as shown in picture), and then trim the overhang of the sashing.

Piece your blocks and triangles together in diagonal rows, and then join diagonal rows to one another, with a long strip of sashing in between.

It can be tricky to join the rows of diamonds lined up when adding the sashing — I pressed a 1/4″ seam along one edge (similar to when joining the strip-pieced sections for the blocks), and then used a pencil to mark where the sashing needed to line up in order to make a straight line of the “short” edges.  (This is another one of those spots I mentioned earlier where I did some “winging it,” and you might be able to tell from the picture that particular seam was ripped at least once so I could get it right.)

Square up your top (I did not have precise measurements here — I just did my best to even out all my edges!), add a 5″ strip or pieced charm squares on each side, and you’ve got a quilt top!

Make your backing; Layer; Baste; Quilt; Bind — Done!

For the variation of this quilt I did for my niece Libby, in Sunkissed, I framed each block with a coordinating solid, then sashed in white, used assorted fabrics for the setting triangles, and used a charm pack for the side borders.  This makes for a bigger quilt overall — just make sure you use the block WITH the framing to make your template for the setting triangles.  The other steps for making this quilt are the same as described in this tutorial here.

Little diamonds for Libby

A very “sweet” quilt measuring about 42″ x 56″

If you decide to make this, I’d love you to stop by my blog and show me!  And please add pictures to my little flickr group!
Tracey Jacobsen


I Dance in Circles

Making this quilt felt a little bit like dancing.  It is full of color and movement, and just the right touch of sexy.  But don’t be scared of all those curves; I assure you — not a single pin or template was used in their construction.

In case you don’t remember me, I’m Tracey; I blog at traceyjay quilts. And for this quilt, I dance in circles.

1 Fandango Layer Cake
4 yards backing
1/2 yard binding
At least four – 5/8 yd. pieces of coordinating Basic Grey Grunge solids
Grunge Basics  Poplin 30150 20
Grunge Basics  White 30150 58
Grunge Basics  Sateen 30150 18
Grunge Basics  Sweetie 30150 72
Grunge  Winter Mint 30150 85
Grunge Basics  Chiffon 30150 15
Grunge Basics  Rum Raisin 30150 13
Grunge Basics  Blue 30150 60

(You need at least twenty-eight 10″ squares – you can get four squares from one 10″ x WOF strip)

Though not necessary, an 8 1/2 inch square ruler comes in handy for this quilt.



  • Cut at least seven 10″ x WOF strips from your Grunge solids.  Sub-cut these in to at least twenty-eight 10″ squares  (I had extra, because I wanted lots of freedom in selecting my colors).


  • Open up your layer cake and combine two layer cake squares with one Grunge solid to make three fabric squares all together.  Stack these together.  (*You can also use two Grunge squares with one Fandango square, and will need to do this at least once in order to make enough blocks).  Have fun selecting your color combinations; the only thing you need to do is include some contrast.
  • Make your first cut about 1/3 of the way in, creating roughly the arc of one quadrant of a circle.  You do not need a template; just let your rotary cutter do the work.  It’s OK if it’s not perfect.
  • Move the top piece of fabric to the bottom of the stack.
  • Using this video as a demo, position your inside piece of fabric (with the convex curve), right-sides together on top of the piece of fabric with the concave curve.  (You don’t need to pin!)  Because we are not using a template that includes the 1/4″ seam allowance, you will need to position the start of your inner piece of fabric about 1/4″ of the way from the base of your lower piece of fabric (the brown piece shown pictured above).
  • In the picture below, you can see both how my starting edges are not lined up, and also that I am lifting the top piece.  Using one hand to guide your base fabric, and the other to guide your top fabric, sew that curve together.  You will hold the top piece of fabric up slightly; remember — the only place the edges need to line up are right where they are feeding in to the machine!

  • Sew your first seam together on all three pieces of your set.  Press seams either direction (I went toward the center on most of them).  There will be an off-set on the edges — don’t worry about that!

  • Stack these blocks together, and make your second cut a couple inches (ish) away from your first.

  • Move two pieces to the bottom of the stack so that each piece of fabric is represented in each block.
  • Using the same method as above, off-set your edges by about 1/4″, and with the convex curve on top, and concave (outside) curve on the bottom, sew together, resulting in three similar blocks.  (You don’t need to trim your threads)

  • Once you get the hang of it, you can make both your cuts at once — as pictured below.  Move the top piece of the furthest inside to the bottom, and the top two pieces of the middle section to the bottom in order to evenly distribute your pieces.  Have fun with varying the widths of your cuts… this is improv after all!

