A grellow living room quilt


I finished a new quilt for our living room! I’ve been meaning to make one for us ever since making my first one for my sister last year, and decided to make it one of my Minerva network projects so I’d actually get around to doing it.


This is my Minerva project for Feb and March combined since quilt materials can get quite expensive. I resisted my typical urge to Use All the Prints and picked solids from their cotton poplin range instead. This smooth and soft cotton was really great to work with and gives the finished quilt a lovely silky drape. Inside is a double layer of cotton wadding for extra puffy cosiness, and I used purchased wide bias binding around the edge.


I did my usual dozens of design options in Illustrator, but went for a simple random-colour HST (half-square triangle)-based design in the end. Mostly because I wanted to take the lazy route and use Thangles again to be honest. I do really want to make the tumbling block and flying geese designs at the bottom-right some day though. My sewing room spare bed definitely needs its own quilt next…


My technique for making quilts seems to be the “intense sprint” kind of approach. I just know that if I cut all the triangles and left it for a while, I would literally never pick them up again. So I spent a pretty hardcore weekend getting the top completely finished in one fell swoop. The process goes a bit like this: cut strips to width; pin Thangle templates to strips; sew; pull off Thangle template paper; press squares; lay squares into design; pin each row together and mark row order; sew each row together; sew all rows together. If it sounds like a lot of steps, it FEELS like a lot of steps while you’re doing it too. The peeling Thangle templates and pressing steps were an especially brutal 2-3 hours bending over the ironing board, ugh. After that I had a bit of a break before doing the quilting and binding, which was luckily much faster.


The downside of the sprint approach does mean I got a bit sloppy with matching up my points perfectly. The quilting pattern is less than perfect too as it was really difficult to drag the quilt through my machine’s rather small arm. I ended up applying the edge binding by hand as I was sick of manoeuvring the quilt through the machine by that point. Luckily the imperfections don’t spoil the effect or enjoyment of the final quilt for me.


The finished size is 36 x 48″ (9×12 4″ blocks) which is a good size for me – it looks nice on the back of the sofa when not in use, covers the legs and lets my cat fully sprawl out as he’s wont to do. Luckily I don’t really like overly large quilts since I don’t think I’d have the floor space to lay out anything larger, much less the will to drag it through my machine.


I’m pretty happy with how this quilt turned out – it brightens up the living room, is helping stave off the last of the winter cold, and does a good job disguising our rather tired looking sofa. The cats dig it, too, which as we all know is the real reason we sew stuff, right?

40 thoughts on “A grellow living room quilt

  1. AvatarJessie

    I have a queen/king triangl-y quilt top I made TWO AUTUMNS AGO and this is giving me the motivation to get out there and finish it. At my pace, if I start now I’ll have it done before next winter :) And I hadn’t heard of Thangles so I cut them all by hand but NEVER AGAIN!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Ugh yeah, that would be me if I ever put it down for a second. I have another quilt top finished that I can’t bear to finish!

  2. AvatarNaomi

    Very nice and your cat looks pretty impressed :) The furthest I’ve got with quilting is oven mitts and that was bad enough! I tried to make a (non-quilted) duvet cover once and that was a nightmare to get through the machine so the idea of quilting anything that big is far too off-putting!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      A duvet, interesting! I love the finished idea of quilted items, but the process is never much fun is it.

  3. AvatarHeather

    This looks really great!! I love the colours you chose too! Personally, I like when things don’t match up perfectly because it adds character and looks handmade. Your kitty looks super cute cuddling it too!

  4. AvatarRee

    Nice! Love the use of solid colours. I want to make a half square triangle quilt for our living room, too, I just need time to get it done! I have only ever made one quilt, but I wholly agree with you, the process is so long and gruelling! All the cutting, the wrangling through the machine…. It’s all worth it now though, your quilt is beautiful. I hope you’re enjoying the finished article. xx

  5. AvatarJane

    Lovely! I really like the combination of grey and yellow, it looks great on your sofa. My approach to quilt making is exactly the same as yours – extreme sprint! Once I get going I’m ok, it’s just the getting going bit that’s difficult….. x

  6. AvatarAnnie

    Liking the grellow and triangles a lot! I’m such a sucker for patterns but I’ve been meaning to have a crack at an all solids quilt. This looks so lovely. Also, I am hugely impressed that you finished the top in just one day! My average must be more like 6 weeks!

  7. Avatarmokosha

    love the colors you chose! and that it’s made out of triangles.. love pretty much every design you created in illustrator.. thanks for the inspiration :) it might push me to start working on my first serious quilt (and i’ve finally got cutting mat and rotary cutter, so no excuses anymore)

  8. AvatarAmelia

    This looks great – yellow and grey is a lovely combination. It looks great with your sofa and other cushions. You’re inspiring me to finally make my first quilt!

  9. AvatarJennie

    Love the colour combo, I’ve not tried it but if you cut out your fabric into squares, then sew two squares together completely around each edge, then cut each square into quarters point to point you will end up with 4 triangles with out minimum effort x

  10. AvatarCarolyn

    Katie, this is gorgeous! I absolutely love your color palette – gray and yellow is a favorite combination of mine. I just finished a quilt too, so I feel your pain of wrestling with it during the machine quilting process. I wound up giving up and doing the last few steps by hand too. Enjoy your new quilt! :)

  11. AvatarGinger

    Whoa! Love the color combo, especially in these strong shapes! It’s so modern and fun! I can’t really fathom the idea of making a quilt that large, but it really does look cool and brightens up your room so much! Piecing can be such a marathon, soooooooo I have totally talked a non-sewing friend into helping me piece a baby quilt top on Saturday… I figure if she cuts and presses while I stitch, it will go by quickly, right? ;)

  12. AvatarMichelle

    Love it! I think the bottom right design is so nice, you should do this for your next one! I have a quilt top that’s 2.3 metre squared, it’s just sitting waiting to be quilted. I’ve left it so long I don’t really like the colours anymore :-/

  13. AvatarNicole

    I love the colour combination, what a fab quilt! As much as I love cats, it is far too nice to let a cat sleep on it!

  14. AvatarSarah

    Nice! I always wonder how long it would take to marathon a quilt – my Mum does hexagons by hand and it takes aaaages.
    Did you use a walking foot for the quilting? I have the same machine as you and have been wondering if it’s worth getting one for stretch and quilting. My only attempt at quilting thus far was quite puckery but I’m sure there were plenty of reasons other than wrong foot :-)

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I did use a walking foot, it wasn’t going anywhere at ALL with my normal foot so it did help a lot. I can’t imagine having the patience for hand-piecing!

  15. AvatarCaroline Joynson

    Awesome quilt Katie. I love the pop of yellow in the otherwise monochrome palette. Very stylish and I can see is extremely popular with certain house guests!
    Making a quilt for my lounge is on my ‘to-do’ list now that my house renovation is coming to an end. I want to make a solid colour block in a random pixelated design with Marimekko’s Uniklo as a backing fabric (I got in the St. Christopher’s Place closing down sale last week). I’m thinking of doing free-motion quilting using the Uniklo flowers as a rough guide… ideas…. ideas…. so many but not quite enough time to get it all achieved!

  16. AvatarHilde

    That’s a great quilt! I like the pops of yellow. I am planning to use all my little scraps of leftover fabric to make a Little House on the Prairie-ish quilt, should be great for camping!

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