Lap Quilt “In a Jiffy”

My name is Kari Ramsay and I am the designer of Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co. I am new to the world of posting Tutorials here, and it is a great pleasure of mine to bring you this one. This is a great lap quilt to make when you need a gift or a fun project in a jiffy! It goes together very quickly, and I think you are going to love it!


1 Arcadia Layer Cake or a different equally cute Layer Cake!
1/2 yard Binding
3 yards backing fabric

6 1/2″ Acrylic square ruler
Mary Ellen’s Spray Starch or other spray starch product

1. Separate your Layer Cake into two stacks of light and dark fabrics. Some may not be considered a ‘dark’ fabric, but if the color has a strong contrast to the light fabrics it will work great.
2. Choose 12 of the light fabric 10″ squares, and 12 dark fabric 10″ squares. Set aside.
3. The remaining 16 squares will be used for the outer border.
4. Take one light and one dark square and place them with right sides together. Pin around the squares in several places to secure the squares.
5. Sew the squares together on one side with a 1/4″ seam.
Then continue to sew around the squares until all four sides have been sewn.

6. Spray both sides of the square with Mary Ellen’s Spray Starch and press the block. This will help keep your bias edges from stretching or moving in the next steps.
7. Take your long acrylic ruler and line it up to cut the square block diagonally from corner to corner. Then make one more diagonal cut from the opposite corner to corner. This will yield four Half Square Triangles that are identical.

Press the seams toward the darker fabric. Repeat steps 4-7 with the remaining squares.
8. Trim the Half Square Triangles (HST’s) to 6 1/2″ square if necessary. (I did not trim mine and all of the blocks came out just right for me.)
9. Choose 4 different Half Square Triangles. Place two of the HST’s with the right sides of the darker fabric facing. Pin into place. Sew a 1/4″ along the raw edge. Repeat with the remaining two HST’s. Press the seams in opposite directions.

Be careful not to push or pull on the triangles when they are moving through your machine. Let your feed dogs do all the work and you won’t have any trouble with the fabric stretching. Also, be sure with these blocks not to use your thread cutter on the side of your machine- that will stress the fabric in the wrong directions.

With these blocks you will be placing all of the darker fabrics to face the center of the block.

10. Place the two halves of the block with right sides together and pin in place along the raw edge. Sew the two halves of the block together. Press the seam.
11. Repeat with the remaining HST’s to create 12 blocks measuring 12 1/2″ square.
12. Sew the blocks together into 4 rows of 3 blocks each.
13. Take the 16 squares set aside for the border and cut each square into (4) 2 1/2″ x 10″ pieces.

14. Pair up different border pieces and sew them together along the 10″ length of the pieces. Press the seam.
15. Sew 5 of these border segments together on the 4 1/2″ side end to end to create one long border piece. Repeat and make one more with 5 border segments, and two more with 7 border segments in each. These are your borders.

16. Measure the quilt horizontally from side to side to determine the top and bottom border lengths. Cut the two borders with 5 segments to that length. Pin and sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt top.
17. Measure the quilt top through the center vertically to determine the side border measurements. Cut the remaining two borders to that length and pin and sew them to the quilt top. Press the seams and you are all done with the piecing! Quilt and bind and enjoy!

1 Lap quilt measuring 45″ x 58″

Thanks for checking out my tutorial and if you want to check out my blog or website, that would be great too!
A special thanks to the great folks at Moda/United Notions for all of your support!

0 comments on “Lap Quilt “In a Jiffy”

  1. jaybird says:

    kari this is soo cute!! at first i was wondering where this was going sewing all the sides together.. but then voila! i'm adding this to my post-market to do list!

  2. madrekarin says:

    That's adorable!! And such a clever way to get the four half-square triangles. I learn something new every time I check in here.

  3. linzipoo says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I love fast and easy tips and tricks like this.

  4. Marcia says:

    Very cool concept. I want to try it with charms too. I know it would be tiny blocks. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. JG says:

    That is a neat technique! Thanks for sharing. It will come in very handy!

  6. Barbara McD says:

    Love the tutorial and the quilt! Nice job!

  7. Elsa says:

    took me a second to figure out where it was all going and once I did I can hardly wait till I get the fabric and make one! or even several! great tutorial!

  8. What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing.

  9. cre8tivelle says:

    I can't wait to try this! I love the technique for sewing triangles, a shape I've been avoiding! Thanks!

  10. Emily says:

    I absolutely love this pattern! I can't wait to try it out. Thanks!

  11. wyndesnow says:

    I never would have thought to get half square triangles that way. Thanks for sharing such a great tip!

    Oh and I LOVE the quilt!

  12. Love it! I want to hurry and make one to take to market with me…a little snuggle quilt!

  13. Sandy says:

    Wow, what a cool way to make a block! I definitely will be trying this method soon…even have a couple layer cakes just waiting!

  14. carole ann says:

    Kari, reading this you just get one of those DUH!!!!!moments. What a great idea. Cannot wait to try this.
    Thanks for sharing and I will certainly check out your website and blog.

  15. Whosies says:

    kari, i love it. great job on the first tutorial!!!

  16. Holley says:

    That is a really cool technique. Thanks for sharing it.

  17. I could just run over there and kiss you for this tutorial! I have a layer cake of Aviary that I wanted to use for my in-laws, and I was thinking HSTs, but didn't want to cut the layer cakes into quarters before sewing. This is perfect! Can't wait to get started.

  18. Elsa says:

    Saw your tutorial when it came out … was working on another quilt (I saw this one on Moda Bake Shop too), so I couldn't try it till tonight. It works perfectly. Did one small square. I am so impressed and excited to get fabric to make “In a Jiffy”!
    thank you so much for the tutorial!

  19. Sherry says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome tutorial. Can't wait to try it with one of my layer cakes. Love how yours turned out!

  20. Wow Kari – great idea- i saw something kind of similiar – yet different and not near as cute or easy in a quilt magazine – anyway – i looked at this a few dys ago, and had been thinking of the waterrs edge layer cake i won from somewhere when i first started hopping from blog to blog – anywayhad cut into a fe pieces for applique -but last night found myself sitting at my koal cabinet (in the wee hours of the morn ) pulling and separating lights and darks from this layer cakje! Im definetly going to do it – i just migh cahnge it up and add one more block eaxch way -(have to see if i will have enough for borders then, per your instruction, which I now have printed out)and might add applique -some wildy big flower or two???or not – will have fun trying this new method and using this beautiful fabric – oh the startch is what scares me – i know it is becasue of the bias – but i wonder if it is really necessary if im careful – i dont even like the sizing in some fabrics, and am a pre washer??? hmm to startch or not to starch???????

    Tami C

  21. Kevin says:


    I just sat down to make this quilt. I have a question about the number of squares remaining for the outer border. There are 36 squares in a charm pack. You use 12 light and 12 dark squares (total 24). The remaining number of squares are 12. However, you mention twice that the remaining number for the outside border should be 16. Did you mean 12 or 16?

    Many thanks,