Monday, March 30, 2020

Sew-in-Place Unity Quilt Along, Part 1!

It’s Unity Part One time – are you ready?

Did you dig through your shelves and drawers, bins and boxes to find just the right 3 colors that you like and want to play with?

Because of this Social Distancing thing – And because we really want to see what everyone is up to while we sew, I want to encourage everyone to use the following hash tags if you are posting to any social media:  #quiltvillemystery (Because it really is kind of a mystery, even if you know SOME of what’s going on.) #sewinplace and finally #unityquiltalong.

You can also add #unityquilt if you want to cover ALL of the bases, but I think it would really help get the word out there if you used as many related tags as possible so we can get more people to follow along, encouraging them to jump in and join us.

And please tag me @quiltville_bonnie so I can follow along with your progress as well!

After all – this is going to be a really long haul.  The Shelter in Place thing has just been extended to April 30th as of yesterday.

It’s a good thing we’ve got loads of sewing to do!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF version. 

There is now a Unity Quilt Along tab at the top of the blog where all of our Unity parts will be linked.

This is our center block.

It’s all one double diamond unit –  with different color placements.

There are many ways of creating this unit, and I am going to give you two options.  Either Stitch & Flip corners with rectangles and squares, or the Simple Folded Corners ruler method, also with rectangles and squares.

You are not limited to either of these options.  Make them any way you want, just remember to keep the unit size, both unfinished and finished in mind.

For this block I dug into my 2 1/2’’ strips -

Reds, Blues, Aquas and Neutrals.

I am going all out with this quilt – there are college teams, fabrics from the 80s, 90s, early 2000s as well as modern more recent acquisitions.

Double Diamond #1

Make 4.

Units will measure 4 1/2’’ unfinished and finish at 4’’ in the quilt.

From aqua fabrics cut 8 rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’
From neutral fabrics cut 16 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’

I cut my rectangles from 2 1/2’’ aqua strips, and dug my neutral squares out of my 2 1/2’’ squares box, part of my Scrap User’s System.

Option #1 – draw the line and sew NEXT to it.

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner across the neutral squares.  Place the square against the rectangle with right sides together.

With the unit in this position, stitch just to the RIGHT of the drawn line into what will be the seam allowance and the corner you will be trimming off.

DO NOT STITCH ON THE LINE.  The line is where the fabric needs to fold up and over the thread to reach unit size.  The line is your fold line.  Repeat this to yourself as many times as needed so that you don’t sew ON the line, but next to it. Just trust me.

Trim leaving 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Repeat for the opposite side of the rectangle -

Keeping the stitching just to the right of the drawn fold line.

Trim, leaving 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Because we are twisting and turning these units it is important to not create bulky spots as we go.

To minimize seam build up, please press all diagonal seams OPEN as you go.

Units will measure 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ at this point.

If they do not – double check that your rectangles and squares are the full 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ and 2 1/2’’ square respectively before you sew them together.  Adjust seam allowance as needed to achieve unit size.

This is a medallion quilt, and things will really be off round by round if your unit sizes are not double checked so they fit together.

This method is similar to method #1, but instead of drawing a line only to sew next to it – you use the ruler to trim your diagonal 1/4’’ beyond the fold line, and then sew with your tested scant 1/4’’ seam.

Tested seam?

Yes.  Take 2 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ and sew them right sides together with your best seam allowance.  Press the top square to one side and measure across the top of the unit.  Two squares sewn side by side should give you a unit that measures 4 1/2’’ across.

if your unit is LESS THAN 4 1/2’’, scant your seam and try again until you reach the right unit size.

If your unit is MORE THAN 4 1/2’’, your seam allowance is too skinny and needs readjusting for unit size.

When your two sewn square measurement is right at 4 1/2’’ – use the same seam allowance when stitching the units you have trimmed with the Simple Folded Corners ruler.  Remember you are sewing NEXT to that diagonal fold line, not directly on it or your unit will come out too small.

Place the neutral square on top of the aqua rectangle with right sides together.

Following manufacturer’s directions, place the diagonal fold line corner to corner across the top square and trim as shown.

