Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Endless Stairs--Free Pattern

Winter has really come here, now.  I have never understood why the calendar doesn't say "winter" until Dec. 21st, especially in this part of the country.  Harvest has come and gone, Thanksgiving is over, there is snow on the ground and more than a nip in the air, especially in the morning.
When it's winter, I can't help but think about utility quilts, made from clothing scraps to keep families warm.  I have the wool quilt I made last year on our bed again, and am darn glad of it.  We had a few heavy quilts on our beds when I was a child, and if it was really cold, there was a scratchy green wool army blanket to go on top.  And that's with central heating! 
This quilt is a very easy pattern, made from scraps, that would be good for charity projects.  It would also work well for Quilts of Honor, if made in red, white, and blue.
A friend (hi, Debbie!) gave me a whole box of scraps, mostly plaids left over from a quilt she made for her son.  When I was taming down the scraps, I decided to make a simple quilt with them, and Endless Stairs was the result.  It's an old pattern, no. 1110 in the Barbara Brackman encyclopedia.  It's also called London Stairs or Winding Stairway.
Because I wanted it to chain across the quilt, I just made quarter sections of the block, and then laid them out on my "design floor".  Most sections are a plaid paired with a print.  When I ran out of one fabric, I substituted another of the same color.
Sometimes I had enough fabric to go all the way across the quilt.  Sometimes I had to use lots of different fabrics.  I could have used the same light throughout, or for two adjoining rows, to make things stand out more, but I was just using up scraps.

You can see how the sections alternate between vertical and horizontal.  It's just like a rail fence, but with only two "rails".
Here's how to make it:
For each block, cut one 3.5 in. x 6.5 in plaid rectangle and one 3.5 in. x 6.5 in print rectangle.  Sew together on the long edges.  The sections finish 6 in. square.
How easy is that?  My quilt has 120 of these blocks--10 across and 12 down.  It makes a slightly small twin quilt. 
I'm not planning on adding a border.  I want those stairs to just step right off the quilt.
For quilting, I'm thinking of something simple and quick.  And maybe a wool batting.  For wintertime.

Stay warm!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading! Post a comment--I want to know what you think!