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Four Corners Strip Quilt

Four Corners row quilt tutorial by Amy Smart
When Elizabeth and Liz of Simple Simon and Co first told me about their upcoming fabric collection, Four Corners for Riley Blake, I was dying to see it and play with it. So of course I jumped at the chance when they invited me to use this collection.

Four Corners Simple Simon Fabric

This fabric is full of simple, graphic designs inspired by American southwest motifs which are so popular right now. You can see more projects – just visit the Four Corners blog tour going on at Simple Simon and Co to get the details.

Four Corners Aztec panel

The main focus print is especially fun and versatile and comes in three different color ways. It’s a southwest-inspired striped panel – almost like a woven native-american blanket.

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I decided it would be fun to cut-up those strips and let them play with the other prints in the collection. I’m a sucker for row quilts – they are a great option for a simple, fast quilt construction and a good way to show off a variety of prints.

Four Corners fabric Riley Blake

I decided to focus mostly on the black, white and gray prints, with just a little bit of color thrown in. But this would be a fun project mixing all the colors in the collection for a really colorful quilt too. Four Corners fabric is available here.

square-up-cutting-strips

There are some important techniques when making a row quilt. First of all, it’s important to square up your fabric edges before you start cutting off strips. First of all match up the two selvage edges. This may mean that the cut edges no longer match up and may require re-pressing the fold. Now place your new folded edge along a straight line on your cutting mat. Line up a straight line on your long ruler along that folded edge and using a rotary cutter, carefully trim off the uneven edge.

Cut Strip

Flip your fabric around so that your newly-squared-edge is now on your left side. This way you can use your ruler to accurately measure and cut your strips. Place the ruler at the desired width of fabric and cut using a rotary cutter. This will give you a nice, straight strip instead of something crooked or V-shaped. (These are obviously instructions geared at right-handed folks. If you are left-handed, do the opposite. If you are left-handed, you are probably already a pro at figuring out that kind of thing.)

Tutorial originally written for the Riley Blake blog.

Four Corners Strip Quilt Instructions

Finished size 40″ x 54″

Four Corners Fabric

Fabric requirements:

  • Four Corners Main Panel (black): 1 1/4 yard
  • Four Corners Weave gold: 1 1/2 yards
  • Black Triangles: 1/2 yard
  • Black Circles: 1/4 yard
  • Black Stripe: 1/4 yard
  • Gray Triangles: 1/8 yard
  • Turquoise Circles: 1/8 yard
  • Turquoise Triangles: 1/8 yard
  • Black Cross Weave White: 1/6 yard
  • Gray Stripe: 1/8 yard
  • White Strip: 1/8 yard

Cutting instructions

Cut Strip

I have a tutorial on my blog with tips for cutting strips. You definitely need to square-up the fabric edges before you cut your width-of-fabric strips, otherwise you will have crooked strips or strips in a slight V shape, instead of straight across.

  • From main panel cut two strips 6” x 42” with white background motif and one strip 5” x 42” of back background/cross motif and one strip 16 ½” x 42” for backing (see backing image)
  • From gold Weave (cross) fabric cut: one strip 3” x width of fabric (wof), one strip 2 ½” x wof, one strip 34” x wof and one strip 11” x wof (reserve these last two for the backing)
  • From black Triangle print cut 5 strips 2 ½” x wof (set aside for binding), one strip 1 ¾” x wof, and one strip 3 ½” x wof
  • From black Circles print cut two strips 3 ½” x wof
  • From black arrow stripe cut one strip 2 ½” x wof and one strip 4 ½” x wof
  • From gray triangles cut one strip 4” x wof
  • From turquoise Circles print cut one strip 2” x wof and one strip 2 ½” x wof
  • From turquoise triangles cut one strip 2 ½” x wof
  • From black Weave (cross) cut one strip 6” x wof
  • From gray arrow Stripe cut one strip 3” x wof
  • From white arrow Stripe cut one strip 3 ¼” x wof

In my opinion, one of the things that makes a strips quilt interesting is a variety of strip-widths and a variety of scale in the prints used. So if you use this tutorial with other fabrics, keep that in mind.

