1 October 2013

How I made my Tilda Brick Quilt

For this post I thought I would share how I made my brick quilt.  Now before I start, I must hasten to add that I am by no means a quilting expert!   I have machine pierced quite a number of dolls quilts for Poppy and her friends as gifts, but my previous full size quilts were made using the English paper piercing method and took months to complete.  It was a complete pleasure therefore, to start on Friday evening and be done and dusted and snuggling under a completed quilt on Sunday evening (all be it at 10pm!!)  

I will endeavour to share as much information as possible, however, this is not a tutorial as such, more a step by step picture gallery of what I did, but I hope that it will help and inspire you to have a go.  If you have any questions however, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer.  So if you're nice and comfy, this is what I did...........

From the outset I envisaged the quilt being quite random and made up of lots of different fabrics, I also wanted to avoid having to match up corners, so squares were definitely off the agenda.  After much deliberation, I decided upon a brick pattern, which as you can see, takes away the worry of offset corners, making this a perfect design for quilting first timers.  If you are eagle eyed you will notice that the half bricks are all fractionally different, but to be honest, I can live with that and you honestly do not notice this when you are snuggled under!

The fabrics I chose, as you can see, were a mix of greys, reds, blues, teals, pinks and whites, to fit with the colours in my living room.  I used 28 mini pieces (which measure 25cm by 35cm) from my website or if you prefer use less, larger pieces of fabric and have more bricks in the same design. They however is what I used:

a* ~ Jane Soft Grey
b ~ Mini Rose Red
c* ~ Mia Blue
d ~ Mini Spot Grey
e ~ Emma Greybrown
f ~ Mini Stripe Red
g ~ Laura White
h ~ Laura Warm Grey
i* ~ Mini Red Spot on White
j ~ Stine Greygreen
k ~ Star Pink
l ~ Mini Rose White
m* ~ Pernille Soft Grey
n ~ Star Greybrown
o ~ Buke Grey
p ~ Kitchen Stripe Blue
q* ~ Star Red
r ~ Mini Stripe Cadet Blue
s* ~ Emma Red
t ~ Stine White
u ~ Aurora White
v ~ Buke Red
w ~ Buke Cadet Blue
x ~ Mini Spot Cadet Blue
y* ~ Kitchen Stripe Pink
z ~ Mini Star Blue
1 ~ Mini Rose Grey
2 ~ Mia Pink

Now I set to cutting them up, (please note, at this point I switch from metric measurements to imperial) From each mini piece excluding those marked*  I cut 4 'bricks', each 'brick' measuring 4 1/2" deep by 6 1/2" wide. From the fabrics marked with a * (a,q,m,i,y,s,c) you will need to cut 3 'bricks' as above and then 2 'half bricks' measuring 4 1/2" deep by 3 1/2" wide.  

Ta da...... a gorgeous stack of bricks!

At this point I spent a happy hour playing with the layout of the quilt top, arranging and rearranging until I was happy with placement of the fabrics.  I tried to ensure that the colours and scale of the designs were equally spaced out and that the overall layout felt nice and balanced.  For your convenience here's what I came up with......

 After a good nights sleep, I then set too sewing the rows.  I started at the top and worked from left to right stitching the bricks together with 1/4" seam allowances.  I pressed each row as I went along, ensuring the seams were all pressed in the same direction.  I continued the process for all 14 rows......

Now I was ready to assemble the quilt top.  To help with accuracy, I found the best way to do this, was to fold a full size brick in half, which I then lined up with the seam on the row below, as shown below

I started from the top with 1/4" seam allowance and sewed rows 1 & 2 and then sewed these to row 3 so that I now had a block of 3 rows, pressing as I went.

I repeated this process with rows 4,5 & 6, then 7,8 & 9, then 10, 11&12 and finally rows 13 & 14, so in total I now had 5 blocks.  I then sewed these block together to create the quilt top (woo hoo!!). To complete the top I squared off where necessary, so that I had a nice clean rectangle.

I then stopped for the night and found a cosy spot on the sofa to watch Strictly Come Dancing!

The next morning, I was ready to assemble/sandwich the layers, which comprised of well pressed backing fabric ( I used 1 1/2 metres of Stof Gingham in Pale Blue, which being extra extra wide, meant that no joins were necessary), layed right side down, followed by the wadding (I used Quilters Dream Puff) and then finally the quilt top neatly pressed right side up.  As you can see from the picture below, both the wadding and the backing fabrics at this stage are both larger than the quilt top.

Now previously, I used lots and lots of safety pins to bast the layers together, starting from the centre and working outwards, smoothing the layers as you go.  However since the last big quilt, I discovered 505 spray and I have been using it for all my mini quilts.  So I decided to throw caution to the wind and use it for this project.  From experience, I found I have had best results if I sprayed the wadding rather than the fabric, so first of I 'glued' the wadding to the backing fabric and then turned it over and 'glued' the quilt top to the wadding.  Can I just add at this stage, Poppy decided to 'help' me with the basting, but I would strongly recommend that if you can, do it by yourself as a 5 year olds 'help' can prove to be a bit of a hindrance.

I then set to machine quilting.  I did contemplate quilting each brick in the'ditch' (along the seam lines) but by now I was so excited to get finished, that I plumped for horizontal lines.  Working from the left to right, starting at the centre of the quilt, I stitched through all three layers, either side of the seam lines using my machine foot as a guide.  I then worked outwards to the top and then went back to the centre and worked outwards to the bottom of the quilt. (EDITED TO ADD 18/4/2015 YOU CAN READ ALL ABOUT LAYERING AND QUILTING ON THIS POST HERE)

Then I neatly trimmed off the excess wadding and backing fabric.

Finally I was ready to bind the quilt.  I used a long quarter of extra extra wide Stof Silver Grey Stripe from which I cut into four 2 1/4" strips across the full length of the fabric.  Now I know bindings normally comprise of 2 1/2" strips, but that would mean having to purchase 1/2 a metre of fabric and as you can see, that 1/4" really didn't make any difference to the end result.   Again there are different ways that you can bind, but I personally like to machine stitch the binding to the front, with mitred corners and then hand stitch the back.    (EDITED  18/4/2015 TO ADD-YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW MY STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON BINDING HERE)

and that, is how I made my quilt.  Here's some more pictures, because I love it so much.......

I hope that you feel inspired to give it a go and if you do decide to, please do send me some pictures, I would LOVE to see.  By request, I have also created a quilt pack on my supplies website, that contains all the fabrics that you require for the quilt top, backing fabric and binding, all you will need to supply yourself is your choice of wadding and thread.

Happy quilting!

Size 48" x 56" approx

UPDATED 16th April 2015 - You can now read all about my second Brick Quilt HERE



  1. What a stunning quilt. Thank you for sharing your tips and photos - i made a quilt a couple of years ago and it was all going swimmingly until it was time to stitch it all together, then it slipped and moved on the sewing machine and got a bit messy. That 505 spray is a good idea - much quicker than all those safety pins. x

    1. Thank you Gillian and yes, the 505 worked brilliantly. I am desperate to get going on another one now, but I really must show some self control!

  2. Your quilt is just fabulous and I love those soft Tilda fabrics too. Thanks for popping in to say hello over at my blog so that I could discover your lovely space too. I'm looking forward to following your crafty adventures!
    love Gilly xx
    ps. Have you got a Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin' button somewhere that I'm just missing? Have followed by email in the meantime :-)

    1. Hi Gilly, thank you for visiting my blog...good point, I've been meaning to sort out my Bloglovin button, thank you for reminding me!!! Sarah xo

  3. I have been wanting to sew a quilt like this but have been concerned the horizontal quilting may not be enough with there being approximately 4"x55" space in each row without vertical quilting. Have you washed this several times by now to know if the quilting was sufficient?

    1. Hi... yes it's been absolutely fine. If you're worried, you could always add some more horizontal rows, so the quilting was closer together...or vertical...it would look lovely whatever you did. xo


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