Housetop Quilt workshop

If you read Laura’s article about the Gees Bend Cooperative, you will have already seen a picture of a house top quilt.  It is a quilt built up with either a plain square in the middle or a scrap of other patchwork surrounded by strips forming lots of frames.  It is very similar to log cabin but usually the quilt is made of one large block.  Have a look on Pinterest for images of Housetop quilts (sometimes called Bricklayers Quilts).  Whilst researching this I found a great film on Youtube and if you have time I really recommend you to watch it.  It introduces some of the amazing women of Gees Bend and how they work and live   video here

This workshop is for a much smaller piece.  I worked in the same style as the quilters of Gees bend using scissors and not measuring anything and I LOVED it!


You will need fabric scraps, scissors, sewing machine, wadding.

I began by deciding which fabrics I was to use.


Then USING SCISSORS (!) just cut them into strips.  I also cut a rectangle for the middle of the quilt.  Mine was about 4″ x 3″ but of course this is up to you.


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I took a strip and stitched it to one side of the rectangle and then cut off the excess.  I then used the remains of the strip to add a border to each side.


Continue in this way but if you run short of a fabric to finish all four sides – just add in something else Gees Bend style!

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When my quilt was as large as I wanted, I made a quilt sandwich using a spray temporary glue.


I quilted it using the walking foot on my machine in straight lines because I noticed the Quilters of Gees Bend often use this style –  often hand quilt – but not always.


Finally I added binding to finish it off.


If you try this workshop and like it, check out Gwen Marston ‘Liberated Quiltmaking’ she makes beautiful patchwork and doesn’t measure a thing!



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