Snippets of antique fabrics produce a scrappy mini quilt that is easy to construct.
A Bit of History
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Designer: Ann Hermes

Finished size: 15-1/2×21"

Finished block: 3" square


Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 1/3 yard total assorted light prints (blocks, border)
  • 3/4 yard total assorted medium and dark prints (blocks)
  • 1/4 yard total assorted brown prints (border)
  • 1/4 yard brown-and-aqua print (binding)
  • 5/8 yard backing fabric
  • 20×25" batting

Cut Fabrics

Designer Ann Hermes used a variety of antique fabric scraps in brown, blue, tan, pink, cream, and green to make her quilt. Many quilt shops sell 19th-century reproduction fabrics that produce a similar look. Packs of 5" precut squares will yield a nice variety of prints.

Most blocks in this quilt are made with four prints; cutting and assembly instructions are for this technique.

Cut pieces in the following order.

From assorted light prints, cut:

  • 12—2-1/8" squares

From assorted light, medium, and dark prints, cut:

  • 60—1-1/4×3-1/2" rectangles (30 sets of 2 matching rectangles)
  • 60—1-1/4×2" rectangles (30 sets of 2 matching rectangles)
  • 120—1-1/4" squares (60 sets of 2 matching squares)

From assorted brown prints, cut:

  • 12—2-1/8" squares

From brown-and-aqua print, cut:

  • 2—2-1/2×42" binding strips

Assemble Blocks

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

1. For one block, gather two 1-1/4" squares from one assorted light, medium, or dark print; two 1-1/4" squares from a second assorted print; two 1-1/4×2" rectangles from a third assorted print; and two 1-1/4×3-1/2" rectangles from a fourth assorted print.

2. Sew together assorted print 1-1/4" squares in pairs (Diagram 1). Join pairs to make a Four-Patch unit. The unit should be 2" square including seam allowances.

A Bit of History

3. Referring to Diagram 2, join assorted print 1-1/4×2" rectangles to opposite edges of Four-Patch unit.

A Bit of History

4. Add assorted print 1-1/4×3-1/2" rectangles to remaining edges to make a block (Diagram 3). The block should be 3-1/2" square including seam allowances. 

A Bit of History

5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make 30 blocks total.

Assemble Quilt Center

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks in six horizontal rows, rotating blocks as shown.

2. Sew together blocks in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction with each row. Join rows to make quilt center; press seams in one direction. The quilt center should be 15-1/2×18-1/2" including seam allowances.

Assemble and Add Border

1.  Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each assorted light print 2-1/8" square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under each square.)

2. Layer a marked light print square atop an assorted brown print 2-1/8" square. Sew together with two seams, stitching 1/4" on each side of drawn line (Diagram 4).

A Bit of History

3. Cut apart on drawn line and press open to make two matching triangle-squares (Diagram 4). Each triangle-square should be 1-3/4" square including seam allowances.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 24 triangle-squares total (12 sets of two matching triangle-squares).

5. Sew together two matching triangle-squares to make a Flying Geese unit (Diagram 5). The unit should be 3×1-3/4" including seam allowances.

A Bit of History

6. Repeat Step 5 to make 12 Flying Geese units total.

7. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, join six Flying Geese units to make top border strip. Press seams in one direction. The strip should be 1-3/4×15-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make bottom border strip.

A Bit of History

8. Sew top and bottom border strips to short edges of quilt center to complete quilt top. Press seams toward quilt center.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. Ann machine-quilted a diagonal grid across the quilt center and border, creating an X through the center of each block.

3. Bind with brown-and-aqua print binding strips.