Make a quilt for the holidays

sewing-machine-cartoonHappy December everyone! This winter break, try something new and make your own quilt to bundle up for the holidays.

Here’s how to make your very own quilt:

1. Supplies you’ll need include a rotary cutter, scissors, a sewing machine, a cutting mat, ruler, fabric, thread, batting, an iron, needles and basting spray. At Joan’s, I purchased the fabric: I got 3 patterned fabrics (each 1 yard long), backing fabric (4.5 yards) (it needs to be larger than both the front of your quilt and the batting) and batting (the fluffy material that adds warmth to your quilt). All of the fabrics and cloths I got were 100 percent cotton. Most of my materials were purchased at Joann fabric store.

2. Wash then press your fabric. After it’s cleaned, press out your fabric because removing wrinkles makes cutting easier.

iron
Iron your fabric.

3. Make the measurements. If you know how large you want your quilt to be, you need to measure the size of each of the individual pieces to fit. Cut out patterned fabric in even squares (7×7 inches).

measure

4. Cut the pieces of fabric using your rotary blade. cutting

5. Lay out your quilt. This part of the process is fun because it’s the preview of your entire quilting design.pieces-2

6. Sew one by one. Start with one row and put two of your squares of fabric together with the right sides (the sides you want to show) facing each other. Hold the pieces in place using pins. On your sewing machine, sew a 1/4 inch seem using a straight stitch. Be sure to have a consistent inseam on all your pieces so patterns line up in your finished quilt. Make sure that you are sewing at exactly ¼ inch for each piece of fabric. Then, add the next square in the row to the one before it, and repeat until one row is finished. Repeat the process with each row.

machine-4

7. Press the seams open. After you’ve sewn your pieces together, the back will be left with columns of inseams that stick up. To make your quilt lay flat, press these inseams flat with your iron.

ironing-2

8. Sew the rows together. Start with first two rows. Flip the second row over the first and sew along the bottom using a ¼-inch inseam. When your first two rows are sewn together place the third row over the second and repeat for all until you have completed the front of your quilt.

machine-close-up-2

9. Press the seams open. Flip your quilt front over to the backside. Iron each seam until it is flattened.

quilt-back

10. Cut the rest of the fabric. Now that the top of your quilt finished, cut the batting and backing. These should be slightly larger than your quilt front.

white

11. Baste the quilt. Basting is the process of layering your quilt and pinning it in place before sewing in order: the backing pattern (the dark green back layer to the quilt), batting, then the quilt.  You can use pins to hold the pieces in place or use basting spray (which is what I did). If you want to use a basting spray, lightly mist each layer before adding the next one on top of it. Smooth out the fabric after the spray has secured the layers in place. If you are pinning your quilt together, use safety pins in the center of each piece. Work from the center and go outwards. If you want, you can even use both spraying and pinning techniques to make sure your quilt is extra secure before sewing.

spray-2

12. Sew the layers together. Start in the center of your quilt and sew outwards to push excess fabric and bunching towards the edges rather than the middle. You can also sew diagonally across pieces or free hand the seams on your sewing machine. The more seams you sew, the better your quilt will turn out because the seams prevent the batting from moving around or bunching up inside the quilt. You can add a border seam around the edge of your quilt once you have sewn together the entire center of your blanket.

13. Finish your quilt. With the addition of the binding, your quilt has been finished. Enjoy!

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