Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quilt Mini Tutorial

Anne, this is for you:

I received a very timely request for a tutorial on how I made this quilt. It is timely because all of my sewing and crafting supplies are currently in boxes and waiting to be moved, which means my free time is spent packing the rest of my house and no fun projects to post here on the blog.

This quilt is made up of 100 charm squares plus an extra 44 squares cut from my stash, for a total of 144 squares. The squares measured 3 5/8". Since the charm squares were from Japan and measured in centimeters, I had to convert the measurements to inches, hence the funky 3 5/8" size. I use a 1/4 inch seam allowance and the measurements take that into account.

I created 12 rows of 12 charm squares plus 12 white rectangles. Before I started sewing, I laid out the 144 charm squares to make sure the colors and prints were balanced and looked right. Sadly, that is the extent of my artistic technique.

Between each charm square is a white rectangle measuring 3" x 3 5/8". I used the string piecing technique to sew each charm square to the white rectangles, which made sewing each row go so much faster. Each row started with a charm square and ended with a white rectangle.

Once all 12 rows were sewn, I cut 11 strips of white fabric that are 2 5/8" wide and the same length as the finished charm square rows. I sewed the white strips between the charm rows. I added a five inch border around the body of the quilt, making the finished quilt approximately* 80" square.

I went with free motion quilting and an easy binding. There is probably an exact term for the binding technique I used but all of my quilting books are packed so I am just going to do my best to describe it. I cut three inch binding strips and folded it in half. I sewed the binding onto the front side, with the raw edges lined up with the raw edges of the quilt. I folded the binding over the raw edge of the quilt and then I committed the mortal sin of machine sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt. If I was a good quilter, I would sew the binding on the back by hand but I am a bad quilter and by the time I am doing the binding, I just want the quilt to be done already.

After that, I washed the quilt to bring out all the great texture that comes with free motion quilting and have been enjoying it ever since. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask for clarifications if something isn't clear.

* I say approximately because I am of the school of Flying By The Seat Of Pants Quilting and don't do a whole lot of planning before I start quilting and usually end up with things working out a little more or less than what I expected and certainly never exact.


anne said...

wow thanks for the great quilt tutorial, yep I fly by the seat of my pants tooooo, I am not one for perfection, just winging it is good for me. Gotta start cutting up those blocks, I have 48 so 96 to 60. Then I will need to purchase some solid white. Thanks you again. Good luck with your move, packing is the pits. Enjoy your new place.

anne said...

oops I mean 96 to go. Have a great week.

Rebekah said...

glad to know I'm not the only one who has no idea how big or small quilts I make will turn out :)

this is a great tutorial

MelissaS said...

Nothing wrong with machine sewn binding. I think we're ahead of the curve.