Charming Liberty Quilt Tutorial

For a long time now I have wanted to start a Liberty Lawn Charm Square Club so that Very Berry customers can collect 5″ squares and create something beautiful with them. But I really wanted to have a beautiful tutorial, using charm squares, to inspire you with, and as I have absolutely no experience of designing quilts, and because I wanted it to be just perfect (and not bumbled together by me!), I decided to commission Jess, of The Elven Garden.  And Jess has come up with this lovely project for us:

This quilt is the perfect beginner quilt, as there are no seams to match up during the construction. It is also a great quilt for more experienced quilters, as it is quick and simple to put together.

I have put together four buying options for Liberty fabrics for this quilt:

Charm square club button single

Liberty Charm square club button double

Notes:

The instructions for either a UK Single size quilt (39″ x 72”) or a UK Double size quilt (61″ x 77.5″) are provided. The construction of both sizes is essentially the same, although the fabric requirements and cutting instructions are slightly different for each size.

All seam allowances are a scant 1/4″.

Fabric Requirements:

DOUBLE QUILT:

  • 138 Charm squares
  • 2 ¼ yards background fabric (I used a range of light value prints, but a solid or single light value print would also be very effective)
  • ¾ yard binding fabric
  • 5 yards backing fabric
  • 70″ x 90″ piece of batting

SINGLE QUILT:

  • 79 Charm squares
  • 1 1/3 yards background fabric
  • 1/2 yard binding fabric
  • 3 yards backing fabric
  • 50″ x 80″ piece of batting

Cutting Instructions:

DOUBLE QUILT:

From your background fabric, cut:

1)  26 strips, 1.5” x width of fabric (WOF)

  • Sub cut twelve of these strips into 5” lengths, to yield 96 (1.5” x 5”) rectangles. These are your SHORT sashing strips.
  • Take the remaining fourteen strips, remove the selvedges and join them end to end to produce one long strip, 1.5” wide. Sub-cut this long strip to yield eleven 49″ x 1.5″ strips. These are your LONG sashing strips.

2)  16 strips, 2.5” wide across the width of fabric

  • Remove the selvedges and join these strips end to end to yield one very long 2.5” wide strip of fabric
  • Before cutting the following strips, it is a good idea to measure your quilt top through the centre and cut your strips to that length. For extra accuracy, you can measure the width or length of your quilt three times, add these three measurements together and divide the total by three. They should be very close to the following measurements, but you should always cut border lengths to match your quilt dimensions.
    • Sub-cut to yield the following lengths:
    • Two 53″ x 2.5″ strips
    • Two 65.5″ x 2.5″ strips
    • Two 61″ x 2.5″ strips
    • Two 73.5″ x 2.5″ strips

You will also need to cut some of your charm squares in half, but I would advise leaving this step until after you have decided on a layout for the central panel.

SINGLE QUILT:

From the background fabric, cut:

13 strips, 1.5″ x WOF

  • Sub-cut six of these strips into 5″ lengths, to yield 44 (1.5″ x 5″) rectangles. These are the SHORT sashing strips.
  • Take the remaining 7 strips, remove the selvedges and join them end to end to produce one long strip, 1.5” wide. Sub-cut this long strip to yield ten 27” x 1.5” strips. These are your LONG sashing strips.

6 strips, 2.5” x WOF

  • Remove the selvedges and join these strips end to end to yield one very long 2.5” wide strip of fabric.
  •  Before cutting these strips, it is a good idea to measure your quilt top through the centre and cut your strips to that length. For extra accuracy, you can measure the width or length of your quilt three times, add these three measurements together and divide the total by three. They should be very close to the following measurements, but you should always cut border lengths to match your quilt dimensions.
  • Sub-cut to yield the following lengths:
    • Two 31″ strips
    • Two 60″ strips

You will also need to cut some of your charm squares in half, but I would advise leaving this step until after you have decided on a layout for the central panel.

Method:

DOUBLE QUILT:

  •  Take your 5” charm squares and arrange them in a 9 x 12 grid layout. I decided to use a colour wash/rainbow layout for my squares, but the possibilities are endless. Once you have decided on a layout, it is a good idea to take a photo for reference and to label each of your rows so you don’t mix them up later on.
  •  Working one row at a time, sew a short sashing strip (1.5” x 5”) to the right hand side of the first 8 squares in each row (the final square in each row won’t have a sashing strip).

  • Press this seam open. To do this, I gently a finger along the seam to open it, and follow with the tip of my iron, and then gently press the seam open. Liberty fabric has a very fine weave, and can easily stretch and warp, but I find pressing my seams open reduces the warping.
  • Sew these sashing strip/charm squares into pairs, continuing this process until the row is sewn together. You should end up with a row of charm squares separated by short sashing strips, with a charm square at each end of the row (as shown below).

