Harlequin Diamonds — Beginning

I’ve showed you inspirations for my new project, and I’ve told you a bit about my plan. Today I’ll show you the beginning of my construction process.

Here is the EQ7 drawing for the quilt. It will finish at something like 86″ x 90″. It has 15 9-patches and 8 4-patches. In addition there are setting triangles along the top and bottom, sides, and in the corners. The colors will focus on turquoises and purples, but will include greens, pinks, and oranges for spark. The mock-up below isn’t intended to be a placement chart for the colors.

Harlequin Diamonds

When I first drew this plan I used all 9-patches, rather than a mix of 9- and 4-patches. It looked too dense to me, and I thought it might be hard to get the fabrics separated so no two touching patches were of the same fabric. That matters less with the mix of sizes. Also, construction should be easier with the mix, with fewer seams to match. That will be important with all the bias edges.

Originally I also figured the setting triangles would be pieced, rather than whole. But I like the frame created by the unpieced triangles, and again, construction will be much simpler. I hope to find a great print to use for them that will tie it all together. Though I don’t use batiks a lot, this might be the right place.

I used the same layout, colored differently, to find the estimated fabric needed. The 9-patches need about 4.5 yards; the 4-patches need about 2.5 yards; and the setting triangles need about 2 yards.

Harlequin Diamonds 2

I pulled from my stash for the 9-patches. I chose based on color and made no attempt to deal with value differences, as they simply aren’t important to define the pattern. I cut 5.5″ strips to begin making the strip sets.

When I cut strips, I cut along the selvage when possible. This gives me a more stable piece with less stretch. When sewing long strips together, the greater stability helps to keep the pieced segment from warping. However, since most pieces in my stash are smallish, I have cut across the grain where needed. A few of my strips are short, and when I’ve had multiples of the same fabric, I’ve pieced them to make longer strips. This gives a little less waste.

I haven’t finished any of the 9-patches yet, but I do have the 3-patch segments for 12 of them. I need to cut more 5.5″ strips to finish the 15.


Then comes the 4-patches. I will have to buy more fabric, as those will take larger pieces, and I’m almost out of purples.


8 thoughts on “Harlequin Diamonds — Beginning

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks. I think it will work well. I have all 15 9-patches done now and halves of all 8 4-patches. (I have 8 2-patches made, if that makes sense.) Even laid out on the floor, I like the look.

  1. snarkyquilter

    I admire your gumption going after all those points to match. Your use of the alternating 4 and 9 patch diamonds cleverly takes care of some of that. And, darn, you’ll have to fabric shop. I like all the dots in your fabrics.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I like dots and circles and stripes and … 🙂 Actually after looking at my stash, though it will be pretty substantially decimated on this color set, I can get it all, I think, except the setting triangles, back, binding… And that is fine cuz honestly I don’t have time to shop this week, and next week will be crazier. Thanks.


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