Stitch with your new-and-improved scant 1/4’’ seam.  Press seam open as shown in method #1.

Repeat for the opposite ends of the units.

Yes, there is some waste with this method – but I am saving my bonus triangles in a box for another project I am dreaming of.

I liked the fact that I was able to pull random neutral squares from my box of 2 1/2’’ squares without having to cut from fat-quarters or yardage or strips.  It’s worth a bit of waste for me just to have this variety on hand.

8 rectangles paired and ready to join.

Stitch rectangles together in pairs.  Press center seam open as well.

This will save a lot of bulky mess when we join them to each other.

Units will measure 4 1/2’’ square unfinished, and finish at 4’’ in the quilt.

Double Diamond Colorway #2

Make 4

Here are mine, ready to sew together.

From red fabrics cut 8 rectangles 2 1/’’ x 4 1/2’’
From neutral fabrics cut 12 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’
From aqua fabrics cut 4 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’

Follow the steps for making the aqua/neutral double diamonds above.  Watch for the placement of that aqua triangle when stitching these together.  Remember to press ALL SEAMS OPEN.

Double Diamond Colorway #3

Make 8

Mine, sewn and ready to go!

From blue fabrics cut 16 rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’
From red fabrics cut 8 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’
From neutral fabrics cut 24 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’

Remember to press all seams open – and watch for the placement of that red triangle!  It matters!  As with all of the above, units will measure 4 1/2’’ unfinished and finish at 4’’ in the quilt.  Check, check, recheck your unit sizes before going further.

Four blocks become One!

Make 4 piles of 4 as shown.

Again, watch for the placements of the aqua triangles, and red triangles!

Join units into four block quarters.

I “SPUN” the seams on the back of the block to facilitate nested seams when joining block quarters.  You can also press these seams open if you wish.

Join the four block quarters into one large block.

Sewn and pressed!

You may also choose to spin these long joining seams, but nothing needs to nest from this point.  You can press seams open, or to one side.

At this point measure your block.  It should be 16 1/2’’ square.  If it isn’t, your sashings won’t fit.  So adjust your seams to bring you to unit size.

You can’t go trimming a block that is too big as you will lose all of your points on the outside edge.  

If your block is too big it is a seam allowance issue.  

If your block is too small, it is a seam allowance issue.  

This is a great place to check once again that your seam is bringing you to the needed size.

Adding sashings!

From neutral fabrics cut 4 rectangles 1 1/2’’ x 16 1/2’’.
From blue fabrics cut 4 squares 1 1/2’’ x 1 1/2’’ (Or dig into your 1 1/2’’ squares bin as I did!)

Add the side sashings to the left and right of the block with right sides together. Press seams toward the sashings.

Add a blue square to either end of the top and bottom sashings.  Press seams toward the sashings.  Add the top and bottom sashings to the block, pressing seams toward the sashings.

Quilt center should measure 18 1/2’’ x 18 1/2’’ at this point.

Well done!  That’s it for this week – I can’t wait to follow your hashtags and see what colors and fabrics you are working with.

And we’ll see you right back here next Monday, for Part 2!

If you are new and have just joined us – our March Quilty Box Gift-Away is still on-going and will be drawn for on Wednesday.  Enter to win ON THAT POST!

Quiltville Quote of the Day

Sometimes we need to guard our thoughts and conversations. Are we talking about our problems more than we are our blessings?

Especially now when there is so much fear, pain, blame and confusion with our world situation.

Turn it around, the blessings are STILL everywhere! What is something you are grateful for TODAY?

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

This Sew-in-Place Quilt Along is given for personal use only.  No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying for sharing, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

Please no uploading and saving of this file with intent to share, email or distribute, either digitally or in hard copy. NOT FOR RESALE.

Please send your friends to my blog to print their clues. Thank you!

©2020 Bonnie K Hunter. All Rights Reserved.


  1. This is awesome! Thank you

  2. As always this is a beautiful start to a quilt! I was really debating about starting yet another project but shoot this just sucked me in. Time to go digging for fabrics!
    Today's blessing... while it is hard, I can work from home. So even if my hubby's "essential" job eventually has to stop we will still be able to provide for our three little girls.

