The Sweet Emily quilt pattern uses friendship stars arranged in circles to create nine blocks.
I designed and made this quilt for my sweet niece Emily’s high school graduation gift.
This quilt was made using an ombre of calm blues.
But it would also be lovely in reds or greens to create a Christmas quilt, rainbow colors, or in any other color palette to match your décor!!
There are no rules when it comes to the colors you choose!!!
The finished quilt measures 62″ x 62″.
The Sweet Emily Quilt Pattern is included in this post.
If you’d like to purchase an ad-free PDF of the Sweet Emily Quilt Pattern it is available in my Etsy shop!!
I created the quilt using a scrappy approach. I wanted to have an ombre effect, so I used multiple shades of blue and a variety of creamy whites.
Choose a coordinating fabric for the binding and for the backing.
The total fabric needed is about 1 1/2 yards. To achieve the scrappy look of this quilt I suggest using at least 9 different prints. Either raid your stash, or purchase a few new fat quarters.
Light Cream Fabric:
The total fabric needed is about 4 yards. To achieve the scrappy look of this quilt I suggest using at least 8-10 different prints.
Twin size thin cotton batting (like Warm & Natural) to make this quilt.
Use your favorite rotary cutter, and cut the following patches for this quilt!
I love to use the Fiskars Comfort Loop Rotary cutter!!
Cut 144 – 3 1/2” squares and 16 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares
Cut 144 – 3 1/2” squares; 441 – 2 1/2” squares; and 24 – 2 1/2″ x 18″ strips
Cut 7 – 2 1/2″ x 42″ strips
Cut 2 – 70″ x 42″ pieces
Cut 1 – 70″ x 70″ piece
General Sewing Directions
The directions for this quilt are for rotary cutting, machine piecing, machine quilting, and the binding is hand-stitched to the quilt back.
Accurate cutting and sewing enhances your final product. Pin your pieces together before sewing them to ensure proper seam alignment.
Use a carefully followed 1/4″ seam allowance to help you get uniform seams and matching corners!
Follow the directions described below as you press open the seams.
Half Square Triangle (HST) for the Sweet Emily Quilt Pattern
For this pattern you’ll need to make 288 cream/blue HST (32 for each block). Make two HST at a time using 1 – 3 1/2” blue square and 1 – 3 1/2” cream square.
With a water-soluble marking pen, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the cream square. Now, place a blue square and this cream square, right sides together, with the diagonal line facing up.
Sew 1/4″ along both sides of the line. Then cut the two blocks apart along the line.
Press each HST open toward the blue side.
Trim the HST Blocks
Use a small ruler to trim the blocks to measure 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” square.
Find where the 2 1/2” horizontal and vertical lines on the ruler intersect.
Place the ruler over the HST, aligning the 45-degree line on the ruler to the diagonal seam and the 2 1/2” intersecting point on the ruler to the inside corner of the HST.
Make sure a bit of the fabric extends beyond the 2 1/2” lines and beyond the outside of the ruler.
Hold the ruler steady and trim the right and top sides of the HST.
Turn the HST around so the corner you just trimmed matches with the 2 1/2” intersection point on the ruler and the 45-degree diagonal line on the ruler aligns with the diagonal seam of the HST.
Trim the right and top sides.
Repeat for all 288 half square triangles.
Sew the Blocks for the Sweet Emily Quilt Pattern
There are 9 – 18″ x 18″ blocks in the Sweet Emily quilt pattern!
Lay out the half square triangles and cream squares to form the block.
Stitch squares and HST pieces (right sides together) to complete each row.
Press each row in opposite directions. Odd rows 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 press the seams to the right. Even rows 2, 4, 6, 8 press seams to the left.
Now that you have the rows pressed, sew them together!
Pin rows 1 and 2 together, right sides together. Make sure to line up the seams, and pin to hold them in place. Sew the rows together. Repeat until all 9 rows are sewn together.
The seams of the sewn rows all get pressed in one direction, either towards the top or towards the bottom of the block.
Repeat for all 9 – 18″ x 18″ Sweet Emily Quilt Pattern blocks.
Assemble Top of for the Sweet Emily Quilt Pattern
Lay out the blocks and colored squares until you are pleased with the distribution of colors in the quilt top.
Sew a 2 1/2” x 18” sashing strip between each block to join the blocks together into rows.
Press seams toward cream strip.
Sew an additional 2 1/2” x 18” cream strip to the sides of the two outside blocks of each row, press seams toward cream strips.
Connect the colored squares into 4 rows of sashing by sewing a 2 1/2″ x 18” cream strip between 4 blue squares.
Press seams toward cream strips.
Connect rows of blocks together with a row of sashing between each. Nest and pin seams to hold rows in place while you sew.
Also sew a row of sashing to the top and bottom rows to finish off the quilt top. Press seams toward rows of sashing.
Layering the Top, Batting, and Back
I refer to layering the quilt as “sandwiching”. You need to sandwich the top and back with the batting in the middle.
Prepare the Backing
Sew the 2 – 70″ x 42″ strips right sides together along the 70″ side to create a 70″ x 84″ piece. Trim to 70″ x 70″. This will allow the backing to extend about 4” beyond the edges of the quilt top.
Tape the Backing Down
On a hard surface floor, or with two large tables pushed together, use painter’s tape to tape down the backing fabric. As you tape the back down you’ll want to make sure the fabric is smooth, without wrinkles. Also, make sure the right side of the fabric is facing down!
Add the Batting
Lay the batting on top of the taped-down quilt back, and move your hands across it to smooth it all over. This will get rid of any wrinkles in the batting, and help to adhere it to the backing fabric.
Place the Quilt Top
Once you have the batting placed on top of the quilt back, center the quilt top over the two bottom layers. Right side facing up, of course! The two bottom layers of the quilt (the back and the batting) should extend about 4” all around the outside edges of the quilt top.
Move your hands across the quilt top to smooth it all over, and help remove any wrinkles. This will also help adhere the quilt top to the batting a little bit.
Baste the Layers
You can either spray baste your quilt layers or pin them together with 1 1/2” stainless pins. Place pins around the entire quilt every 4 – 5 inches so the three layers don’t move around when you’re machine quilting this project. Again, make sure all wrinkles are smoothed out. Adjust basting if needed to remove any wrinkles.
“Quilting” the Quilt
I used a meandering pattern to machine quilt my layers together. Use whatever free-motion stitch you’d like, or use a straight stitch to quilt in the ditches or along the seams. You’ll need a darning foot to free-motion quilt, and you’ll need to either be able to lower the feed dogs on the machine or place a special cover over them. If you’re using a straight stitch to machine quilt you’ll need a walking foot.
Binding the Quilt
You can choose the make the binding out of one single fabric, or use a variety of fabrics for a scrappy looking binding!
Prepare the Binding
Fold each of the cut binding strips in half end to end. Use the 45° line on your plastic ruler to trim the ends at a 45° angle.
When you open the strips the angles on the ends will be facing in opposite directions.
Place the ends of two strips perpendicular, right sides together, and sew 1/4” seam.
Repeat to join all strips into one long binding strip. Press seams open, then press long strip in half lengthwise, right side facing out.
Sew the Binding Strip to the Quilt
Begin to sew the raw edge of the binding to the quilt by pinning it along one side. Be careful to sew the raw edge of the binding strip to the quilt, not the folded edge!
I usually start sewing the binding strip in the middle of the quilt side that I’m starting with. Start sewing about 8” in from the end of the binding strip, leaving a hanging “tail” on the binding.
You’ll sew this to the other end of the binding strip when you finish sewing all along the sides of the quilt.
Stop sewing on the first side 1/4” from the corner, use a pin to mark this location and sew right up to it. Backstitch a bit, and cut your thread but DON’T cut the binding strip.
Making the Mitered Corner
Now, remove the quilt and binding strip from your machine and fold the binding strip straight up so it’s perpendicular from the side you were just sewing on.
Fold the binding strip back down on itself and match it to the edge of the quilt you just sewed it to, and the next edge of the quilt you’re about to sew it to.
Pin this fold in place, and pin the binding strip to this edge of the quilt and continue to sew it, again stopping 1/4” from the next corner and repeating the folding process described above.
Continue in this manner until you are on the last side of the quilt, the side you started on.
Connecting the Ends of the Binding
Stop stitching about 14” – 16” from where you started. Backstitch and cut the thread (but not the binding strip, not yet!), remove the quilt and binding strip from the machine.
You now have two “tails” of the binding strip, tail #1 from where you started stitching it to the quilt and tail #2 from where you ended. You’ll need to join these tails together so that you have a continuous binding strip to finish sewing down to the quilt. Follow the steps below to join the tails!
Lay tail #1 of the binding strip along the unsewn edge of the quilt. Trim it at a 90° angle about half way between this unsewn edge.
Lay tail #2 of the binding strip over tail #1 along the unsewn edge of the quilt. Measure 2 1/2” beyond the trimmed straight edge of tail #1. Mark this 2 1/2” measurement with a pin or pencil, and trim the tail #2 at a 90° angle also. The two trimmed binding strip tails should overlap by 2 1/2”.
Unfold the two tails so they lay flat. Pin the two tails together perpendicular to each other (right sides together). Use a fine pencil to draw a diagonal line from the corner of tail #2 to the opposite side, as shown here.
Sew along the drawn diagonal line. Fold binding strip in half again. The continuous binding strip should now lay flat along the unsewn edge of the quilt. If necessary, shorten or lengthen the continuous strip before trimming it. Then trim the outside corner 1/4” from the seam and finger press the seam open. Fold it in half again and finish sewing the binding strip to the quilt.
Trim the Batting and Back
Trim the batting and quilt back to 1/4” from the edge of the quilt top. I use a ruler and a rotary cutter to accomplish this task. Work carefully, so you don’t cut into your quilted project.
Hand-Stitch the Folded Binding Edge to the Quilt Back
Here is my FAVORITE part of the process, hand-stitch the folded edge of the binding strip to the back of the quilt.
When you get to the corner, carefully turn the corner right-side out to make a nice, mitered corner.
I tack a few stitches up the corner to hold it in place, and then continue stitching along all sides and corners until…VOILA! Your binding is complete!
If you’d like, you can add a label to the back of your quilt.
I’ve designed other quilts with similar layouts as the Sweet Emily quilt. Check out the Evergreen Wreath quilt pattern and the Friendship Wreath quilt patterns! Or check out how to make a Friendship Star block!!