Portrait Gallery Quilt

Sherbet Pips!

My absolute, most highly-anticipated fabric this season has been Aneela Hoey’s Sherbet Pips.  They are ADORABLE.  Full of personality, clear soft pinks and grays, and having what I can only describe as a dreamy quality, the Pips (as they are called in my house) are excellent at providing creative inspiration!  They beg to be fussy cut, and the scarf prints would love to be made into bias binding, frame log cabin blocks, or serve as interesting mitered borders.  I could go on and on about these Sherbet Pips but let’s get to the recipe!

This recipe is for one 80×80 quilt which is about the right size for a double bed. 

9 Fat Quarters of your favorite feature fabrics for inside the frames

2 1/4 yd background fabric – I used Moda Bella White 9900-98

2 1/2 yd “frame” fabric – I used Moda Washed Black 9900-118 but it would look great with Gray also!

4 2/3 yd backing fabric – I used the gray Pip puppies 18502-16

2/3 yd binding fabric – I used scraps of some of the other prints

Batting at least 82×82 which is a Full Size if you’re buying it packaged


Before we start cutting, you may want to change your rotary cutter blade!  There is quite a bit of cutting involved.  Most of it starts with 2.5″ strips so if you have an Accuquilt Go! cutter, dust that baby off ;-)  I went ahead and did it with my rotary cutting tools. 

Cutting Instructions:
Be sure to pay attention to squaring your fabric as you’re cutting strips.  After cutting several strips, check to be sure your edge is still square. 

When cutting the fat quarters, you need to be really careful about which direction your pattern is going.  You want a total of 25 squares – 13 cut with the pattern running vertically and 12 cut horizontally.  You will see what I mean in the pictures.

From each fat quarter you will cut two “horizontal” pieces and two “vertical pieces” each measuring 10.5″x6.5″.  Here are some detailed cutting instructions based on how I did it. 
Start by folding the FQ in half “selvage to selvage”.  Obviously, it is missing one selvage so you’re actually folding it selvage to middle.  Lay it out with the fold close to you and cut into a width of  10.5″ and then a width of 6.5″.  The sliver all the way to the left is scrap.

Next turn the cutting mat 90 degrees.  Cut off the fold in a small sliver and continue to trim each piece into 10.5″x6.5″ rectangles.  When you’re finished you’ll have four.
I thought it would be super-confusing rather helpful if my pictures showed random fabrics in each picture.
The left-most pieces are scrap:

Okey-doke.  Now comes the fun part.  Take your ginormous piece of Moda Bella White (or whatever background fabric you’re using) and fold selvage to selvage so you’re cutting strips the WOF (width of fabric).
Cut 5 strips 4.5″ wide.
Then subcut each strip into 9 squares 4.5″x4.5″ for a total of 45 squares.  You’ll use 40.
Go back to your huge piece of background (white) and cut 26 strips 2.5″ wide.

Subcut 3 of those strips into 3 lengths of 14.5″ each.
Subcut 1 of those strips into 1 length of 14.5″ and (8) 2.5″ squares.
Subcut 4 of those strips into 4 lengths of 10.5″ each.
Subcut 8 of those strips into 9 lengths of 4.5″ each.
Subcut 2 of those strips into (16) 2.5″ squares each.
Leave the remaining 8 strips untouched.  They will be used in the border.
Next take your Moda Bella Washed Black (or whatever Frame fabric you’ve chosen) and cut (35) 2.5″ strips.  Set 25 of them aside for the frames. 
Subcut 5 strips into (16) 2.5″ squares each.
Subcut 5 strips into (9) 4.5″ lengths each.
Backing: cut in half so you have two pieces 2 1/3 yds x WOF.
Binding: cut (8) 2.5″ strips x WOF.
Piecing Directions:
The key to getting this going at a decent pace is Chain Piecing.  For those of you unfamiliar with chain piecing, it is a bit like an assembly line.  Piece all of your pieces back-to-back without cutting your machine thread and starting over.  Here is an example of chain piecing:
Let’s start by taking the long frame strips (I used black) and framing the feature fabric rectangles.  I didn’t measure this out.  I pinned, sewed, pressed, and trimmed one side then started the next until the entire frame was completed.  Here is the process:
Once you’ve completed framing your feature fabrics, set them aside.  We will work on the sashing bars next.
First let’s make (20) Block A, (20) of Block B, and we already have (10) Block C cut and ready:
To make Block A take (2) 4.5″ white squares, (1) 2.5″x4.5″ white piece, and (2) 2.5″x4.5″ black pieces.  Sew them together in the order you see above and repeat until you have (20) Block A’s.
To make Block B take (2) 2.5″x4.5″ white pieces, (1) 2.5″ white square, and (2) 2.5″x4.5″ black squares.  Using the photo above, piece them together to complete (20) Block B units.
The final sashing unit is a very long skinny strip called Block D:
Make (4) Block D units:  Each uses (2) 2.5″x4.5″ white pieces, (10) 2.5″ black squares, (5) 2.5″ white squares, and (4) 10.5″ white pieces.
The next step is to create your layout.  Use your feature framed pieces to find a pleasing layout of 5 rows of 5.  You will be alternating horizontal and vertical blocks like this:
The upper-right-hand corner should be a vertical block.  My black & white border collie thought she really needed to be a part of this black & white quilt!
Next it’s time to insert the sashing to create rows.  Here is the top left block:
Moving across, here is the next block:
And the next:
Ultimately, creating this top row:

Ok, from here on out, the layout is easier to see than to explain.  Basically, you’re using Block B and sometimes Block C (on outer edges) to sash horizontal blocks.  Use Block A and sometimes Block C (on outer edge) to sash vertical frame blocks.  Once you begin attaching blocks to form rows, you will include the long Block D sashing strip between rows.  Here is layout:
Now sew your 8 background border strips (I used white) into pairs and attach to each side and top and bottom to complete the quilt top:
Whew!  Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.  Then grab your backing fabric ;-)  Once it’s cut into two pieces, right sides together and sew down one selvege edge using enough seam allowance to trim off your selvage.  Press that seam.
Find your favorite helper (ie, tape dispenser) and baste:
Now, I’m going to be honest here and say that basting is a, ahem, challenge.  If you use black and white fabric like I did, there might be a smidgy-poo of black threads showing through your white fabric, clinging to your batting, etc.  Trim as much as you can and then just get over it and move on LOL.  Remember about the Amish leaving mistakes in their quilts to remember to stay humble.  I dedicate many of my “special touches” to the Amish.
Quilt.  Bind.  I used my remaining Fat Quarters to create scrappy binding.

Enjoy the Pips!
1 Portrait Gallery Quilt about 80″x80″
Please be sure to stop by my blog http://www.frecklemama.com/ to check out how great Sherbet Pips look on a gray background as well as joining a Spring Quilt Along using your favorite Moda Charm Packs and one of my favorite Moda free patterns!  Happy Sewing :-)
Chris Warnick

Chris Warnick

Blogger and Organizer at The Stash Bash
A pattern designer and organizer of the fun sewing retreat, The Stash Bash, Chris Warnick is a prolific quilter. Follow her blog at frecklemama.com.

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