bespoke. – an itty bitty tutorial


I thought I’d provide you with a couple measurements in case you’re interested in making a quilt similar to my bespoke quilt. This one is nice and easy – it’s really just a few squares sewn together to create some triangles. I love how there’s no precise pattern – just a few measurements which will have you on your way to making these easy blocks – and I love how each quilt will look unique depending on your fabric placement within each block and the block layout.


The blocks in my quilt are 8″ (unfinished), but really they could be any size you desire! For the 8″ block size, you’ll use a mix of 8 1/2″, 8″, 4″, and 2″ squares.

As I mentioned, my quilt uses the prints and solids from the Cotton + Steel Bespoke line (along with a few additional double gauze solids). I separated the prints and colored solids from the background fabrics – for background I used a gray solid, white solid, and the white on white Bespoke print.


The majority of the blocks (2/3s) are large half square triangles. Cut 8 1/2″ squares of the printed and colored solids and a matching number of 8 1/2″ squares of the background fabrics. Mark a line through the diagonal of one printed square and pair with a background square. Sew, right sides together, on either side of the marked line. Cut along the diagonal, iron seams and trim to 8″ square. Repeat.


From here you can leave your block as is, or you might add an extra large or small triangle on either side of the hst. Take one of your 2″ or 4″ squares and mark the diagonal line with a washable marker. Place the square in one corner of your block (either on the background triangle or on the printed/colored triangle) and sew along the marked line.


Cut 1/4″ from your sewn line and flip the fabric outwards to complete the square.

Note: I saved the trimmings from those 4″ squares and sewed them together into smaller hsts which I used for the backing.

I kept some blocks as just the half square triangle, and added a mix of 2″ and/or 4″ squares to the remaining blocks.


For the remaining blocks (approximately 1/3), cut your background fabrics to 8″ square. Add 2 or 4″ squares to any/all of the corners and sew following the same method described above.


(this one already had a 2″ square sewn and flipped, and I decided to add another 2″ and 4″ square to 2 corners)


Lay out your blocks and adjust placement to your liking (or keep it totally random, as I did this time around) and sew together into a fun quilt top.

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Details about this particular quilt (just to give you an idea of fabric requirements):

26 – 8″ background squares
23 – 8 1/2″ background squares
(approximately 2 1/2 yards total of a mix of three background solids)

23 – 8 1/2″ printed/colored squares
50 – 4″ printed/colored squares
38 – 2″ printed/colored squares
(I used a 1/4 yard bundle of Bespoke fabrics plus 1/4 yard of 2 additional colored solids, with plenty left over)

8 block by 9 block layout for a large throw size of approximately 60″ x 68″.

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shimmering strings


This quilt was mostly finished the day I found out that Lake Champlain had completely frozen over, and I decided that mostly finished would have to be good enough.


If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I love it when the lake freezes over, despite that it means we’ve had a really cold winter. It froze last year, which was the first time in seven years, and I took this Lizzy House quilt out there for photos.


This year there was  less black ice and more snow, which isn’t quite as cool (my sister laughs and says that we could be in a snow covered field anywhere, but trust me, the lake is under there!). I know it’s not for everyone – Morgan won’t join me out there – but I think it’s pretty novel.


Anyway, the quilt! It’s made up of a great upcoming line from Windham Fabrics called Artisan Cotton. They’re cross weaves, which I always love. Half the colors are woven with two different colors to create the color you see and the other half are woven with the color and white to create a chambray look. I paired then with some fun Yuwa prints that have been in my stash to create a quilt along the lines of one I saw in Roderick Kiracofe’s book,  Unconventional & Unexpected.


I love the mix of solids and prints, and I especially love these little extras, like that light blue strip above. I often add something like that to my quilts on purpose because I love the look, though this time I really did cut incorrectly and had to add it to get the block up to size!


I made it a challenge to use up all the extra bits, so I saved all the trimmings from the blocks and put them together to create these extra little blocks for the backing. The solid is Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn dyed in olive, which paired nicely with these solids.


I quilted it with straight lines – which proved to be a bit of a challenge. I did have to unpick several lines of quilting when I found that my pinning job wasn’t up to par. With all those seams, these blocks tend to be kind of stretchy, so I went back and used the spray adhesive and pins.


The thread is a variegated yellow/green and seemed a good match for all these colors. I finished it off with a binding in one of the blues, and you’ll have to trust me that it was a good choice!


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p.s. thanks for all the love on my bespoke quilt top! I love that it can look entirely different each time the blocks are put together, so I thought I’d provide a few measurements in case you wanted to give it a try! Look for that in the next day or two…

Previous post about this quilt can be found here.
Posted in Fabric, Finished Quilts, Posts about Quilts, Quilts, [search] String Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments



One of the lines I was most excited about at the last fall quilt market was the new double gauze line, Bespoke, from Cotton + Steel. I’ve collected Nani Iro for years, have made a couple quilts out of Heather Ross’s double gauze, used a bunch of solid double gauze in this quilt, yet I’ve always loved the thought of a nice big (simple!) double gauze quilt all for myself.


As I was putting together my scattered hearts quilt, the construction reminded me of this design, which is something I saw on wrapping paper this past holiday season. It has a bit of a Libs Elliot feel, though a simplified version.


I wanted something that would use larger pieces of the double gauze, and not have too many seams. I love that this one is quite simple to put together and fulfills my other criteria. I used some of each of the prints from the Bespoke line, paired with a couple Japanese solid double gauze colors.

(not the greatest photo, but it shows the airy quality of the double gauze)

Double gauze can be slightly more tricky to work with, as it does stretch (those two layers and that looser weave will do that!), but I think it’s certainly worth the extra trouble. I use a bit more spray starch (Flatter is my favorite) when ironing, but otherwise I go at it as I would anything else.


I plan on backing this one with more double gauze and using a wool batting from Quilters Dream. I haven’t tied a quilt before, but I think this one is calling for it. I can’t wait to spend the rest of the winter snuggled under this one!


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P.S. I had the opportunity to chat with Stephanie at Modern Sewciety a couple weeks ago, and you can now hear our conversation on her podcast. I started listening to more podcasts after Serial, and I love listening to Stephanie’s. I like her easy going conversations and I always think it’s fun to hear how people sound (that being said, it’s kinda strange to hear your own voice!)

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