"We plan. We craft. We conquer."

SEW SPECIAL QUILTS

Later in this post, I’ll go through some of these in further detail. My quilting pencil, which I use to draw my quilting lines on during the ‘quilting stage,’ is the only thing I accidentally left off. The marks on this pencil are washable. Of course, you’ll also need batting and bias binding. Continue reading to find out more about how to sew special quilts.

Supplies necessary

Pins to use during the piecing step

Safety pins / basting

Cutter rotary

Sewing scissors with thread

Ripper of seams

Ruler for quilting

Self-healing Mat

Fabric marker/pencil

QUILTING EXPLAINED

A standard/traditional quilt consists of three main components:

1) The ‘quilt top’ – The pattern on the top, which is usually made up of rows of quilt blocks and is typically encircled by a border.

2) The batting — the wadding in the centre of the quilt that provides it structure.

Your local sewing/quilting business should have a variety of batting options.

Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or bamboo will most likely be more expensive, but polyester or poly-cotton mixes should be less expensive.

They also come in a variety of thicknesses, so you can sew special quilts.

3) The ‘backing fabric’ – This is the sandwich’s bottom layer (with the quilt top being the other piece of bread and the batting being the filling).

It’s a good idea to compare the width of your chosen fabric to the breadth of your quilt before purchasing it to determine whether you’ll need to connect two sections together.

This is required for most bigger quilts, although it may be possible to omit it for smaller quilts.

In my opinion, there are four steps to sew special quilts:

1) Planning – choosing a pattern and fabric, as well as washing the fabric.

2) Putting together the quilt top — cutting and ‘piecing’ (sewing) the blocks together.

3) Quilting — sewing the quilt top and backing fabrics together while sandwiching the batting in the center.

(You may do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.)

4) Binding – stitch the binding on to complete the edges and make them look clean and tidy.

After that, you’re done!

We’ll go through these four steps a bit more in depth here, and I’ll give you some time-saving tips and tricks (and refer to other helpful links where necessary.)

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1. SEW SPECIAL QUILTS: PREPARATIONS

Choose a quilt pattern that you like.

You may either find these at a bookstore or on the internet (ask Mr google or Pinterest.)

Alternatively, you may create your own.

In any case, as a newbie quilter, you’ll generally want to stick to simple shapes like squares and rectangles.

Simple, in my opinion, is generally better and more successful.

So far, I’ve made all of my quilts from scratch.

This isn’t difficult, but I recommend that you make a strategy beforehand.

Plan

Everything is done in inches in the world of quilting, and most quilt blocks are made on a (completed) 6 inch square.

I use 1/4-inch seam allowances, so if I want a final 6 inch square, I’ll cut it 6 1/2 inches square (to account for the two 1/4-inch seam allowances on each side).

This is how we cut the larger blue and flowery squares in the quilt my Mum and I created for my sister (above), while we cut the smaller rectangles 3 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch to get a final 3 by 6 inch rectangle.

I don’t bother about figuring out the precise size of the final quilt until later since I’ll add borders to obtain the size I want afterwards.

After you’ve decided on a quilt pattern, you’ll need to choose your fabric to sew special quilts.

For quilters, most fabric stores carry a range of pre-packaged co-coordinating fabrics.

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Alternatively, you may choose your own textiles (usually my favoured option.)

One useful trick I’ve discovered when choosing fabric is to look for anything like this on the selvedge of the fabric, which displays the color tones used in the cloth.

After you’ve chosen your feature fabric, you may go to a fabric store and match matching fabrics to it.

Consider choosing something with a simpler design if you already have one or two busy textiles (plain or with subtle spots or stripes.)

Also, don’t be scared of white space in quilts; it may be extremely powerful and help you to sew special quilts.

It’s ideal to use 100 percent cotton in equal thicknesses.

2. PUTTING TOGETHER THE QUILT TOP

The cutting process is the most time-consuming part of your project, and it may also be the most boring.

It’s critical to cut precisely so that all of your corners line up perfectly.

This is why a rotary/roller cutter is used.

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I fold my fabric in half so that I can cut through many layers at once, and then align a corner of this fabric with the marks on your self-healing mat to create a perfect angle.