  • Using your 8 1/2 inch square ruler, or another ruler of your choice, trim block to 8 1/2″ square.  I trimmed three blocks at a time.

  • To make the quilt top, I sorted my blocks in to “cool” and “warm” colors — and distinguished between a solid or print in the outer ring.  

  • This quilt uses an 8 x 8 block lay-out.  Arrange your blocks as desired, and sew in to rows.  I chose to off-set every other set of rows by starting it with a half-circle, rather than all four quadrants.  Just because I liked it that way.
  • When joining rows, remember to press seams in every other direction.
Your quilt top is complete!


A gorgeous throw measuring just over 60″ square after it’s all washed and crinkly.

When you try this, please remember to show me pictures!  You can add them to the Moda Bake Shop and traceyjay quilts groups on flickr.  For back story on this quilt, and more pics, come visit me; I’d love to hear from you.

Oh!  If you want to make this with fat quarters or yardage, instead of a layer cake, I’d recommend using 8.5″ or 9″ squares instead! 🙂

Tracey Jacobsen 

Fruitcake under my tree

How many of us have been sewing on Christmas Eve…just trying to finish up one. last. project???

My sister-in-law inspired this project when she requested a tree-skirt for Christmas; however, I think this little beauty will probably be on my personal to-gift list three or four times.  It’s quick, easy, cute, and oh-so-Christmas.

Leah, over at Burgundy Buttons, has even made this little tree-skirt in to a kit…just for you.  (And you have six months from today to get it done!)

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Tracey; I blog over at traceyjay quilts, and I hope you enjoy Fruitcake under my Tree…erh, uh, or under your tree.

1 Fruitcake Layer Cake

1/2 yd Maraschino cherry red damask (30228-12) – Setting triangles
1/2 yd Brown Bias stripe (30223-23) – Binding
3 yd Maraschino cherry red ornaments (30221-12) – Backing  (Note: I used 2 1/2 yd and threw in a few of the left-over layer cake squares)

*Please note: 

WOF = width of fabric
All seams are right-sides together, with 1/4″ seam allowance, unless otherwise noted

  • Break open that layer cake, and sort in to lights and darks.  You will need 12 light and 12 dark layer cake squares for this project.

  • Grab a pair of contrasting squares.

  • Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. 

  • Sew 1/4″ away from the line you drew, on both sides of the line.  (Using a 1/4″ sewing foot makes this so easy.)

  • Cut on the line you drew.  Press seams toward the dark square.

  • You now have two half-square triangles (HSTs)!

  • Put them right sides together, with contrasting sides touching (as shown).  If you press your seams to the sides, you will feel them nest in to place.  (The seams are pressed open in this photo; however, for most the blocks I pressed them to the side.)

  • Draw a diagonal line from opposite corners, perpendicular to the seam you just sewed.  Sew 1/4″ on each side.
  • Cut on the line you just drew.
  • You now have two hourglass blocks!  (Repeat 11 more times for a total of 24 blocks.)

Setting triangles:

In order to make this tree-skirt in to an octagon, and not a square, we will be using setting triangles on the sides.  We use these triangles because we don’t want to have bias edges on the perimeter of our quilt.  Here’s how they work for this project:

(size of finished block) 8.75″ x (nifty math formula number) 1.414 + (allowance for the seams) 1.25 = 13.6225 which means 13 5/8″ *parent squares*

  • Cut two 13 5/8″ parent squares.
  • Cut in half diagonally.

  • Cut in half diagonally again to yield four right-triangles.  The long-edge of the triangle (hypotenuse) will be the outside edge of the tree-skirt.

  • Lay-out your blocks with setting triangles as shown below.  I alternated the darks and lights, in a classic hour-glass block design.

  • Pile them into rows for sewing.  (I like to pin and number my rows to keep them sorted.)

  • Sew into rows, pressing seams to alternate sides before joining rows together

  • Use some kind of circle to mark center cut-out of tree (but don’t cut yet).

  • Baste.  
  • Quilt.
  • Cut.
Yes, your next step is then to cut along one edge and inside the circle you marked earlier (as shown in the photo below.)

