One of the really cool things about writing a blog – or probably writing anything, really – is that what you write sticks around, and can be brand new to a new reader – “evergreen”, as they say. In the past few weeks I’ve gotten a several questions about a blog post that I wrote 12 years ago now, and I realized that while it is still totally relevant, it could use some updating. Plus, it gives me a chance to show off the new fabrics!
Although the original quilt was great, I decided to alter the sizing slightly, and I really like the way the new one worked out. Here’s the tutorial.
Quilt Top: You will need 10 fat quarters, cut into 6, 7×8″ rectangles each. (You will have a 2″ strip of each print left over, plus 4 7×8″ rectangles. Save these to sew our Scrappy Ladder Patchwork Pillow, coming to the blog soon.)
Quilt Back: You will need a 44×60″ quilt back. This can be a single fabric cut WOF (width of fabric, usually 44-45″)x60″ off a standard quilting cotton bolt, or you can piece the backing to your liking.
Batting: You will need a 45×60″ piece of batting. I use an organic cotton batting 1/4″ thick.
Ties: This quilt uses simple ties rather than quilting to hold the layers together. You will need 1 skein of embroidery floss, or about 7 yards, in a color that coordinates with your fabrics. You will also need an embroidery needle or large-eye needle to accommodate the floss.
- Cut out your pieces. Once you have your quilt squares cut, find a large open space to lay out your quilt (this usually requires me to move furniture and use the floor), and arrange them to your liking. I try to vary the prints in color and scale so there’s a nice rhythm, and I don’t repeat the same fabrics next to each other. You will use 56 pieces total, leaving 4 of the original 60 left over.
2. Starting at the upper left corner, sew the top row together, piece by piece, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. To do this, , lay piece #2 (second from upper left corner) on top of piece #1 with right sides facing and the side edges aligned, and stitch along the right side.
3. Continue sewing each piece until the top row is all joined together. Then move on to the second row, and so on, until each row is joined. When you finish a row, press all seams open.
4. Once each row is sewn, start sewing the rows together, matching the corners as you go. To do this, place the second row on top of the first with right sides facing. Match up the seams and pin, and then stitch together along the adjoining edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seams open.
Once all the rows are seamed together, your finished quilt top should measure roughly 43×57″.
5. Cut the batting and the quilt back slightly larger than the quilt top (to account for minor shifting during sewing), approximately 44×60″.
You will use the envelope method to join the layers together. To do this, lay your batting on the floor (or your layout surface) with your backing on top face up. Then, center your quilt top on the quilt back face down. Essentially, your quilt back and top are right-sides-facing, with the batting centered underneath. Pin all layers in place. Then, stitch 1/2″ in from the edge of the quilt top all the way around, leaving a 12″ turning hole at the end.
Once the layers are sewn together, trim off the excess fabric, leaving about a 1/4″ seam allowance. Clip the fabric close to the corners, being careful not to cut the stitches.
Turn the quilt right-side-out through the turning hole. You can use a turning tool, chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil to gently press out the corners.
Then, press the quilt and sew up the turning hole.
6. Finally, use the embroidery floss to knot all three layers together at each intersection, and trim the knots to 1/2 – 3/4″.