Cars fabric

Like tuh-mater, but without the ‘tuh

In 2011, Quilt Projects by S Adams

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I have three brothers, but I only had one Christmas quilt done.  Unacceptable!  My brother Rick had jokingly requested a “car quilt”.  Teach him to joke with me!  I ran across a fabric by Springs Creative that had Disney’s Lightning McQueen and Tow-Mater on a tan background that didn’t look too “kid-like”.


From a distance it looked like a nice tan fabric with some red and brown in it.  I had watched the Cars movie with my brother and sister-in-law, so I knew they were fans.  Sweet!  I just wasn’t sure what pattern to use.

I had really enjoyed doing the carpenter star pattern for Dean’s and Ron’s quilts and went to see if that designer had another pattern that I liked.  Sure enough, there was one called Labyrinth that I totally fell for.  I really loved the square symmetrical look of the king and lap sized versions, but I wasn’t a big fan of the rectangular twin and queen sized versions.  Unfortunately, what I really wanted something in the middle size-wise!  So with a little bit of image editing I came up with my own mid-sized square patterns.


I settled on the modified twin size and got to work.  Just like the Cosmic Jewels pattern, the Labyrinth pattern was easy to follow and not too difficult, being mostly half square triangles.  My modification was easy because all I had to do was leave out a couple rows of blocks on either end and use smaller borders.  This meant I would end up with a bit of extra fabric, so I decided to try a few new things – a pieced back and a coordinating throw pillow.  And, because the quilt was square, I wanted to do mitered borders.  Yay!  More learning experiences!

  1. Working with novelty fabrics has its own challenges.  Cutting out relatively small pieces means you may get one piece that’s all tan background and another that’s all Lightning McQueen.  You also have to decide if there’s an up and/or down in your quilt, or if you don’t care which direction things end up.  It took a little bit of extra planning.
  2. The mitered borders were kind of a pain, and definitely used up more fabric.  I would do them again, but probably not on a quilt that has three sets of borders.  I really liked the end product, and can imagine that with some border fabrics it would be really cool looking.
  3. The pillow was fun and an easy weekend project. I fussy cut the middle (to match the fussy cut corner blocks in the quilt) and tried to make the pillow look somewhat like a tiny version of the quilt.
  4. I used this tutorial on how to do my own covered piping for the pillow.  It was the first time I had used a zipper foot and I can imagine lots of “non-standard” uses.
  5. I used these instructions for the envelope style back on the pillow.  I’m not a huge fan of them, because there’s a lot of stress put on the envelope flaps when installing/removing the pillow form.  But at the time I wasn’t ready for zippers.
  6. The pieced back was fairly easy.  I used Katie Spencer’s Random Quilt Back  method and loved it.  This is probably my favorite quilt back that I’ve done.  The part I had to keep reminding myself about was that some portion of the outside edges was going to get trimmed away in the final product.  Plus I didn’t want to have to fight too many additional seams when doing my binding. So I needed to avoid having seams and little pieces within about six inches from each edge.  A little tricky, but not too bad.

Karen and I picked a pantograph called Deb’s Swirls that she used on the quilt, and I think it came out pretty nice!

The Project Photos


The Project Details…

Pieced By: Me
Piecing Done: August 2011
Quilted By: Karen Walker
Quilting Done: October 2011
Pattern: “Labyrinth” by Debbie Maddy of Calico Carriage Quilt Designs.
Fabric Line: Various Connecting Threads fabrics and Cars Tossed on Map by Springs Creative.
Size: Quilt Pattern: Lap 58″ square or King 118″ square
My Quilt: 64″ square
Pillow: 12 inches square
For: Brother and Sister-in-law, Rick and Susan
Occasion: Christmas 2011