Today I am going to share with you my pattern for a Huskers houndstooth quilt. The weather is getting a little colder outside and on those cooler days, it so nice to snuggle up with a quilt and a book.
I made this quilt for a Nebraska Huskers fan as a present for a homemade Christmas gift exchange. We used to do this homemade Christmas gift exchange on my family’s side. Unfortunately as families got bigger, everyone’s lives got busier too. Some people did not have the time to do the homemade part of the exchange anymore. I loved doing it though because it actually prompted me to learn many new skills, including the quilting that I do now. 🙂 Plus, the best part was giving away a really meaningful gift that you put a lot of thought and hard work into. I think it means way more than just going to the store and buying something.
I wanted a pattern that would go well with the Huskers red, white and black colors so I decided on a houndstooth pattern, which I loved anyway. After searching the internet for a houndstooth quilt pattern, I came across one but you had to buy it. Being the frugal person that I am, I figured it does not look that hard so I will just figure it out myself. Well it was a little harder than I thought, but after a bit of figuring, I came up with a plan. Here is my hand drawn pattern for the throw sized quilt that I followed. The finished size of this quilt is 51” x 63”.
After I came up with the pattern, we decided that we loved the houndstooth pattern so much that we wanted to make one for ourselves. So I was actually making two of these quilts at the same time! Trust me, that was a lot of pieces to cut and sew. I think my eyes were crossing by the time I was done. Ha!
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For this project you will need:
- 2.5 yards of 100% cotton black fabric
- 2.5 yards of 100% cotton white fabric
- One fat quarter red fabric (for the Huskers Logo)
- 3 yards of fabric for backing – I used a red handkerchief looking material to match the red of the logo
- Batting – amounts will differ depending on the size of the batting, some come in 90” (inches) wide and some in 45” – I use Warm & Natural batting
- Sewing machine
- Cutting mat, rotary cutter and 24″ ruler – this is optional, you can just use scissors to cut your fabric but this makes cutting fabric so much easier!
- 6 inch square ruler
- Tear away stabilizer
- Fusible webbing
The first step whenever you are making a quilt or sewing anything is to wash and dry your fabric. This fabric is 100% cotton and it WILL shrink. You do not want it to shrink after you have sewn everything together. Also there are extra chemicals and possibly extra dye on the fabric that are good to wash out beforehand. After the fabric is dried, it will desperately need to be ironed. Use lots and lots of steam to get those wrinkles out!
As you can see from my pattern above, there will be 17 squares across the width and 21 squares down the length. You will need to cut 3.5” squares out the the black and white fabric. In total, you will need 80 black squares and 99 white squares. The finished size of the squares after the quilt top is sewn together will be 3” (figuring in using a ¼” seam allowance). It is always a good idea to cut a couple extra just in case your cutting is off on some. That has never happened to me though. 😉 Just try to be as accurate as possible when cutting and sewing your ¼” seam allowance, it is amazing how quickly being a little bit off adds up to a lot of bit off in the end!
You will need to cut strips of black and white fabric 1⅝” wide. The standard width for most cotton fabric is 44” wide. I figured out that I could get 7 diagonal squares out of one black and one white 44” strips. The pattern calls for 178 diagonal squares, so you will need to cut about 26 strips of black and white fabric. Again, cut a few extra, just in case.
The black and white diagonal striped squares are made from sewing one black and one white strip together. After pressing the seams, cut the strips into 45° triangles using the handy 45° line on your 6” square ruler. After you have all the triangles cut, you will match them right sides together with the opposite colors touching together. Sew the triangles together, open and press the seams. When pressing my seams, I iron my seams facing the dark fabric, otherwise you will be able to see the seam through the white fabric.
After your diagonal squares are sewn, you will want to ‘square them up’ to 3.5”. This means that your quilt block may be slightly larger than the unfinished size of 3.5” or slightly off of 90° square. Using your square ruler, you will make sure each corner is 90° and trim off any extra to get you exactly to 3.5” square. Hopefully they are not under 3.5” square but I will admit some of mine were by a bit. Shhhhhh!