Quilt Assembly:

Lay out all of the strips in order before sewing. Sew all seams using a ¼” seam allowance.

sew seams

When you sew the strips together, alternate the direction that you sew your seams. This will help avoid the bowing or arc-ing that happens when all the strips are sewn the same direction. (This happens naturally because the feed-dogs pull the bottom fabric more than the fabric on top. If you have a walking-foot or dual-feed on your machine, this won’t be as much of an issue.)

sew strip rows together

Another important tip when making a row quilt is to sew your rows together in smaller chunks first – rather than starting at the top and attaching rows one after another. (One time I let my 9-yr-old daughter sew fabric strips together to make a quilt for her teacher who was having a baby. I didn’t help her and just let her go for it. After sewing about 20 strips together, her quilt was the shape of a parallelogram. whoops! It took some careful quilting and squaring up, but we still made a presentable quilt for her teacher. 🙂 )

Press seams

Pressing each seam as you go will also help keep your quilt straight and square.

Sew strips together in this order:Riley Blake Four Corners Strip Quilt Tutorial

3 ½” Black Circles

2 ½” turquoise Triangles

6” Aztec panel

3” gold Weave (cross)

1 ¾” black Triangles

3” gray arrow Stripe

2 ½” turquoise circles

5” black Cross panel

3 ¼” white arrow Stripe

3 ½” black Circles

4” gray Triangles

2 ½” black arrow Stripe

6” black Weave (cross)

2” turquoise Circles

3 ½” black Triangles

2 ½” gold Weave (cross)

6” Aztec panel

4 ½” black arrow Stripe

Press all seams one direction. Carefully square off selvage edges and square-up quilt sides. (Tip: Line up horizontal ruler markings on top of seams to keep sides square.) Quilt top needs to measure smaller than quilt back in all directions.

Backing:

Southwest inspired panel quilt

Here is the back of the quilt. I think I like it as much as the front! So I may just call this “the other front.” Using that main Four Corners panel print as an accent framed by yardage is a super-simple way to make a fun, on-trend baby quilt!

Piece Backing

Piece gold 34” x wof strip and 11” wof strip on both sides of 16 ½” x 42” panel. Press seams toward gold.

Baste quilt top, batting, and quilt back together and quilt as desired. I used an all-over square stipple design to echo the geometric designs in the fabrics.

IMG_1518

Bind: Trim selvages and sew remaining 2 ½” x wof strips end to end to create binding. For more photos and directions on Binding a quilt there is a binding tutorial here.

Click here for a printable PDF version of this pattern.

And there you go! A quick quilt and very on-trend in graphic southwest-inspired fabrics.

DSC08766

Perfect for a quick and popular baby gift!

 

Four Corners quilt at the Grand Canyon

And are you totally impressed with the staging of this quilt? I am. The timing of making this quilt was so fortunate as we headed to iconic American southwest settings last weekend. Here is where I toted the quilt on a 2 mile hike to Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon and paid my 11-year-old a $1 to hold it for me. (If my mom is reading this, don’t panic. He was very safe the whole time!)

Four Corners fabric

And finally, what you’re not seeing in this picture are some strategically placed rocks, holding down the quilt, making sure it doesn’t blow away into the Grand Canyon! Quilt staging is very technical business.

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And here’s an action shot where I made my family pull over to the side of the road in Monument Valley on our way through. Turns out barbed wire fences – if used very carefully – make even better quilt holders than husbands and children. Monument Valley sunsetAnd here’s a farewell sunset from Monument Valley – not far from the actual Four Corners in the United States. Pretty spectacular, if you ask me.

Four Corners fabric is available here.

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56 Comments

  • Reply
    Sharon Gibson
    October 21, 2015 at 5:07 am

    Amy, wow what a quilt and what a setting. Both absolutely brilliant. Take care. Sharon x

  • Reply
    Sigi G
    October 21, 2015 at 5:16 am

    What we all do for that perfect picture :)! Beautiful Quilt and beautiful quilting on it!!

  • Reply
    Karen
    October 21, 2015 at 5:59 am

    love the quilt and the view –

  • Reply
    Beth degayner
    October 21, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Wow, I love it! You do such beautiful work, always the exact right thing with each group of fabrics! Thank you so much for the tutorial, too!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      October 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Aww, thank you! That means a lot. I do love playing with fabric. 🙂

  • Reply
    amy deason
    October 21, 2015 at 6:32 am

    I am absolutely in love with this fabric!!!! I was looking for fabric for a baby boy gift. I have now found it!!!! I love it because the precious bundle won’t out grow this fabric. Colors are amazing! Can’t wait to order it or maybe win it. This fabric went very well with your travel plans. Pictures are stunning! Thanks for the tips for making this blanket. I look forward to reading your blog always.

  • Reply
    Sandra B
    October 21, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Love this quilt! And the scenery is awesome!

