How to make a Tetris Quilt
Want to make your own Tetris quilt? I’m working on a “fancy” version of the pattern in PDF, but until then, here are the basics
I hope you have a big stash, access to lots of FQs, and/or very patient cutting-table ladies at your local quilt shop, because you’re going to need a LOT of different pieces of fabric! You’ll need sets of fabric in red, orange, yellow, light blue, dark blue, green, and purple; for each color, get one quarter-yards each (FQ or yardage, either one works) in five gradiating shades. Small prints work best, though larger tone-on-tone patterns are fine if that’s all you can find.
If you have difficulty finding enough pieces at once, break your fabric shopping and sewing into separate sessions. I ended up working on these blocks one color at a time, as fabric discoveries (and the cash to purchase them) permitted.
With so many fabrics to deal with, I found it was helpful to glue a scrap of each to a piece of tagboard and mark the color number with a sharpie.
In order to get the 3-d effect, each 4″ colored block is made as a nine-patch with the five different colors; for reference, 1 is the lightest, and 5 is the darkest.
For one block, you’ll need the following:
Color 1, 2, 4, and 5: one strip, 2.5″ x 1.5″; one 2″ square, cut across the diagonal
Color 3: one 2.5″ square
You will also need a stack of 4.5″ squares in a black tone-on-tone print.
For this layout, make:
18 light blue
12 dark blue
39 non-pieced black
1. Assemble the cornerstones:
for each block, you’ll need:
1 and 4
1 and 2
5 and 4
5 and 2
If you need more than one block of a particular color, layer the two squares together, draw down the diagonal with a marker (sharpie is okay, since the ink will be inside the seam allowance) and sew 1/4″ from each side of the line.
TIP: use a 4.5″ square quilting ruler to trim each block when you’re finished sewing and pressing. With so many small blocks, it’s important that everything be square!
2. Assemble each row:
Following the diagram above, attach one corner to each side of the middle strip for the top and bottom rows. The middle segment can be speed-pieced with two 1.5″ strips and one 2.5″ strip, which is then cut into 2.5″ slices.
3. Assemble three rows into one block, pressing seams towards the center.
Following the layout above, assemble the top, chain-piecing the first two columns of each row together without clipping the threads, Do this for each column, and then fold the rows together to finish the horizontal seams. Having the blocks connected helps to line up all of the seams!
For this top, I finished with long-horizontal grey borders measuring 2″ wide, a 6″ border of small, multicolored dots on a black background, and another 2″ border in bright red to tie all the colors together.
An easy way to machine-quilt the top would be to simply stitch in the ditch between each block and outline the borders.
Alternately, you can freehand an all-over pattern in either single-color or variegated thread. A meander pattern would work well, though for my top, I used angles instead of curves for a neat effect.
Finish the quilt with a red binding and make sure to add a tag. Congratulations! Now you can play too much Tetris, dream about it, and have it decorate your bed, too!
If you make one of these on your own, I’d love to see it! Send me a pic, and I can start a gaming-quilt gallery!