Modern Halves Quilt

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Hello again, everyone!  My name is Elizabeth Dackson from Don’t Call Me Betsy and I am so excited to share another Moda Bake Shop recipe with you all today!  When I first saw photos of Half Moon Modern, I positively fell in love.  I adore the bright, fun color palette of this collection and the fabulous prints, so I was super excited to get a chance to work with it.  If you make a quilt using this Modern Halves quilt tutorial, I’d love to see it in my Flickr group!


1 fat quarter bundle of 32 fat quarters or more
1 1/3 yd border fabric
2/3 yd binding fabric
4 1/4 yds backing fabric
74″ x 84′ batting


1. Begin by unwrapping your fat quarter bundle and sorting your fat quarters by main color.  Half Moon Modern has six different main colors, so I had a total of six piles.

2. Each fat quarter will create enough pieces for one entire block.  As we’ll be making a total of 32 blocks for this quilt, you will need to select a total of 32 fat quarters from your bundle to work with.  We’ll be mixing and matching the pieces we cut from each fat quarter to create a scrappy look for each block.

3. From each fat quarter, you will cut the following pieces:

                                                                                                              Qty          Size

1
4” square
2
1” x 4’
2
1” x 5”
2
1.5” x 5”
2
1.5” x 7”
2
2.5” x 7”
2
2.5” x 11”
2
1.5” x 11”
2
1.5” x 13”

Note: You can stack your fat quarters to maximize your cutting and save time!

4. Now that you’ve finished your cutting, we’ll get started by picking one 4″ square to start with, and then choosing your coordinating rings around your square.  First, select two 1″ x 4″ pieces and two 1″ x 5″ pieces for the first ring.  Next, select two 1.5″ x 5″ pieces and two 1.5″ x 7″ pieces for your second ring, followed by two 2.5″ x 7″ pieces and two 2.5″ x 11″ pieces for the third ring, and finally two 1.5″ x 11″ and two 1.5″ x 13″ pieces for the fourth and final ring.  Once you’re happy with your fabric choices, we’ll get started on sewing.

5. Let’s stitch your first block!  Using a scant quarter-inch seam, first stitch your two 1″ x 4″ rings to either side of your 4″ center square.

Press your seams open and then seam your 1″ x 5″ rings to finish your first ring.  Press seams open, then flip your block over and press again to ensure the seams lie nice and flat.

6. Next, do the same with the next rings, starting first with your 1.5″ x 5″ rings and then your 1.5″ x 7″ rings. Press all seams open, then flip your block over and press again to ensure the seams lie nice and flat.

7. Repeat with your final two rings, starting first with your 2.5″ wide pieces, then your 1.5″ pieces to finish your first block.

Use your 2.5″ wide pieces to create the third ring
Use your 1.5″ wide pieces to create the fourth ring

8. You now have completed your first block!  Repeat for all blocks.  I found once I finished the first block and got the hang of building these blocks, it worked best for me to chain-piece several blocks at once, first picking out my fabrics for multiple blocks.

9. After you have finished sewing all 32 blocks, let’s trim them uniformly.  If your scant quarter-inch seams and pressing skills are 100% perfect, your blocks will be 13″, but my blocks never are, so I trimmed each block down to 12.75″ for uniformity.  Once your blocks are trimmed, select one block to set aside out of the group.  We will use this block to create corner setting triangles for the quilt and cut it up first.  You’ll make two long cuts across the corners of this block as shown below, which will create a total of four triangles.  Set them aside for now.

10. With the remaining 31 blocks, you will cut along the diagonal of the block, from one corner to another, creating two perfectly symmetrical half square triangles.  Make sure to hold your ruler firmly and cut slowly to ensure an accurate cut.  Repeat for all blocks.

11. You will create a total of 62 half square triangles as a result of your cutting, and now comes the fun part – mixing and matching!

Pick one half square triangle to start with, and then pair it up with another half square triangle of another color.  For my first pairing, I chose one of my blue half square triangles and paired it with a red one for a fun contrast.

12. Once you have chosen a pair of half square triangles to pair together, stitch them together using a scant quarter-inch seam.  Go slowly to be sure to keep your seam allowances open.

Press your seams open, then flip the block over to press the seam fully open.  This will help the block lie flat in spite of the somewhat bulky seams.  Repeat for a total of 25 complete blocks.  Trim as necessary to 12.25″.

13. You will now have another 12 half square triangles remaining.  We will use these half square triangles for setting triangles along the sides of the finished quilt.

14. Time to lay out your quilt top, at last!  Gather all of your finished blocks as well as your 4 quarter square triangles and 12 half square triangles.  Below you’ll find a diagram to illustrate the layout for this quilt top.  The red letters in the corners indicate the placement of the quarter square triangles, with the numbers illustrating the placement of the 12 half square triangles.

Feel free to move blocks and triangles around until you’re happy with the layout.

15. Once you’re happy with your layout, it’s time to put these rows together.  Going back to the diagram above, it also illustrates the way to assemble the quilt top, in diagonal rows.  First stitch the blocks in each row together, pressing seams open as you go.  Once you’ve completed your rows, stitch the rows together in pairs, Row 1 to Row 2, Row 3 to Row 4, and Row 5 to Row 6.  Then, stitch Rows 1/2 to Rows 3/4 and Rows 5/6 to Row 7.  Finally, stitch these two large sets of rows together to complete the primary patchwork part of your quilt top.

16. Next, you can add borders to create a more rectangular quilt and to set off these fun blocks.  This border is entirely optional.  To create your borders, cut four 8″ x WOF strips and four 2.5″ x WOF strips.  Seam the 8″ strips together in pairs, creating two 8″ strips, and repeat for the 2.5″ strips as well.  Stitch the 2.5″ strips to the two long sides of the quilt, press seams open, then add the 8″ strips at the top and bottom of the quilt and press seams open again.

17. Ta da!  A finished quilt top!  Baste, quilt and bind as desired, and enjoy!!


One gorgeous 74″ x 84″ quilt

Happy sewing!

Elizabeth Dackson
Don’t Call Me Betsy

Elizabeth Dackson

Author and Blogger at Don't Call Me Betsy
My name is Elizabeth Dackson and I am a total fabric-a-holic and admitted fabric geek! After years of working in hospitals teaching doctors and medical professionals how to use technology in their lectures and talks, I found myself searching for a hobby after my son was born, and I found fabric and fell in love.
Currently, I design quilt patterns and enjoy quilting as a creative outlet as well. I taught myself to sew in 2010, after buying a sewing machine on a whim at Jo-Ann's, in an attempt to cultivate a new hobby. Little did I know I'd be fueling a full-on addiction! I love all things fabric, but I gravitate most to making quilts.

My work has been seen in Quilt magazine, Quiltmaker, International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene, Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Quilts from 100 Blocks, Quilty, Easy Quilts, Modern Quilts Unlimited, Fat Quarterly, Moda Bake Shop and Sew Mama Sew.

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