Sunday, March 1, 2020

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt

A Finished Quilt
A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

When I say things are slowly returning to "normal" I mean super slowly ... like snail paced ... but I am good with it. I am embracing slow and as well as being keen to learn new techniques. This quilt is entirely hand pieced. Hand pieced as in - - - - - running stitch with needle, thimble, and thread.

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020
A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020
A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

It turns out that I can do slow, I can hand piece and sew secure seams; the quilt top did not fall apart when I picked it up, nor when I pressed the seams! In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed hand piecing the quilt top. Who knew?

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

I have always enjoyed choosing what fabric to use and where, and this particular traditional quilt design allows for quite some fun fabric play. Choosing what goes next was intense and I planned ahead maybe 3 to 4 rounds at a time, but even so I often changed my mind as each row (or round/trip of fabric) was added. I have cut several rounds of fabric squares that have remained unused! Maybe they're ready cut for the next Trip Around the World Quilt.

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt  - stitching, seams, and pressing | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

Above is a photo of the back of the quilt top. You can see the pencil marked seams, the running stitch, as well as how the seams were pressed. The stitches are far from perfect - they are not all even, nor consistent length - but they do the job. I did a small back stitch at the start and end of each seam, and added a back stitch every 4 to 5 stitches to secure the stitches/thread.

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

Hand Pieced Traditional Trip  Around the World Quilt
The finished quilt measures 58 inches x 58 inches.
1625 squares measuring 2" x 2" (includes seam allowances).
Started: 26 December 2019.
Finished: 22 February 2020.
Hand Pieced.
Start with the center square then add a "trip"
around the centre square (ie add 4 squares).
Continue by adding additional trips - each additional trip requires an
additional four fabric squares.

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

All fabrics are from stash. Some are relatively new additions, others are my go-to favorite that I have had on hand for some time. Choosing fabrics from stash became more difficult once a trip around the quilt required more than a fat quarter of fabric. No single trip of fabric required more than a 1/2 yard of fabric.

Notions / Tools
All 2" fabric squares were cut using a rotary cutter and ruler.
After cutting all squares were marked with a ¼ inch seam allowance.
I use a mechanical pencil with a 2B 0.7mm lead
for ease of marking a line on the fabric.
Jeana Kimball's Foxglove Cottage -Sharps Needle - size 10.
Aurfil 50wt thread (the orange spool) for hand piecing.

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

I have finished the quilt by using a light weight cotton batting called QuiltLite. Quiltlite is a woven cotton fabric similar to a loosely woven flannel fabric; it offers the presence of batting without adding bulk.

I have then machine quilted the quilt by ditch stitching all seam lines; simple and functional rather than decorative quilting, which at the same time gives the quilt a lovely texture and a soft drape. For the back of the quilt I have used my favorite text fabric Newsprint from the Story collection by Carrie Bloomston, and have matched it with my signature black/white stripe fabric for the binding.

A Hand Pieced Trip Around the World Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2020

I will continue to update my blog with photos of my quilts as and when I have something to share. I am still sewing - oddly I have a second completed hand-pieced quilt top ready for quilting - but I am finding myself easily distracted and ready to start new projects, rather than complete my quilt tops.

Thank you for stopping by and scrolling through the photos. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions (


More RPQ Trip Around the World Quilts (Machine Pieced):

Follow RPQ on:
COPYRIGHT: Do not copy or use any content or photos from my blog without my written permission. This is original content from


  1. You always have such cheerful looking quilts. Congratulations on hand piecing your beautiful TATW!

  2. Wow! It’s amazing that you called this slow. To hand piece this in less than 3 months is not what I’d call slow. I love hand piecing because it’s relaxing but I don’t think you were relaxing at all. It’s a beautiful quilt.

  3. This the quilt pattern my Great Grandmother tried to reach me to hand piece on.
    I was maybe 10.
    Thanks for the memory.
    Beautiful quilt.

  4. "easily distracted"? ha! that is the story of my life lately. This quilt is absolutely beautiful Rita. I love it. I hope you and the family are doing well. My sewing is very slow as I only sew early in the morning or late at night. I am running on "in a hurry - on stand by" is the only way I can explain it. Sewing relaxes me.
    Keep sewing. YOu are always so inspiring

  5. So beautiful! Great work! Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

  6. Oh my, this is fabulous. I couldn't even think of hand piecing a trip quilt. x

  7. Striking colour composition. Beautiful quilt!

  8. Amazing job! I’ve noticed hand piecing is making a little bit of a comeback. You are inspiring quilters to return to enjoying the process and embracing the process!

  9. Great to hear from you! Your color choices are beautiful, as always, and your stitches look precise and even to me!

  10. Simply beautiful (as always); thanks for sharing!

  11. This is amazing! I always appreciate you sharing your process.

  12. I this quilt!!!!!

  13. You are absolutely amazing! And such an inspiration!

  14. You are crazy talented!! Beautiful.

  15. Congratulations on 'slowing down to the speed of life' and for your stunningly beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing. In the absence of my regular weekly quilting class (shielding/lockdown)I have started a City & Guilds on line patchwork & quilting course and am learning to sew BLOCKS rather than my favoured improv modern quilting style. Slow and challenging but very pleasurable.


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I really appreciate it.

Comments are published after review.

Feel free to ask questions and I will answer either here or by email, as is appropriate.