Craft Chat

Road to Tennessee Quilt

Thanks for your input on my Road to Tennessee quilt, everyone!

First, the background:  I’ve been looking for a quilt project for a while… in books, magazines, online, projects I saved for my idea notebook.  I bought some charm packs and scrap fabric from eBay, and I had two charm packs (a set of 5 inch squares of coordinating fabric, usually from a single line of designer fabric) that I wanted to use.  As I mentioned earlier, I was all set with a particular block pattern (a Double Four Patch) but the math was difficult because I was trying to force my fabrics to conform to the block and it wasn’t fitting very naturally.  I was going to make the best of it anyway, but the morning that I had decided to start cutting fabric, I found a great idea from the Moda Bake Shop blog.

Here is the Road to Tennessee tutorial at Moda Bake Shop (with a printer-friendly pdf):

Another great tutorial:

I was so excited!  The block is really simple–in fact, I was planning on trying something a little more difficult to challenge myself–but I just loved the creative arrangements, and it’s really flexible, so I already had everything I needed to get started.

So, step one: cutting fabric.

For every 5 inch charm square (64 total, for an 8 x 8 block quilt) I needed to cut two 2 inch squares.  My charm pack squares were a range of greens, blues, plums, and purples, so I chose a light gray-blue solid from my eBay stash for the 2 inch squares.  I cut the entire fat quarter (18″ x 22″) into 2 inch squares, so I had a few left over from the required 128.  I also needed to cut fifteen more 5″ squares to reach 64 blocks, so I chose four coordinating fabrics so the new fabrics wouldn’t overwhelm the ratio of fabrics in the charm pack.

Constructing the block is very easy:

(1) Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other on each 2 inch square.

(2) Sew two 2 inch squares on each 5 inch square of fabric, using the drawn line as your guide.

(3) Trim the triangles to 1/4 ” from the seams.

(4) Press the seams toward the darker fabric, completing the block.

As you know, this is where the fun comes!  There are a few different ways to arrange the Road to Tennessee blocks, and I asked for your help to decide— the traditional X’s and O’s layout, Medallion, or Scrappy Stars?

Traditional: X's and O's
Scrappy Stars

The X’s and O’s arrangement was neck-and-neck with Medallion, until the traditional layout won out with 5 to 3 votes.  However… I decided to go with the Medallion arrangement.  Not to ignore your advice, but that’s the way I was leaning.  I took Carla’s advice from the comments and played with the colors of the blocks until I was happy.

After arranging all the blocks, you just sew rows together first, then join all the rows together.

Here’s the finished quilt top:

It’s not huge, but I like it!  Hope you do too 🙂

I have another quilt top in mind, and then I would like to find a quilt store around here so I can buy fabric to actually quilt and finish them.  This is my third quilt top, but I still haven’t finished a quilt!  One day…

6 thoughts on “Road to Tennessee Quilt

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