I have a “Vote” mini quilt pattern for you today. November is approaching and the world is holding its breath, waiting to see what will happen.
If you’re American and over 18, please vote! If you’d like to use your sewing skills to encourage others to do the same, then I have a tutorial for you.
The finished Vote mini quilt measures 23½” x 18½”.
ETA: There is a pattern PDF for this tutorial available in the shop here for US$1.50.
Use this Vote mini quilt pattern to make something for your front door or a street-facing window. Give one to your favourite café to use as a table topper. Put it on your front fence on Nov 3.
Ready? Let’s go!
Choose your Vote Mini Quilt Fabrics
It’s hard to go past red, white and blue. But whatever fabrics you choose, make your life easy and make sure any patterns are non-directional.
I used Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Cross Hatch in Cadet (seen here on Etsy*) for my blue fabric. My background fabric was the same fabric in Grey* (not the darker Shadow). The red is an unknown from my scrap pile but there are many lovely red basics* that would fit the bill.
Here’s how much fabric you’ll need:
Blue (main text/flag square fabric): you’ll need 20″ x 9½” – so either a fat eighth that is a little oversized (some companies cut generously) or you’ll need a FQ.
Red (text accent/flag stripes): F8 or a layer cake square (10″)
Background (white): a half yard
Cut the required squares and rectangles from each fabric, as shown below:
Blue VOTE fabric/flag square:
Red accent/flag stripe fabric:
From a F8:
Or cut from a 10″ square instead:
Binding: Cut 5 strips 2¼” wide from your FQ (or sew 100″ of scrappy binding).
Prepare Patchwork Units
We need to sew some smaller patchwork units before we get started on our letters.
Take one 2½” background fabric square and one 2½” blue fabric square. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the lighter square with a pencil. Place the squares RST and sew a scant ¼” seam on both sides of the diagonal. Cut on the drawn line to yield 2 HST units and press open, toward the darker fabric. Trim to 2″ square.
Now do the same with a background and red 2½” square (to make 2 red/background HSTs).
Then do the same again with a red and blue 2½” square (to make 2 red/blue HSTs). Nice job!
We need a quarter square triangle to create our “V”.
Take the 3″ background fabric square and one 3″ blue fabric square and make 2 blue/background HSTs using the method shown above. Press to the dark side, but don’t trim them.
Take one of the HST units you just made and draw a diagonal line on the wrong side, perpendicular to the seam, with a pencil. Take the remaining 3″ blue square and place RST with the HST unit. Sew a scant ¼” seam on both sides of the diagonal and cut on the drawn line to give 2 QST units.
You’ll only need one QST for this pattern. I used the orientation you see below with the size marked on it. Press the QST toward the larger triangle and then trim to 2″ square (make sure the centre point is central – 1″ from all edges).
Prepare “O” Accents
Take 2 of the 6½” x 2″ blue rectangles and 2 red 2″ squares. Draw a diagonal in pencil on the wrong side of both squares, and then place RST with the blue rectangles as shown. Make sure your diagonals are oriented as shown below.
Sew directly on the diagonal, then trim the seam to a quarter inch. Press the red triangle away from the blue rectangle.
Prepare Flag Corners
The flag corners are sewn using the same technique as the “O” accents. Take the 12½” x 2″ red strip and use a 2″ background square to form the corner. Make sure you match the diagonal orientation shown below.
Now do the same with one of the 6½” x 2″ red rectangles and one of the 2″ background squares. Again, watch the orientation!
Alright, we now have all our patchwork pieces ready, so let’s sew some letters and a flag. Just follow the placement diagrams below.
Please note any little arrows on the diagrams indicate pressing directions (to help your blocks nest nicely). If there’s no arrow, press how you like as it won’t affect nesting.
Sew Letter “V”
Next, Sew Letter “O”
Sew Letter “T”
Finally, Sew Letter “E”
Sew the Vote Patchwork Panel
Now we have all the letters, sew them all together. Remember, we’re after VOTE, not TEVO. 😂
Sew the American Flag
To complete the flag patchwork panel take the two 5″ x 8″ background rectangles and sew one either side of the flag.
Finish your Vote Mini Quilt Pattern – Sew Sashing/Borders
Take the two WOF x 1½” strips and the 1½” remainder strip and sew the short edges together to make one super-long 1½” strip.
Use this strip to sew a top border on the VOTE patchwork unit and a sashing unit on its bottom. Then sew a bottom border on the flag patchwork unit. Sew the VOTE unit to the flag unit (the flag edges will align with the internal V and E seams).
Next use the sashing strip to sew a border left and right of the patchwork panel. And you’ve finished your Vote mini quilt top!
Quilt your Vote mini quilt
If you like to free motion quilt you can have a lot of fun with this one.
Alas, I have no FMQ skills so I went with a simple cross hatch pattern. I used a water soluble marker to score lines 1½” apart, on a 45 degree angle.
Bind your quilt with your preferred binding and then you’re done (my zigzag binding tutorial is here if you’re after a speedy finish).
Don’t forget to hang up your Vote mini quilt where it will be noticed in the lead up to Nov 3.
ETA: There is a pattern PDF for this tutorial available in the shop here, for US$1.50.
All the best, my American friends. I know we’re a long way away over here in Australia, but your decision will effect us (and the rest of the world) in many ways. As you say in the US, we’re rooting for you!