This week was the week I was totally going to get back on track. I had things to share and big plans to get my posts done. You know what they say about the best laid plans! Monday night was the beginning of what felt like the end! I got one of those 24 hour stomach bugs that actually feels like forever since you are so miserable. Luckily the hubby was home on Tuesday morning to help out with my little one, because I was pretty useless. I wasn't even able to get out of bed until Wednesday. With a whole day wasted, I've spent the rest of the week playing catch up. Story of my life!
Today I thought I'd share the quilt that I made for my second daughter. I've always had a love of quilts and blankets. My house is filled with simple fleece blankets I've made. I've made a few quilts, mostly as gifts. My first was for a co-worker when I worked at a dental office in high school. I made a baby quilt for her new baby. I also made one in college for a boyfriend that was graduating. When my first baby girl was born, I knew I wanted to make her her own baby quilt. I really didn't use a pattern, I usually just figure it out as I go. I finished her quilt just days before she was born.
When my second daughter was born, a quilt just didn't happen before she was born. Not much gets done when you are chasing a two year old around. Years later she asked me where her quilt was. I told her I would make her one. It only took about two years on and off and it was complete! I swear it does not take that long to make! It's just that I am so easily distracted when it comes to projects.
I'm a little afraid to call this a tutorial. This is more of a guideline to winging it when it comes to making a quilt. I don't claim to be any kind of quilt expert, but quite the opposite. I just thought I'd share how I made this quilt. It's a simple way to create one without the intimidation. Probably not the most recommended way though!
My daughter and I began our quilt process by picking out many types of fabrics that coordinated. She really liked the cupcake fabric, so we picked other materials that would match it. I just started cutting six inch squares and laying them out in an order I liked. I wasn't worried about making it a particular size since it was just going to be a throw blanket. If you do know your dimensions, make sure you factor in your seam allowances. Keep cutting squares until you have enough to make a quilt in the size you want. I will add a border later, to make the quilt a bit longer and wider.
After you have your squares laid out how you like them, start pinning your squares together into strips. Sew the squares together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Be sure to keep your strips in some kind of order so you know how you had them laid out before. I took a picture of them laid out, just in case I needed to refer to it later. Turn your strips over and iron your seams open. Now you can pin your strips together, matching up your seams as best as you can. Sew your strips together. Turn over and press your seams open.
Now is the time to add your border. I made mine 6 inches wide. If you want your quilt even larger, you could add two or more borders. Cut your border fabric, pin in place and sew on. Press your seams.
Now it's time to quilt your front and back pieces. You may be able to find a piece of fabric that is wide enough for the back piece. Mine was not, so I sewed two pieces of fabric together, leaving a seam in the middle. I tried to line this seam up with one of my quilting seams when I matched the front and back. I made my back piece larger because I was folding it over the front to create my quilt edge. My back fabric was four inches larger all the way around. If you are using a separate piece as a binding, you can make your pieces closer in size. I'd still recommend leaving the back a little larger in case things shift. You can always trim it after you have quilted the pieces together.
Cut a piece of batting that is the same size as the front of your quilt. Lay out your front and back pieces, wrong sides together. Your batting should be in between your front and back. Pin all three together with quilting safety pins. These pins are kind of bent in the middle, which makes them easier to use. Pin them all over to keep from slipping.
My quilt sat like this for a long while, just waiting to be quilted. Sad, but true. Hopefully you are able to push past your distractions, unlike me.
To machine quilt your quilt, sew along the seam lines on the front of your quilt, sewing all three pieces together. I like to start in the middle of the quilt, working to the sides. I always start at one edge and sew towards the other. That way if things shift, they will shift evenly all the way down the quilt. Roll the extra part up to keep it up out of the way when you are sewing. This can get bulky when you are sewing the far edge, but rolling it helps to keep it more manageable. Sew down the seams in both directions.
Now your quilting is done and it's time to create your binding. These steps may be helpful if you are folding your back piece forward to create your edge. I feel like this process is a bit simpler than attaching a separate binding. It also creates the look of a second border piece, since it is a bit wider than traditional binding.
1. Fold over your corner once, and then again over the edge of the front of your quilt. Pin in place.
2. Fold one side edge over so that the raw edge meets the raw edge of the front of the quilt.
3. Fold this same piece again at the place where the seams meet. Your binding should now be folded about two inches over your front piece. Pin in place as you go.
4. When you get to the next corner, fold it over in a triangle until the folded edge meets the front edge on the top of your quilt.
5. Fold top edge down so that the raw edge meets the front raw edge.
6. Fold this edge over your front piece, creating your completed corner. Pin in place. Continue this process all the way around your quilt. Sew your edge in place, by sewing along the edge where your back fabric meets the front border fabric.
Your quilt is now complete! Hopefully it didn't take you as long as it did me. My daughter received it for her seventh birthday. I love when I finish a project like this. It always feels like such an accomplishment. I guess now I better start the quilt for my third daughter. She's two and a half right now, so I guess I only have four and a half years to get it done!