I have always loved the Trip Around the World Quilts that I’ve seen but I thought they would be too complicated so I didn’t even attempt one. I have decided to tackle my fears and try something new every week. For this week, my something new is the Trip Around the World quilt. I have found with this project that it’s easier if you can keep it small and manageable so that’s what I have done with this tutorial.
Since it’s Fall as I’m writing this, I decided to use some of my Fall fabric stash for this quilt. I actually purchased this fabric from Fat Quarter Shop from a mystery grab bag meaning that I really didn’t know what I was getting when I purchased it. To my surprise, I received 12 beautiful fat quarters of Fall themed fabrics including some that had pears on them. We have a pear tree on our land that has been there for as long as I remember so I have always loved pears.
The quilt that I made took 13 fat quarters so I added a plain cream fabric from my stash that relatively matched the bundle that I purchased. I used my Accuquilt Go 2 and 1/2 inch die to cut the fabric into 2 and 1/2 inch strips. Then I laid the strips horizontally on the die to submit into 2 and 1/2 inch squares. Using the Accuquilt was a huge timesaver since I had to wait to cut everything at night. It only took me about 4 hours to cut about 530 two and a half inch squares. My wrists and hand would have been hurting if I didn’t have that machine. But you definitely don’t need it. Just take your time and cut as you can and they’ll be all cut up before you know it!
For the next step, you can use a table, the floor or I use a design wall. All of the little blocks that were just cut needs to form a pattern. I like to work with one section at a time and make a total of 4 blocks or quadrants. Lay the first block in whatever pattern that you wish to make. I ended up with a row of 11 across by 11 down. The trick is that you’ll need to make sure the next three blocks look the same as the first. Here is a picture for a reference of my first block before it was sewn together.
All 4 blocks for the Trip Around the World quilt look exactly the same. You will sew all of the blocks together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I made a YouTube video below to show you how I keep everything organized. The key is to take a picture to look at as you sew. This will help with the order of the blocks. To begin, sew the rows individually, then sew the rows to each other until you get a complete block.
Now that you have four complete blocks, it’s time to arrange them in a way that looks like each line makes a circle or diamond. Keep one block but turn the other blocks counter clockwise until you see the pattern form. You’ll notice that the middle rows don’t quite match up. This is the time to make 4 rows of sashing. The easiest way to do this for me was to lay all of the blocks to where I can see them and look to see where each piece of fabric fits in the pattern. Once you make one, all of the sashing strips will be the same.
Once you have them all laid out, sew each 2 1/2 inch square together to make 4 complete rows. Then you’ll line them up in the middle of your 4 blocks. Two will be horizontal and one is vertical. Now choose a leftover block for the center and you’ll be ready to sew them up.
Lay out the 4 quadrants, 4 sashing rows and 1 center square. Stitch together. Press seams to one side or open them up, whichever you choose to do is what you’re the most comfortable doing. Quilt, bind and enjoy!!
Here is my finished quilt top. I may add a border or two to make it bigger but I haven’t decided yet. Thanks for reading the tutorial on how to make a Trip Around the World quilt!!