  3. Very pretty indeed. Thank you very much for the super speedy pattern! I need to choose some fabric - but this will also be my leader and ender for a quilt in progress!

  4. How nice looking forward to getting started thank you Bonnie
    Love and quilty hugs

  5. This start to the Unity quilt is beautiful. Grabbing my scrap boxes to get started. Thank you for this. It helps so much to get through these unusual times.

  6. I absolutely LOVE your center block. I failed to select my fabric choices in the waking hours yesterday. Kept tossing and turning in bed last night as I pondered what colors I should use. This evening I will pull my fabrics and get ready! This is just the peek preview I needed to make up my mind on colors! How fun this is going to be!

  7. Hi Bonnie - so great of you to keep us always in Unity! I'm still putting in my work hours at home, but looking forward to some sewing after quitting time. All is good in San Diego, CA. Staying at home and only venturing out for afternoon walks around the neighborhood. Sandi

  8. Great center block! But the aqua rectangles need to have 16 neutral squares to go with them. (not 8) :) Happy stitching!

  9. Great center block! But the aqua rectangles need 16 neutral squares. (not 8)
    Happy stitching!

  10. I am grateful for a fun new quilt to start!! You're directions are awesome!! Thanks for the time you are making for this project!

  11. BEAUTIFUL! Can't wait to start.

  12. Great design! I am so excited to use my simple folded corners ruler again. Thank you, Bonnie, for bringing us together for a little fabric therapy. It is just what we need at this time.

  13. One really good Blessing for every day..... your email in my box each day!
    Thank you for everything! You help us keep our heads on straight!

  14. Just had to share. I looked at the first Unity pattern, and said, "Ooooo this is going to make me have to stretch." And DH George immediately responded, "Good a stretch will be good for you." And I know he'll be here in the house, back at his old job of "Honey, just come stand next to me while I work this out." We've been tag teaming sewing projects for years. He provides meals and reassurance while I work my sewing projects one step at a time. Thank you so much for bringing this project forward to keep us stretching.

  15. I'm grateful for the opportunity to create without it being mandated on what I can or can't do. Free agency is a blessing.

  16. Nearly finished with Frolic (a graduation quilt for a grandson) and tempted to join Unity. Am telling the Tarheels Piecemakers Quilt Club about Unity and suggesting that they join in on the fun. But we have a couple of members who do not have a computer and cannot get the patterns for themselves. May I print out the directions for any of the 3 members who cannot do it themselves? I wouldn't ask except for these extenuating circumstances.

  17. Thank you for doing this. It will be a good challenge for me. Making mine as a QOV.

  18. Bonnie: Hello and Thank You so much for another mystery opportunity and a way to give us something quilty to do while sheltering in place. I Love the start of this and definitely will be making it soon. I, too will be using the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. When it is finished it will be donated as a QOV, to one of my Brothers and Sisters in Arms, Duty, and Honor to this Great country we live in.

    I also love your Quote of the day! Right now we Do need to unite, and do what is medically necessary to stop this hideous virous that is attacking the world.

    Donna E.
    Kasilof, AK
    Where it is sunny but cold out.

  19. Thanks, just what we needed at this time. Your the Best!!!!!!!

  20. Hi Bonnie, Thank you for doing this. Teaching remotely...I need destressing. I think I spotted some familiar fabrics - wink, wink. So glad Zoey found you and Dave. I love that your animals have become so much a part of you posts. I can identify. Stay safe, stay healthy.
    Roberta from Tucson

  21. Just finished Good Fortune today. Last three borders were eluding me. Now I’ll have time to look at this mystery. Thanks, Bonnie.

  22. Thank you very much Bonnie. This is the first quilt I have made with you, though I have been watching for a while now. I just ordered rulers, so I am ready to go once they arrive. You mentioned April 30, my daughter lives in Virginia and today, the governor ordered stay at home until June 10!! Oh my goodness. Happy Monday night to you.

  23. I love medallion style quilts! thanks Bonnie

  24. love your mickey and pluto fabric.

  25. Thank you, Bonnie.

  26. How many weeks is this sew along

  27. Gorgeous block! A rectangular medallion? Looking forward to more!


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