Sunday, April 17, 2011

His and Hers Quilt Complete Pattern Tutorial

As promised, here is the tutorial for the "His and Hers Quilt" inspired by a conversation with my husband (read more in the original post here if you like).

This pattern will make a nice big quilt of 99 by 100 inches. It fits well on our queen-sized bed. It's a very simple straight-ahead pattern with no fancy sewing manoeuvres needed. It's really just a fun and funky variation of a coin quilt. Kind of like a coin quilt with attitude if you will.

I think the trickiest part of the quilt is really choosing the fabrics that will give you the maximum impact. Once you have those, it's smooth sailing!

So here we go ...

I am going to refer to the fabrics that make up the unpieced strips in this quilt as the "Feature Fabrics." You will need 3 yards of His Feature fabric and 3 yards of Hers Feature Fabric. I say go big, go bold, have fun! The same fabric in two colourways works well. And although the print should be large scale, I would suggest a fabric with only two or three colours in it, so the whole thing isn't way over the top and looking like a crazy busy circus (I know my quilts often do look like that, but this time I would advise against it.)Then you will need 10 Fat Quarters of coordinating His Fabric and 10 Fat Quarters of coordinating Hers Fabric. When choosing these prints, really try to come up with a nice variety of patterns and colours -- some with a bigger print, some with a tinier one, some monochromatic, some geometric, some novelty, some floral, you get the idea ...

So to quickly recap: You need 3 yards plus 10 FQs for EACH of the His and Hers sides. You will eventually need 7.5 yards (!!!) for backing. No need to buy anything extra for binding as you will be able to cut your binding from the leftover feature fabrics. And onto cutting ... Get out the longest ruler you have and cut your feature fabric vertically into strips that are 9.5 inches wide and a whopping 100 inches long! Cut three His strips and three Hers strips. Next start cutting the fat quarters. You will be able to cut 8 rectangles of 8 by 4.5 inches from each fat quarter (assuming you have at least 16 by 18 inches of usable fabric -- which you certainly should, even taking into account crooked cutting, frayed edges due to pre-washing, or, maybe like me, cutting off the selvage to save) This means you will cut 80 His rectangles and 80 Hers rectangles.

* * *

Now, for something more fun, start arranging your rectangles into strips, stacking them so the 8.5 inch sides are touching. Make three tall strips of 25 rectangles each (for each of the His and Hers sides, 6 all total). Yes, you have 80 rectangles cut and only need 75 per side, but this will give you more design leeway in arranging everything, giving a good overall mix of fabrics, and making sure that no two pieces the same are too near each other. Move everything around until you are happy with the arrangement of your three His rectangle strips and your three Hers rectangle strips. Sew all the rectangles together using a 1/4 inch seam. Backstitch the end of each seam. Press your seams as you like. I press my seams open, just because that's my thing. Next arrange all the vertical strips, alternating between feature fabric strips and rectangle strips. Notice in the photo how the His and Hers feature fabric strips meet in the middle and then the alternating strips move outward from there. The rectangle strips should technically be 100.5 inches long at this point, as compared to 100 inches for the feature fabric strips. This gives a smidge of wiggle room if you needed it. If your seams are absolutely perfect (never happens here), you could trim 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of each rectangle strip, making it exactly 100 inches before sewing the strips together.

Of special note, the His and Hers sides of the quilt in this case reflect the sleeping positions of my husband and I ... in your case it may be on opposite sides, so arrange your fabric accordingly! Notice how I labelled the strips above. Sew them together two at a time until all are sewn together. Use a 1/4 inch seam. I would sew one half of the quilt all together first, then the other, then the two halves together at the end. Cut binding strips from your leftover feature fabrics.
Back, quilt and bind. Bind with His fabric on the His side and Hers fabric on the Hers.


Of special note, in my original quilt I used a feature fabric with birds and I wanted the birds to line up with each other. If you do choose a feature fabric with an element that you want to line up, you will likely need more than 3 yards to be sure it can be done.

Also, although the amount of FQs for this quilt works out nicely, you can easily substitute scraps for many rectangles to save cash and add more variety.

If you do make one of these quilts I would LOVE to see it. Please email (just click my complete profile on the sidebar above to get to the link with my email).

This pattern is for personal use. It was fun to finally get this posted here as the original idea for this quilt was on my to-do list forever and now it is 100% done and out there. I will happily answer any questions or clarify anything that may be confusing. I am far from any sort of quilting expert, but this is how I made my quilt, and it turned out pretty, straight and sturdy.
Good luck and Happy Quilting!
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Anonymous said...

Hi Riel,

I want to send you an e-mail but i don't know why, i can't. Please can you send me your e-mail adresse ?
Thank's a lot
Nadia from Switzerland

Riel Nason said...

Hi Nadia, I really hope you see this comment as your email didn't come through to me with your comment and I would love to get back to you as you requested. My email is hawkshawhills {at} yahoo {dot} com ...

deb said...

I LOVE your his/her quilt! My daughter is getting married in July 2012 and I have been struggling with ideas of what to make ...this is the perfect gift!

I'll definately send you a picture - although it will be next summer.

Thanks so much for posting your wonderful idea!

London ON

Samantha K. said...

Making this quilt right now for a very close friend as their wedding gift! I love this pattern way more than the wedding ring quilt! Super modern for a 20 something year old couple! I may have to make one for my husband and I next! Will deffinately send pictures when I'm done!

NotionNanny said...

Hi Riel. I was just getting ready to link up your His and Hers quilt in my newsletter when I saw your blog name. I totalled my brand new van in Quispamsis 33 years ago My husband was working at Point Lepreaux and we were living in Hammond River... just ran into Quispamsis for milk... Well the accident wasn't a nice memory but living in NB was. I am following your blog by email and I joined your site!

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Quilly Dancer said...

But ... shouldn't there be seven columns of pink and 5 columns of blue? 0-o