  • Reply
    SuzyMcq
    October 21, 2015 at 7:16 am

    That’s photo staging above and beyond the call of duty! It’s a beautiful quilt and your photographic efforts are beautiful and much-appreciated.

  • Reply
    Ben
    October 21, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Yes, I am totally impressed with your staging. Monument Valley???!!!

  • Reply
    Ben
    October 21, 2015 at 7:32 am

    But you didn’t visit Four Corners? 😉

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      October 21, 2015 at 10:46 am

      I know! So close, but so far away… (with a mini-van full of kids, anyway)

  • Reply
    Melissa Corry
    October 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I love the quilt staging pictures!!! So awesome!!! And I was glad to hear that the one of the barbed wire was a quick pull over, I though you have been hiking in flip flops 😉

  • Reply
    Karen g
    October 21, 2015 at 8:59 am

    WOW. Love the quilt (both quilt fronts) and your staging is the ultimate!

  • Reply
    JANN MERRILL
    October 21, 2015 at 9:24 am

    BEAUTIFUL QUILT, THE STRIP PATTERN WAS A PERFECT WAY TO SHOWCASE IT. MY HUSBAND AND I ARE HOPING TO GET A MOTOR HOME AND DO A NATIONAL PARK TOUR AND I FOUND THIS AND YOUR PREVIOUS BLOGS VERY INSPIRATIONAL. IT WAS SERENDIPITY THAT I HAPPENED UPON THEM. IF I COULD ASK A QUESTION,,,,WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE? YOUR PICTURES WERE STUNNING IN COLOR COMPOSITION AND CLARITY!! KEEP QUILTING AND EXPLORING….

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      October 21, 2015 at 11:05 am

      We went on a long trip to England last summer and I didn’t want to haul my big camera so I bough a Sony mirrorless SLR. It’s so much smaller/lighter than the big DSLR cameras and I love it! I take it on all our travels now and it takes GREAT pictures!

  • Reply
    Pat S
    October 21, 2015 at 10:12 am

    What a beautiful quilt and perfect setting for a photo shoot.

  • Reply
    ElizabEth speach
    October 21, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Love it!

  • Reply
    Annieo
    October 21, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve never stopped loving the colors of the Southwest and fondly remember my brief time living in Sedona. Thanks for the grins on quilt staging efforts :).

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 21, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Love, love, love this quilt! Pretty sure I will be making one for myself!

  • Reply
    Vicky
    October 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful!! Love the quilt(s). How awesome to get 2 quilts! Just deciding which to showcase would be my problem. Thank you for the tutorial.

  • Reply
    james udall
    October 21, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I love this! And such beautiful landscapes to compliment the beautiful quilts!

  • Reply
    Patty M
    October 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Love the quilt but have to say the back is my favorite!! Great pictures too.

  • Reply
    Valerie
    October 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    This is a very striking quilt thanks for sharing it.
    I appreciate the tutorials you have posted as of late.
    The vacation pictures are always so nice and nature with all it’s color variations always inspires and challenges us.

  • Reply
    Sandy Lowery
    October 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Love all the staging you did with the quilt. It is absolutely beautiful, you did a very good job.

  • Reply
    DEbbie
    October 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    I love your quilt. It is my favorite colorway. Great scenery. I miss Arizona.

  • Reply
    kathleen
    October 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Love it! I had to laugh at the ‘strategically placed rocks,’ because I was definitely thinking about the hazards of an unexpected gust of wind. 🙂 And as a grandma, I appreciated your reassuring your mother about son’s safety. LOL

  • Reply
    Millie
    October 22, 2015 at 12:22 am

    OMG. I JUST SIGNED ONTO THIS BLOG SITE YESTERDAY AND AM THRILLED TO SEE YOUR QUILT . I AM HEADING TO ARIZONA IN A WEEK AND WOULD LOVE TO MAKE THIS FOR MY PLACE THERE. HOPE THEY DONT RUN OUT OF THAT FABRIC BEFORE I CAN GET SOME. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSPIRATION . WELL DONE. GORGEOUS. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT,

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      October 22, 2015 at 8:22 am

      The fabric was just released, so you should be safe! 😉 Have fun!

  • Reply
    Cocopatch
    October 22, 2015 at 3:38 am

    thanks for the quilt and photos! make me dream…

  • Reply
    Jane
    October 22, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Beautifull quilt and scenery plus I love the way you involve your kids! 😉

  • Reply
    Teresa PALMER
    October 22, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Love the simplicity and graphic impact.

