rebel quilt libs elliot

B’s sister is moving into a new house and he asked me to make them a housewarming quilt. The receivers are big-time TCU fans making the palette choice an easy one! TCU’s colors are purple, grey/silver, black and white. I decided right away to use all solids. I wanted to quilt to represent the recipients love of TCU but not make it too on the nose with novelty prints.

I wanted to make a modern quilt but nothing too abstract; something that still read “quilt” to non-modernists. I had the Rebel Quilt by Libs Elliot on deck and this was a perfect opportunity to make this pattern. Elliott uses randomization to come up with her designs. I think the quilt pattern is a great example of modern traditionalism. There are recognizable quilt motifs coupled with play in scale, and alternate grid work. This pattern really lets solids shine as well.

Unfortunately, a Rebel quilt has a different connotation in the South and it is hard to find pictures of this quilt online!

rebel quilt libs elliot

This pattern is straight forward. Do not let the charts intimidate you. I know this is trite, but read the pattern through before you start. I get that you are supposed to do that with every pattern but I am a realist. This one is easier if you know what is up ahead. It is kind of hard to tell which color is which on the cover so I will tell you the oranges are with reds and the purples are with the pinks. Orange and pink were the main colors so I subbed both of those out with the darker purples (listed below) to have the most TCU purple in the quilt.


The pattern requires 7 different fabrics. I agonized for a million years over what to add to my core four colors. I decided adding in a new color would detract from the TCU fan look. In the end, I decided on variants of the main purple color. I looked on TCU’s website and the design there utilized the same idea. I went with Moda Bella Solids for two reasons: I uploaded the picture to Play Craft’s Palette Builder 2.1 (click only if you don’t have any plans today and are ready to go down the rabbit hole) and it tells you the corresponding Bella Solids; and I also have a color card from Moda. The Palette Builder suggested Bella Purple, Black, Steel and Bleached White. I used my color card to add in Lilac and Hyacinth. When I ordered from Fat Quarter Shop I was going to double up on the Purple but saw there was a Brushed Cotton Purple and went with that. It looks like flannel and lends a cozy vibe.

New for me this time was using the Angler. I buy rulers without even thinking about it. I also do not like marking my HST or really anything. It is right up there with pinning for me. I know these are problematic! This pattern has some bigger HST and those you should really mark… unless you use this! Here is a video to show you how it works! I did mark the bigger square but used the Angler for the small ones… it saved so much time and heart ache. Ideally, I think you would want to use it for smaller squares about 2-3 inches.


We needed this completed in a tight time frame so I sent it out to Urban Spools. I always let them pick the thread color because they are masters at this. I let them pick the pantograph as well this time and truly love it. This was a hard one to let go!


I found the perfect fleece backing for this at a big box. I sent B over to the flannel area to pick something out while I binged on Butterick patterns being 3 for $5. When I met up with him we took a tour around and he was showing me his selections when I saw this out of the corner of my eye! There was not enough to make the whole back out of so we just got the rest of the bolt and I pieced the back. The pattern has you make HSTs out of squares 2 at a time and you end up with 9 leftover, which I used on the back. This was completely perfect! I used almost every piece of fabric bought for this pattern.

rebel quilt libs elliot

Final Verdict: This quilt dazzled not only me, but its recipients. I rarely want to make a quilt twice and I would make this one a thousand times. It is my new go-to gifting pattern!