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Use Striped Fabrics for a Colorful Umbrella-Themed Quilt

This quilt is reminiscent of brightly colored beach umbrellas.

Mar 08, 2018
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The circus stripe prints in the fabric line by Tula Pink made me think of a whole selection of brightly colored beach umbrellas, and I imagined the faces in the prints peeking out from under the umbrellas. Any striped fabrics could be used to make this quilt, mixed with a variety of prints for the background. Here, I have alternated warm colors with cool colors, to provide contrast among the blocks.

Finished size: approximately 60 inches (152cm) square


LOF = length of fabric
FQ = fat quarter
WOF = width of fabric
Use ¼-inch-wide seam allowances, unless instructed

Fabrics used

Quilt top, back and binding: Elizabeth
fabric range by Tula Pink for
Free Spirit Fabrics

You will need

• For the umbrellas: ¾ yard (0.75m) each of four fabrics
• For the backgrounds: one FQ each of 16 fabrics
• Backing fabric: 3¾ yards (3.5m)
Batting: 68 inches (175cm) square
• Binding fabric: ½ yard (0.5m)
• Copy of the triangle template
• Suitable piecing and quilting threads


1. From each of the four umbrella fabrics, cut five 7-inch wide x LOF strips, cutting so that each strip is identical. You are aiming to have the stripes horizontal on each triangle. Using the template as a guide, cut each strip into seven triangles, rotating the template 180 degrees on alternate cuts (Figure 1). This will give you 35 triangles per color. You will need 32 of each, so some will be spare. Arrange the triangles in piles of the same fabric color.

2. From each of the 16 background fabrics, cut two 4½-inch x WOF strips. Cut each of these strips into four 4½-inch x 10-inch rectangles, to yield eight rectangles from each background fabric—128 in total.

3. From the binding fabric cut six 2½-inch x WOF strips.

4. Cut the backing fabric into two equal lengths.


Making a Block

5. Take one pile of eight triangles of the same print. Sew four rectangles of one background print to the top of four of the triangles, with the rectangles offset by approximately 1 inch at one end (Figure 2).

6. Sew four rectangles of another background print to the top of the remaining four triangles, with the rectangles offset by approximately 1 inch at the other end (Figure 3). Press the seams of one set of four toward the triangles and the seams of the other set toward the rectangles.

7. Trim excess fabric using the 45-degree line on your cutting mat, as in Figure 4. You will now have four triangle/rectangle units, as in Figure 5, and four (Figure 6).

8. Assemble a block using these eight sewn units, sewing the units into pairs along the shorter diagonals (Figure 7). Now sew two pairs together (Figure 8). Press seams open or to one side, as preferred.

9. Sew the two halves of the block together (Figure 9). Press seams open or to one side, as preferred. Trim the block to 15½ inches square (Figure 10).

10. Repeat this process to make 15 more blocks, for a total of 16 blocks.

Assembling the Quilt

11. Lay out the 16 blocks in a pleasing color order. Sew the blocks into four rows each with four blocks, pressing seams in alternate directions in each row.

12. Sew the four rows together to finish the quilt top.


Quilting and Finishing

13. Sew the two pieces of backing fabric together along the long sides using a ½-inch seam and press the seam open. Make a quilt sandwich, with the quilt back right side down, the batting in the middle, and the quilt right side up.

14. Quilt as desired. The quilt shown was quilted in a diagonal cross-hatch pattern of wavy lines approximately 2 inches apart, using a pale-color thread.

15. When all quilting is finished, square up the quilt, removing excess batting and backing as you do so.

16. Sew the binding strips together end to end using diagonal seams, or straight seams if preferred. Press wrong sides together along the length to make a double-fold binding. Bind the quilt to finish, taking care to miter the corners neatly.

This quilt project was excerpted from Quick and Easy Quilts: 20 Machine Quilting Projects, by Lynne Goldsworthy (The Taunton Press, 2018).

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