Castles on the Horizon Quilt

MBS Cover

Hi! I’m Michele and I blog over at Crayon Box Quilt Studio (formerly known as Quilts From My Crayon Box). I’m truly excited to be sharing with you my first Moda Bake Shop project.  This idea came about when I had one of those light bulb moments a couple of months ago. I was flipping through a quilt block book, came upon a Castles in Spain block and thought it would be the perfect block to use with Kate Spain’s Horizon line.  I’ve named this quilt Castles on the Horizon and yes I love the play on words.  This quilt was a challenge to see if I could make the blocks only using Half Square Triangles instead of the typical Flying Geese and although it does take a bit of effort, the results were definitely worth it.  I hope you like my Castles on the Horizon Quilt and I’d love to see your completed versions.

4 Moda Horizon by Kate Spain Charm Packs
3 Bella Solid White Charm Packs or 2 yards cut into 96  5″ x 5″ squares
1 yards Bella Bleached White (inner border)
3/4 yard Horizon Earth Ocean (binding)
5 1/2 yards backing



An important note before you begin: I highly recommend that you press all seams open for this project. There will be quite a bit of bulk in some of the seams when sewing parts of the block together and pressing all of your seams open will help minimize that as much as possible. And to ensure that your block seams do not come unraveled as you are working with them, I also recommend back tacking at the start and end of each seam.


Each Castles in Spain block requires:

6 print charms in the same colorway

2 charms in a contrasting colorway for the corners

8 White charms

Sort your charms into the groupings you wish, making sure that the 2 charms for the corners strongly contrast with the charms for the rest of the block.  Here are my groupings. I used 6 charms in the same color way for each block plus the 2 charms of the same print in a different color way which will be the corners. You will need groupings for 12 blocks and the remaining 72 print charms should be put aside.  They will be used for the outer border. For the blocks you will need a total of 96 printed charms and 96 white charms


You will begin by making 96 Half Square Triangle (HST) blocks. On each of the White charms, draw a line from corner to corner with your preferred marking tool. I use a purple disappearing marker.


Pair up each of the White charms with a print charm and using the drawn line as your guide sew a seam 1/4″ to the left of the line. Chain piecing is a fast way to complete this step.


Turn the charms around so the stitch line you just completed is on your right and again using the drawn line as a guide sew another seam 1/4″ to the left of the line. Again with more chain piecing, you will have this done in no time.


Using a ruler and your rotary cutter, cut each HST apart on the drawn line, down the center of your two lines of stitching.


Press the seam open both on the back and then on the front, taking care not to distort the bias edges.


Trim and square up your blocks to measure 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.


Before sewing the HST blocks together, layout your pieces to check for correct orientation and color placement.  Use your preferred method to pair up/mark/stack each pair of blocks for sewing.


Nest the two centers of the ends of the HST and pin in place.


Sew each pair together using a 1/4″ seam, taking care to not let the back seams fold over.


Again press all of the seams open.


Careful pressing of the blocks will ensure they fit together better in the future steps.


To make sure you haven’t accidentally turned a block in the wrong direction while sewing it to its mate, again lay out your pieces to check for correct orientation and color placement. Ask my why I recommend this 🙂


Match up the center corners of the HST to match up the seam lines and then sew together the two double HST pairs to complete each row.


Once more, double check the placement before sewing the rows together.


Then sew row 1 to row 2 and row 3 to row 4 and then sew the 2 halfs of the block together.


Go slow when sewing through the intersecting seam of the 4 HSTs since this area will have a bit of bulk.


This is the completed block.  It should measure 16 1/2″ square.


Make 12 blocks.  Layout your blocks in a pleasing design and sew the blocks into 4 rows of 3 blocks each, matching up the seams as you did before.


Sew the rows together, row 1 to row 2 and row 3 to row 4 and finally sew the 2 halfs of the quilt top together to form the quilt center. It should now measure 48″ x 64″.


