Friday, August 7, 2015

Jewels in 3D

Here is another adventure in 5" squares.  I love to use these because: so many patterns are available free of charge, someone else has already done some of the cutting, usually you are not ending up with pieces so incredibly small it takes forever to make a decent size quilt and our guild swaps 5" squares so we have squares with a theme.

In July our guild swapped jewel tones. What is a jewel tone: turquoise, raspberry, garnet and gold just to name a few.  Mostly tone on tone prints were turned in for the swap.  These mixed well with not only my stash but also some earlier swaps. IMG_0814 This block is great for a beginner because of the simple framing of the 5" square and the lack of corners to meet and match.  The block is only the 5" square and the 2 shadow pieces added.  Current measurements have this quilt at 55" x 78".  The quilt required 2 strip sets.  The first set is made of a 4" strip of the shadow fabric and a 1 1/2" strip of the background fabric.  Cut the strip set into 1 1/2" strips.  This is my end and not trimmed to 1 1/2" wide.  IMG_0802 The second strip set is made with 5" strip of the shadow fabric and a 1 1/2" strip of the background fabric.  Cut the strip set into 1 1/2" strips.  IMG_0804 Place the background fabric of the strip set now measuring 5" on the top of the 5" themed square.  Sew.  Press toward the themed square. Place the shadow end of the strip set measuring 6" onto the shadow end of the partial block so the background fabric is diagonal from the other background piece.IMG_0807This is it for the blocks.  It is time to figure out where you want your blocks.  Place your blocks so the shadow is on the bottom right side of all your blocks.  Utilize your design wall (mine was a floor but is often the backside of a vinyl tablecloth) to rearrange your squares that is pleasing to the eye.  I found myself walking around the quilt so the shadow was in the appropriate place while doing this.  I chuckled at myself after walking around the quilt more than once and standing in the exact same place every time.  My quilt sashing is 3" wide.  This is the approximate size that the squares were placed apart when rearranging for color.  You decide what your quilt blocks need.  To have the ratio mine is cut 3" x 6" background to go between each block in a row.  Sew the rows together.  Then, cut 3" strip long enough to span the length of the row.  Sew strip between each row.

Please leave me ideas for borders in the comments!  The 5" blocks, well, there are just a handful left in the sew room. Added to the swap blocks were 4 fabrics from fat quarters, the leftover is only 16"x 18".  Another similar background is available and won't show if switched for the borders.  A few buddies think they may have some of the original.

Here is the fabric usage basics for 7 x 10 block layout
Shadow fabric estimated yardage: 27" (you'll be safe with a yard)

Background fabric estimated yardage:  2 2/3 yds.  Cut 9- 3" strips on the length wise grain.  Cut them to at least 56" (Remember body of quilt 55"x78").  Cut the remainder of the 3" strip down to the 3" x 6" (need 70). Cut another 3" strip.  Cut up for the rest of the 70-3" x 6" strips and then cut in half lengthwise for the 1 1/2" strip background for the strip sets.  There should be enough fabric left for a border around the body of the quilt.  These straight grain (lengthwise) pieces are more stable when left in these long sections for sashing or inner borders. 

If you make a strip set WOF for the 2 strip sets you will get 26 maybe 27 of the 1 1/2" cuts. That means 3 strip sets with some leftovers for the 70 blocks in this quilt.

The original inspiration is from Judy Martin-Newport Beach and Robert Kaufman-Shadow Box  Now….so many patterns are out there for these 3-D type quilts.  Use the fabrics you have.  Buy what you need.  Some of the patterns used fairly light shadows.  The continuity of the shadow is more important than how dark the pattern is.   The consistent part for the patterns is the shadow seems to work best if 1 1/2” wide.
                  Enjoy and use that stash!


  1. I've always admired these quilts as the pattern is so clever. Those jewel toned blocks are leaping off the fabric! For a border, I'd be tempted to use a narrow-ish strip of background fabric and the shadow print as the binding.

  2. I too love that quilt! I'm always intrigued by the almost optical illusion of fabric layouts that create depth (or height) in a block; similar to the attic windows block, or the tumbling blocks block. Yours is really simple, yet gives that "raised" effect. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions. I may want to try that before too long. ---"Love"

  3. Your quilt is amazing, I love how the jewel colors seem to float above the background. Very pretty!

  4. I do love this one. Sometimes simple piecing makes the fabrics shine! Love the depth from the shadow, too.