Off to College: A College Quilt to Launch My Daughter into Adulthood

I started quilting when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, in 1998. I made a Christmas tree skirt that year (which I never finished — that’s another story), as well as a Jewel Box baby quilt that I finished shortly before she was born. This fall, that baby left for college! Of course I had to make her a new college quilt first . . . .

My daughter and I scoured the Internet, looking for a quilt pattern that wasn’t too “scrappy” or “random” looking (her words) and that would lend itself to her favorite blue/green/purple color combination. We easily settled on Diane Tomlinson’s Crossing Paths Quilt.

Since it was already June, I quickly ordered the pattern. I also purchased the Fons & Porter Album Cross template, which I knew would be crucial for making precise blocks. And I bought the Olfa 12″ spinning mat and a new rotary cutter to make the task even easier. I wanted to make a full-size quilt rather than the throw size in the pattern, so I also had some math to do before buying fabric.

My daughter and I headed to our local fabric store and had a blast selecting fat quarters in a variety of blues and greens. We also chose a nice purple print for the sashing and binding and a white floral print for the background. Then we found a blue and green flowered print for the back that coordinated well with all the other fabrics.

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Preparations!

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Our fat quarter haul

I soon realized how much cutting I had ahead of me, and how useful my new tools would be! The rotary cutter made the task of cutting all those strips go much more smoothly. And the spinning mat made it a breeze to cut all my fat quarter squares into quick triangles.

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Of course I was anxious to start piecing, so I skipped the step of cutting the background fabric into rectangles. Instead, I started strip-piecing and was happy to see some fast progress on my quilt blocks.

Before I trimmed my blocks, I laid them out to determine the best arrangement for the quilt top. Naturally, I took a couple of photos and then stacked the blocks into rows for easy assembly.off-to-college-Peters_QuiltLayout_800

off-to-college-Peters_AlbumCrossTemplate_400I trimmed the blocks in groups, as I pieced each row of the quilt. The Album Cross template and the spinning mat made this job a piece of cake!

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As I pieced the quilt top, I consulted my layout photo plenty of times to make sure I was assembling everything correctly. I ended up remaking the quilt corners, because I didn’t want to trim the top before quilting.

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I pieced a cute row of blocks to give the back of the quilt some interest. This also helped avoid the problem of having an obvious seam on the quilt back.

I had the quilting done locally, by Sheryl Highsmith of Hedgehog Quilting. Sheryl helped my daughter and I select a quilting pattern with nice loops and curves that helped offset the angular design of the quilt blocks.

Top: Alison’s quilt on her dorm bed; Bottom: Alison’s baby quilt and college quilt

 

The quilt turned out beautifully, and I couldn’t be happier with it! It adds such a nice touch to my daughter’s dorm room, and it made the idea of sending my “baby” off to college a little easier to handle.

Happy quilting!
Lavon Peters
Managing Editor of Beadwork magazine

Allison's College quilt

To get the Crossing Paths Quilt pattern, as well as the tools Lavon used, follow these links:

Crossing Paths Quilt Pattern
Fons & Porter’s Album Cross Template
Fons & Porter Rotary Cutter (45mm)


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