Then you line up your quilting ruler to determine the size of the piece you’ll be cutting.

I wish to cut a width of 3 1/2 inches in the sample given here (a vintage picnic blanket).

(As you can see, my fabric’s corner is at ‘1’ on my mat rather than ‘0,’ therefore I cut at the 4 1/2 inch point.)

Before you begin cutting, double-check that the ruler is perfectly aligned at both the top and bottom.

measure
measure 2
measure 3

As you can see, I’m left with about 3 1/2 inch broad cloth strips.

I need 3 1/2 inch squares, so I usually just cut down the line at 3 1/2 inch intervals – but I’m going to teach you a time-saving approach that you might find useful.

Instead, I used a contrasting piece of fabric to cut an equivalent 3 1/2 inch long strip.

Then I stitched them together with right sides facing and pushed the seams open* (with a 1/4 inch seam allowance).

Then I cut it all the way down the strip at 3 1/2 inch (saving time!)

NB: You can only use this time-saving approach if you have a recurring pattern with the two fabrics close to each other throughout your design.

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When I was creating Isabelle’s quilt, I found it to be really helpful (top photo).

I was able to create the diagonal design by flipping one of the pieces over (as shown below).

(Continue reading to find out more about how to sew special quilts)

two quilt pieces

Basically, you keep constructing blocks and connecting them with other blocks until you have a complete row.

After that, build another, link the two rows together, and so on…

and you’ll be able to watch your quilt develop right before your eyes!

I’ve already emphasized the significance of precise cutting.

Ironing and pinning are two more things that will help your corners line up and your quilt seem professional.

As I previously stated, I press my seams open, while I am aware that many other quilters press their seams toward the darker colored cloth.

Do what you think is best for you.

In terms of pinning I pay extra attention to critical corners and crossroads, making sure to pin at these locations.

After you’ve completed all of your rows, add whatever borders you need to reach the appropriate size (I generally research or measure old quilts/duvets to get the size I want).

And there you have it, your quilt top is complete!

3) SEW SPECIAL QUILTS: QUILTING

You must first sandwich your batting between your quilt top and backing fabric before you can begin quilting.

It’s easier for me to perform this on a broad, clean area on the floor.

(At this time, it’s also a good idea to remove any nosy babies or dogs!)

First, put your pre-washed and ironed backing fabric on the floor, wrong side up (remember you may have had to join a couple of pieces together to get the right size.)

Make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Then, right side up, arrange your batting on top, followed by your quilt top.

All layers should be smoothed out.

The quilt top should be larger than the backing fabric and batting.

You’ll be able to trim the edges afterwards.

Start pinning through all layers of the quilt with safety pins after you’ve got it how you want it.

These are used to keep the quilt’s layers together until it is stitched.

Because this is such a crucial duty, I suggest the more pins the better!

After you’ve inserted all of your pins, cut the batting and backing fabric to size.

In keeping with the top of the quilt.

sewing

Then, using a quilting pencil and ruler, sketch your quilting design.

I enjoy quilting on the diagonal across squares since it is easy to maintain straight.

My mother-in-law says that the space between any two lines of quilting should be no more than a hand’s width to ensure that your quilt holds together nicely.

She also advises that you should quilt a substantial section in the center to ‘anchor’ your quilt from the start.

Obviously, as you proceed, remove your safety pins.

To avoid puckering, use a long stitch and go slowly (and unpick if required!)

If you’re making a huge quilt, dealing with that much fabric might be difficult at times, but stick with it; it’ll be worth it!

sew special quilts

Some individuals opt to have their quilts professionally quilted; obviously, this comes at a cost, but the results are stunning and may save you time (and possibly stress)

4) TIGHTENING

Keep going, you’re almost there!

Some people prefer to manufacture their own bias binding, and there is a great instruction here if you want to try it.

I prefer to buy good broad binding from my local fabric store because I am lazy.

tools

When it comes to stitching on your binding, you have a few alternatives.

I prefer to do it this way, but complete the back by hand stitching with a blind stitch.

If you wish to utilize rounded corners instead, I recommend this technique to sew special quilts.

Congratulations for finishing your binding!

You’ve just finished a quilt that is both a piece of art and a family treasure!

You did an excellent job!