Marmalade Squares (Two!) Quilt

Author's Note: Thanks to readers who found errors in the tutorial. They have been fixed on the website but not pdf download.  I will post here when the download has been fixed. Apologies and thanks. 

A note from Oda May: Marmalade Squares is a popular name! I've called this version Marmalade Squares (Two!) so we won't be confuse it with the first Marmalade Squares Quilt.

My name is Katie Blakesley and I blog at Swim, Bike,Quilt, and I'm sharing my Marmalade Squares quilt with you today. Marmalade, by Bonnie & Camille, is a bit of a flashback, I know! I started this quilt last fall while I was co-writing a book (Vintage Quilt Revival) and I'm so happy to be sharing the tutorial today. I backed the quilt in one of the lovely soft flannels from the line, which adds to the calm, cozy nature of this quilt. 

Marmalade Squares is charm pack friendly and fun to sew—it would be a great baby gift or a charity quilt (just wrapped up 100 Quilts for Kids 2013 on my blog-- maybe you will join us next year?)

And just a note--I have included very specific instructions here, but this would be a fun quilt to "wing it" a bit with, and do a bit of improv piecing, if you are so inclined.

2 Charm Packs
1 ½  yards neutral Moda Bella Sand or other neutral solid (9900 201)

2 ½ yards backing fabric
1 ¼ yards batting (or 44’’ x 50’’ piece of batting)
3/8 yard Stripe in Raspberry for binding (55054 12) 

Note: You may be able to use 1 charm pack + a little bit of coordinating fabric from the backing or your stash if you would like--the extra charms also work great as a stripe on the quilt back. For more ideas on quilt backs, see "The Other Side of the Quilt," a linky party. 


1. Cut solid fabric according to the chart below. I suggest cutting the longest pieces first.

2. Choose 25 five inch charm squares to make the central patchwork square, which measures 23’’ x 23’’ (unfinished). Arrange them in a grid of 5 squares by 5 squares. Sew the top row of squares together, and press seams to the right. 

3. Sew the second row of squares together and press to the left. Repeat with the third row (press to the right), fourth row (press to the left) and fifth row (press to the right).

4. Place the top and second rows right sides together, and pin at each seam intersection. Sew the two rows together, and press well. 

5. Continue pinning, sewing, and pressing the rows until you have a 5 x 5 grid. 

6. Cut 15 + charm squares in half. (You may need more or less charms, depending on how scrappy you want the quilt to look).

7. Cut the 30 (+) charm halves as follows:
    Cut some charm halves into 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ rectangles, and discard the remaining .5’’ x 2.5’’ rectangle.
    Cut some charm halves into 2.5’’ x 3.5’’ rectangles and 1.5’’ x 2.5’’ rectangles.
    Cut at least 10 charm halves in half again, leaving you with (20) 2.5’’ x 2.5’’ squares.
    Cut some charm halves into 2.5’’ x 3’’ rectangles and 2’’ x 2.5’’ rectangles.

8.  Set aside six 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ strips and eight 2.5’’ x 2.5’’ squares for the top left part of the quilt.

9. Piece the remaining charm square pieces into strips.  You will need 2 strips that are 2.5’’ x 37.5’’ and 2 strips that are 2.5’’ x 30’’.

Note: You can piece the strips together and trim them to the desired length.

Putting Together the Quilt Top

Piece the Center Portion

1. Arrange the pieced “center” square (A) and strip B and C as shown below.  

2. Place B (7.5’’ x 23’’) and A right sides together, pin if necessary, sew, and press.

3. Place C right sides together with AB, pin if necessary (I suggest in the center, at the two ends, and intermittently throughout), sew, and press.

4. Place D right sides together with ABC, pin, sew, and press.

Piece the Left Side of the Quilt
Note: This is not how I pieced it, but it will result in a cleaner look, and if I was remaking this quilt, I would piece it this way.

1. Choose eight 2.5’’ x 2.5’’ charm squares and one solid center square the same size to make the nine patch at the top left corner of the quilt. Sew the nine patch together, the top row, then the center row, then the bottom row. Press well. Pin the top and center row together, sew, and press. Pin the bottom row to the rectangle, sew and press well. The 9 patch square will measure 6.5'' x 6.5''.

2. Continue to build the upper left corner of the quilt—see diagram below for layout.  Sew “Row 1” together as shown and press.  

3. Sew together two 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ charm rectangles with one solid 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ rectangle in the center as shown below, and sew it to the left side of the 9 patch square. 

4. Repeat step 3, and sew it to the right side of the charm square. Note: You can also piece charm strips together to make a 2.5’’ x 4.5’’ strip as shown on the right side of the diagram, if you prefer a very scrappy look. 

5. Pin Row 1 and the extended 9 patch rectangle right sides together, making sure to match intersecting seams, pin, sew, and press. 
6. Place strip E (4.5’’ x 37.5’’) and F (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 37.5’’) right sides together, pin, sew, and press. Sew strip G (2.5’’ x 37.5’’) and strip H (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 37.5’’) right sides together, pin, sew, and press. Sew EF to GH. Press well. Sew EFGH to I. Press well.

7. Pin the top half of the left side (includes the 9 patch square) to the bottom half of the left side (just sewn above). Be sure to match intersecting seams, pin, sew, and press. Set aside. 

Piece the Top Right Half of the Quilt

1.  Place strip J (solid 4.5’’ x 30’’ strip) right sides together with strip K (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 30’’), pin, sew, and press.

