Diamond quilt top tutorial

17th November 2010

To make this lap/toddler quilt top (36″x52″), you’ll need: cotton quilting fabric for colorful diamonds, white cotton quilting fabric, rotary cutter & mat, acrylic ruler at least 4″ wide, thread

Notes: I press all seams open. Also, these instructions assume that you will use a narrow quilt binding – 1/4″ or 5/8″ finished.

Lay out your colored diamonds on a design wall (or floor if you’re like me). Start with a row (left to right) of 10 colored diamonds, only the side points touching. Then a row of 9 right below, then another row of 10. You’ll end up with five rows of 9 diamonds between six rows of 10. Keep re-arranging until it you’re happy with the placement, then add white diamonds all around the edge.

Now it’s time to assemble the quilt top. First, sew your diamonds into diagonal rows, starting at the top left.
Row 1: 1 white
Row 2: 1 white, 1 color, 1 white
Row 3: 1 white, 3 color, 1 white
Row 4: 1 white, 5 color, 1 white
Row 5: 1 white, 7 color, 1 white
(there are 17 rows)

Finally, stitch your rows together to make your quilt top. Because your diamonds have bias edges, try your best not to stretch the rows too much as you’re stitching, or your quilt top won’t lay flat. But – the nice thing about the bias edges is that you can stretch them just a little if you need to, to get your points to match up. This part is a little tricky. You’ll get the hang of it after you’ve stitched a few. I’m not very good at matching points – most of my points aren’t perfect. But as long as they’re close, it looks perfectly fine in the finished quilt.

Now trim off the points around the edges & square the corners. Trim the sides & top in nice straight lines, 1/4″ outside the points of the colorful diamonds.

Your quilt top is done! I also did a quick baste stitch (on my machine) around the edges to keep them from stretching while I was quilting, but this is totally up to you.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

36 thoughts on “Diamond quilt top tutorial

  1. Allison

    thank you for adding this quilt tutorial to the list on my blog! I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and I LOVE that quilt! Have a great day -Allison

  2. Valerie in CS

    Your teaser on Friday had me scouring the web looking for how to cut diamonds without templates and fancy rulers… I am apparently an impatient person! *grin* I worked out the math and technique, never dreaming that your “tips & hints” would = a full-fledge tutorial. Thank you!

  3. Nicole

    This quilt is beautiful and this tutorial is really helpful and motivating. I am not sure what all of these terms mean (baste stich?), but I am totally going to make this! You should start a flicker account so we can post our pictures (just promise not to laugh).

  4. Tanya

    I am going to cut the diamonds for my quilt today! Thanks for the tutorial! I’ll post pictures on my blog when the quilt is done :)

  5. Rachel

    SOOO stinkin’ cute. Gotta make this one. Can you give us an idea of the yardage required for this quilt? Maybe that’s too hard to calculate, considering you could use any number of different fabrics to make the diamonds.

  6. Tanya

    Hello! I finished my first one, but it’s a little shorter than yours. Thanks a ton for the tutorial! I posted it on my blog if you want to sneak a peek.

  7. Linda

    Love the tutorial, inspiring choice of fabrics and colors. Thanks for sharing, will be adding it to my “To Do” list :)

  8. Angela Flicker

    What a great tutorial! I mentioned this tutorial on my blog (http://angelaflicker.com/2011/03/making-a-house-a-home-sewing-tutorials/), and I encouraged people to give it a try. Thanks for giving this out to people for free ;)

    On a side note, I really think we should know each other. I too did the beehive bazaar and craft lake city. I live in SLC and just joined the modern quilt guild. Hopefully one day we will meet. Congrats on your new baby, and on The Sewing Summit.

    Best of luck to you!!

  9. Mizunogirl

    Thanks for the Tutorial. I am amking a HUGE King sized (my first!) diamond quilt. and trying to figure out how to quilt it in a diamond pattern all while keeping everything looking straight. this helped a lot with the putting together of the diamonds, though thankfully my diamonds are slightly larger.

  10. Amanda

    Hey there:
    Have you made this quilt by sewing strips together first then cutting those at a 45? Just wondered if that would be easier so I wouldn’t have to offset all my seam allowances. Not sure how I would piece in the white…

  11. Jess Post author

    I have not made it that way, but I totally understand what you are saying. I think that’s the standard way of making a “lone star” diamond quilt. You’d have to do a little math, & I’m not sure about the white either… I’ll have to think a little more about it!

  12. Dana

    What about when you are sewing the row together? Do the rows still have to be offset a 1/4″ when you lay them out to sew together? Sorry, very much a beginner and I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I chose a diamond quilt pattern :) Thanks so much!

  13. heather

    I am making a diamond quilt and was going to stitch straight rows. But see that you did stippling or free hand quilting? Did you like it? The person I am making my diamond quilt wants free hand stippling but I wasn’t sure how it would turn out

  14. Jess Post author

    @heather – I did a modified stippling (kind of long & looks like ripples), which I’ve done many times before on other quilts. It looks nice if you ask me. ;)

  15. linda-kaye

    Thanks Jess. I love this tutorial. Diamonds have always fascinated me, but I wasn’t sure how to do them. Now I feel I’m ready to tackle them. Thanks again!

  16. Jan

    I just tried my hand with your Diamond Quilt Top Tutorial. I just loved making it though the seam ripper in now my new best friend! :-) Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. Stacey Stone

    I will attempt to make this quilt! My mom passed away almost 4 years ago, she loved to quilt! It is just now that I am able to go through her “stash” of material. I came accross a huge amount of these diamonds and no pattern or instructions. I found you and I now know what to do with them. This wil be my first quilt!!! Wish me luck!

  18. Michele T

    Your quilt is beautiful and I love the chosen colour palette!! I am planning to make a diamond quilt for my niece who is graduating from Nursing this spring and your tutorial will be most helpful – thank you! I would like to pin it for reference but am having problems… grrr!

  19. Kaye Gilmour

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’m a very novice quilter but would like to think that ‘one day ‘ I could achieve this. X


    I been looking for this tut for a long time.I”m just glad i found it.This one is a keeper.Thanks for sharing.

  21. Kathleen Stept

    I LOVE your quilt and the quilting is awesome. The texture it gives is WONDERFUL.

  22. Becky

    Does anybody know if the rows have to be off set also to make the points come out right. I assume that would be about 1/4″ on both off sets? I’m a beginner.

  23. Jess Post author

    When you sew the rows together, the edges of the rows you are sewing will be even with each other. But look closely at the seams you’ve already sewn – they should cross each other 1/4″ (or whatever seam allowance you use) in from the edge. I hope that makes sense. I used quite a few pins during this process – I pinned the spots where the points would meet, and *gently* stretched the diamonds as necessary while I was sewing, so the points matched pretty closely. But don’t worry – they don’t have to be perfect! It’s not that noticeable when the quilt is done.

  24. Joy Burchett

    I like your tutorial for the diamond quilt. But do you have any other charts or numbers that would
    show if one used a diamond with different angle measurements and made diamonds longer than one
    cut at 45 degree angles at top and bottom points. What if I changed to a 35 degree angle at top and bottom? Is their a chart for different size diamonds…and how to cut them?
    Thanks for responds

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