Binding measurements:

A note about binding:
I used the bias stripe for my binding fabric, but I cut it on the bias, which made my cuts parallel to the stripes. You can also cut them perpendicular (which I kind of wish I had done).  I only needed 1/2 yard and got around 300″ of binding.  I use this tutorial to make continuous cut bias binding.

Here’s how much binding you’ll need:
(24.5″ * 4) = 98 + (18 * 4)= 72 + (22 * 2) = 44 + 26 (inner circle) = 240″ of binding

1/2 yard of continuous bias binding yields over 300 inches of binding tape. 🙂

Before you sew your binding down, make your ties by cutting about a yard of binding off the end, and folding the sides to the center and then in half.  Fold one side under and sew closed.  You need 2 ties, each about 18″ long.

  • Pin in place near opening of circle, on the backside of the quilt.
  • Bind
(Though the corners were not all ninety degrees, they still worked fine to miter!)
  • Wash, Dry, Love.

A wonderful tree skirt… ready in time for Christmas!

Measures approximately 54 inches in diameter (pre-washed).

Kits are available at Burgundy Buttons!

If you have any questions (or want to see some out-takes), hop on over to my blog, and ask!

Garden Stars and Stripes

For celebrations rich in history and tradition, such as the occasion of our nation’s independence, a classic design is called for.  In this quilt, Americana meets French General, to add a touch of patriotic to your wall or table.  A tribute to Liberty with French styling… I think I’ve seen that before…

Because I made two versions of this runner, and because this is Memorial Day weekend, and because this quilt is made to celebrate independence, I am auctioning one of these runners off, and giving all the proceeds to Operation Family Fund.  This organization is in place to help the families of wounded or killed soldiers.  Please visit my blog, traceyjay quilts, for more information, and join me in remembering and appreciating the sacrifices made for freedom.   I’m also hosting a sponsored giveaway for a Rural Jardin layer cake… so come on over!

I hope you enjoy Garden Stars and Stripes.

1 Rural Jardin Layer Cake

1/2 yard Chanvre and Blue Juniperis (13539-11)
1/2 yard Chanvre and Red Juniperis (13539-12)

Inner border:
Option 1:
1/4 yard Rouge Juniperis (13539-25)

Option 2:
Leftover background fabric

Outer borders:
Option 1: 10 Layer cake squares (you will not use all of them for the blocks)
Option 2: 2 1/2 yards of woven stripe (12553-39 featured)

Option 1:
2 1/2 yards of your choice (12531-12 featured)

Option 2: Remaining woven stripe yardage.

1/2 to 1 yard of woven fabric (I did mine as continuous binding and only needed 1/2 yard. If you want to do bias binding, you might be happier with 1 yard).

Option 2 is on the left; Option 1 is on the right:

*All seam allowances are 1/4″
*WOF = width of fabric


For background pieces:
Blue Juniperis:
Cut one 3 1/2″ x WOF strip; Sub-cut in to eight 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares (as pictured below)
Cut one 5″ x WOF strip; sub-cut in to four 5″ squares
Sub-cut the 5″ squares diagonally to yield 8 half-square triangles (HST)

(The remainder of this fabric will be used for an inner border in Option 2.)
Red Juniperis:
Cut two 3 1/2″ x WOF strips; sub-cut in to sixteen 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares
Cut one 5″ x WOF strip; sub-cut in to eight 5″ squares
Sub-cut the 5″ squares diagonally to yield sixteen half-square triangles (HST)


Choose 4 layer-cake squares for each block (4 Bleu Clair, 4 Woad Blue, 4 Rouge).

Cut each block in to two 3 1/2″ x 10″ strips.  You will have a 3″ strip leftover –save it — this will be used for the pieced border of Option 1.

(We’ll cut borders later.  I never cut my borders until my blocks are ready for them.)

Constructing the star blocks:

On the wrong side of your 3 1/2″ square background pieces, draw a diagonal line.

Sew on the line, starting in the top-left corner for 4 of the strips, and the top right corner for 4 of the strips.

You then need to trim this rectangle.  Cut 1/4″ away from the seam you just stitched on one side, and then cut 3 1/2″ away from the edge you just cut.  See picture below.  Before you press the seam open, you should have the shape of a parallelogram (more specifically, you will have a rhombus; most would call it a diamond).

