My first quilt in 7 sittings, Intermediate
by Coral Jones
(St. Catharines, Ontario)
Need: Table to work on. Iron and ironing board. Sewing machine, lots of pins, sharp scissors and tailor's chalk. Also, the ability to come back to a project for a couple of hours over several days.
Material: I used non-stretchy samples from last year's patterns at the yard goods dept. Stretchy stuff is for T's and sweats, not so good for quilts. For the material, you might also use old clothes that have a medium weight cotton. You may get several squares out of one piece of clothing. Medium weight is half way between your dad's dress shirt and your jeans. Don't forget to check with mom about using the old clothes. I used a good weight bed sheet for the outside edge. A fleecy blanket is the backing. (It's the one layer kind (without a fluffy middle) you would throw over yourself while watching late night tv in the basement.)
Let's call from left to right 'rows' and from top to bottom 'columns' for this project.
1. First day. make 35, 6x10 inch squares, several different patterns but the same colour scheme (I used basically red, blue and black) The easiest way is to measure and cut one. This first one will be your template. Make sure it has a medium weight so it's not too flimsy. Pin this one square to the material you want to cut, going with the grain. Cut around the outside of your template. Repeat for the other squares. You've just finished a major part of the work. Take a break. You deserve it.
2. Second day. Arrange all 35 of them into a pleasing pattern so that no two of the same material are side by side each other. Place 5, 6" edges across the top of the quilt,making your first row. Continue making rows like the first one, placing each row of 5 under the one you just made. You will have 7, 10" edges down the side of the quilt. Rearrange the squares, keeping the '5 squares row' and the '7 squares column' until you are happy with the overall look.
3. Cut 7 squares of paper. On the first one, write '1', second '2', third '3'...until all the papers have one number written on it, up to 7.
4. Pin the number '1' in the middle of one of the squares on the first row, pin the number '2' on the second row...you get the idea. Your pattern won't get mixed up this way.
5. Using only one row at a time, pin each long 10" edge together, with right sides facing each other. It doesn't matter if the corners don't match exactly. We will fix that later.
6. Pin all the other rows exactly the same. Now put your stuff away until tomorrow. Watch out for the pins.
7. Third day. Using a quarter inch seam, (the edge of the presser foot) and 12 stitches to the inch, slowly sew each 10" pinned edge, do not backstitch, as this many times bunches the material on such a small piece. Don't be tempted to rush. Remember, 1/4 Leave a long enough thread to tie a knot to finish off the seam at both ends. Don't take off the numbered papers yet.
8. When all the pinned edges have been sewn, tie knots at each end of your sewing, and clip the loose threads with scissors.
(I find stitch rippers will pull the threads. Normally they work great if you have backstitched.) Time to take a milk and cookie break. Whew!
9. Fourth Day. Heat the iron to 'cotton/linen' setting and use steam. When the iron is ready, moving fairly quickly, press the seams open. You might need mom's help for this one.
10. Place row one on row two with right sides together, matching knotted seam to seam. Pin. After pinning seams together, if one edge bulges a little, make a small fold to tuck some of the extra material behind the seam (pull the extra material into a 'tuck', to the wrong side, behind the seam). Pin the tuck down. If it is a really big bulge of extra material, you may want to pin back the extra material at both seams (one on each side of the bulge).
11. Sew slowly, using the presser foot as your guide. Remember not to backstitch, leaving threads long enough to make a knot. Make a knot at both ends. Clip long thread ends.
12. Match row 2 to row 3 with right sides together and pin at the seams. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all the rows have been sewn together.
13. Fifth Day. Cut the bedsheet strips. Cut 2 (6" x 60") and 2 (6" x 42")
14. With right sides together, pin the short piece (42") to the short ends of the quilt top. Overlap the strip a little at each end, so it can be trimmed later.
15. Sew the strip on to the end. Tie the knots and trim threads.
16. Do the same pinning and sewing to the opposite end, with the other short strip.
17. Using a straight edge and marker, make a line on the overlapping edge of bed sheet you just attached, to make it straight and in line with the rest of the perimeter of the quilt top.
18. Trim the excess off, following the line.
19. Place one of the long strips, right sides together along the long edge of the quilt. Pin.
20. Sew the long strip on, knotting and trimming.
21. Repeat for opposite side of quilt.
22.Iron the seams open. Give yourself a reward. You are almost done.
23. Sixth Day. Lay out your color co-ordinated fleecy blanket on a flat surface. (I found this step easiest on the floor.) The fleecy blanket will be bigger than your quilt top.
24. Place your beautiful quilt top in the center of the blanket. Measure to make sure you have equal distances of fleecy blanket showing on opposite sides (center it). Make adjustments as necessary to center it.
25. Pin on the seams, but not where 4 seams meet. It's already bulky in that spot. Start from the middle of the quilt top and work out to the edges, pinning and smoothing as you go. Dont forget to also pin the raw perimeter edges down.
26. If you are up to it, the next step is to top stitch the seams (that means sew on top of the existing seams) using a color co-ordinating thread and 12 stitches to the inch, widest zig zag stitch. You will be securing the seams to the fleecy blanket, and strengthening the seams at the same time. You may want to go right out to the edges of the perimeter, but I left that part without top stitching.
27. Pull the loose end threads to the back side when you are done. Knot the threads and trim thread ends. Time to quit for now. It's looking great!
28. Seventh Day. If the fleecy blanket has a sewn edge, cut it off as close to the sewing as possible. Try not to stretch it.
29. Mark dots about every 4", 1/2 inch in from the perimeter of your quilt top with chalk marks.
30. Fold the fleecy blanket's long edges forward to the front, to cover the raw perimeter edge of the quilt, matching it to the chalk marks. Pin well.
31. Sew using the same thread and the same wide zig zag stitch, using the presser foot as your guide.
32. Fold the fleecy blanket's short edges forward to the front, to cover the raw edge of the quilt, matching up to the chalk marks. Pin well.
33. Sew using the wide zig zag stitch and presser foot as your guide.
Lessons Level 5, ~ Mini
Snap Bag , ~Sew
a buttonhole, ~Zipper
to sew a quilt, ~Cat Quilt,
in 7 sittings, ~Denim
patch blanket, ~Striped
Edge Quilt, ~Bandanna
Patchwork Quilt, ~How
to tie a quilt, ~Sew a
Rug, ~Needle Book
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