Aubade String Quilt Tutorial by Janet Clare

SewandSo is now stocking Moda fabric. Yay! We are celebrating this momentous occasion with a free project from the lovely Janet Clare.

Janet Clare is the talented mind behind Aubade, the first Moda fabric we have in stock. Here, she tells us a bit about herself, the inspiration behind the fabric line and gives you a free tutorial for a string quilt block which you can turn into a variety of different projects; such as a table runner, a cushion or quilt.

Janet Clare About Me

Janet Clare is an artist, textile designer, teacher, author, quilter and all around creative thinker who is inspired by words and any lovely phrases she comes across and by children and the joy they find in the mundane.

Janet loves to combine her unique jointed appliqué templates and free motion drawing technique in her work. She has written five books and designed eight fabric collections with Moda and is currently working on her sixth book ‘The Garden’ and gathering ideas for the next fabric line.

Janet lives in a happy muddle with her family and a dog called Betty.

Inspiration for ‘Aubade

‘Aubade‘ is a song to the morning and the dawn when the sun is rising and gently bringing us a new day; sunrise to sunset to be filled as we wish.

A dawn serenade with sunbeams, sparkles, shimmering heat, heavenly rays and blazing sunshine, but most of all light. Daylight.

Geometric, simple and bold motifs and colours to make quilts for sunny days, rain days, high days, holidays and lazy Sunday afternoon naps.

Aubade Original“Turn to the sun and the shadows fall behind you” quote printed on the selvedges of the fabric.

When I designed my popular collection ‘Nocturne’ inspired by the night and the moon, I was already daydreaming about creating a lighter sister collection inspired by the day and the sun.

I have a lovely ‘Aubade’ inspiration board on Pinterest and always start designing by doodling in my sketchbook, drawing and painting until inspiration strikes and I can see how the fabric collection will look. Then it’s just a matter of putting down on paper what is in my head (this can take a time!)

I always send Moda original paintings and ink drawings which they take a great deal of care to reproduce, so the fabric is as close to my original designs as possible.

Geometric, simple, bold, classic, confident

Because it is so simple and geometric I think this fabric collection is suited to just about anything- will blend well with plains and florals from other collections too. Good for boys and men, sailing boats, beach houses, back gardens and picnics. naps and siestas!

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String Quilt Tutorial using ‘Aubade: a song to the dawn’

I used ONE 5 inch charm square pack of ‘Aubade’ for this tutorial which made 29 squares (enough to make a table runner, place mats or two small cushion fronts), simply buy more charm squares to make larger projects!

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Prepare fabric. Press background fabric well.

Cut background fabric. Cut twenty-nine x 3 ½ inch squares from your plain background fabric.

Cut charm squares. Take your time and cut each charm square into three or four strips (of any width). These make your ‘strings’.

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Place first string. I chose to place a dark indigo string on the diagonal of as many blocks as possible. This creates a strong sense of movement through your patchwork, emphasising the change of directions and enabling you to form zig-zags or diamond shapes with your blocks. Take your first string and place right side up on a background square.

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Place second string. Take a second string and place right side down on top of your first string.

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Stitch in place. Using a sewing machine and a quarter inch seam allowance, stitch along the right edge of your strings. Open the second string to lay flat on your background fabric and press in place.

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Place third and remaining strings. Take a third string and place right side down on top of your first string, aligning the raw edges. Stitch as before. Open the third string to lay flat on the background fabric and press in place.

Continue in this way stitching strings in place until the whole background square is covered. Trim the strings to roughly the correct length before stitching in place to maximise the amount of fabric you have to play with!

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Trim block. Trim the string block to 3 ½ inch square. Press.

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Continue sewing string blocks as described above until you have used up every single scrap of your fabric.

I made twenty-nine squares from one ‘Aubade’ charm pack.

Arrange string blocks. On a flat surface arrange and re-arrange your blocks until you are pleased with how they look. Taking photos helps to see the design you are making clearer (and you can remember the layout you wanted when your dog/cat/ child ‘helps’ you later!)

Stitch blocks together. Once you have made as many string blocks as you need and have the layout all organised, stitch two blocks together with a quarter inch seam allowance. Press seams open to reduce bulk and help your patchwork to lay flat.

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There you have it. The block is quite mesmerising, isn’t it? Like the night sky. No matter what you decide to make with this quilt block, it will be a focal for any room.

Will you show us what you make with your Aubade string quilt block? We’d love to see your pictures. Tag us on social media using #SewandSo.

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About Nadine

Nadine dabbles in a wide range crafts. If it's pretty and she wants to make it, she'll learn the technique to do so. She is also never without a cup of tea in her hands.