For Option 1 — Save and set aside the triangles of background and colored fabric you cut from the top portion.


Press seams open.  You now have your eight star segments.

Arrange them into a star, in a layout that pleases you. 

To add the corner background pieces, take the triangles you cut from the 5″ squares and line them up in the blank spaces of the star.  When you place them right sides together, you will notice there is a 1/4″ overlap (see arrow below).  This is important to have so that when you open the seam, the hypotenuse (long edge) of the triangle you just added lines up with the inner edge of the star segment.

This is how the overlap looks before sewing:
Join those two segments together to form one quadrant of your square.  

Join your bottom and top quadrants to form halves, and your halves to make a whole.

Your block should measure very close to 15″ square at this point.

The star blocks are constructed the same for both options.  Make one in Woad Blue, Clair Bleu, and Rouge.  

*A note about seams:*

This is a bulky block (as far as seams go) with many pieces cut on the bias (bias tends to stretch).  After trying various methods, I found pressing my seams open created the least amount of bulk, and helped the block lie flattest.  I also had a hard time getting a system that would allow all the seams to nest…I found they would nest for one set of seams, and then be both going the same direction for another.  To avoid bulk, a poochy block, trouble nesting, and having dark red under white background, I pressed my seams open.  But do what you’d like.

Pieced Borders – Option 1:

I had a difficult time figuring out what to do with borders for this quilt (thus the two options), but after receiving my Schnibbles Times Two (from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.), and seeing those leftover pieces from preparing my star blocks, the answer for a pieced border became obvious.


Cut four 2 1/4″ x WOF strips from Rouge Juniperis.
Sub-cut in to ten 2 1/4″ x 15″ sashing pieces.

Sew on vertical sides of star blocks and join the three blocks together.  Your row will be sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing, block, sashing.

Hourglass Cornerstones:

Sew leftover triangle pieces (from star blocks) together.  Press seams open.  

Line up these squares so that the dark and lights are opposite one another, and draw a diagonal line from the unsewn corner to the opposite unsewn corner.

Sew 1/4″ away on both sides of drawn line. Cut drawn line to form two mini hourglass blocks.

Make as many as you’d like with your leftovers, but you only need eight.  I used the blues for my cornerstones, in order to contrast with the sashing.

Trim to 2 1/4″ squares (cutting a little from each side, to keep the design centered).

Attach a mini hourglass block to a 15″ sashing piece. 


I was careful to measure each segment as I went, making small adjustments as necessary, to ensure that the cornerstones lined up with my vertical sashing pieces (as shown).  Sew to top and bottom of star blocks, pinning at intersections.

Pieced Border:

Choose 6 contrasting layer cake pieces, and sub-cut in to three 3″ x 10″ rectangles.  Add these rectangles to the 12 strips leftover from creating the star blocks.  Choose blocks that create a nice variety of strips.

Choose one layer cake square, and cut it into four 5″ squares for the corners.
You may also need a small scrap, to help line up sides (I did).  

Your star section with sashing should measure about 50″ x 20″
For the sides, use 7 strips and sew them together.  Add a scrap or adjust seam allowances as necessary to make the edge fit.  

Cut these strips in half to form two border sections.  
Attach to sides of quilt.

For the top and bottom borders, begin and end each section of border with a 5″ square corner piece.  You will then need 20 strips to create the top and bottom sections. My quilt did not need a scrap or any adjustment of seam allowances, but make sure you measure your actual top to see if this number of strips fits.
Cut in half (as you did with side sections) and sew to top and bottom of quilt.  

Option 1 Quilt top is complete!

Option 2:

*Note about pre-washing:*

I normally never pre-wash; however, you may want to pre-wash the woven.  It seemed to shrink more than the other fabrics… not a problem if you like your quilts very crinkly, like I do.

Cut six 1 1/2″ x WOF strips from Chanvre and Blue Juniperis background yardage.  

From these strips, you will need to cut and create:
Two 60″ strips (it’s OK if you use a scrap at the end; it will be cut off)
Two 30″ strips
Two 15″ strips

Use the two 1 1/2″ x 15″ strips to use as sashing strips between your star blocks, and sew your three blocks together.  Do not sew sashing strips to the outside edges.  At this point, your row will be block, strip, block, strip, block.  The measurement of your quilt top thus far should be about 15″ x 47″.  

