Saturday, September 1, 2012

september: the herringbone

When I saw this block I knew it was the one for me because I really wanted to incorporate a lot of colors and patterns.  In other words, I wanted to take full advantage of all of your fabulous stashes of fabrics that I have been drooling over for months.  I had in mind a particular size for this quilt so I went ahead and made 5 blocks.  These are 3 of the 5 to give you an example of the colors I have in mind. 

 The following is one of the inspirations for this quilt:
This painting is very serene to me.  Calm and peaceful yet busy in a meaningful, beautiful way.  This photo doesn't show all the colors, especially where the flash caught it, but I'm sure you get the general feel.  Shades of brown, gray, blue, green, rust, dark red, mustard yellow, etc.  Please try to stay away from anything vibrant or brilliant as they may stand out, also pastels and pinks and purples (you'll notice one of my fabrics has a touch of purple.  That's okay, I just don't want any purple to reach out and grab anyone).
First, choose your fabrics.  You will need 24 different fabrics.

Cut your fabrics into 2-inch by 11-inch strips.

Line up two columns of fabric strips next to each other, 12 strips in each column.  Sew pairs of strips together, 6 pairs for your first column and 6 pairs for your second column.
In the photo above you can almost see that I marked the top of each pair of strips with a water soluble marker at 1.5 inches.  You will mark your first column of strips then sew them together like a staircase then iron your seams in one direction.

 This is my left hand column of strips sewn together as a staircase.

Now do the same with your right hand column.  Mark each pair of strips 1.5 inches from the right side.  Stagger the strips like a staircase then sew the strips together.  Iron.

This is an example of what your columns might look like side by side.

Now it's time to trim your columns.  You may or may not cut the left column and right column the same way so make sure you cut the left column exactly the way shown and wait to cut your right one.  You will understand why when it comes time to cut it.
For the left column, place the left corner of the ruler where the second and third strips meet.  Place the right corner of the ruler at the bottom edge of the column.  When your ruler is secure and exact you may trim your fabric.

This is what it should look like.

For the right column, line up your ruler exactly how you did before but DO NOT cut right away.  You will want to compare it with the strip you already cut to make sure you have the same angle so your seams will line up.

As you can see, my seams did NOT line up.  That's okay.  Adjust your fabric columns so they DO line up.

Hooray!  Now they DO line up.  Now I can take my ruler and place it on my fabric so I can trim it up.

Ready to trim.

This is what the columns look like side by side.

Pin then sew.  Iron.

You're done! (You can go ahead and leave the top untrimmed.  I will do that part for you.)  I bet your herringbone looks fantastic!  Thank you so much for all your hard work.  I can't wait to see what you created.  This quilt will be proudly displayed in our living room.

P.S.  I have some extra strips of fabric if anyone would like me to send any out to you if you come up short.  I am more than happy to do that.  Just let me know.
I am bummed that I did not know about the Town & Country fabrics until after I made my blocks.

I used the tutorial for this block here at Stitched in Color.


  1. Looks great! I love the variety of colors in the fabrics. I'll start collecting.

  2. Cammie,
    I love this pattern. I actually sneeked a peak early..hoping to get an early start but....ya not the case! But soon!

  3. I may not have this finished in September, but I am excited to start it! Very neat pattern.