Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tutorial - Geographic Patchwork

Thanks for all the love on my Geographic Patchwork quilt!  I've had a couple of requests for a tutorial ... and since I'm not going to make another one anytime soon, I decided to try to help people understand what I did with a few graphics.

So the quilt is 53" x 60" and is comprised of 6 blocks wide and 7 blocks tall.

To make it with the same effect that I did, you will need 6 different fabrics.  Depending on what effect you're looking for, you could do it with more or less.  These instructions are for 6 (and in my case, that was 1 solid and 5 prints).

If you choose to do with 6, your fabric requirements for the blocks on the front will be:
  1. 2 colors - 1 yard each (for a total of 2 yards)
  2. 4 colors - 1/2 yard each (for a total of 2 yards)
  1. For the 2 colors (1 yard each), you will cut out 6 - 10" x 10" squares from each fabric.  
  2. For the other 4 colors (1/2 yard each) you will cut out 3 - 10" x 10" squares from each fabric.  So you will have a total of 24 - 10" squares.

Clear so far???

Cutting your blocks as indicated in the diagram below.  Two things that you need to make sure of -- if you don't do both correctly, you will end up needing to cut more blocks:
  • All patterned fabric needs to be cut right-side up
  • All of the blocks need to be cut the same way (e.g. as outlined below with the 4" and 6" markers)
Assuming you've cut them right side up and all in the same direction, you will have 96 squares.

On the sketch, I used 6 colors:  white, gray, yellow, green, orange, purple.  The white and the gray are for the 2 fabrics where you've cut more squares.  So choose which of your fabrics is each color.  I wrote them down to make sure I didn't mix them up in the process.

Update:  I've added the following image of the sketch to try to make it easier to understand what I did.  You can see the blocks in the image a little better this way.  each of the blocks has a white and a gray block and then various other colors based on where it is in the pattern.  The white and gray fabrics are the ones where I would use 1 yard of each and the other 4 colors are where I would use 1/2 yard of each.  

As you can see more clearly in the following diagram ... row #1, #3, #5 and #7 are the same as are row #2, #4, #6 and #8.  Hope this helps.

If you look at the sketch, you'll see that the first column on the left is the same as the 3rd, 5th and 7th and the 2nd column is the same as the 4th, 6th, etc.  (note my drawing has 8 columns, but I only had seven on my quilt).

So once you layout the first 2 columns, double check that you've laid them out properly, and then you can set the drawing aside and just replicate every other row.

The biggest challenge for me was just making sure that I kept the pattern going ... as I don't often piece with any complexity, I had use a seam ripper a bit more than I would like to admit on the first two columns but I quickly got the hang of it.

Anyway ... that's all it is.  Pretty simple.  Good luck and don't forget to share your quilts ... I LOVE to see all the improvements that people make on my simple patterns!

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can add any clarity!
All the best


  1. so simple but so effective! Thanks for sharing Lisa!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial -- I think I'll give it a try!

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks for making it look so easy :)

  4. I love this quilt, simply stated but complex. Your color and value choices are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your tutorial, jill

  5. WOW -- that was fast. Thanks for the tutorial. I think this is just what I was looking for -- need to make my soon-to-be-13 year old grandson a quilt but nothing too fussy. Thanks again!

  6. Great tutorial. For clarification, you used one print and one solid for each block, right? That's what I'm seeing in the picture, but wanted to be sure. I've got a pack of Echo that I'm thinking of using with this pattern to make a quilt for my king-size bed - woohoo!!!

  7. Thanks for that tutorial. When you showed your finished quilt on your last blog, I was turning my head every which way to figure out a block....Very pretty!

  8. This is so interesting, thank you for sharing your tutorial!

  9. gorgeous as always!

  10. Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing.

  11. I made one....go here to see it!:)
    Thanks for the tutorial!


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