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String of Pearls Pattern
Although you don’t have to buy a pattern to make this quilt, a PDF version of String of Pearls is available for your convenience.
About This Quilt
Each of the Pearl Blocks is made from one pearl “square” surrounded by a strong black accent, floating against a sea of grey.
It’s an efficient quilt to cut because it makes use of the leftover pearl fabric for the binding.
I used 12 different Pearl Bracelets fabrics (3 squares each) but you can make yours as scrappy or as coordinated as you like.
The quilt size is 66″ x 66″ and is made from a total of 36 blocks that are 11″ finished. If you’d like a bigger quilt, just make more blocks or add colorful borders!
Total cutting time for today’s lesson took approximately 2 hours. Note, “WOF” means “width of fabric”. My measurements are based on 40″ of useable width.
Step 1 – Cutting The Pearls (45 minutes)
Wash and press your pearl fabrics and starch them if you like. You will need exactly 7.75 inches inches of usable width out of 9 inches. It’s ok if your fabrics shrink up a little, but take care when you cut so you don’t lose too much waste.
Hint: wash lights and darks separately in a garment mesh bag on gentle cycle. Throw a dye magnet in the wash to catch any excess dye.
From each of twelve 9″x20″ fat eighths of Pearl Bracelets, cut:
- 1 (5.5″) strip and subcut into 3 (5.5″) squares
- 1 (2.25″ x 20″) strip for binding
- You will need to cut one extra 2.25″ x 20″ strip for binding for a total of 13 strips.
For a total of 36 pearl squares and 13 strips of scrappy binding. By the way, I just love the Olfa Splash rotary cutter I’m using. Its cute and ergonomic!
Step 2 – Cutting the Backgrounds (1 Hour, 15 Minutes )
There is very little waste when cutting and you may lose an inch or two to washing and trimming. If you are new to cutting, be sure to add on an extra 1/8 to 1/4 yard to the measurements below.
Hint: Be sure to measure twice, and cut once.
From 1.5 yards of black fabric cut 34 (1.5″ x WOF) strips for the “strings”.
- From 14.5 strips, cut 72 (1.5″ x 7.5″ ) rectangles – you should get 5 per strip.
- From 10.5 strips, cut 72 (1.5″ x 5.5″) rectangles – you should get 7 per strip.
- Cut 1 strip in half so that you have 2 (1.5″ x 20″) strips and set aside.
- Set aside the remaining 8 strips for strip piecing in lesson 2.
Hint: if you stack them up 4 per pile as you cut, it will take 18 piles of each. That helps me count!
From 2.5 yards of grey background, cut 9 (5.5″) strips and 9 (3.5″) strips
- Cut one of the 5.5″ wide strips in half so you have 8 full-length strips (5.5″ x WOF) and 2 half-length strips (5.5″ x 20″).
- Cut one of the 3.5″ wide strips in half so you have 8 full-length strips (3.5″ x WOF) and 2 half-length strips 3.5″ x 20″).
- Set aside for strip piecing in lesson 2.
That’s it for today’s lesson. Now you’re ready to sew!
Now it’s your turn – show me whatcha got! Please share pictures of your fabric selections and your cutting progress on my flickr group: Christa’s Quilt Along.
Quilt Along Schedule – links will be active at the completion of each step:
- String of Pearls Introduction
- Step 1 – Rotary cutting all the pieces
- Step 2 – Sewing all the “pearl” blocks
- Step 3 – Completing the quilt top
- Step 4 – Backing and basting
- Step 5 – Machine quilting #1 straight lines
- Bonus – Extra spiral quilting
- Step 6 – Machine quilting #2 swirls ‘n pearls
- Step 7 – Binding to finish
Sharing is Caring
Please share your work in progress in my facebook group: Quilt With Christa . 🙂