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Karla's Cactus Flower Quilt Tutorial

In this tutorial, Karla will teach us two methods to make a half-rectangle triangle design using TrueCut products. The finished size of this quilt is 60” X 60”. We will also be using the paper piecing technique to create this pattern. Have fun with your fabric selection. For instance, Karla thinks that Batiks would be so fun in this quilt design. 

Before diving into the pattern tutorial, we have one last tip to give you. Make a tester block first to practice the pattern and save yourself fabric! You can eleven use scrap fabric to create this trial run block. Your primary goal with the scrap block is understanding the instructions and the pattern. On your practice block, record the dimensions of each piece of fabric so you can use this block as a reference as you create your cactus flower quilt. Karla recommends starting from the center of the block design and working your way out to the edges of the block design.

Tools 

  • 45mm Comfort Cutter

  • Cutting Mat

  • Permanent marker

  • Paper 

  • Fabric marker

  • 9 ½” square ruler

  • Iron

Materials:

  • 1 fat quarter of each color material (9 colors total)

    • Light pink solid

    • Medium pink solid

    • Light blue solid

    • Medium blue solid

    • Light red solid

    • Medium red solid 

    • Light purple solid 

    • Medium purple solid

    • Yellow solid 

    • Medium green solid

  • ½ fat quarter of each color material (12 colors total)

    • Medium-light pink solid/ dark pink solid

    • Medium-light blue solid / dark blue solid 

    • Medium-light red solid/ dark red solid

    • Medium-light purple solid/ dark purple solid 

  • 3 yards of background color solid 

  • 1 ½ yards light green solid 

  • 4 yards of backing fabric

  • 4 yards of batting 

  • ½ yard of binding fabric


Cut Your Fabric

  • Light and medium solids

    • Cut four 4” X 8” rectangles of each color and shade for half rectangle triangles (HRTs). 

  • Yellow solid

    • 16 squares 3 ½ “ for blocks 

  • Medium-light and dark color solids

    • 4 square 3 ½ “ in each color and shade

  • Background color solid

    • 32 rectangles 4” X 8” for HRTs

    • 16 rectangles 3 ½” X 4” for blocks

    • 16 rectangles 3 ½“ X 7” for blocks

    • 32 squares 3 ½ “ for blocks

    • 48 rectangles 4 ½” X 10”

  • Medium green solid 

    • Four squares 5 ½“

  • Light green solids

    • 8 rectangles 5 ½“ X 9”

    • 8 rectangles 5 ½“ X 17 ½“

Karla used the 45mm Comfort Cutter

Make Half Rectangle Triangles

This pattern uses half rectangle triangles or HRTs to create the petals of the cactus flowers. You will make HRTs out of all the light and medium fabric you have to cut. Half of them will have the solid color on the right side, and half will have the solid color on the left side. Start with light or medium solid rectangle and mark the diagonal from the top-right corner to the bottom-left corner, as shown below. 

Next, lay out the marked solid color rectangle and a 4” X 8” with the short sides at the top and bottom. Align the top-right corner of the solid fabric with the top-left corner of the background fabric, which means the bottom-left corner of the solid fabric will meet the bottom-right corner of the background fabric (see image below). Sew ¼“ away from the diagonal marking on either side of the line. 

Cut along the diagonal and press open the seams. Trim your rectangles into 3 ½” X 7 ½” with a quarter-inch seam allowance. Repeat this process for two of each the light and medium solid rectangles to create four right-side HRTs. 

Karla used the 9 ½” square ruler to get perfectly aligned HRTs.

Cactus Flower Block 

To begin your quilt block, join a 3 ½” X 4” background square with a 3 ½” yellow square.

  

Next, join a 3 ½” X 7” background rectangle to the previous unit.

 

Join a light, left-side HRT to the previous unit with the long edge of the solid color next to the yellow square. 

Separately, join a right-side HRT to a medium-light square.

Add that unit to the bottom edge of the previously prepared unit. 

Repeat to make four of each color flower. 

Select a color for your center blocks. Place a background color square over the dark solid square and sew diagonally from corner to corner. Then cut the excess ¼” away from the seam. Press open and repeat with all the blocks of the same color (making four total).

Border Blocks 

Use 4 ½” X 10” background rectangles, 5 ½” X 9” light green rectangles, Template C (pictured below), and the instructions in the paper piecing section (below this border block instruction) to create eight triangle blocks for the border. 

 

Use 4 ½” X 10” background rectangles, 5 ½“ X 17 ½“ light green rectangles, the piecing instructions below, and Template D to create eight triangle diamonds for your border. 

The templates can be made by hand, as shown in the photo below, or printed from the PDF link near the end of this article. 

Karla is using the 18” X 24” cutting mat (available in three sizes).

Join a medium green square, a triangle block, two diamond blocks, a triangle block, and a medium green square. Repeat to make the two top borders.

Join a triangle block, two diamond blocks, and a triangle block. Repeat to make two side borders. 

Use the assembly diagram below to assemble your quilt top.

Foundation Paper Piecing Instructions

Find the printable version of the templates in this PDF.

The inspiration for this pattern came from Karla's husband. He loved a cactus quilt he saw, so she was inspired to make one for him! Thank you for following along with this quilting tutorial. We hope you enjoy making this pattern. Post a photo and tag us with your finished project on our Quilting with Grace Facebook group or Instagram.

Happy quilting, 

The Grace Family

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