Katherine's trip around the world in autumn shades of batiks

Squarely there — Trip Around the World quilts

I’ve left my favorite category of square quilts until last — the trip around the world.  It looks like a big diamond with lots of smaller nested diamonds within.  Here’s a pretty one:

trip around the world in solids

Beautiful colors in this Amish-style trip around the world with solids, from narrowend.blogspot.com

(by the way, there’s lots more square quilts in my pinterest board here)

And like our other square quilts, this can be done in a color wash, with graded colors, or with high contrast colors, or a combination of both.  Here’s a rainbow version:

 

rainbow trip around the world

rainbow trip around the world from Amish Country Lanes

By looking at these, it might not be immediately obvious that there are shortcuts for sewing such beauties.  But there are, and I promise you that you don’t have to individually cut and piece each of this squares to get these results.

There’s a wonderful variation called ‘multiple’ trip around the world — check it out:

multiple trips around the world in solids

beautiful Amish-style multiple trips around the world from Amish Country Quilts

My hero Bonnie Hunter over at quiltville.com does a wonderful scrappy trips around the world (click here for her pattern), and here’s an example quilt built on her pattern:

scrappy trip around the world

quilt top based on scrappy trip around the world pattern from quiltville.com

Here’s a lovely nearly twin-sized vintage trip around the world that I found at a local vintage haunt, and finished with a modern backing (I took the picture before quilting, though):

mini trip quilt tutorial - 26

A lovely almost twin-sized trip around the world — terrific use of value in fabrics

And here’s the mini trip around the world quilt — table topper  or baby quilt size — that I designed to use 7 fat quarters, inspired by the lovely vintage find above.  If you click on it, you’ll go to the tutorial on flickr, and eventually I’ll add another page here with lots of narration between the pictures too!

mini trip quilt tutorial - 25

A trip around the world sized for a table topper or baby quilt

I call this the squid-ring approach — you’ll have to look through the photo set to see why!  In any case it doesn’t involve cutting individual squares, as I promised — you’ll be cutting strips and rings instead.  If you’re like me, this idea was novel and delightfully innovative when I discovered it a decade ago and it’s still fresh and fun now.

The tutorial was written with the idea that you’d have some knowledge of quilting.  If you’d like to follow along and sew one of your own and you are new to quilting, here are things I think you need to know about (or gain some small mastery over) before you start: the quarter inch seam, pressing vs. ironing, and nested seams.  These are pages on the ‘home’ section of this blog too if you get lost along the way.  And if you’re new to sewing machines, you might like this one as well, on setting sewing machine tension.

If you piece one of these mini trip around the world gems, let me know — send me a pic and I’ll post it here.  I can’t wait to see what color combinations you come up with.

Happy sewing all!