Recently, I was reading a new book about using 2-1/2″ strips called New Ways with Jelly Rolls by Pam & Nicky Lintott. The book has some fun ideas for precut strips!
One pattern that really appealed to me was the Basket Weave quilt. It just so happened that I had a set of six neutral FQs from a recent quilt show and a guest room bedside table that needed a neutral table topper to match the decor. I decided that one block from this quilt might work well for my needs.
Next, I pieced 2-1/2″ strips from three coordinating fabrics; the fabrics need to be in the same order for each strip set. Four strip sets were needed since I was using FQs. I used the 6-1/2″ line on an old setting triangle ruler to cut the triangles. Any square triangle would do in a pinch with one corner at the top and the seams parallel to the 45 degree line.
The book’s instructions explain how to sew the triangles onto the octagon, alternating which fabric is at the top point. The first seam is partially sewn; it will be completed when the last triangle is sewn on.
I soon found that the point of the new triangle lined up with the seam between the previous triangles if it was correctly centered.
After the final triangle was added, the partially sewn first seam was closed.
It was time to mark the quilt. I chose a design for the center, enlarged it until it fit the finished size of the octagon, and used half of the design in the triangles. A couple of the points needed to be extended or shortened to make it fit well. I used an old light box and a FriXion pen to trace the design onto the top. The top, batting, and backing were basted with 505 Spray & Fix.
The machine quilting with my walking foot was so easy! Once the table topper was machine quilted, I trimmed the sides of the octagon-shaped table topper with a square ruler with the 45 degree angle aligned on one of the seams.
I had planned to bind the table topper with a flange binding sewn completely by machine.
It did not work well! I knew I would not be pleased with the outcome, so I removed the binding and started again.
Having very little fabric leftover from the FQs, I chose to bind the table topper with the same fabric as the octagon.
I love the results! Unfortunately, at a finished size of about 21-1/2″ x 21-1/2″, it is too big for the bedside table. It will look great on a family room end table where I can enjoy it every day.