Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Week 1: Argyled Quilt Along (Cutting and Piecing the Diamonds)

Welcome to the Argyled QAL with 1 Choice 4 Quilting! This is a layer cake friendly quilt that comes together so easily, you won't believe it (I swear!). I used Kate Spain's Honey Honey, and if you're interested in using the same, there are still quilt kits available for purchase (P.S. - Nicole is having a 10% off sale to celebrate 3,500 fans on Facebook! Use the code - "3500fans10").

You can also QAL with your own fabric - and it will be amazing to see the different versions! Feel free to join at any time in March (join the Flickr group!) but as you'll see, at the end, there will be a chance at a prize at the end of the month for completed quilts! Wow, that was a lot of exclamation marks. Let's get started :)

March 6: Cutting and piecing the diamonds
March 13: Cutting and piecing the strips, finishing the quilt top
March 20: Quilting
March 27: Post your photo to the The 1 Choice 4 Quilting Club Flickr Group
by this day for a special PRIZE! 

So, that means today we're cutting and piecing the diamonds! Lucky for you (unless you really love cutting fabric), there's not too much cutting to do, because we're using layer cake squares :)

If you're quilting along with Honey Honey or your own fabric, here are the fabric requirements for the quilt (in parentheses I wrote in my own picks, which are part of Nicole's quilt kit):

1 layer cake
1/2 yard of two different fabrics for front strips (Floral Apiary Orange and Floral Lace Light Blue)
1/2 yard for binding (Floral Posey Light Blue)
1 1/2 yard of solids for triangles (Bella Bleached White)
Exactly 4.5 yards of backing fabric

Sidenote: This quilt measures out pretty big - 73" x 74" (almost square) - but I did this for two reasons:

1. To lessen the cutting and thus guarantee that the quilt is a bit faster to make. We all have busy lives and I know a lot of people are looking for easy, quick patterns!
2. I wanted to adequately showcase all of the prints in this beautiful fabric line (and the pattern would work with any fabric line with a lot of large prints!)
3. I love big lap quilts - and that's that!

So, now you know where I'm coming from. You are, of course, welcome to adjust the pattern to fit your own needs, but for now, I'll only be giving measurements, diagrams, and instructions for the large lap size.

Cutting the Diamonds

*SAVE THE CARDBOARD PIECE FROM THE BACK OF YOUR PACKAGED LAYER CAKE!Did you hear me? Okay, good - put it aside for when we get to quilting in Week 3. You can always cut one out of cardboard later, but you might as well use what you have!

1. Cut (19) 10” squares from your 1.5 yards of bleached white solid fabric. Set aside 11 of the squares.

2. Cut the remaining 8 bleached white squares in half by placing the square like a diamond on your cutting board, and lining up your top and bottom square so that they are pointing directly at the lines on your board (don’t worry about the left and right ones). For example:

Now, you should have a stack of 16 right triangles, along with your stack of 11 regular squares. Great! Moving on…

3. Pick out three prints in your layer cake collection to chop in half (I know, how sad!), mirroring the process above. Keep in mind that some prints will already be doubled in a layer cake, but you will have at least one of every print in the collection. The reason we do this step is because there is a need for 45 printed squares, but we only have 42. So choose wisely!

Okay – we’re done cutting for now!

Piecing the Diamonds
This will be the most lengthy part of the process, but (I think) the most rewarding, when you are done :) *Note: I suggest reading through this section completely before starting!

4. Piece into rows (there are 12), using a quarter inch seam and following this handy diagram (make sure to sew the right triangles in the direction and place indicated! This is very important!):

*NOTE: Row 1 is the one extra right triangle, which will be added in at the very top when we piece the quilt. (I put it in this picture for your reference, though it won't get sewn on yet).

This is where you can have fun, mixing and matching your Honey Honey prints so they sit right. If you don’t have a lot of space to lay your quilt out (like me) it might just be a guessing game… but have fun with it! I did a couple of rows at a time.

5. Press the seams to the side, opposite ways for each row. I put this step here, after piecing rows individually, because then you can keep track of your opposite rows (pressing them in opposite directions helps them “nest” together, and, thus, line up better, when you sew the whole top together).

Pretty nesting seams :)

6. Now, sew your rows together, again using a quarter inch seam - I suggest a lot of pins! I split mine into three parts (the bottom 4 rows, then the middle and longest 3, then the last 5, INCLUDING the one half triangle at the very top), THEN sewed those pieces together. It was a lot less hassle that way!


***PLEASE use the diagram, not the above picture, to refer to how the quilt should look when sewn together - in the picture, I had already hacked off some halves of triangles I knew I didn't need. Don't worry, we'll get there!

Do you see your quilt top taking shape? Turn it on it's side and you'll see it! Now, I know it will look a little strange all sewn together with some of the triangles sticking out, but we will be making bias cuts next week (never fear!) and I promise it will all get sewn up right. Stay with me here! I sometimes go about my quilt construction in unconventional ways, but I hope the diagrams help!

7. To reduce bulk when quilting, and to make the quilt flatter, press those seams OPEN this time. Yes, it will take a while, but it's worth it!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Have fun and stay tuned for next Wednesday, when, at the end, you'll have your finished quilt top!


  1. I follow your progress.It looks just beautiful!!

  2. Great, I have a Snap Pop layer cake I got from 1 Choice for Quilting and I'll use that to make it. Looks fast and easy to piece.

  3. I didn't see anything about prewashing ... I know some people swear by it, others don't do it ever. Do you have a recommendation? Usually I prewash yardages, but obviously the layer cake wouldn't be prewashed. When I made my daughter's college quilt, I prewashed, but after we started it I kind of wished I hadn't. Some of the fat quarters shrunk SO much more than others; it might have been better to make the quilt and then wash it and let the shrinkage happen that way. Anyhow, I got my quilt kit from Nicole today and I plan to (hopefully) start tomorrow! Woot!


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