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Tutorial: Ipanema Blocks Quilt {by Plum And June}

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Welcome back Beth!  Beth, of Plum and June, is here today to share her lovely Ipanema Blocks Quilt with you!  We think the simplicity of this quilt is an amazing pattern to follow for you first time quilters.  And the design is a perfect unisex pattern, that any baby (or human being for that matter, full grown or otherwise), would love to receive!  Head over to Plum and June, to enter our giveaway and receive your own fat quarter bundle of Ipanema!

I’m happy to be here on the Birch Fabrics blog again to share with you a quilt idea for the new Ipanema fabric line.  There are such wonderfully detailed prints in this line and so I wanted to use a design that would showcase large sections of each fabric.  
When working with fabrics with this type of detail, I like to use improv techniques so that I can let the prints themselves dictate the size of each cut of fabric.  To make this quilt, I started by fussy cutting some of my favorite prints beginning with the one in the middle of the above photo (Ipanema Main in Orange).  That piece measured about 5.25″ x 9.75″ and basically set the size for the rest of the fussy cuts.
To make your own version of the quilt, select 10 – 15 prints (you can use some of the fabrics more than once).  You’ll also need 3/4 yard of background fabric and 1/2 yard of border fabric.  You can cut your fabrics according to the measurements below but if any of the sizes don’t work with your preferred fussy cut, just adjust the size of the background fabric above or below it.  In the chart below, the number at the top indicates the measurement for each piece in that column.  For example, for the first piece in column A, you would cut your fabric 3.75″ x 9.5″, the second piece would be 3.5″ x 9.5″ and so on. The light blue sections in the chart below should be cut from your background fabric.
*I chose to make each column a slightly different width but you can also just cut all your pieces 9.5″ across.  That would result in 3 even columns that measure 9.5″ x 31″ and would still work with the border measurements below.  
Each row should measure 35″ including seam allowances.  Starting with column A, sew the fabrics together.  
With a column this size, I usually just start at the top and sew piece by piece (right sides together) until the row is complete but I know some people prefer to first piece in pairs, then piece those pairs together, and then piece those strips together (as shown below) – just use whichever method you prefer.
Repeat for the second two columns.  Press all the seams and trim if necessary. Each column should now be 31″.  
Sew the columns together and press the seams.  
From your background fabric, cut 2 strips 2″ x 31″.  Sew a strip to each side of the center block and press the seams. *Please note, I’m using exact sizes for the border measurements but I always recommend cutting about 1/2 – 1″ longer and then trimming down after attaching each strip.  
Cut two more strips from your background fabric – 2″ x 30.5″.  Sew one strip to the top of the block and one strip to the bottom and press the seams.
From your border fabric, cut 2 strips 4″ x 34″ and 2 strips 4″ x 37.5″.  Sew the smaller strips to each side of the block and press the seams.  Finish by sewing the longer strips to the top and bottom.  
The quilt finishes at 37.5″ x 41″.  

And I figured I’d use a bit of the leftover fabric to make a quick little messenger bag – I actually might be making quite a few of these for gifts very soon!  
Thanks so much for sharing with us Beth!  We hope you’ll visit Beth’s blog, Plum and June, to see all her other projects.  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway we’re sponsoring with Plum and June.  You can win your own fat quarter set of Ipanema.  Good luck!

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