Sunday, January 31, 2010

Summer Quilt

For my first quilt, I decided to go all out- full on queen size!

I chose several different fabrics, with lots of floral patterns and bright happy colors. I began with a basic square/rectangle pattern, but was having so much fun that I kept adding and experimenting until the quilt was full-sized. Make sure that your fabric is evenly measured and cut out, it makes it much easier to sew even lines and keep everything the proper size. For this quilt, every rectangle is exactly the size of 2 squares, which makes creating an even pattern very simple. I love the mix of colors, so I arranged all of my fabric with no 2 pieces of the same fabric touching. Of course, you could arrange anything you like, making it as simple or intricate as you please. Be creative! :)

After hours of cutting and creating my organized-yet-random design of colors, it was time for bed. I woke up the next morning excited to get going on my new project, but this is the destruction with which I was greeted....... !!!!!

Apparently, my thoughtful kitty Layla decided to "help" me through discovering that she could run and slide on the wood floor.

As soon as I could, I reorganized and sewed the top of my quilt to prevent further annihilation. Layla was very confused (and annoyed!). Apparently, my quilts are much less fun once they are put together.

After the center was complete, I added a basic border with leftover fabric. It was looking a little too simple, so I experimented with some triangles for a simple pinwheel. To make the center of the pinwheel properly aligned, it helps to have perfect measurements and to pin and iron before sewing. I found the cutest bright yellow lemon fabric- LOVE it! Looking forward to making an apron with the leftovers. :)

For batting, I used a poly-cotton blend. This is very common and easy to find, and I prefer it for the low loft and heavy weight it provides. I used a pretty bright floral flannel for the backing of the quilt. Flannel is softer and warmer, and is just rough enough that it stays on the bed well. I find that the smooth fabrics slip and slide when you have multiple blankets, and the pretty pattern on the flannel makes it reversible!

I chose to extend my flannel backing to make the edge of the quilt, but if you prefer you can use other fabric.

To arrange the three layers, start with a smooth flat surface large enough to lay everything out at once with no bunching or creases. Make sure to stretch each layer flat and make them all perfectly flush- this is important! If you do not make your layers smooth, you will have puckers and loose fabric in your finished quilt. The backing to the quilt should be the largest layer, while the top of the quilt should be the smallest. As you arrange the layers, make sure that each lower layer extends an even amount the entire way around the layer above it. For example, I made my backing 5 inches longer than the batting, which was 2 inches longer than the top of the quilt.

Once the quilt is pinned, you are free to sew the edges and begin quilting! I am doing all of the edges and quilting by hand. I chose to tie my quilt rather than making intricate patterns, partly because of the work involved and also because I did not want to detract from the pretty details of the fabric. Also, I feel that tying the quilt gives it an old-fashioned look, as all of the warm old quilts I grew up with were also tied. Whether you choose to quilt with a pattern or tie, make sure that your stitches are close enough together to prevent the batting from creating lumps and bunching. (Check the bag when you purchase your batting- it will give you the maximum quilting distance for your particular batting.) However you choose to make your quilt, have fun and be creative! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment