This is such an easy quilt to make, but it does take some planning and a lot of care in assembly. Sudoku is a type of puzzle where there are nine nine-patches, and each number or fabric appears only once in a nine-patch, and only once in any row or column across three nine-patches.
The great thing about this pattern is it has all straight seams, and all squares. It is easy enough for a beginner, but does have a bit of challenge to get the pattern correct. You can make them any size you want, which makes using pre-cuts like layer cakes and jelly rolls possible. You just need nine different fabrics, cut into nine squares of each print. A layer cake 10×10 fabric will cut into 3-inch squares with some left over. A jelly roll strip will make 2-1/2-inch squares, and you’ll have almost half a strip left over. Using a fat quarter, you can get up to 6-inch squares. Scraps work too! I had these sewing prints to use, and thought a Sudoku quilt would look lovely on the antique sewing machine.
So choose your size, and cut nine squares of each fabric. Use a scrap of the fabric, an extra square, or the rest of the strip to pin numbers on your prints from one to nine. Lay these out at the top of your work table with the stacks of squares next to them. This way you will always have your numbers straight and it will help you keep each of the squares correct. Note that a couple of these prints are close, #2 and #7 are close, but #2 is only browns. Numbers 3 and 4 both have dark green backgrounds. Don’t worry about placing the prints, they will all be next to each other at some point in the quilt.
You’ll make one block at a time and label it. This is vital because the nine-patches are all different. They have to be in order to meet the requirement of only one fabric in any row or column across three blocks.
Here is the numbered grid to follow.
Pull the fabrics by number for the each block and lay them out. Check them to be sure you have it right. Sew in rows. This picture is the center left block, just in case you are checking it against the color key photos. Oh you know you were, LOL, or you wanted to!
Press the top row and bottom row seams to one side, and the middle row to the opposite side so the seams will nest. Finish up by labeling the block. I recommend labeling each block in the upper left square in order to keep the squares oriented correctly. Use numbers, or directional terms like top row left,top row middle, top row right, center left, center middle, center right, bottom left and so on.
Repeat for all nine blocks. Lay out your finished squares and check it against the pattern. Check to be sure that there are no repeated prints in any row or column.
Oops, something wrong with that, there are two patches of two different prints in the same column across all three blocks. Since there are two mistakes in the top block, maybe it is the problem.
Yep, the block was turned the wrong way. I was labeling the top left corner of every block, but I got it turned and didn’t check it as I put it down. Now you see why labeling the blocks all in the same spot is important. Now it is right, checking against the pattern again.
Add sashing strips in a neutral tone to let the blocks shine.
The sashing should be about half the width of the squares.
Sew the sashing vertically between the blocks first, then add the horizontal sashing strips.
Add a border in the same fabric and width as the sashing, matching up the vertical sashing. Press towards the sashing if it isn’t too light.
Continue with the side sashings to complete the frame around the blocks.
Add an additional border either one of the prints from the blocks, or use a completely different fabric as I did.
Here are a few close views of the corners, no repeats!
Quilt as desired. I use my longarm, but this is small enough to easily complete on a domestic machine.
I used a swirly pantograph to add some curves to an otherwise all square piecing design.
Bind in the usual way. I used the same print as the outer border.
Display as you like.
This has huge possibilities for every season!
Use red, gold and green prints for a Christmas table topper.
Fall prints for an autumn beauty.
Red, pink and white or cream for a February decoration.
Pastels for spring.
Brights for kids.
Red, white and blue for patriotic holidays.
Any combination you like for holidays or themes like the sewing motifs. The possibilities are endless!!
Here is one of my other sudoku table toppers. This one has an autumn theme.
Here’s the back, it was quilted with a custom design, twist in the squares, ribbon candy on the inner border and beadboard on the outer border.
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I am delighted to be one of Fave Quilts Top 100 Quilt Designs for 2016 with this design!
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Do you think you will make one of these Sudoku quilts? What color scheme or fabric print family would you use?