Sometimes the best incentive to finish a quilt is the burning desire to start the next one.

I saw this kilim (kee-leem: a middle eastern flat woven rug) on Instagram a few weeks ago and couldn’t get it out of my head. It is so obviously meant to be a quilt.

Moreover, it seems it is meant to be a quilt done in solids. What??? I know. Not my usual thing. But in this case I think any print would take away from the graphic impact of the design. I truly want to make a quilt that looks as much like this exact rug as possible. I don’t stash solids, so I’ll have to do some shopping. Oh darn!


I started sketching and experimenting with different ways of putting this quilt together. If you are an experienced quilter, you probably noticed the HSTs (half square triangles) right away. They’re set on point (diagonal) but I think I can handle that aspect. The truly challenging part has been deciphering a repeatable block pattern to make the process more reasonable (to avoid the tedium & confusion of piecing this row by row).

Ultimately I came up with this block.


Set on point and colored in, you can see the kilim design begin to emerge.


Now, this doesn’t quite replicate the rug exactly. There will be some small differences, but I hope to capture the essence of the kilim while at the same time creating a quilt block that can be easily shared and replicated by others.

It’s going to be a lot of HSTs. A lot. I’m going to try a different method this time- kind of a “back to basics” approach. In my HST tutorial, I advocate creating oversized HSTs and trimming them down (a very common modern day method). But as my sewing accuracy increases I’m not sure it’s necessary. And it’s such a pain that I’m not going to do it if it’s not necessary. I’ll test it and report back! I may be updating that HST tutorial soon.

I guess I need to be careful making absolute statements like “I don’t use solids” or “I always trim my HSTs.”

But meanwhile! I have another quilt that I am forcing myself to complete first, at least to the “finished top” phase. I am so close.


I’m hoping to be able to share it on Friday because HIP HIP HOORAY SPRING BREAK IS OVER. Spring break is very hard on the mothers. My preschooler goes back to school on Thursday, and I’m planning to stitch this all up then.

I am also collecting fabrics for one more project, but I’ll share the details of that another day. Here’s a sneaky peak of the growing pile though.


Mmm. These are personal favorites of mine, all Denyse Schmidt (Katie Jump Rope, Flea Market Fancy, and Picnic & Fairgrounds).

I’m sure it will be the thought of cutting into this project that gets me through all those HSTs for the kilim quilt. And the cycle continues…

26 thoughts on “WIP(s)

  1. I truly loathe trimming up blocks. Sew them right the first time. I use the Easy Angle Ruler for HSTs and I use Fons and Porters half and quarter ruler for both HSTs as well as flying geese and hourglass blocks. So stinking simple as long as you watch your seam allowance. Try it!

  2. I love seeing your coloured in graph paper designs. I’m intrigued at the thought of you doing an all solids quilt – I am often tempted to do a no-solids quilt and only because I read your blog! I don’t think I would ever have considered it otherwise.

  3. The Kilim quilt idea is looking great! Thanx for sharing how you work it all out… Seems do-able! and looking forward to seeing just what you are going to make with your yummy DS collection, Linda

  4. Guddddabluhhhhhh. I love everything in this post. I have a hst image to turn into a solids quilt and you might inspire me. Eventually. Please tell me you’re using shot cottons. So excited to see this.

  5. So I only spot one of the plaid prints from Katie Jump Rope in that pile of fabrics at the bottom… is that because you don’t have them or because you don’t want them? Because I’ve got a largish scrap of the blue/brown plaid and I don’t love it, so I’d be happy to send it your way if it’d fit in with whatever you’re planning.

  6. You’re so right – spring break is super hard on moms of youngsters (maybe all mom’s but I know I only get 6 hours a week where I’m not the primary caregiver and I relish every second! I was SO glad to have preschool back in session this week!)

    Also, I agree with Ashley, shot cottons are a great idea to convey that rich texture and color that comes to mind when I think of middle eastern texiles/traditions.

  7. Pingback: Friday finish: modern flower garden quilt top | Sarah Quilts

  8. Pingback: WIP: kilim quilt | Sarah Quilts

  9. I’m looking forward to seeing that kelim quilt coming together. And I LOVE the Katie Jump Rope fabric range. I haven’t been able to face cutting into the ones I still have in my stash.

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