How to Make a Herringbone Quilt

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This herringbone quilt is an easy pattern that’s great for beginner quilters. It can be adapted to any size quilt from king to crib. The design can work for many styles and ages depending on the combination of colors and fabrics you pick. You can also easily make it into a zig zag chevron pattern if you prefer.

The patterned fabric used to make the quilt is all hand dyed. Find out how they’re made in 8 Fabric Dyeing Techniques.

Materials

How to Make a Herringbone Quilt Materials

Video

Instructions

Step 1: Cut the pieces

First let’s take a look at the pattern and break it down. The quilt’s made up of individual chevrons, which each consist of four squares. Each square is made up of two triangles.

This quilt will be a throw blanket size of 42” x 63”. It’s made up of 6 squares across and 9 squares down. Each square when finished is 7”. You can change the number of rows and columns and the size of the squares to make it the dimensions that you want.

Precision in your measurements is especially important in quilting to make sure everything comes out right in the end.

To make the triangles that form the squares, first cut 8″ x 8” squares. Then cut the squares in half diagonally.

Repeat until you have enough triangles in the right colors. For this quilt, I’m making each chevron a different pattern, so I need to cut two 8” squares from each fabric and then cut them in half into 4 triangles.

I also need 27 8” squares of the gray fabric for a total of 54 gray triangles.


Step 2: Piece together the quilt

Next sew together one gray and one colored triangle. Put them together with right sides facing if there is a right side. Sew on the diagonal with a ¼” seam allowance. Then iron the seam open and clip of the extra fabric at the corners. Repeat this until you have a whole lot of squares. 54 to be exact.

Now I’m going to assemble each chevron. Rotate the squares until you’ve formed a V with the colored fabric. Take two of the squares and fold one on top of the other with right sides facing. Make sure the corners are lining up evenly and sew along the edge, again, with ¼” seam allowance. All seam allowances for this quilt will be ¼”. Iron the seam open.

Do the same for the other 2 squares. Then sew the top and bottom of the chevron together. Lay out the pieces to make sure you’re sewing the correct seam. Make sure the middle seams are lining up to get nice clean points on the chevron. Sew the pieces together. Iron the seams open.

Once you have all the chevrons complete, sew together the columns. Lay out the pieces and pin. The most important part is to make sure the middle seams line up, so pin that first then the corners.  Sew together, paying careful attention to the points. When you get to the middle, sew right through the intersection of the point. Again, iron the seams open.

When the columns are finished, pin them together at the intersections of the seams, matching up the tips of the points. Sew the columns together and iron open the seams. When ironing, it works best to pick up and place down the iron instead of dragging it over the fabric.

That completes the top of the quilt.


Step 3: Make the quilt sandwich

Lay out the backing on a good sized table or on the floor. If it has a right side, it should be facing down. Then lay the batting on top of it and smooth it out. Finally place the quilt top on the batting facing up.

Pin the layers together with a pin on each triangle. Make sure everything’s smooth without any folds or puckers.


Step 4: Quilt

Now it’s time to sew it all together. I’m sewing ¼” on both sides of every vertical and horizontal seam. Then on every diagonal seam, I’m going to stitch in the ditch, which means sewing right on top of the seam.


Step 5: Bind the quilt

The final step is to bind the quilt. First cut off the extra backing and batting. If you want a fuller looking binding, you can leave an extra ¼” of batting.

Cut 2 ½” strips of your binding fabric. I’m using scraps of my dyed fabric to add some more color. Make sure you have plenty to wrap around the perimeter of the quilt.

Next I’m going to sew them together. For a smooth transition without creating a lot of bulk at the seams, sew them together diagonally. Line up the ends like a plus sign. If your fabric has a right side, they should be facing. Sew a straight line from corner to corner. When opened up it should form a continuous piece. You can pin it and draw a line to guide you when sewing or you can eyeball it. Repeat to sew the rest of the pieces together. Cut off the extra fabric and iron open the seams. Clip off the extra fabric at the corners.

 

Iron the strip in half with the right side on the outside.

If you’re going to be finishing the binding with a sewing machine instead of by hand, place the binding on the back of the quilt so that the raw edges are lined up. Start in the middle of one of the sides and leave about a foot of extra binding.

If you’re binding by hand, you would machine sew the binding to the front.

Sew with a ¼” seam allowance until you get ¼” away from the corner.

Turn the fabric so the foot’s pointing toward the corner and sew off the edge. Fold the binding up and then down so the top of the fold is even with the side you just sewed and the raw edge is lined up with the side you’re about to sew. This will create a mitered corner. Turn the fabric and continue sewing, starting from the edge. Repeat for the rest of the corners and stop when you get about a foot away from where you started.

Then overlap the two ends however wide your binding is and cut. So I’m overlapping 2 ½”. Sew together the ends the same as you sewed the rest of the binding together.

Check it to make sure it will lie flat and cut off the extra fabric. Finish stitching so all the binding is attached.

Next fold the binding over to the front of the quilt. Starting in the middle of one of the sides, backstitch and sew 1/8” or less from the edge of the binding. When you get to a corner, fold the fabric with a 45 degree angle. pivot with the needle in the fabric and continue sewing all the way around.

When you come back around to the beginning, backstitch and the quilt is done!


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