Monday, August 31, 2015

"cinched" pattern tutorial

this is a simple strip quilt pattern which utilizes a jelly roll and a bit of extra yardage for an accent strip and block across the upper portion of the quilt. it comes together quickly and easily, with a few opportunities to embellish the design for more detail.

in this tutorial, i will give basic instructions for the pattern. for more detailed instructions, please refer to the links to each section of assembly.

fabric requirements

i'm starting with a generous amount of yardage partly because i already have it in my stash and partly because i simply like to work that way. generally i need room for error and i happen to adore scraps, so leftovers are quite welcome. 
  • one jelly roll (or 45 - 2.5" wide x wof  strips, see further options below)
  • fabric a - 1/2 yd for accent block and backing strip a (could be done with 1/4 yd or fat quarter if adjusting measurements slightly - see section on accent block)
  • fabric b - 2/3 yd for accent strip and backing strip b
  • fabric c - 1/2 yd for extra strips and backing strip c
  • fabric d - the equivalent of one jelly strip for strip joining squares (if using)
  • optional fabric e - 1/3 yd for accent block
  • 1/2 yd binding fabric
  • 3 1/4 yds backing fabric, 4 1/4 yd if using a directional print
it's a pretty small list. if you want more variety in the strips, which i do, you can use additional coordinating pieces. 

* note - 1/4" seams used through out and all measurements are for "cut" (seam allowance included) not "final" unless otherwise noted.

make the strip sections

cut the selvages off all jelly roll strips. (for more detailed instructions on preparing the strips, see cinched pattern, part one.)

select 30 jelly strips to be cut in half and used for the upper section. (set the other 10 strips and the 30 half strips aside for the lower section.) arrange these 30 half strips in a row for the upper section. (for a detailed discussion of strip selection and construction options, see cinched pattern, part one.)

layout the lower section with 30 full strips in a row. these full strips include the 10 remaining jelly strips from the jelly roll, your 5 additional full strips cut from fabric c yardage, and 15 full pieced strips constructed from the leftover halves from the upper section.

you can either simply piece the leftover half strips or . . .

you can make pieced strips that include small 2.5" x 2.5" cut joining blocks, for more interest. i did this, varying the placement height of the joining blocks in the strips, and also using three pieced sections and two blocks for some of the strips. (see cinched part one for a discussion on these joining options.)

cut the accent strip and accent block pieces from fabric b and e.

the accent block can be a simple 10.5" square of one feature fabric e or you can create any quilt block of your choice 10.5" in size. in this quilt, i chose to make a courthouse steps block. (for a discussion of block options and how i made my accent block, see cinched pattern, part two.)

join your accent strip pieces to your accent block to make the middle accent strip of the quilt top. there is a little extra length to this piece as cut so you can play with placement of where you want the accent block to fall.

lay all the pieces out either on a design wall, bed, or floor to check the placement of your strips in the upper and lower sections with the accent strip in between them so you can see how you like your layout.

join the strips in each sections together to create two panels, an upper panel and a lower panel. (for more details on joining the sections together, see cinched pattern, part three.)

join the three panels together to complete your quilt top, which is now approximately 70" h x 60"w, once you square it off. (i used 31 strips so my top is actually 62"w.)

next, create a backing. i like to piece my backings and used a three-strip accent stripe for the back of this quilt. (for directions on making this backing, see three strip accent stripe pieced backing.)

sandwich, baste, and quilt.

for the "out on a limb" version of this quilt, i did a simple echo quilt of all the seams. this resulted in lots of straight lines and a flatter, less-crinkly texture.

for "bloom where you are planted," i used a loopy figure eight quilting pattern, which ran along the strips. this quilt has glorious crinkle texture to it, if that is your preference.

in the accent strip, i stipple quilted for some contrast and added interest. the accent block also had some unique quilting in it's sections. (for a discussion of my quilting choices, see "loops and crinkles.")

"bloom" is bound in some lovely olive lottie dot from heather bailey's "lottie da" collection

now you just need to bind your quilt and you are ready to wash and snuggle!

i've completed two versions of this quilt so far, and have the fabric for a third set aside. "limb" lives on our living room couch and is regularly used and greatly loved, despite all it's imperfections, which i don't really notice any more. "bloom" was gifted to my dear friend and quilting buddy, jill, who has moved away. despite the fact that my 16 yr old photographer did not notice "limb" was upside down, you can see the two versions of the quilt here together and how the slight variations affect the look of the quilt.

i've greatly enjoyed this pattern, which is so simple and satisfying. having designed something myself, especially as a new quilter, is very gratifying, indeed. giving the gift of love made tangible in the form of a cuddly quilt is the best part of all.

i hope you enjoy this pattern and would love to see any version of it you create.

happy quilting!

the detailed steps for this tutorial are spread over 6 posts i wrote as i made the "bloom" quilt and worked on the pattern. find the others here:

cinched part one - fabric requirements and strip preparation
cinched part two - the accent strip and block, modifications from the first quilt, joining blocks for the long strips
cinched part three - joining your strips and sections to assemble your top
the three-strip accent stripe pieced backing - how to make the backing
loops and crinkles - quilting choices for "bloom where you are planted"
cinched part four - quilting, binding, and gifting

linking up with friday finishes at crazy mom quilts


  1. Cute quilt and a great stash buster.

  2. Great tutorial! I L O V E this quilt--need to make a "going away to college" quilt for my granddaughter and I think this would be terrific...she loves purple, so am searching out a jelly roll with lotsa much for the no buy year!! AGAIN lol ;--))) hugs, Julierose

  3. These showed up on Fave Quilts and I was immediately struck by their beauty. Good job

  4. Saw this a while back and used the concept to make a baby quilt with leftovers from another project. Blue & yellow stripes and one sailboat block for accent. Wish I could post a photo - it turned out really cute!


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