Friday, March 1, 2013

free quilt pattern: no-waste subway tile quilt

The first of the family Christmas quilts is finally done! I'm calling this the no-waste subway tile quilt pattern--I was inspired by the pattern and size of large subway tiles. And I was desperately searching for a pattern that was large enough to show off the medium- to large-sized prints I used in this quilt. Obviously, this isn't a traditional subway tile layout--I considered sticking with the traditional alignment, but that would require cutting off half a tile on the edges. I loved these fabrics so much, I didn't want to waste that much! Instead, I used the pink strips to stagger the tiles (and provide a break between these busy, busy patterns!).  I think this quilt would look great with a variety of solids as the "strips" between each subway tile.

This is a twin-sized quilt pattern (finished size: 68 x 87 inches).

What you'll need to make this quilt:
  • 3.75 yards of varied prints for your "subway tiles"
  • 2/3 yard of solid for your "strips" in between each subway tile
  • 1/3 yard for small interior border (pink polka dot in my quilt)
  • 1.25 yards for large exterior border (white background reindeer and trees in my quilt)
  • 3/4 yard for binding
  • 5.25 yards for backing

From this yardage you'll need to cut:

  • (85)     5" x 10.5" subway tiles  (I cut 5" WOF strips, and was able to get 12 tiles from one 1/2 yard of fabric)
  • (85)    5" x 2" strips to go between your subway tiles (I cut 2" WOF strips, and was able to cut 8 strips from each WOF = you'll need 11 2" WOF strips total)
  • (8)       1.5" WOF strips for small interior border
  • (8)       5" WOF strips for large exterior border
To assemble your quilt, you'll sew together rows of subway tiles (alternating each subway tile with a pink strip in between):
Row 1: start the row with a subway tile
Row 2: start the row with a pink strip
Row 3: start the row with a subway tile
Row 4: start the row with a pink strip
 And so on ... your quilt will have 17 total rows. (NOTE: this pattern uses a 1/4" seam allowance throughout)

Next, sew on the interior border (pink polka dots) and exterior border (reindeer and trees).  Then assemble your backing, quilt as desired, and attach your binding! This was a simple, fun, and fast quilt that ended up being really cheerful and happy. Christmas is a long way off, but I think this quilt will be hanging around a little bit since it makes me so happy!


  1. Absolutely gorgeous, love the mix of colours and fabrics :)

  2. Such a cheery quilt! Love the winter motifs. It will be well loved I am sure.

  3. Ok, I know a little someone here would LOVE such a quilt. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration - it is beautiful!

  4. Nice article and great knowledge. Thanks for the share. I love this story and enjoy with your words!
    subway tile