Garlic Knots Marinara

The chronological events of Garlic Knots Marinara

  • The idea was born in our sewing group.  A very talented quilt shop owner came up with the pattern for strip piecing out of 2 1/2 inch strips to make the garlic knot block.
  • Two bolts of red Moda Grunge fabric was purchased to keep all the red for everyone the same color.
  • It was deemed each participant in this block exchange would purchase 3/4 of a yard of white with black fabric, or black with white fabric (no gray allowed)
  • It was deemed each participant in this block exchange would purchase a different piece of white with black fabric, or black with white fabric measuring 1 1/2 yards
  • At the meeting before our block making, if you brought your black and white fabrics, the stitching club dispensed the red already cut 2 1/2 inch strips (I believe it was three yards total).  And we also had our black and white fabrics cut using the June Taylor ruler, which made them all the same for everyone….no slipage!
  • We were then given some homework to sew our strip sets per the instructions.
  • Here are my blocks minus the 4 1/2 inch bar of red.


  • By showing up the day of the garlic knot block swap, we received the red 4 1/2 inch bars that would finish out this block.
  • The day of the group sew,  one person pressed (I called her a pressing goddess as this is not a favorite task of mine.)  For those that showed up without doing their homework they were assisted by the leader/pattern producer of this workshop.  She cut all the strip sets at 2 1/2 inches wide.
  • Some sewed two sets of 40 that day.  I chose not to do that many as it was so much red.  Red matches NOTHING in my house, and thought it would make a good quilt for the children’s bed.
  • I left the sewing group early that day, left others still sewing away.  I left behind my 40 perfect blocks awaiting their swaps.
  • When our sewing group met for our Thursday follow up meeting, I had a bag of 40 different blocks in a brown paper sack.  Not all the blocks were created equal either!


  • At first I laid them out on the floor like this and my oh my, that was a bunch of red.  In the upper right corner you can see another layout option.


  • Above, is a sewing club member that had decided to lay hers out in this format.  The black border was a nice touch and framed it nicely.  But gosh there are large patches of red.  How does one break up all that red?
  • I decided with the layout above, but separated it with sashing which created a secondary block


  • I decided to purchase some well matched red fat quarters for the sashing as well as a few fat quarters for the black, white, and grays.  Here is my ironing board with a few rows stitched together.  Making mine as scrappy as possible!
  • Here are a few more rows stitched together.  At this point I am working the edges  and only have a few more to go.


  • Notice the lower left corner.  There is no secondary block there.  I actually did forget to put one there.  No worries though.  Because this quilt was a group effort I will affix a label to the front of the quilt in that location.


  • And below is almost done with the small pieces.  I do have that done now but have not had a photo op yet.  I still am going to add a 6 inch border all the way around of red to add size to this.  Laying it on a twin as it is now is a tad small.  This will help cover and drape whomever sleeps under it.


  • A tad un-ironed around the edges.  I still have that to do as well.  A lady in our sewing club owns a long arm and I am going to contact her and ask if she would quilt it for me, of course me paying whatever fee she charges.
  • I have named this Garlic Knots Marinara.  I am happy with the break up of the red.  There is actually more red in this quilt than the other layouts but because of the placement of contrasting fabrics, it breaks it up, showing off the black and whites.
  • This has come a long ways in a short period of time.  I might have 3 days of time broken up working on this.  Working with strips is easy and fast, most importantly fun.  It would have went faster but I found inaccuracies in the 1/4 inch of all the different machines that sewed these.  I did scrap one as the pieces cut where way off and not salvageable.  I spent a whole day tearing down and building back up.  I spent another of cutting and sewing sashings to the individuals blocks and then making rows.  Two more evenings were spent sewing to this point.
  • I am so close and my goal is to have a finished top over the weekend.

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