All about the Taj Quilt Pattern and My First Taj Quilt

You can find a copy of The Taj quilt pattern in my shop.

Today I am excited to share all about my new modern quilt pattern, the Taj! This contemporary, block based quilt pattern comes in two variations and looks great in solid or print fabrics. The Taj uses fat quarters, so it's easy to grab your favorite fabrics and get sewing.

The Inspiration

When I first started sketching this pattern it was from a vague idea and a little thought. I had so frequently seen monuments and tombs in our travels in Asia. Heck, we lived in a neighborhood famous for it's ancient tomb. They seemed to be everywhere, my kids even climbed all over and explored them at the public garden and parks on our Friday adventures outside our flat. These tombs are magnificent. I was amazed at the rich history we interacted with on a daily basis. And of course we visited one of the most famous tombs of all, the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India.

When designing a pattern to honor and appreciate these historical structures I was thinking about what many had in common. Obviously each tomb has the outer building or structure which you can see from outside. These are in a wide variety of shapes, but by no means a simple rectangular building. Inside the tombs you always have an inner chamber where the person being honored is buried. This is itself ornate, with vaulted ceilings and frequently has four rooms off of it, one in each direction.  And, of course in the center of the inner chamber you have the tomb of the deceased.

You can see this quilt I used a scrappy backing of low volume prints.

This may seem a bit morbid for a quilt pattern. But if anything The Taj quilt pattern is a celebration of the engineering and those who build these amazing structures hundreds of years ago.

The Taj Mahal also provided inspiration for this quilt, hence the name. The Taj Mahal is symmetrical on all sides. It was built so that no matter which side you look at it the view will be exactly the same. It's quite amazing. When designing this pattern I did it from the view of someone looking down at a monument and made sure that each side of the main quilt block is symmetrical. This took a bit of math and a couple adjustments to get each side to line up just so.

The part that really stumped me was naming the quilt. I didn't want to name it "The Tomb". How depressing of a quilt pattern would that be? "Momumental" came to mind, but that seemed like I was bragging. Didn't want that... So with the help of a tester I just settled for "The Taj". It's short and sweet and easy to remember because it is named after not only a tomb, but also a famous story of love.

About the Pattern

The Taj, modern quilt pattern is a block based quilt pattern with two variations. The first variation is the quilt shown in this blogpost. It uses fat quarters and background fabric only. The second variation uses some yardage to add a more detailed option. When I first made this pattern and quilt I wasn't planning on adding the extra detail. However, most people like options and I found the extra detailing really changes the look.

The Taj's large blocks make this quilt a bit unusual. Each block measures over 20 inches when finished!!! I know! They are huge. But that means for a baby size only one block is needed and for a throw size you only need to make 9 blocks using 9 fat quarters. The fat quarters are very efficiently cut to get all the pieces necessary for the quilt (Note: make sure all fat quarters are a full 21 x 18 inches).

The Taj has five sizes:

  • baby  (30 in. x 30 in.)
  • throw  (63 in. x 63 in.)
  • twin  (63 in. x 84 in.)
  • full  (84 in. x 105 in.)
  • king  (105 in. x 126 in.)

My Test Quilt

 The first Taj quilt I made was a bit chaotic. I had the measurements down for each block. But I hadn't figured out how much yardage it would take. So I decided to use a variety of low volume prints, all Art Gallery Fabrics, as the background fabric as well as a bundle of solid fat quarters. I had purchased the Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids 2021 Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop and had been waiting to use it.

I randomly cut the background pieces from different modern, low volume prints, making sure I had a variety. You can see the fabrics are a mixture of white, cream and a little gray. I really just wanted a big party of fabrics for the background. I mixed and matched the solids as I went along. Even thought this is a throw size quilt, I used fat quarters that the pattern calls for. I was experimenting with the most efficient way to cut the fat quarters when making this quilt.  I really didn't have much of a plan, that's how I like my first quilt of a new pattern to be. So don't use this quilt as a model of how the pattern will be. LOL!

I quilted this using the wavy stitch on my machine. I spaced the rows of stitches 2 inches apart. I like the feel this gave the quilt. It has a lot of movement and flow to it because the quilt isn't densely quilted.

I love the vibrancy of the solid fabrics matched with the scrappy background. The colors really pop in this version of The Taj. Of course I had Jack help me take some pictures one night of the quilt top. We tried that whole throw the quilt in the air and get an image looking like the quilt is magically floating. It really just led to fits of laughter by both of us. Below is the best we could do. :)

What do I love most about this quilt? I won't say it's some quilt engineering marvel. Or that the quilting is outstanding and it has amazing texture. I love the unexpectedness of it. It's so much more flowy (totally a word) than the professionally long armed quilts I have. Because the background doesn't quite match up it's hard to tell where one block ends and another begins. I think the scrappy background also adds more warmth that just a plain white background would. So yeah, I like this one. Sometimes our favorite quilts aren't the ones that will be hung at the County Fair. Their just the ones that get used the most.

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