Wednesday, 18 July 2012

How To: Simple Patchwork Quilt

As part of my craft night blog I'm going to occasionally add in a few of my own projects - hopefully with a how to. Fingers crossed the rest of the crafterteers (like Musketeers! Gettit?) will join in the project sharing fun!

My most recent larger scale project was a basic patchwork quilt. I've made these before, but either not done the 'correct' way, or with strict supervision by my Canadian aunt! The first one I made all on my own was this bad boy (below!) - I absolutely loved making this, I love rainbows and I love having a boy that lets me have such colour in the house!

Picture quality isn't great as this was taken at night, the colours are lovely and bright!
Anywho, on to this quilt. For the past 18 months I have been working on a hexagon quilt, making about 3000 tiny wee hexagons for a double bed quilt - but have never ever done machine quilting before. I decided to make a new, quick patchwork quilt to experiment with the beast that is machine quilting!

I have a little fabric stash going so raided this - I didn't have any colours in mind, just saw what was available and tried to get a nice mix of different colours and styles.

Used some of this fabric - my current favourite Michael Millar I think, maybe Alexander Henry?
To start I did the most fun bit of any quilting journey - ironing! Then decided on my square size - I wanted something that wouldn't take to long to put together so chose 8" squares. I made the quilt six squares by eight to get it about the right size for a single bed (although it actually now lives on the sofa!).

I changed it quite a bit after this layout, too much light on the left and too much dark on the right!

Next stage is laying out and deciding what order everything goes in. I did this on the floor so I could get to everything easily, and see from above better to get an overall picture. Then we move on to sewing - carefully pile up your quilt in row order (shorter rows first), pairing each square wrong sides together. Then sew with a quarter inch seam along each of the pairs. Then iron out the seams on these pairs and sew them in their row  - easy!

Gratuitous close up of lovely fabric!
Next stage, iron again! You want nice flat seams, I don't usually bother to steam the seams open - especially on a quick quilt like this. Then you pair up rows, and sew along the edge again with a quarter inch seam. Do this 6 more times and you have your quilt front! Don't worry too much if the points don't match exactly - it all adds to the 'homemade' feel!

Once we have a quilt front - choose your backing fabric and lay it out flat as flat can be on the floor. Next, lay your wadding over, and finally your quilt front. Try and align as best you can, and leave a few inches on each side of wadding and backing fabric, to account for slippage! Then - pin, pin, pin that bad boy so nothing can move.

Almost there! Machine quilting is actually pretty easy - after getting a friend's boyfriend to help me put in the new foot! Practice on a spare bit of fabric if it's your first time - with wadding (otherwise it will feel very different to your quilt!). With my quilt I did very freeform loops, keeping a steady pace and working gradually. I found if I did this for more than half an hour I got incredibly dizzy, but even at this slow pace it only took a few hours to complete!

Last stage is the binding. Craft night buddies will know how much this terrifies me - bit of chickening out on the baby blankets on my part! - but I tried uber hard and taught myself using this very, very helpful blog Quilt binding tutorial. Go there to learn how to do this as I followed her exactly - definitely follow the instruction about not joining the fabric very near a corner as it does make it much more difficult!

And so there we have it, all done and I absolutely love it. I also can't believe how easy this was to do! And much, much quicker than those darn hexies!

Horatio approved!
Love Ali


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...