From the Bella White yardage cut 8 strips 4 1/2″ by the WOF for the inner border. Piece together 2 strips, trim to 64″ long and sew to one side of the quilt.  Repeat on the other side.  Piece together 2 more strips, trim to 56″ and sew to the top of the quilt.  Repeat on the bottom.  Your quilt now should measure 56″ x 72″.

To make your final border you will make 68 HSTs from your remaining charms. I wanted to do a specifically color planned border and you can choose to do the same if you’d like.


To plan out my borders I actually found it easier to cut my charms in half on the diagonal to create triangles and then I was able to move the pieces around as I wanted in order to create the color plan I was going for.

You could also create your borders in either 1) a scrappy HST layout or 2) a planned color layout placing the same 2 colors/prints next to each other to create the large triangles.  It is totally up to you.

Each side border will require 18 HSTs and the top and bottom border will require 16 HSTs each for a total of 68 HSTs. You should have 4 charms left over. If you used triangles like I did to plan your borders, sew each of the 2 the pieces into HST blocks and then double check your placement and orientation by laying them out before sewing the blocks into rows.  Attach the 2 side borders first and then attach your top and bottom borders and you are done.


Layer your quilt top with batting and quilt as desired.


A beautiful Caribbean inspired measuring 64″ x 80″.


Michele Kuhns
{Crayon Box Quilt Studio}

Michele Kuhns

Michele Kuhns

Quilter, Designer and Fabricaholic at Crayon Box Quilt Studio
In 2006 while we waiting to bring home our daughter from China, I learned of the 600+ year old Northern China tradition of making a 100 Good Wishes Quilt to welcome the child into the family. During the long 4 year wait for her, we also brought home our son from Vietnam and I decided to make the quilts (one for our son too) myself. I taught myself how to make my first quilt and was immediately hooked. That was 5 years ago and at that time I would have never dreamed of where my quilting would bring me to today. I am now designing my own patterns that I will be making available soon and look forward to the new opportunities that are to come. My kids, now almost 8 and almost 6 keep me very busy and in between I get to create with fabric.
Michele Kuhns

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12 comments on “Castles on the Horizon Quilt

  1. Audrey says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. Kate Spain’s Horizon is one of my all time favourite collections. I love what you have done with it, Michele. This is definitely on my to do list. I have the fabric already so I will just need some time after the Christmas sewing is done.

  2. CruiseFan says:

    Absolutely fantastic! These are just MY colors, I have so many fabrics of that color palette – and your beautiful quilt is another way to tell me: use up these fabrics!
    This will definitely be on my list for next year – first comes Christmas and then cruising and then….
    Thanks a lot for sharing this great tutorial.

  3. kathyinmn says:

    Stunning! Browsing blogs this morning and had to pop over here to say WOW. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous quilt and pattern with us!

  4. Jo says:

    Beautiful quilt, very soothing colors. I am going to use my stash fabrics as I have so many, but I think this pattern will turn out great with anything I use.

  5. pamela says:

    Very beautiful, will be on my bucket list. I’m also itching to use some holiday fabric I purchased and I think it would look great in this pattern. I’ll have to think about that…..

  6. Logan Mack says:

    It’s great the way the quilt blends and yet also has patterns that stand out when you look again. I’m adding this to my project list. It’s wonderful.

  7. konawaterry says:

    Your an inspiration , I have had this Katie Spain fabric for a few months and had no idea how I was going to use it. Thank you for a beautiful quilt

  8. My first and continuing reaction is… WOW!
    That is stunningly beautiful! Thank you… It’s going on my Must Make List.

  9. Susan says:

    Your quilt is beautiful and congratulations on your adoptions. God bless.

  10. Claudia says:

    This is fabulous and I admit that the day it came on the Bakeshop I ordered the fabric and plan to stitch it up as soon as the holiday is over. Thank you for a fabulous design that makes me happy!

  11. Judith Blinkenberg says:

    I love this! I’m working on getting the charm packs!! Fantastic quilt!!

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