One tip when sewing the stripes and triangles is to chain sew a bunch one after another, so you don’t have to clip a lot of threads. Then after you have a good pile built up, just cut the threads that join them together. You can get more done faster using this method as well.
Following the pattern, you will want to start making quilt blocks of 9 squares. Always refer to the pattern to make sure you have the diagonal squares facing the right direction, it is easy to get them screwed up. I know, I had to take apart a couple of quilt blocks…lol. I started off sewing them in rows and then sewing the rows together, but on my 2nd quilt I decided to sew them piecing 4 of the blocks together then sewing those bigger blocks together to form the quilt top. That was much easier to try to match up my seams. Otherwise sewing a big long seam is hard to do when you have lots of smaller pieces. Your pieces don’t line up very well by the end of the line, or at least mine don’t. 🙂
After the quilt top is pieced together, you can sew on the Huskers logo. You can also just leave it as a houndstooth quilt at this point too.
Download the pattern for the Huskers logo here.
We cut out the pattern on our Cricut, but I just suggest printing it out, cutting it out by hand and tracing it onto your fusible webbing backing. In hindsight, we probably should not have used the Cricut for fabric because it left a bunch of little fabric “hairs” on our sticky mat which made it not so sticky anymore. Cut loosely around the pattern on the fusible webbing (do not cut directly on the traced line at this point) and using a dry setting, iron the fusible webbing onto the wrong side of the red/black fabric. Now you will cut out the pattern on the traced line. Always remember to reverse your printed image when you are using fusible webbing so when you iron that onto the wrong side of your fabric, you will end up with the correct image on the right side of your fabric.
I ironed on a tear away stabilizer to embroider the Husker logo. As you can see from some of the pictures, I used a practice piece first to get used to going around the edges and also to determine what size stitch I needed to use. I did a satin stitch (using the zigzag button and foot on my machine). I believe I used a 0.2 stitch length and a 3.0 stitch width for the outline around Huskers and a 0.2 stitch length and a 4.5 stitch width for the white border around the N. Those numbers are from memory though, which may be faulty, so I would practice first to see what you like.
We took these pictures for a time lapse we made of the quilting process. I have cropped some of them closely, so they are a bit out of focus. By the way, these pictures were taken before we renovated our dining room. It looks much better now. 🙂
After you tear away the excess stabilizer on back, use fusible webbing again to secure your logo on the quilt before using an applique stitch to sew it to the quilt top. Evidently I concentrate really hard when I sew! LOL
I am not going to go into detail on how to bind and quilt the top. There are many better tutorials on that than what I can give you. However, I will give you a couple tips I use. I absolutely HATE hand sewing anything because it takes sooooooo long. Being so, I machine quilt and machine sew on my binding. I pin my quilt sandwich (the backing fabric, batting and quilt top) together. There are other ways to do this but I prefer to pin it. I quilted using an in the ditch method for this quilt. This means that I sewed in the seams around each black houndstooth.
After sewing binding strips together, I sew the binding strip to the quilt top. Make sure the raw edges of both are on the same side.
Then I flip the binding around the quilt sandwich and pin it on the backing. I sew along the binding seam on the pieced quilt top making sure that I am catching the back of the binding underneath.
Make sure to wash your quilt when you are finished. The batting will shrink up just a little bit give your quilt a nice worn, crinkly look. I love that about the cotton Warm and Natural batting. Also I love that it is a thinner quilt.
The houndstooth pattern is great because it works for lots of different things. Check it out in my Halloween decor post. You may also see it make an appearance at Christmas time too. 🙂 I also made a pillow cover using the same pattern.
I hope this has inspired you to make a houndstooth quilt, no matter if you are an experienced quilter or just a beginner. There is no better time to try than now. Let me know if you have any questions, I will try to answer them best I can. What about you, do you have some favorite patterns for quilts?