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"Stay in the Saddle" Quilt

The quilt "Stay in the Saddle" was made as a donation for the Quilts of Valor Foundation, whose goal is to give quilts to wounded soldiers. We encourage you to participate in the program. You can contribute a finished quilt or just a quilt top, which will be quilted by other volunteers.


Click to enlarge

The finished size of the quilt is about 67" x 80". We used the designs from the Western Quilt Block Set and Western Applique Set.

For the blocks, we used:
1 yard of off-white or cream fabric for the central square of the block;
1 yard of beige fabric for the block;
1/4 yard of rust-brown fabric for the block and corner squares of the outer border.

For the sashing, we used:
1/2 yard of golden fabric for the stars in the sashing;
1 1/2 yard of blue fabric for the sashing and the first border;

For the borders, we used:
2 yards of dark gray fabric for the borders and the binding.

You will also need 5" x 5" scraps of fabrics for the applique. You may use the leftovers from your main fabrics.

You will also need batting and backing.

The Blocks

All measurements are based on a 40" width of fabrics.

Out of the first, off-white or cream fabric cut 4 strips 7 1/2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric (40"). Sub-cut the strips into 20 squares measuring 7 1/2" x 7 1/2".

Out of the second, beige fabric cut 16 strips 2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric (40"). Sub-cut them into 80 strips measuring 2" x 7 1/2".

Out of the third, rust-brown fabric cut 4 strips 2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric (40"). Subcut them into 80 squares measuring 2" x 2".

Out of the same fabric, cut a strip 6 1/2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric. Sub-cut into 4 squares measuring 6 1/2" x 6 1/2". These 4 blocks are for the borders. Use the remaining fabric for the applique.

According to the diagram below, assemble 20 blocks using the cut-out parts.

The Sashing

Out of the fourth, golden fabric cut a strip measuring 3 1/2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric (40"). Sub-cut the strip into 12 squares measuring 3 1/2" x 3 1/2".

Cut a further 3 strips 2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric. Sub-cut them into 96 squares measuring 2" x 2".

Out of the fifth, blue fabric cut 8 strips measuring 3 1/2" and the length of the width of the fabric. Subcut them into 31 strips measuring 3 1/2" x 10 1/2".

Also, for the first border, you will need 2 strips measuring 3 1/2" x 49 1/2" and 2 strips measuring 3 1/2" x 68 1/2". Cut 6 strips measuring 3 1/2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric. Sew the strips together and sub-cut them into strips of the needed length.

Assembling the Sashing:

Position a 2" golden square on one corner of a blue 3 1/2" x 10 1/2" strip. Draw a diagonal and stitch on the line. Trim seam allowance to 1/4", unfold and press. Repeat for the second corner. Make 14 strips in this way.

Now repeat this procedure, but this time for all the corners of the strip. Make 17 more strips in this way. You should have 14 strips with two corners and 17 strips with four corners:

Assemble the the sashing strips according to the diagram below. Make 4 units.

Assembling the Top:

Sew the blocks and sashing strips together as shown below. Press seams towards the sashing strips. Repeat to get five such rows. Note the for the first and fifth rows, we use sashing strips with two golden corners and for the second, third and fourth rows, we use sashing strips with all four corners.

Stitch the rows and sashing strips together as shown on the diagram below:

Borders:

Sew the 49 1/2" blue strips to the upper and lower edges. Then sew the 68 1/2" blue strips to the left and right edges.

For the outer border, you will need 2 strips measuring 6 1/2" x 55 1/2" and 2 strips measuring 6 1/2" x 68 1/2". So, out of dark grey fabric cut 6 strips measuring 6 1/2" and the length of the width of your fabric (40"). Sew them together and sucut into strips of the needed length.

Attach the 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" rust-brown squares you had cut out previously to the ends of the 55 1/2" long strips.

Attach the borders to the quilt top:

Embroidery:

Embroider the applique and redwork designs in checkerboard style. Two blocks have the inscriptions, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" and "Look for a way, not a way out". You can download the inscriptions here, or use your own.

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Stabilize each block with your favorite tear-away stabilizer and embroider the centers of the blocks with the designs from the Western Quilt Block Set and Western Applique Set. Tear away the excess stabilizer.

Note: We prefer to embroider on very thin (low loft) felted Dream Poly batting instead of stabilizer. Then, we cut away the batting as close to the embroidery as possible. After quilting the embroidery will be stand out better and have a trapunto appearance.

Finishing:

Now place the backing on a flat surface (table) face down. Cover with batting. Spread your working piece over it.

Pin all three layers together with 1" pins and start quilting. We quilted along the lines of the embroidery, made stippling around the embroidery and then stitched in the ditch on the blocks and sashing. We quilted the borders with straight lines which continue the lines of the stars.

After the quilting is finished, press the work with heavy steam and square the work -- all corners should be 90 degrees and opposite sides should be of the same length.

Finish the raw edges with the binding. For the binding, we used the same grey fabric of the outer borders.

The quilt is ready. Enjoy!

These are some more close-ups of the quilt:

We hope that you liked our idea and will come up with many of your own.

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