2. Repeat with strip L (solid 2.5’’ x 30’’ strip) and M (pieced strip 2.5’’ x 30.5’’), pin, sew, and press.

3. Pin and sew JK and LM together, press well. 

Piece the Quilt Top
1. Pin the piece just sewn (JKLM) to the center square (ABCD), and sew. Press well. 

2. Piece the left side of the quilt top (EFGHI) to the right side of the quilt top. Take care to pin the intersecting seams at the top and match points. Sew together. Press. Voila! Quilt top is finished!

Finishing the Quilt
1. Cut six 2.5’’ x width of fabric strips. Join them together, and bind according to your favorite method. [I have a machine binding tutorial on my blog that I used].

2. Baste your quilt top, batting, and quilt back and quilt using your favorite method. I used a serpentine stitch on my Bernina; you could also do something similar with a free hand free motion quilting stitch. Bind the quilt, and do a happy dance! You made it.

The finished quilt top measures 44.5'' x 47.5'' -- it has been rounded up for convenience.

Note on quilting this quilt—as you can see, it is easy to “pull” the charm pack chains as you quilt the quilt. If you are doing horizontal or vertical quilting (in contrast to an all over free motion design), make sure to quilt a few lines from top to bottom, then a few lines starting at the bottom and going to the top, alternating often so you don’t “pull” the quilt. 

Thanks, and I would love to have you visit me at Swim, Bike, Quilt!

Quilt measures 45’’ x 48’’

Katie Blakesley
{Swim, Bike,Quilt


KaHolly said...

Dee-lightful tutorial for a sweet quilt~~ I have a Marmalade Charm Pack just sitting here, waiting to be made into something dee-licious!! This just might be it! Thanks, Katie!

CruiseFan said...

This is really nice and a cute idea that can easily be adjusted to any size needed.
Thanks for sharing.

Katie said...

Thanks KaHolly. I hope you make one!

JanetD said...

Love Love Love this!!! I have leftovers of several of the fabrics from this line and this would be a perfect way to use them! Thanks for sharing! Another one to put on my growing to-do list!

Lisas Mom said...

So cute, fresh and modern. Perfect use for my charm packs. This is going to the top of my list. Thanks SBQ! :)

Amy DeCesare said...

I really {heart} this quilt! It's just the right combination of simple and innovative, and it looks like fun to make!

Katie said...

Thanks, everyone!

Jan said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. This is just what I have been looking for.

Kinga Izabella said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! I love this pattern, quick, easy, beautiful! yes!

Cathy said...

I was so excited to make this with my granddaughter that was home sick from school. She loves Gracies and I had a charm pack so we set out to make it. Mathematically it does not work out when we followed all your instructions. We made several adjustments and it worked out, and ours turned out a little larger which is fine. We love the quilt, but the instructions need to be fine tuned.

Barbara Martin said...

I've bought a few charm packs (I'm very much a newby) and this is exactly what I'm going to do with them. THANKS so much. Love it.

Jannis Sherman said...

I agree with Cathy...this quilt does work out as the pattern state. I am an experienced quilter and I made several adjustments to make this pattern work. This is an adorable pattern when finished.

strongstitches said...

I also had some problems when I made this quilt on the weekend. I found that one charm pack was not quite enough to complete the strip piecing as instructed. Also some of the measurements didn't work out and adjustments had to be made.

That being said, I love the quilt design and after some tweeking, my quilt turned out very cute. Please fine tune the instructions for future users.

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

Super cute design Katie!

Donna Rotoloni said...

I love the quilt, but mine also did not work out to your measurements. I checked and rechecked. My advice would be to buy 2 charm packs, and you will then have leftovers, rather than not enough fabric.

Katie said...

I am so sorry everyone. I made this quilt twice, so I'm not sure where I went wrong. I will work on fixing it as soon as possible--I didn't see the comments until someone posted it on the Aurifil Facebook page and someone let me know it was posted there. Please send me a note if you made this and have any specific comments. Many apologies.

Katie said...

The tutorial has been updated and quadruple checked. I am so very apologetic (and embarrassed) that it was incorrect and glad someone alerted me to these comments. Apologies.

diane said...

The pattern on the website says 2 charm packs, but the printer friendly version says 1. From the directions it seems that 1 would be enough as long as you have 40 - correct?

Katie said...

Hi Diane-- due to some feedback, I fixed some mistakes in the original pattern this morning (10/31). I wrote a note at the top of the post that said that the new printer file hasn't been uploaded yet, so please don't use that version of the printer file! A few people said that they weren't able to make it with just one charm pack--if you would like, you could buy 1 charm pack and then supplement any extra you might need with fabric from your stash. thanks!

Moda Fabrics said...

Note from Oda May - the updated Printer Friendly Version is now available. See link at bottom of post.

Terri Jones said...

Katie, I made it and LOVE my new lap quilt! Thanks for the great tutorial.

Ecrazy Mcrazy said...

I made this quilt as instructions state.... the pattern is wrong. 4.5 piece does not match up with a 2.5 piece. there needs to be a pattern correction.

Brenna said...

I made this as well, and it turned out adorably. But the photo does not match up with the instructions - in the photo, patchwork is in the upper portion of the background, while the instructions place it in the lower. Regardless, it's a cute pattern, but as written it is not the same as the photo.