Kristin Schwarze of And Chips is a Minnesota stitcher and designer with a passion for modern quilting and art of all kinds. Kristin designed this pretty Ladder Lattice Quilt so you can use fat quarters efficiently to make quick and easy blocks.

Kristin learned to sew in 2012 and jumped right in, sharing her creative adventures with piecework, embroidery, stuffed toys and more at And Chips. Kristin joined us with her very first tutorial in 2012, and we’ve had such fun watching her learn and grow as a sewist and designer. Here’s Kristin’s intro from 2012, and here’s her Aurifil Mini Quilt from our recent challenge. Have fun with this new Ladder Lattice design!

Hello, my name is Kristin and I love ladders. I really do. There are ladders big and small around my house; one is just for displaying quilts at the bottom of my staircase. So when given the opportunity to design a quilt block using fat quarters, guess what sprang to my mind? And who doesn’t love to collect these little 18″ by 21″ cuts? But that means we always need ideas for using them. This tutorial is for an easy and efficient 12 inch (12.5″ unfinished) block in the lattice style. Since the lattice is made up of ladders, I call it the “Ladder Lattice.” Say that five times fast.

The blocks are made three at a time using one fat quarter and about 1/3 yard of background fabric for each set. Therefor, it was just as easy to make 18 blocks as the 16 I needed for my quilt today. The idea behind this size and strategy is to make it simple for you to calculate and construct the number of blocks you will need for any project. Additionally, after cutting, you’ll still have a ten-inch square– plus a little extra– of each print leftover for a future project. Some people call that the makings of a layer cake! So go ahead and use your favorite FQs for this and you’ll still have the launchpad for another quilt afterward.

(For a 48″ baby quilt.)

  • 6 fat quarters Forest Hill (or assorted prints or solids)
  • 2 yards white solid, at least 42″ wide (or any color for the background)
  • 2 2/3 yards backing fabric
  • 1/2 yard for bias binding (I cut mine 2.25″ wide)

Extra Tips:

  • A 12.5″ square and rotary cutter will come in handy for trimming. (A finger-presser/brayer and painter’s or washi tape can be helpful too– but aren’t necessary.)
  • I also recommend you starch and press your fabric well for the most accurate cutting and piecing, especially with bias edges.
  • I didn’t use pins on this project; I used Elmer’s washable school glue with a fine tip attachment and heat set it before stitching. It makes for precision piecing and reduces trimming.

All measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances.

This series of cuts makes three blocks. From each of five fat quarters, cut:
– 6 (1.5″ by 18″) strips for the rails or stiles
– 5 (9″ by 1.5″) strips for the rungs or steps

These cuts make one block. From the sixth fat quarter cut:
– 2 (1.5″ by 18″) strips for the rails
– 5 (3″ by 1.5″) strips for the rungs

From background fabric, cut:
– 3 (9″ by WOF) strips.
– From these, cut 12 (3″ by 9″) wide strips.
– Then cut 24 (2.5″ by 9″) narrow strips.
– Cut 4 (10″ by WOF) strips.
– From these, cut 16 (10″ by 10″) squares.
– Then, cut each square in half diagonally to make 32 half-square triangles.

Block Assembly:
1. Join rungs to background strips. The wider 3″ background strips start and end each row, with the narrow 2.5″ strips between each print rung. Press.

2. Trim each to 18″ length. Cut the rung sets into three 3″ strips. (To keep things even, there should be 2.5″ of background showing on each end after the last rung.)

3. Join the rails to rung sections. Press.

4. Find the center of each ladder and background triangle by folding in half lengthwise and making a small crease.

5. Stitch two background triangles to each ladder, matching centers at the creases. (I used my cutting mat as a guide. Since the ladders are 18″, I matched the creases at the 9″ mark.)

6. Trim each block to 12.5″ using the edges of the triangles as your guide. (Painter’s tape on your square ruler might help you line up to trim.)

Quilt Assembly:
1. Lay out and join blocks in a pattern that pleases you. Take care to match the ladder rails to one another.

1. Piece the back. You could incorporate a label using scraps leftover from the top.

2. Sandwich, baste, and quilt to your heart’s desire! I used straight-line quilting, approximately one-inch apart.

3. Trim your quilt to square and bind it with the method of your choice.

4. Congratulations, you’ve made a quilt! Share and admire it.

About the fabrics: The fat quarter pack was made up of seven prints from Erin McMorris’ Forest Hill; it was generously supplied by Stay Home Fabrics. I used the seventh one in the binding along with a small, pink piece of Tula Pink’s Birds and Bees. The backing is a print from Delhi by Valori Wells. All come from Free Spirit. The background fabric is Kona White by Robert Kaufman.

Stay Home Fabrics is a Canadian on-line fabric store that specializes in exquisite designer fabrics, patterns and batting. You can choose from our hand selected modern fabrics with bold colors and patterns, or pick up a solids bundle to complete your fabric library. With names like Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Tula Pink, Ty Pennington and more, you are sure to find the perfect fabric for your next project.