After having lived in places such as Budapest and Berlin, Molly Deschenes returned to the US to settle down in small-town New England with the love of her life and her sewing machine. She chronicles her sewing adventures, and provides a window into the handmade life she shares with her husband and two small children, at applecyder.wordpress.com.

Molly has written a wonderful tutorial to share with FQ readers for her Colorful Strip Pieced Quilt.

Download Molly’s tutorial here:

(NOTE: thanks to Fat Quarterly reader Julie Frick for the following tip regarding Molly’s tutorial: “A bit of advice I’d give to newbies regarding this pattern is that when Molly says to “detach” a square she does NOT mean to cut it with a rotary cutter. You’d lose fabric that way and your seams would not match up. Use your seam ripper and gently pick out those stitches!” Thanks, Julie!)

I was honored to be invited to guest blog at Fat Quarterly and thought it might be fun to present a pattern for a quilt top that I have been wanting to share for a while now. I love quilts of all shapes, sizes and designs but the ones that continue to have the most appeal to me are quilts that are made with basic squares. I don’t know exactly what it is about the square that I find so endearing. I really do find great beauty in it’s simplicity.

This quilt top pattern employs a strip piecing method that allows you to create a visually interesting design in a fairly short amount of time. I’m not going to provide an explanation of strip piecing here, but if you glance at the first two pages of this pattern, you should come to understand the method fairly quickly. Color selection plays a fairly important role in the design of this quilt. My advice is to make sure that you are not using any two colors that are too similar. If you plan to use white as your background color like I did, be wary of lighter colors like yellow. They may get “lost” in all of that white. This quilt could also look fantastic using prints in place of the varied solid colors. Again, you just want to ensure that you have a wide range of color and that you aren’t using prints that are similar to your solid background fabric choice. If you are a very careful planner and are familiar with even just a basic software program like Excel, you could test out your color choices on the computer screen before cutting into fabric. I find this step to be very helpful for a quilt like this one.

The finished dimensions of this quilt top are 48 x 63 inches. Of course, if you would like to create a larger or smaller quilt, you would just adjust the width of your strips. For example, the same quilt made with 4 inch finished squares would use strips that are 4 1/2 inches wide. This would result in a finished top that is 64 x 84 inches in size and that would be more suitable for a twin bed. The sample I made to test this pattern has 1/2 inch finished squares and was gifted to my daughter on her birthday as a doll quilt. The patchwork part of the quilt top, without the white sashing, measures 8×10 1/2 inches. (I don’t recommend that beginners attempt something this small in scale. All of the seam allowances can be frustrating!) Math is a beautiful thing. Just play around with the dimensions until you decide on a size that best suits your needs. Alternatively, you can simply follow the pattern verbatim and create a nice lap-sized quilt.

I hope that Fat Quarterly readers have fun with this quilt pattern. I am always very grateful for the many free patterns and tutorials that generous bloggers offer, so I am especially appreciative of this opportunity to share my design with a wider audience. Please be in touch with me via my blog, apple cyder , if you have any questions about the pattern. Thanks again for hosting me at Fat Quarterly.