I Made a Quilt! (And so can you!)
I never ever imagined that I would venture to make a quilt. It seemed like quilting was just too time-consuming, too confusing, too... well...I don't know! I guess I thought it was this big undertaking that I wasn't willing to take on. Until one day, I ran across this pin on Pinterest. (I've linked to the original post.) This blogger found herself making her own quilt, thanks to Diary of a Quilter. View her beginner's quilting series here.
And so, when I had two days off, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, I decided--what the heck.
I followed this easy tutorial, involving cutting out 6x6" squares. I decided I wanted to make a blanket that would be big enough for me, so I made it 10 squares by 12 squares. With seam allowances and the hem (it was SUPPOSED to have a wide border the same width as each square...but we won't go there.), it was roughly 55"x66".
To summarize the various steps:
- Cut out (or choose pre-cut) squares of the size of your choice, using a rotary cutter and board. I wanted my squares to be 5.5 square inches, so I cut out 6 inch squares to allow for a 1/4 inch seam allowance on all sides. If you wanted to create designs, feel free to cut other shapes. For now, I chose a simple route for my first quilt.
- Lay out your squares and arrange in the pattern you like. Try not to have the same pattern/color touching in some way.
- Sew each square together by rows. To do this, line up squares right sides together and pin, sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and then press the seam toward one direction. Make sure your row's seams are pointing the same direction. Alternate the direction for each row.
- Now, sew each row together, following the same procedure as step 3.
- If you want to add a border, view the tutorial here.
- Cut out a piece of batting that is larger than your top piece. Then, cut your back fabric even larger than the batting. This will ensure that you have enough fabric, allowing for shifting during quilting.
- Tape the back fabric to the floor, right side down. Iron the top piece to the batting and stretch it across the back fabric, without pulling it too tight.
- Pin together the layers with basting pins or use a basting spray that is washable.
- Roll up each side and start quilting in the middle. I chose a simple criss-crossed pattern that ran through each corner of the squares.
- Trim the sides and bind the edges, using this tutorial.
- Always iron your seams in one direction, alternating between rows left and right.
- Have a seam ripper handy for those little mistakes.
- Speaking of mistakes, don't worry if you make them--it's your first (or second or 300th) quilt! It'll take time and practice. Don't even think about looking too closely at mine.
- Make sure you have enough fabric and check your measurements at least two or three times before cutting. (Hence why I do not have a wide border)
- Try! I used scrap fabric, so I barely invested money in my project and I am really happy with the results.
If you decide to make a quilt, let me know! I'd love to see pictures. As with any project, I am very open to new suggestions and ideas. I definitely don't claim to know much about quilting at all, as this tutorial suggests how much of a beginner I am, but I hope I can inspire at least one person to get started!