  • Repeat this process with all twelve rows.
  • Sew a long sashing strip to the bottom of the top eleven rows. This works best if the sashing strip is on top of the pieced row, but take care that the seams underneath stay open as you sew along the row./li>

  • Press this seam open. It should look something like this.

  • Begin sewing your rows together. Starting at the top and working your way down, sew your rows into pairs, then sew these pairs together and so on, until all twelve rows are joined. The completed central panel of your quilt should look something like this.

  • Take your 2.5” x 65.5” strips of background fabric and attach one to each side of the quilt top. Press this border away from the quilt top.
  • Take your 2.5” x 53” strips of background fabric and attach these to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  • Sew 16 of these together to produce on long strip, 2.5” x 72”. Repeat to make a second 2.5” x 72” strip. These strips are slightly longer than needed.
  • Sew 13 of these together to produce a long strip, 2.5” x 59”. Repeat to make a second strip 2.5” x 59”. These pieced strips are slightly longer than needed.
  • Measure the length of your quilt, and trim the 2.5″ x 72″ strips to this measurement (it should be about 69.5″ long). Attach these strips to either side of the quilt top. Press these borders outward (away from the quilt top).
  • Measure the width of your quilt, and trim the 2.5″ x 59″ strips to this measurement (it should be about 57″ long). Attach these strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top. Press these border away from the quilt top.
  • Take your 2.5” x 73.5” strips of background fabric and attached these to the sides of the quilt top.
  • Take your 2.5” x 61” strips of background fabric and attach these to the top and bottom of the quilt top.

And that’s it! You should have a completed quilt top, measuring 61″ x 77.5″.

SINGLE QUILT:

  •  Take your 5” charm squares and arrange them in a 5 x 11 grid layout. I decided to use a colour wash/rainbow layout for my squares, but the possibilities are endless. Once you have decided on a layout, it is a good idea to take a photo for reference and to label each of your rows so you don’t mix them up later on.
  •  Working one row at a time, sew a short sashing strip (1.5” x 5”) to the right hand side of the first 4 squares in each row (the final square in each row won’t have a sashing strip).

  • Press this seam open. To do this, I gently a finger along the seam to open it, and follow with the tip of my iron, and then gently press the seam open. Liberty fabric has a very fine weave, and can easily stretch and warp, but I find pressing my seams open reduces the warping.
  • Sew these sashing strip/charm squares into pairs, continuing this process until the row is sewn together. You should end up with a row of charm squares separated by short sashing strips, with a charm square at each end of the row.
  • Repeat this process with all 11 rows.
  • Sew a long sashing strip to the bottom of the top ten rows. This works best if the sashing strip is on top of the pieced row, but take care that the seams underneath stay open as you sew along the row.

  • Begin sewing your rows together. Starting at the top and working your way down, sew your rows into pairs, then sew these pairs together and so on, until all twelve rows are joined. The completed central panel of your quilt should look something like this, but with the smaller Single quilt layout (5 squares wide by 11 squares long).

  • Take your 2.5” x 60” strips of background fabric and attach one to each side of the quilt top. Press this border away from the quilt top.
  • Take your 2.5” x 31” strips of background fabric and attach these to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  • You will have 24 charm squares left over from piecing the central panel. Cut these squares in half, to produce (48) 2.5” x 5” rectangles.
    • Sew 15 of these together to produce on long strip, 2.5” x 68”. Repeat to make a second 2.5” x 68” strip. These strips are slightly longer than needed.
    • Sew 9 of these together to produce a long strip, 2.5” x 41”. Repeat to make a second strip 2.5” x 41”. These pieced strips are slightly longer than needed.
  • Measure the length of your quilt, and trim the 2.5″ x 68″ strips to this measurement (it should be about 64″ long). Attach these strips to either side of the quilt top. Press these borders outward (away from the quilt top).
  • Measure the width of your quilt, and trim the 2.5″ x 41″ strips to this measurement (it should be about 35″ wide). Attach these strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top. Press these border away from the quilt top.
  • Take your 2.5” x 68” strips of background fabric and attached these to the sides of the quilt top.
  • Take your 2.5” x 39” strips of background fabric and attach these to the top and bottom of the quilt top.

And that’s it! You should have a 39″ x 72” quilt top, ready to be basted, quilted and bound!

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at theelvengarden@gmail.com.
If you would prefer to read this as a PDF document, it will be available as a free download in Jess’s Craftsy shop shortly.

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