Marsala Quilt Challenge, Pattern Creation, Part I

I’ve started sewing my Marsala challenge quilt. You can see my design and fabric pull here. df4c6-marsala2bbutton I’ve switched out two fabrics – changing the medium green in the 4-patch and switching out the solid for this Sarah Watts, Shibuya in Rust fabric (upper left). Wining Down beginning, design by Jenn Rodriguez I wanted to walk through how I get from a design to a pattern. (I am by no means an expert, but this is what works for me right now.) I print out my design and, using a pencil, outline my blocks. Then I breakdown the elements within each block to traditional quilting shapes. For this design, I have a 4-patch element in the center, then star points, and half-square triangles (HST) in the background.

I debated how I wanted to construct the star points. My choices were between creating a paper-piecing template or make half-rectangle triangles (HRT). I recently saw this tutorial by Josee Carrier on Sew, Mama, Sew for HRTs and decided I would prefer to do it that way. The selling point for me – the templates and math were already done for me. Bonus!

Then, the math. I start with the smallest element (or nested element) – the 4-patch in this design. I decided on 2.5 inch strip sets, making the 4-patching 4.5 inches unfinished.


Based off of the 4-patch, the short side of my HRT needs to be 2.5 inches. Going back to the tutorial, I printed out the templates for the 2.5 x 4.5 inches unfinished HRT (2 x 4 finished).


To complete the star block, I would need 4, 4.5 inch squares.


The block is 12.5 inches unfinished (surprising, since I wasn’t trying to make a traditionally sized block). So the completed 4-star center design is 24.5 inches. This is where I stopped my math.

I know I want to use large HSTs, cut in half, to finish most of the background. But I’m not completely sure how to do the math. So my plan is to start making the stars, hoping that I’ll figure it out by the time I get the center stars constructed.

Stay tuned for a part two.



  1. Pingback: Marsala Quilt Challenge: Reveal « Red Patch Designs

  2. Pingback: Marsala Quilt Challenge, Pattern Creation, Part II « Red Patch Designs

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