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A Table With a Twist : An Easily Made Quilted Covering for Holiday Entertaining

December 08, 1985

Designer Bill Mackin created this holiday dessert, coffee and Champagne setting around our festive holiday tablecloth. Mackin used Ceralene Limoges china plates on top of natural-finish pine service plates. For instructions on how to make the tablecloth, please turn the page. (Tableware and accessories are from Bullock's. Fabrics for the tablecloth--and the tools for making it--were provided by Town and Country Fabrics and Yarns, Pacific Palisades. Proprietor Lynn Burke also suggested many of the tips for making the tablecloth.)

How to Make the Quilt Using Readily Available Fabrics, You Can Put It Together in Just 10 Hours

Materials Needed

54 x 54 inch polyester batting

Fabric: Yardage is approximate and based on 44-inch wide, 100% cotton fabric. The pattern does not use equal amounts of each colored fabric.

4 1/2 yards dark print fabric (in the example shown, the same color was used for backing, front borders and dark pieced triangles)

1 1/2 yards middle-value print fabric

1 1/2 yards light print fabric

1 1/2 yards white fabric



sewing machine

5-inch quilting ruler-template

rotary fabric cutter

cutting board

straight edge



scissors and pins

Selecting Fabric

Select colors that are compatible but have some contrast in values. Choose darkest print first and then the lightest. The value of the third fabric should be between the dark and light. White is the perfect background color for a tablecloth.

Cutting Pieces

All fabric is cut into 5-inch squares.

1. Cut fabric in 5-inch-wide strips using quilting ruler-template and rotary fabric cutter.

2. Measure and mark strips at 5-inch intervals then cut into squares with rotary cutter.

3. For organization, stack squares according to color. You will need:

60 white squares

24 light squares

20 middle-value squares

40 dark squares

Sewing Pieced Squares

Note: All seam allowances for entire project are one-quarter inch.

1. Squares must be sewn together in these color combinations:

8 white to white

28 white to dark

8 white to middle-value

8 white to light

2 dark to light

10 dark to middle-value

2 middle-value to light

6 light to light

2. Place two fabric squares together with right sides together. Draw a pencil line diagonally through the center of the top square.

3. Stitch a quarter-inch seam on both sides of the pencil line.

4. Cut along pencil line. Repeat for all squares according to color combinations listed above.

5. Open the pieced squares and iron flat.

6. Stack squares according to pieced color combinations.

Sewing Squares Into Blocks

It takes nine 12-inch blocks to make this quilt. Each block is made from 16 pieced squares.

1. Follow quilt pattern for formation of blocks.

2. Stitch 16 pieced squares together to make each large block.

3. Sew three large blocks together to form a horizontal panel (follow pattern). Repeat to make two more panels.

4. Sew panels together to form quilt top.

Add Borders

1. Cut four border strips 4 1/2 inches wide x 56 inches long.

2. Pin and stitch border strips to quilt with right sides together, mitering corners.


1. Measure finished size of pieced top.

2. Prepare backing by sewing yardage together to approximate dimensions of pieced top. Cut off excess fabric to match exact dimensions of pieced top.

3. Lay batting on a large, flat surface.

4. Place pieced top directly on batting, right side up.

5. Place backing on top of pieced top, right sides together.

6. Make sure all layers of fabric are smooth and even. Pin corners. Stretch and pin layers together.

7. Stitch all four edges, leaving an 18-inch opening on one side for turning.

8. Trim corners and turn quilt inside out.

9. Turn in seam allowance of 18-inch opening and close by hand with whipstitch.

Machine Quilting

1. Baste all layers together.

2. Machine quilt around all the edges of the stars and angles. Quilt the diagonal lines through the stars. Quilt the outer border. Adjust machine tension if necessary.

Finished size: 54 inches square

Napkin Instructions

1. Finished napkin size is 13 inches by 13 inches.

2. Each napkin is one block from the quilt pattern, sewn with a half-inch border. It has no batting but is quilted.

3. Cut four borders, 1 inch by 14 inches.

4. Follow instructions for sewing one block and finish with the same method as for quilt. PRODUCED BY DAWN NAVARRO AND VIRGINIA GRAY

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