Saturday Project: How to make a quilt

I have returned to the world of blogging! Where have I been? Well, mostly making this beauty ….

This quilt was a top secret gift for my mum’s 50th birthday so I couldn’t share it with you. Plus, I quickly discovered that it takes a very long time to make a quilt whilst working full time. In fact, this 2m by 2m patchwork quilt took me over 5 months to completely finish! But don’t be put off…I did have a crazy diary during that time as well and it soooo worth the effort.

My mum loved it!!
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I choose to do a square patchwork quilt made up of smaller squares. It was my first attempt so I thought keeping to squares would reduce the margin for error! When you’re starting out, doing a simple technique can give you more opportunity to be creative with your design.

So…how do you make a patchwork quilt?

1. Choose your fabric
My mum is a bright colours woman so that’s the route I choose, mixing in lots of cream so that it wasn’t too over powering.

I wanted a country relaxed feel to it so I choose a red and white polka dot design and two fabrics with a tiny floral pattern.

I then drew a grid on some paper to help me design the quilt. I could then count up how many squares of each fabric I needed to create the pattern.

2. Cut out the patches

Once you’ve worked out what size you’d like,you can calculate the number of squares you need and cut them out. Remember you will need a cm ot two border around each square for sewing them together. This will affect how much fabric you need!

I cut out two cardboard templates of a 9cm by 9cm square (the size I wanted for each patch) and an 11cm by 11cm square. I drew around the 9cm inside the 11cm square so that I had a nice and easy line to sew along when connecting them together.

Cut out the squares, using the bigger square lines (hopefully that makes sense!) And you’re ready to start!

3. Sewing together the patches

I used a couple of big patches which were the size of 4 normal squares. On these I sewed on a smaller square. I did this first so that all the patches were ready to be connected.

I then divided my grid design into sections and made each section before connecting them all together. This was easier given how big my overall quilt would be. I used the sewing machine, pinning the squares carefully along the drawn lines.

Above is one of my completed sections!

4. Optional extras
As my quilt was a special gift, I did something a little different. I brought cream cotton fabric online that you can print onto using a home injet printer.

I collected together several photos of my mum from a baby until today..especially of key events in her life. These were scanned into the computer and adjusted to be the right size for the square patches. (This bit was thanks to my lovely husband as I’m useless at that kind of thing!).

I then printed them onto the fabric and cut them out. They can then be treated like normal squares. They can also be washed without running and don’t need drying time.

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I used these to create a border of photos as part of the design.

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5. Back of the quilt
You could use one big piece of fabric for the bag. I used three thick strips that I sewed together.

6. Wadding
I’m afraid I ran out of time so skipped this part! But you can cheaply buy wadding that you put in the middle of your quilt. Lay the backing down and then the wadding and the front on top. Used some loose stitches to secure it in place before using your sewing machine to sew a design, or follow the patch connections, onto the quilt to secure the wadding.

You’ll then need to sew bias binding around the edge to finish of the quilt with a neat look.

6. My cheat’s finish
As I was running out of time, I sewed the backing and front together back to back and left and gap to turn it thr right way out. Then finished that gao off by hand. Much like you might do when making cushion covers.

No wadding…no bias binding.

I then added a couple of discrete stitches to keep the backing and front tight together so they wouldn’t flap apart in the middle.

Viola…what a beauty!

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Have a go!!  But give yourself plenty of time!

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