Jumbled Spools Quilt 54 x 60 inches
4 yards of a solid color cotton fabric. I used Robert Kaufman’s Kona White. This is a generous estimate of what you will need. You’ll probably be fine if you only have 3.5 yards.
1 charm pack of varied colors (you will need 42 5 inch squares, if the pack has fewer than 42 charms, repeat one or more colors or add something from your stash), or 42 2.5 x 4” scraps from your stash
½ yard of fabric to make the tops and bottoms of the spools (I used a variety of grey fabrics)
1/8 yard of extra fabric(s) to make the border “stitching”
Backing: 3 1/3 yards of fabric using a horizontal seam OR 3 ¾ yards using a vertical seam. If you need the backing to extend more than 4” beyond your quilt top, add another ¼ yard.
Binding: 1/2 yard of coordinating or contrasting fabric
60 x 68 inch piece of batting
Cutting instructions for rotary cut pieces:
Note: WOF means “width of fabric.” Quilting cotton usually is 40-42 inches wide.
Colored body of spools: Cut 42 pieces of you colored fabrics: 2.5 x 4 inch rectangles
Background of block adjacent to colored body of spool
1. Cut 9 strips of your background fabric: WOF x 1.25 inches wide
2. Cut these strips into 84: 1.25 x 4 inch rectangles
Tops and bottoms of spools:
Cut 9 strips of you spool fabric: WOF x 1.5 inches wide.
Cut these strips into 84 pieces: 1.5 x 4 inch rectangles
To make the angles on the tops and bottoms of the spools:
Cut 7 strips of background fabric: WOF x 1.5 inches wide.
Cut these strips into 168 squares: 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares
Background of each block:
1. Cut 12 strips of background fabric: WOF x 3.5 inches wide
Then cut these strips into 84 pieces: 3.5 x 5.5 inch rectangles
2. Cut 21 strips background fabric: WOF x 2.75 inches wide
Then cut these strips into 84 pieces: 2.75 x 10 inch rectangles
For “Stitching border”
1. Cut 21 pieces (one color or several): 1 x 2.5 inch rectangles
2. Cut 20 pieces of background fabric: 1 x 1.5 inches
Outer background border: Cut this border after your quilt top is done
Cut one strip of background fabric: 2.5 x 61 inches (or the length of your finished top)
Sewing Instructions for Rotary Cutting piecing:
Make the tops and bottoms of your spools first.
1. Draw a line diagonally across the WRONG side of each of the 168 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares of your background fabric.
2. Match right side of the white square with one short edge of the right side of a 1.5 x 4 inch rectangle which will be the top of the spool.
3. Move your needle position on your sewing machine one to two to notches to the RIGHT on your machine. You want to be sewing just on the INSIDE of the line you drew on the wrong side of the white square. Sew the square to the rectangle.
4. Fold the square over the diagonal line you just stitched. The edges of the folded square should match up to the corner of the rectangle.
5. Press, trim the excess under the triangle you just created to ¼ inch.
6. Repeat on the other side of the rectangle.
7. Continue until you have made all 84 spools tops and bottoms.
Assembling the Spools:
1. Sew a 1.25 x 4 inch rectangle of background fabric to the side of each 2.5 x 4 inch colored spool body. Press.
2. Now attach a top and bottom piece to each end of the spool. Press toward the spool ends.
Add the background to the spool blocks
1. Sew a 3.5 x 5.5 inch background rectangle to each side of the spool from the last step. Press.
2. Sew a 2.75 x 10 inch background rectangle to the top and bottom of the spool block. Press.
3. You will now have an UNFINISHED block 10 inches square
Spool Blocks before trimming to skew them
Creating the wonky block
1. Trim down the blocks to an UNFINISHED 9.0 inches square. Make the first cut at the top of the block. The cut should only be a slight angle. MAKE CERTAIN THAT you have at least 9.0 inches on all 4 sides of the block. I recommend that you use a large square ruler to trim these blocks. (See illustrations of the trimming).
First cuts to skew the block. Note that the ruler is tilted to be higher on the LEFT side than on the right side of the block. Trim off the fabric on the top and right side that extends beyond the ruler.
Now trim the block square to an 9.0 inch square.
This measurement is the UNFINISHED block size.
Squaring up the block to 9 inches. Note that the ruler is squared to the first two
cuts you made. Trim off the fabric extending beyond the ruler.
2. On the next block tilt your ruler the OPPOSITE direction so your spools don’t all tilt in the same direction. Then trim the block to 9 inch square.
Note that in the first cut on this block, the ruler is tilted to be higher on the RIGHT side.
Continue trimming the blocks, making sure to cut the blocks so that HALF are skewed toward the left and half toward the right side.
Two blocks trimmed to tilt in opposite directions.
Making the Border of “Stitches”
Sew the 1 x 2.5 inch colored rectangles short sides end to end, alternating each colored block with one 1 x 1.5 inch rectangle of the background fabric. This will make a long narrow strip a bit longer than 60 inches.
Set this aside for now.
Assemble the Quilt top
1. Lay out your blocks on a design wall with one block having the spool upright and the block next to with the spool horizontal. Make sure that each new row starts with a spool positioned the opposite way from the first block in the row above it.
2. When you are happy with the color distribution and layout of your quilt, sew the blocks together in horizontal rows.
3. Then sew the horizontal rows together.
4. Attach the border of “stitches” made in the last step to the left side of the quilt. Find the center of this line of “stitches”. Position the center point of the strip of “stitches” at the center point on the left side of your quilt. The top and bottom stitch will be cut off as this strip is a bit longer than the finished quilt top.
5. Finally add the outer border 2.5 inch x length of your quilt to the outside left edge of your quilt
Cut the fabric you purchased for the backing in half. Sew the 2 halves together either horizontally or vertically, depending on the amount of fabric you purchased and/or the design of the backing fabric.
The finished backing should extend 4 inches beyond the edges of the quilt top if you plan to quilt it on a sewing machine. It will need to extend 6+ inches if you plan to quilt it with a long-arm machine.
If you are quilting on your sewing machine, assemble your sandwich, top, batting and backing. Baste the layers with pins or thread.
Quilt as desired.
If the quilt is to be quilted by a long-arm machine, follow the directions given to you by the long-arm quilter if you are sending it out.
For those of you doing your own long-arm quilting you know what to do! Have fun quilting!!
Make your binding per your favorite method. Attach the binding to your quilt.
Make a label for your handiwork!
Congratulations! Enjoy your Jumbled Spools Quilt!
Here are the Foundation patterns if you prefer to make the spools with paper piecing.
Design and pattern created by Judith Tucker, 2014. SleepingDogQuilts.blogspot.comThis pattern is for individual use only. You may sell your finished quilt(s) if you wish. This pattern is not for commercial or large volume use.