I’m not a quilter. Ok, sure, I could quilt if I wanted to…but truth be told, I just don’t like quilting. Sorry Mom. Quilting is just not my thing. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE quilts, and I really admire those who do quilt (ahem… Mom). But for me, well, I do not have the patience for it. I like to finish my projects the same day I start them…
My niece is having a baby and I wanted to sew something special for her shower present. I didn’t just want to do bibs and burp cloths, so I knew a blanket was in order. Upon finding out the baby’s theme was pirates, I knew I wanted to use this fun fabric by Alexander Henry called Ahoy! My coordinating fabrics are Canvas Mustard and Haystack by Michael Miller.
Ok, on to this project. How does one go about making a nice quilt without actually having to piece a bunch squares and rectangles together? Well, you grab 2-3 different fabrics, some quality batting, sandwich them together and jump straight into top-quilting. Hehehe…read on to learn more.
**This tutorial makes a 30″x40″ quilt. You can apply the same steps to make any size quilt, you will just need to adjust the amount of fabric/batting accordingly.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 yard main fabric
- 1 yard coordinating fabric for back
- 1 yard batting (I used Hobbs Wool, but cotton or polyester would work just as well)
- 1/3 yard coordinating fabric for binding
- Rotary Cutter & Mat (not necessary but it sure helps)
- Lots and lots of pins
- A walking foot
Lay the back piece of fabric right side down, then the batting and finally the main fabric right side up. You are making a fabric sandwich. Spend some time working out any wrinkles that may exist and make sure the fabric corners all meet making the edges even with each other. The batting will stick out from in-between because it is larger.
Once you get everything laying flat, pin the heck out of it. You need to place pins on the edges and every 5-10 or so inches throughout the entire blanket. Yeah, I know this is a drag (coming from someone who hates pinning), but trust me, you NEED to do this to prevent the layers from slipping around and making your life miserable later on. So go ahead and start pinning….
Whew…you got through that! Now onto more fun (and a little monotonous) stuff. Let’s start quilting this baby. Put your quilting foot on your machine…this will help the layers of fabric from moving around – it’s a quilter’s must!
Starting at a short end, sew right along the edge. When you get to the end, leave the needle in the quilt, turn the quilt around so the bulk of it is on the other side (you will need to fold/roll up the excess to get it to fit under the arm of your machine…see why you needed all those pins?) and sew down the quilt again.
You can choose how far apart/straight/angled these lines will be. I just let mine go where they wanted to…a little haphazard because that’s what I like. But if you’re a straight stitching kinda person, go ahead and do that! Totally up to you.
Your getting close now! Let’s get to work on the binding.
Cut 4 strips of binding fabric 2.5″ wide. The cuts are will go across the fabric from selvage to selvage.
TIP: If you are making binding for a larger quilt, you can calculate how much fabric and how many strips you will need using THIS handy dandy quilting calculator.
It’s time to attach the binding to the quilt.
Start somewhere in the middle of one of the quilt edges. Open the folded binding and pin it, raw edges and right sides together with the quilt top as shown (I fold the edge over so I can see exactly where I started). Pin to the corner.
Now, fold it back down so the raw edges continue to line up with the other quilt edge.Repeat this process for each side/corner of the quilt. When you get back to the side you started on, stop sewing about 7-8″ BEFORE the ends meet. You will have some excess binding, that is good.Go ahead and unfold the beginning piece of the binding now. Pull the sides up towards the ceiling and with both pieces between your fingers, find the point at which they meet along the quilt. Pin the binding together at that point (DO NOT pin the quilt).
It’s coming together!!! Now, how about we finish this… After much debate (and a call to my Mom), I opted to finish this by hand using a hem stitch (blind stitch). Why? Because I have absolutely no luck when it comes to attaching the back side of bindings by machine. I always miss the back edge. I made a call to my quilting expert (Mom) and she told me that she always finishes her quilts by hand for the same reason. So…yeah, I know it’s a pain, but it really didn’t take long at all.
I show you the steps of the hem stitch below, but instead of trying to type out the instructions, I would recommend watching THIS YOU TUBE VIDEO, which is much better. If you want to attempt it with a machine, THIS VIDEO may help.