This weekend, I finished up a Diamonds Mini Quilt I’ve been working on, and posted on my other blog, Lindsay Sews. There was some interest in a tutorial, so I whipped one up and decided to share with Craft Buds readers as well!
For this tutorial, I focus mostly on how to construct the quilt top, but for tips on quilting in general, check out this awesome series, Quilt Class 101 at Chasing Cottons. You’ll learn about cutting fabric, choosing batting and thread, binding techniques and more.
For this quilt, you can go bright with rainbow solids like I did, or focus on prints. Choose masculine colors, girly colors or whatever you like. Once you learn the basic technique of sewing half-square triangles, the options are endless!
- 1 Kona Solids Charm Pack: Brights, 43 charms (5×5 squares)
- 2 extra solids charms (5×5 squares), pick any color (You can use scraps–these can even be the same color if needed)
- 7/8 yard solid gray quilting fabric (such as Kona medium gray)
- Binding, batting, backing fabric to fit
Finished Size: 36.5″ x 40″
1) Cut gray fabric into 5-inch wide strips, them 5-inch wide charm squares. (See charm squares cutting tutorial here.) This makes 48 charm squares, and you will use 45 of them.
2) You will need one Kona Brights charm pack, but I also used additional colors that were not in my pack. Choose some solids scraps and cut two squares (5×5) to add to the colors in your charm pack. It’s not that important which colors you choose, because you’ll be able to find a place for all of them later.
3) Pair one colored charm with a gray charm, and sew/cut a Half Square Triangles unit. (See tutorial here.) You now have two half-square triangles featuring the same solid.
4) Repeat for the rest of your charms until you have 90 finished half-square triangle blocks.
5) Group blocks together by color family. (Blues, reds, greens, pinks, purples, etc.) Take your biggest stack, and arrange 12 blocks (6 solids, 2 blocks each) in a diamond formation. Matching HSTs should be next to each other, creating a larger triangle or parallelogram. (See pink diamond, below, for example).
- Take your next largest color stack, and arrange 12 blocks (6 solids, 2 blocks each) in another large diamond formation. (See green diamond above, for example.) Repeat until you have your 4 large, colorful diamonds. (I chose yellows, greens, pinks, and blues for mine.)
6) Now, look at your available blocks and choose pairs that are similar colors (2 solids, 2 blocks each). Use these to make a total of 6 small diamonds (mine are purple, orange, blue, red-orange, teal, and red.) Place around your large diamonds, matching the grays so large gray diamonds are created.
Only four large diamonds are colored, and the center large diamond is gray.
7) Use your remaining half-square triangle blocks to fill in the edges, creating small diamond halves. (These will help “frame” out some more large gray diamonds.) This is where you’ll be able to use your colors that don’t match any of the others. You’ll have 9 of these, total.
For me, it’s easiest to just use the actual blocks to work out the pattern.
8) Are you happy with your color arrangement? Rearrange color groups until you get the rainbow effect you like. This is a good time to check that all of your diamonds are facing the way you want them to (see small red-orange diamond in the first photo, which I turned clockwise before sewing).
9) Sew together blocks, starting with large diamond formations. It’s important to make sure these line up correctly. Once you’ve sewn a large diamond section together, work on the next section, until you have four large sections. Join the pieces together to complete the quilt top.
10) Piece together a quilt back and prep batting. To quilt this, I used contrasting thread (pink and yellow), and set my sewing machine to its widest seam allowance setting, tracing around the colored diamonds (large and small) and sewing only on the gray. Gray thread works too! My binding was pieced together from Kona solids scraps, and I chose pink thread.