Bedding, Quilting
Comments 2

Arithmetic Quilt

I’ve been saying for months, possibly years that I wanted to make a quilt. After making some minis, a patchwork duvet cover and a lot of unused half square triangle blocks, I have finally made a full sized quilt. A throw size to be specific!

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I have a few observations:

  • Quilting is expensive!
  • Quilting is addictive!
  • I always thought making the top would be the most intense part of quilting, but there are a lot of other intense pieces beyond piecing.

Now, let me move onto the details of my quilt.

I used the Jeni Baker arithmetic quilt pattern in throw size (64″x76″). The pattern cost $9 for the PDF and it was very easy to follow. I think this makes a great first quilt as all of the pieces are the same size and in my case I have a 4.5×4.5″ bloc loc ruler that I used when cutting my strips to make sure I wasn’t off at all.

Quilters seem to be intimidated by garment sewing, but as a garment sewer let me tell you, cutting accurate pieces for a quilt intimidates me! With a dress if I accidentally cut 1/4 inch too far in I just reduce the seam allowance, with a quilt that’s it, the piece is no longer of use to you because that is your seam allowance.

Some of my blocks don’t line us exactly right, but the quilt top is busy enough that I’m not bothered by it and everyone who I have pointed it out to says you can’t tell.

For the fabrics I used 10 different prints and 4 solids. I used prints from 3 different lines so I wanted to use solids so they could kind of act as buffers that bring them together. I like the affect of the solids on the final quilt top. If I were to do things differently the only change I would make it to use less of the pink ones.


Here is my fabric breakdown:

4 Moda Solid Half Yards. I purchased these locally at Bits n Pieces so I don’t have links, sorry dears!

3 Tula Pink Eden Half Yards. Two of these I won on retreat, but the third I bought from Hawthorne Threads. They still have the entire line.

1 Alison Glass Handcrafted Half Yard. I love the handcrafted line!! I thought one of the prints that looks like a plus sign would be a nice addition to my plus sign quilt and I personally think I was right. This piece also came from Hawthorne Threads. I think I need to order more to make a dress, this color is so lovely.

6 Michael Miller Swan Lake Fat Quarters. I got a FQ bundle from Fabric Worm that is no longer available, but here is the link if you want to be notified when it is!

I cut all of my squares and used the provided layout to decide where to place the dark and light fabrics. I took over the floor in our family room one Saturday morning to lay it all out completely before I sewed the rows and I ended up going off of the original layout slightly.


Once I finished the top I brought it to show and tell at my Modern Quilt Guild meeting and asked advice on what to use for the batting. For my mini quilts I just bought the cheapest batting that WalMart had because I knew no one was going to be wrapping up in it for warmth. Two of the ladies gave me suggestions based on what they use and I ended up going with Pellon Nature’s Touch Cotton Batting. It was on sale at Jo-Ann’s online (it still is as of this posting) and I had a coupon for discounted shipping so $16.79 wasn’t too bad in my book. I also got a bottle of spray baste and cool multi-colored thread to do the actually quilting with.  Those cost another $21.72.


Once the top was finished, I was onto the backing. Now that was a tough call. I thought about using the Cloud 9 flannel that I used on Julia’s big block baby duvet, but I would need 4 yards and that stuff is not cheap! I had purchased a Couptopia voucher for the Sewing Diva in Derry and I found a darkish purple with a crosshatch texture there that I got for $21 after my voucher. I’ll buy the flannel for another quilt when I’m more confident in my quilting skills. With everything I purchased the total cost of my quilt was $114.38.


Speaking of quilting, I kept it pretty simple. I just followed the horizontal and vertical rows and for the most part stitched in the ditch. Some of my vertical rows were slightly off so I just did my best. My thread is really pretty with the different colors so I’m fine with it showing on the front as well as the back.


For the binding I used about half a yard of Sun Print Blue Grove by Alison Glass that I had in my stash. Only one of the fabrics I used is prominently navy blue so I thought the prominently navy binding would be a nice pop. I top stitched it on with my machine using the same multi-colored thread. This was my first time not cutting binding on the bias, I cut it by WOF and it attached fine and I don’t see any issues with the finished quilt. The pattern called for half a yard of fabric for the binding so I assumed it was meant to be cut the way I did it. I’m really happy with my binding, even the corners look nice!


One last thing I would like to mention is that I used my walking foot for the first time with this quilt. I practiced my stitching using extra squares from the top with batting and backing and I could really tell the difference between the regular foot and the walking foot. I bought the walking foot the same week I bought my Bernina but just used it for the first time. I should have used the stitch in the ditch attachment, but now I know for next time! I can’t wait to use it for garments too now that I’ve gotten the hang of it.


I really liked the entire process of making this quilt. Choosing the different fabrics, and the backing were the most difficult parts. I kept overthinking and was worried that one of the fabrics wouldn’t look good, or the back wouldn’t match right. For my next quilt I ordered a jelly roll of Bonnie Christine fabric and a solid that looks great with the prints to cut down on questioning my decisions. I’m sure as I make more quilts I’ll start questioning less!



  1. I love the colours you’ve used. I really want to start making quilts and hope to start some mini ones in 2016. I never knew quilters might be scared of sewing garments! To me quilting is the ultimate test of patience and is the scariest thing to try and sew! Not looking forward to buying all the quilting stuff tho :,(

  2. Pingback: 2015 Review & Looking Ahead | Sweet Carolanne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s