Updated: May 2
A quick and fun quilt project in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
As with most "disappearing-something" quilt patterns, this one is a lot easier than it looks. I have been deeply intrigued by this video by Brita Nelson of Brita Nelson the Questioning Quilter on her disappearing hourglass Moroccan tiles quilt since it first got published on YouTube recently, and upon further research, I found that Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company made a similar disappearing hourglass quilt in this YouTube video published in 2014.
I have been waiting for an opportunity to make the Moroccan tiles quilt. That opportunity came as we entered the holy month of Ramadhan, when Muslims all over started their annual fasting obligations leading to Hari Raya Aidilfitri. You see, the octagonal star of the compound variety (shown below) is commonly found in Islamic arts and architecture. It is also very characteristic of Moroccan tiles, which makes sense because Morocco is a predominantly Islamic country.
It did seem like an apt time to start a Moroccan tiles quilt project. And so I did. And I finished it just in time before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.
Now, Brita Nelson's video very clearly shows how to create the Moroccan tile block by cutting up hourglass blocks (hence the term "disappearing hourglass"). But her video used dark scrappy fabrics on light solid background. My Moroccan tiles blocks are made in the exact same way, except instead of scrappy, my fabrics are mindfully arranged according to colours, and instead of a single solid-coloured light background, I used coordinating light-coloured fabrics that do not look like background at all in the finished quilt.
For the main panel and binding, I used these handmade cotton batiks from Terengganu, a state located at the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. You can see more photos of these batik fabrics in my earlier post on Jalur Gemilang Quilt.
For the border and backing, I used regular quilting cotton. For the batting, I use thin 80-20 cotton polyblend.
The measurements and quantities shown below, with quarter-inch seam allowances, result in a finished quilt of about 199 cm x 199 cm ( 165 cm x 165 cm without border and binding). Having said that, unless you really want your finished quilt to be of a certain exact measurement, there is no reason to be fussy about the measurements as long as you are consistent with them. Also, I strongly suggest you watch the video by Brita before you read on, as it will greatly enhance your ability to imagine how these blocks are formed.
STEP 1: Make Half-Square Triangles (HST)
There are many ways to make HSTs. I used the the 8-at-a-time method. Here's a great video by Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts on how to make 8-at-a-time HSTs.
I started by cutting out 37 cm x 37 cm squares from my fabrics.
Then, pair the coordinating colours by placing them right sides together, and make 8-at-a-time HSTs (i.e. each pair will give 8 HSTs - you will end up with extra 4 HSTs from each colour pairing since you only need 36 of each colour pairing).
Using the 8-at-a-time method with a quarter-inch seam allowance, this should result in HSTs with ample buffer for squaring down to 16.5 cm x 16.5 cm.
STEP 2: Make Disappearing Hourglass Blocks
Sew sets of four HSTs of different colours together to make Hourglass Blocks A and B (see illustration below). Then, follow the demo in Brita's video to cut up the hourglass blocks, rotate some sub-cuts, and sew them back together to make the Disappearing Hourglass Blocks A and B.
STEP 3: Make Moroccan Tiles Blocks
Take two Disappearing Hourglass Block A, and two Disappearing Hourglass Block B, and sew them together in the arrangement shown below (you will have to rotate some of the blocks).
STEP 4: Piece Together Moroccan Tile Blocks to Make Main Quilt Panel
Sew together all nine Moroccan Tile Blocks to form the main panel (do not rotate any of them - they should be all sewn in the same orientation).
STEP 5: Add Borders
At this point, any regular borders will work just fine. But you might notice that I have used two different shades of beige in my borders with mitered corners. My borders are 14 cm wide finished, so I cut my border strips 16 cm wide to give ample allowance.
STEP 6: Baste with Batting and Backing, Quilt and Bind
Baste the quilt top with batting and backing, and quilt. I have done horizontal straight line quilting of about 1.5 cm apart.
For my binding, I selected a similar-themed batik fabric but in the colour purple. This is a deviation from what I usually do, because I almost always chose binding fabric from one of the fabrics used in the quilt top.
But I like how it turned out.