Fold your 2 1/2 yards of woven stripes so that you will be able to cut it along the selvage edge.  Cut 7″ (but no more) from the both selvage edges (I trimmed the selvages after I made the main cut, leaving 6 1/2″ of border fabric.)  The remaining fabric will be just the right size for backing.

You should now have two 90″ x 6 1/2″ border lengths.  Sub-cut them in to two 30″ lengths, and two 60″ lengths.  
We will be creating multiple mitered borders.  Julie, of jaybird quilts, has a great tutorial here.  I’ll add just a few notes and images below for those unfamiliar with the technique.  
Attach the white inner border to the woven border strips.  

(* Note: With this cutting method, it is theoretical to be able to get all your corner stripes to line up; if you desire this effect — I have done this on one corner of the quilt– then check that you are sewing the white border to the same edge for all the panels.)
A few things to keep in mind while creating mitered borders:
  • Press the side border seams towards the outer border, and the long border seams out towards the inner border.  This allows the seams to nest.  
  • Don’t forget to start and stop your seams 1/4″ from the edge of the star blocks.
  • Here’s what the over-lap will look like.
When you fold the corner down, fold along the diagonally angled seam in your star block. Draw your stitching line from this seam, not the edge of the fabric.
    Here’s a close up:
      Julie’s tutorial is great if you need any more instruction than this. 

      Your quilt top is finished! I angled my quilting lines, kind of like a braid.  Taping and drawing guidelines really helped.
      Label, Layer, Baste, Quilt, Bind, Wash, Dry, Admire, Celebrate.

      A Patriotic table or wall quilt classy enough to leave up after the Fireworks.  Measures approximately 56″ x 26″ all crinkled up.

      Don’t forget about our Quilt Auction to benefit families of soldiers … or our layer cake giveaway! (And I’d love to hear  read what you think of Garden Stars and Stripes.)


      Tracey Jacobsen

      Bricks in Bloom

      Last July, my brother and sister-in-law adopted my niece Molly. They received a phone call from their adoption agency on Friday, and went to pick up their one-week old daughter on Saturday! All the frustration, disappointment, heart-break and waiting were replaced with over-flowing joy and gratitude for them and our whole family. Because I am a mama to a boy (whom you will meet at the bottom of this post), living in a world of way too much cute girly fabric, I sew for Molly. The fabric in this quilt, from Oz by Sanae, with its cheer, sass, and bright whimsy, suits her and this Spring season perfectly.

      My name is Tracey Jacobsen, I blog over at traceyjay quilts, and I hope you enjoy my first Moda Bake Shop Recipe. If you are new to, (or scared of) appliqué, then this is the quilt for you.  Great texture, fresh colors, subtle movement, and simple piecing make this quilt easy to love.

      The pink and green fat quarters from an Oz FQ bundle
      The yellow dots fat quarter
      The large focal print fat quarters for appliqué section
      2 ½ yards Moda Bella solids in Natural (for backing and appliqué section)
      ½ yd your choice of Oz print for binding (I went scrappy)
      Assorted coordinating Perle Cotton in No. 8 for hand quilting

      Neutral thread for piecing and appliqué
      Fabric pencil for making letters and marking quilting lines
      Various appliqué tools: Freezer paper, Heat ‘n Bond Lite, Heavy Starch and/or (not pictured) glue stick

      ¼ yd Moda Bella solids in Brown (for name appliqué)
      Coordinating brown thread
      PDF file of letters (Lucida Handwriting is the font)
      (Thank you Julie for converting this!)

      Fat Quarter cutting diagram
       (all four rows are the same)
      4 ½” x 
      4 ½”
      4 ½” x
      6 ½”
      4 ½” x 8 ½”

      *not to scale

      Line up your fat quarters on your cutting mat, making sure you have a full 18″ height (If you do not, then make your bricks a tiny bit smaller; it will not impact the design so long as you are consistent with the width of all the bricks)

      As shown in the diagram and photo, cut 4 strips at 4 1/2″ each.

      You will then sub-cut those strips in to three different sized bricks: small (4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″), medium (4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″) and yes, you guessed it, large (4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″)

      Each FQ will give you four small, four medium, and four large bricks.

      For the next step, after cutting, all the greens went in to a bin, and all the pink went in to another.  Because I didn’t want the vertical seams of my bricks to line up, I graphed a random lay-out with the different sized bricks (see below).  

