Friday, February 1, 2019

Neel Quilt - A tutorial

Following your requests, here is the detailed tutorial to make Neel Quilt - the blocks, the layout and the fabric requirements.

Fabric Requirements
For 16-patch blocks
1. Dark/Medium Blue Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"
2. Light Blue/White Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"
3. Dark/Medium Green Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"
4. Light Green Prints - 10 strips 20" by 2.5"

For Star Leg blocks
1. Background Fabric - 4.5 yards (will also use for binding). I used this fabric from Joann Fabrics.
Other good alternatives are the Twinkle Twinkle and Midnight Sky both from Connecting Threads.
2. Medium/Light Blue Solids - Five different 1/2 yard cuts
3. Medium/Light Green Solids - Five different 1/2 yard cuts

Since we are using a dark/black background, we want to use medium or light colored fabrics. If the fabrics are too dark, they will  not stand out against the dark background. In other words, star won't pop. I bet you want the stars to shine and shimmer, hence err on the side of lighter fabrics for the Star Leg blocks.

The directions to make the 16-patch blocks are shown in the pictures below.

2.5" by 20" strips - One Light & One Dark
Place right sides together
Stitch using a 1/4" seam

Press seams open (my personal preference)
Cut in half. You should get two 10" sections
Rearrange the cut sections as shown. Place RST.

Sew using a 1/4". Press seams open
Cut into 2.5" sections
Rearrange the cut sections as shown. Place RST together.

Sew the two halves together
Press all seams open. Square to 8.5"

After all blocks are made, divide them into a green pile and a blue pile.
Number the blue stars - 1B, 4B, 6B, 9B, 11B, 12B, 14B, 16B, 17B and 19B.
Number the green stars - 2G, 3G, 5G, 7G, 8G, 10G, 13G, 15G, 18G and 20G.

Number each 16-patch

Star Leg blocks - Cutting Directions
  • From the background fabric, cut nine strips 2.5" by WOF. Set aside for binding.
  • Cut the remaining fabric into 8.5" strips. We need 16 strips measuring 8.5" by WOF.  Subcut each strip into 8.5" squares. We need 80 background squares.
  • From each of solid fabrics, cut two strips 8.5" by WOF. Sub cut into 8.5" squares. We need eight squares of each color.
  • You should have a total of 160 squares - 80 background, 40 blue solids, 40 green solids.

The directions to make the Star Leg block are shown in the pictures below.

Start with one background & one solid square 8.5" side
Set the background square aside. Cut color square in half diagonally
All fabric is right sides up. Align the corners of the color with the background square, as shown
Slide the color triangle (1.5 - 2") away from the corner, as shown
Pin along the diagonal. Let the points hang out.
Sew 1/4" away from the pinned edge
Cut the background triangle away. Discard (or save in your scrap basket)
Press seam open

Using the background square as a guide, trim to 8.5" square
We will add the second leg now, using the other color triangle.

Align the color triangle along the background square corner as shown

Slide the triangle away from the corner (1.5" to 2"), as shown

Pin along the diagonal edge

Sew 1/4" from the pinned edge. Trim the background triangle away

Press seam open

Trim to 8.5" square

Your first star leg block is complete.  For every 16-patch block, you will need four star leg blocks.
Make the other three star leg blocks from the same color. Pin them together. Set aside.

Stay organized - Centers+Matching Legs

After all star leg blocks are made, it is time to pair them with the star centers. Keep the star legs together with the matched/paired star centers.  See picture above.

My original sketch for Neel
The picture below shows a better layout for your use.

The layout shows the following:

  • Six Complete Blue Stars - 4B, 6B, 9B, 11B, 14B and 17B
  • Four 3/4 of a Blue Star - 1B, 12B, 16B and 19B (Four blue star leg blocks will be left over)
  • Use these remaining four blue star leg blocks in edge rows - one each in top, bottom, left and right.  
  • Seven Complete Green Stars - 2G, 5G, 8G, 10G, 13G, 15G and 18G
  • One 3/4 of a Green Star - 7G (One green star leg block left over)
  • Two Half Green Stars - 3G and 20G (Four green star leg blocks left over)
  • Use remaining four green star leg blocks in edge rows - one each in top, bottom, left and right.  
One green star leg block will be left over. You can discard that or add to your scrap basket.

Neel Quilt - Layout

Follow the layout and arrange the blocks on a design wall. Step away and take a picture.  Does everything look alright?  When you are satisfied with the layout, stitch the blocks together using 1/4" seams, first in rows and then in columns. If you ask a question, I will answer in the comment so that others can see it too.

Layer, Quilt, Bind, Label, take a picture, post a picture, and please include a link to this page if you share on the internet.

This tutorial is provided free of charge for personal use only.  Be nice. Do not copy and do not distribute. Please direct folks to this page. If you use this tutorial, in whole or in part, please acknowledge me and this tutorial. Use #NeelQuilt on Instagram.

This blogpost contains affiliate links.


  1. Thank you for so generously taking the time and sharing!

  2. What a lovely, lovely tutorial! That was a LOT of work (ask me how I know!) You are very creative and I'm sure you made a lot of people happy with such a unique quilt pattern.

  3. Very nice tutorial. Gorgeous quilt.

  4. Thank you for the directions. I was wanting to re-create this, only in greens. I was having a time figuring out how to do the star legs. can you please tell me how to say green in Indie. thank you

  5. Wow, Preeti! What a great tutorial! Well done!

  6. Super tutorial, Preeti! Can't believe how quickly you got that put together; it would've taken me much longer!

  7. thank you for sharing Preeti a lovely quilt

  8. So sweet of you to write this up, Preeti! Did you take all those photos as you made the quilt, or are you making another? It takes real dedication to photo journal a process. This pattern is a winner for sure. I find the secondary patterns to be fascinating.

  9. Thanks so much for posting the tutorial for the Neel quilt you made for your brother. I love it and may use that one to pare down my greens and blues when they come up as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge of the month!

  10. awesome quilt - very striking and thanks for taking the time to create a tutorial for the pattern. Micki @ 2Dogs Studio

  11. This is a great tutorial, thank you so! The quilt looks wonderful. Hugs,

  12. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I'm still learning to quilt and I appreciate it so much when someone who is a pro, like you, helps us beginners. God Bless

  13. Thank you for sharing how you made this quilt! I especially love seeing your sketch of your ideas, it's fun to see others quilty ideas like that. I think this would make a great pattern for QOV quilts and may use it for that if you don't mind. Do love seeing what you're up to!

  14. Thank you, Preeti! Excellent, thorough instructions.

  15. Great job on the tutorial Preeti! It is a lovely quilt!

  16. Thank you Preeti!! You are so generous with your gifts.

  17. Thanks for sharing. I forgot about that technique to make a 16-patch.

  18. Thanks for sharing your tutorial with Oh Scrap! Your quilt is beautiful. I might just have to make one of own.

  19. Thanks for sharing Preeti! It's a gorgeous quilt!

  20. Thanks for taking the time to document your process. I guess you are already itching to see all the Neel quilts pop up on instagram :) xo

  21. I really like that design!! Thank you for sharing.

  22. Thank you soooo much for a wonderful tutorial! I love this quilt. I saw it on your Instagram, and it was so nice of you to share!

  23. Thanks for sharing the tutorial, it's a fun quilt.