  • Reply
    Janine smith
    October 22, 2015 at 6:06 am

    I love this quilt, the fabric and how you put it together. And, you’re right, the back is just as pretty as the front!

  • Reply
    Lynn
    October 22, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Just beautiful…I have to make one for Christmas for my daughter!!

  • Reply
    Sam
    October 22, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Great quilt Amy and such an amazing setting. Think I may have to try this one myself.

  • Reply
    BjoLiz
    October 22, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for the tutorial on strip quilting. Your quilt is beautiful and the scenery is stunning! Makes me want to get the RV on the road headed west!

  • Reply
    chromatobalomata
    October 22, 2015 at 8:48 am

    What a beautiful quilt and amazing view!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    October 22, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Beautiful fabric and quilt!! Reminds me of a cozy bulky sweater. Not sure I would have hung it on a barbed wire fence though!! Nice pics.

  • Reply
    Janie
    October 22, 2015 at 10:46 am

    That’s a knockout, Amy, a stunner.

  • Reply
    Karen
    October 22, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Amy, thanks so much for this post! In a very small space you introduced me to a really gorgeous fabric collection, showed me how to square up fabric, how to cut strips, how to keep strips from taking on a life of their own when sewing them and how to make a really beginner (that’s me) friendly and beautiful quilt. Plus all the gorgeous photos! When I retired 4 years ago, we took a 3 month trip in our truck camper and visited almost all of the western National Parks. Your pics bring back so many wonderful memories:)

  • Reply
    Juls
    October 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Love the quilt! A perfect place to photograph it. I was at Shoshone Point 2 weeks ago- spent 3 nights camping in the Canyon. Truly a remarkable national treasure.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 23, 2015 at 1:45 am

    The quilt and fabric are looks so beautiful… Thank you for sharing us the procedures of how to make. I think I’m gonna try this myself one day. The Arizona scenery is great too

  • Reply
    kathyinmn
    October 23, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Love the pictures of that quilt at the grand canyon! WOW, does that set it all off or what? Really pretty-you highlighted this fabric well using this pattern. And now we know what you were working on in the car!!

  • Reply
    Andrea M
    October 23, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful quilt and photos! It’s amazing to be able to find and see so much of your family’s history! And now I really miss the Southwest! I traveled there a lot prior to having kids, so my husband and young children have not gone; someday I will drag them all on a road trip out there! The National Park quilt blocks looks like a fun project!! Good luck finding more information on them and please share if you do!

  • Reply
    Melinda Meehan
    October 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Absolutely stunning photos! Just perfec.. the fabric, background ,and pattern couldn’t have complimented each other any better. As I’m just learning I didn’t know to alternate sewing the strips together. No wonder mine are so hard to square up. Love learning.. Thank you

  • Reply
    Mixed pattern knit skirt--Four Corner fabrics. - A girl and a glue gun
    October 24, 2015 at 6:25 am

    […] source source […]

  • Reply
    Rochelle
    October 25, 2015 at 10:48 am

    A very smart looking quilt. Love the southwest look and colors and the photos on location are great!!

  • Reply
    Sam
    January 10, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Wow! So beautiful! This is definitely my next quilting project! Do you know how many yards of each you used? Well done!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 10, 2016 at 8:25 am

      I don’t specifically remember what I used, but basically you’d need 10 1/2 yards or 20 1/4 yards of fabric to make a similar quilt top.

      Good question – thanks! I added it to the post content because I’m sure others will want to know the same. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laurie
    January 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Amy, I have searched high and low over at the Riley Blake site as well as your tutorial to find the cutting instructions and fabric requirements to make this quilt. I love it and want to make it for a dear friend. Can you please help me find the link?

    Thanks. Laurie

  • Reply
    Nancy
    March 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I love love both sides of this quilt. I hope it is OK to copy it. I have wanted to make a “southwest” quilt for awhile but did not see a pattern I wanted or fabric I wanted and here us both. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Project Design Team Wednesday ~Four Corners Fabric Strip Quilt | Riley Blake Designs
    April 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    […] have a tutorial on my blog with tips for cutting strips. You definitely need to square-up the fabric edges before you cut your width-of-fabric strips, […]

  • Reply
    Diana
    July 1, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    By any chance could you repost the tutorial for this quilt or the instructions? I love your quilt and just attempted to find it on the Riley Blake blog and am unable to find it. Please! I would love to be able to make this this weekend! Thank you

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks so much for the heads up Diana! I just updated the post with the full tutorial. Enjoy!

      • Reply
        Diana
        July 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        Yeah!! Thank you so much!

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