      Following the graph, I picked up the bricks for each row in to a stack and sewed them together. If you could have heard my inner dialogue during this process, it would have sounded something like this: medium pink flowers, medium pink stripes, large pink packed flowers, small green packed flowers, medium dark green dots, large green flowers.  

      I found working one row at a time was easier for me, because after each row was sewn, I used it for comparison in selecting the bricks for the next row down.  This way I did not have to lay out all the bricks for the whole quilt before sewing, and yet I was happy with the way the fabrics went together, and didn’t have too many of any one design bunched together.

      Because the vertical seams did not line up, I pressed my seams open; I find it helps make the quilt top lie flat.  If you prefer to press your seams to the side (saves time after all), either direction is fine.

      Line up your rows after pressing seams, and sew them together.

      Here you can see the diagram I used for the lay-out of the quilt.  Each square on the graph equals 2″ finished on the quilt.

      The appliqué section:

      For your center appliqué section, use your Bella solids in Natural, a few bricks from the yellow dots fat quarter, and a couple of the light green dots if you’d like.  Cut three 4 1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips from the Natural, and sub-cut them in to small, medium, and large bricks.  Sprinkle in a few yellow dots and light green dots bricks as diagrammed, or as suits your fancy.

      Sew these three rows together; however, it is important that you do not yet sew these rows to the top and bottom pink/green sections of the quilt.  If you attach this to the main portion of the quilt, it will be more difficult to stabilize and maneuver your fabric as you appliqué.

      Now for the fun part!

      Go back and grab the fat quarters with the large focal prints.  Look at them and decide which parts you like best and may want to use on your quilt.  I left out most of the large leaves and/or any of the flowers that looked too jungle-y.  Do not cut until you have decided on your method of appliqué.

      If you are new to appliqué, like I still consider myself, then I recommend you follow Natalia’s starch appliqué tutorial (Natalia from Piece ‘n Quilt). With this method, you simply starch all the areas of the focal fabrics you plan to cut out (and remind yourself how badly you need to make one of these), starch the base fabric, cut out and arrange your pieces, glue or pin on to the base fabric, and then sew them down.  (Make sure you sew the pieces on the bottom layer first, and stack up).

      There are other methods of appliqué which are also effective; feel free to use whatever method you prefer.  On my blog, I’ve written up a few notes for newbies that are meant to help you get through this section of the quilt.  

      After my pieces were starched and arranged, I lowered my feed dogs, attached my darning foot and free-motion stitched around them.  I had to go back in a few places where I had failed to catch the fabric, but I found this method much faster than pivoting and turning my fabric over and over.  Some of the pieces had very small curves that made it difficult to blanket or straight-stitch.  I did use a blanket-stitch to go around the letters, because I wanted them to have a nicer finish.

      All the pieces in the original quilt were done with raw-edge appliqué.

      After you have sewn on your appliqué pieces, attach all your rows together, and your quilt top is complete!

      For the back:

      Cut a piece of the Bella solids in Natural about 60″ long.  You will then sub-cut that piece in to a large top portion, and a smaller bottom portion.  It works out to about 28 inches on the top (finished), and 12 inches on the bottom, (the extra is important if you plan to use a long-arm quilter.)  Cut four 1 1/2″ x WOF strips for sashing in between the bricks.

      For the pieced section of the back, use your extra bricks and separate each of them with a 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strip of sashing.  Sew the three rows together and join to the top and bottom solid portions.
      To finish:
      Make your quilt sandwich, and baste.  To quilt, I drew lines with my pencil at 4 1/2″ apart on a 60 degree angle, then used my walking foot.  I did not quilt over the appliqué pieces when I came to them with the walking foot.
      To add more texture and that very hand-made feel, I hand quilted the appliqué pieces using Perle cotton in No. 8.  If you are unfamiliar with hand-quilting, I have a few notes for newbies who are trying hand-quilting; hopefully my trial and error will save you some time.  My stitches are not close to perfect, but I love the overall effect they give to the quilt.
      Lastly, don’t forget to bind, label, and enjoy!

      A 50″ x 54″ quilt perfect for any sweet little girl in your life.

      (This is my son, Steiger, pictured here… Just breaking it in for Molly…)

      And here is the sweet little recipient herself! 🙂
      If you have any questions, please hop on over to my blog, and ask!  I’d also love to hear what you think of Bricks in Bloom.