Cutting is simple. You will need to cut 24 strips WOF X 3 & 1/2 inch strips in random colours, or patterns (or they could be all the same theme or colour). They don't have to all different you could use some twice or 3 times whatever you like. (Note: WOF = width of fabric)
Sew all the strips together in pairs, a light and a dark works well, but what ever you like is OK. Once you have 12 double strips that now measure 6 & 1/2 inches press well, and then cross cut these down to 6 & 1/2 inch squares.
Our tea-towel was able to be trimmed to 18 & 1/2 inches X 30 & 1/2 inches which meant it would replace the block of 18 squares in the middle. Of course you don't need to use a tea-towel, you could just use all the random squares to make up the quilt top.
Once you have all the blocks cut, you can arrange them on your design wall/bed/floor around the tea-towel, until you have something that you are happy with. I alternated the blocks, one horizontal and one vertical, but its all just personal taste. You should have 7 blocks in each row.
There should be three full rows above the tea-towel and four rows below the tea-towel. (Please note, my photo shows only 11 rows, it was made before the length requirements changed). There are five rows of two each side of the tea-towel. Sew each full row together and press your seams in one direction for the first row and in the opposite direction for the second row and so forth. This will make it easier to get your seams to line up and reduces the bulk where the seams meet.
Sew your five rows of two together, then sew them to either side of the tea-towel.
Finally assemble everything together to make up the quilt top. You should have 12 rows to obtain the correct length.
Upon arrival at work today there was a comfort pack containing the beautiful quilt and goodies in which you have kindly made up and sent over. It was a great surprise to me to receive this; receiving mail from Australia lifts the spirits of everyone within a workplace and makes us feel honoured to represent Australia.
Thank you very much for your kind generosity and keeping up the tradition of sending comfort packages to those who are deployed
There are many variations you can also do. You can add full 6 & 1/2 " blocks of a specific fabric into the design. Below is a quilt top variation with a tea-towel and full blocks. I have only done 11 rows as I was running low on fabric so I put a black border on the top and bottom.
Here are two more quilt tops made by Jan-Maree, without using a tea-towel and inserting some full 6 & 1/2 " blocks in the same theme.