Creating · Tutorial

Portuguese Tile Quilt

I started with this picture of some tiles from Portugal.

Then I mocked up a quilt in my Quilt-Pro 5 program.  I mapped it out with 8″ squares, set 6 across in 6 rows, with a 4″ border, yielding a 56″ square quilt.

I’m using the Madrona Road fabric, as I’m always wading into my outdated stash to try a new quilt, and wanted to take this new line for a test drive.  Because of the barn and the truck, I thought back to my days of Amish quilting and went with black for that windmill blade, just like the tile in Portugal, shown above.  Besides every quilt needs some contrast and this line reads to me, for the most part, as in the middle-intensity value range, a favorite of mine and nearly every other quilter.  (I have to work to get the darks and the lights into my stash.)

To cut out the large pieces, I laid out my fabric RIGHT SIDES UP, and cut a rectangle that was 7″ by 4 1/2″, then lay the template on the rectangle (see picture below), and sliced it into two. Here’s the template: PortugueseTileWindmilltemplateSM.

Print it out so you’ll have the pieces to use as a guide for cutting.  (Okay, full disclosure.  I at first didn’t lay the fabric RIGHT SIDE UP, and have quite a few pieces that are backwards, ensuring that I’ll be making this again. So try not to screw up like I did.)

I could have either cut all the black pieces according to a template, or figured out a way to make it easier.  I went with the second.  Cut a rectangle 5 3/8″ by 2 3/4″ and then slice it from corner-to-corner, diagonally.  You will have dog ears you’ll have to cut off, if that’s a consideration for you.

Cut 72 pieces of the blue line, 72 pieces of the pink/orange fabrics and 144 black triangles (that’s 72 rectangles, cut in two).

Lay a triangle across the larger piece.  To get it lined up, put the black on top, with the left point sticking 1/4″ out over the edge.  Don’t worry about that right-hand side longer point.  Stitch.  Press towards the black.

Now lop off those points, by truing this block up to 4 1/2″ square (see below).

I’ve laid them out on my  pin wall.  I don’t have enough of them to do the REAL work of laying them out, because I’m headed downstairs to make some corn-shrimp-coconut soup for dinner, but I’m thinking I do want to mix up the different types of fabric within the pink/orange group and the blue group.

Thanks for you nice atta’ boy comments yesterday.  I took to catch up on the speeches from the Democratic Convention (remember, I’d assigned the watching of these to my students, so feel like I need to keep up), and cut and sewed my cloth.  It’s amazing the difference a day makes.  I liked what Betty said, that this exhaustion must be in the zeitgeist or something.  But after a break of a day, I may even feel like grading, knowing I have this little project to come back to throughout the day.

9 thoughts on “Portuguese Tile Quilt

  1. You get up and moving early, don’t you? Those blocks are great. That was definitely one of the pictures from the slide show that stood out. It will make a great quilt.

  2. I love this quilt, Elizabeth! especially since it was inspired by the tiles. My favorite kinds of inspiration–tiles and upholstery fabric. This is going to be stunning. And thanks for going ahead of us, and already making the mistakes and correcting them. That was very thoughtful of you. 🙂

  3. Love your interpretation and I have my own stash of Madrona, but I’ve just decided to make this in solids. Cannot wait to figure out just which ones!

  4. I am a new visitor to your blog, thanks to Selvage Blog, and will be following you because 1) There is so much to see that I just can’t wait to dig right in. 2) You are an English professor and I am a retired HS English teacher and my kid is a CC English teacher. 3) The writing is entertaining; the quilts are amazing. 4) I am from California and moved to NM 2 years ago, so I can get a little California fix.

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