Monday, August 8, 2011

The One With the Crazy Quilt (+ Tutorial)

Ok, so this quilt isn't that crazy, but I couldn't think of a different name.

I made this quilt using fabrics from a Blake Riley collection and I love it. I think it will make the perfect gift for my niece whose birthday was (gasp!) a few months ago. I know, I really should be more on top of things. But anyway, I thought I'd fill you in on the how to for this kind of quilt.

I'm not claiming to have thought up this idea myself, but I can break it down for you. Ready? To view the tutorial, click "Read more."
First of all, choose your fabrics.
  • For a crib-sized quilt like mine you will need a quarter yard of nine fabrics. In retrospect, I would recommend you get nine different fabrics. I used only eight and repeated one of my fabrics (the umbrella one), because I loved it so much. It worked out fine but did take a little extra planning to make sure that the same fabric wasn't too prominent.You can also simplify this project by avoiding directional prints.
  • You will also need 1 1/2 yards of fabric for your back. I made this pretty simple by using a soft, cuddly, minky dot fabric in white instead of using a cotton and a quilt batting.
  • Binding: you can use a cotton, get at least 1/3 yard of the fabric of your choice. Or, like me, you can use a pre-packaged satin binding. 

   After you have washed, dried and ironed your fabrics, you are ready to cut! Cut each of your fabrics into 6 inch strips. To prevent fraying, I would recommend using a pinking rotary cutter.

Now, arrange your strips into three groups of three.
Sew the strips together horizontally using a 1/4 inch seam. (Sorry this picture looks awful, but you get the idea. This would be the direct result of sewing late into the night when have really bad lighting.) Press your seams.

Now, you will be cutting your 3-panel strips into 6 inch strips like so:

Once all of your 3-panel strips have been cut into 6 inch strips, arrange your block. Making sure that you pin the seams together, sew the strips to each other to create 9-patch blocks.

Once you have your blocks, you're ready to cut again. This time, cut your blocks into quarters.

Here comes the fun part! Arrange your new squares into whatever pattern you'd like. Play around with it until it looks just right. I ended up with 5 rows of 5 blocks, but you can make it any length and width you want.

Sew the squares together to make each row, and then the rows together to make your quilt top. Be sure to pin your seams together as you go. This will keep them as neat and straight as possible. Don't forget to press your seams. 

And there you have it! Once your quilt top is complete you can finish it any way you like. I very simply quilted it onto a white minky fabric and used a pink satin binding with a blind hem stitch to seal it up. Pretty simple as far as quilts go, but very bright and colorful. All the little pieces make it look much more involved than it really is, which is nice because then you can get lots of credit for it. :-)

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the photos! It's so nice to see it visually! I love this quilt!

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  2. Could I see a picture of the whole back? Also, since minky is wider than most fabrics, did you have to trim it at all or is the quilt wide enough to cover all the minky? Thanks!

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    1. I don't have any pictures of the back, but it is just plain white minky with the pink border as shown in the second-to-last picture. I did trim the minky to fit the quilt top, but obviously you could increase the quilt top size to fit the minky. Hope that helps!

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    2. Ohh OK thanks! I didn't know if you did any fancy stitching to hold the two together, or if sewing around the border was enough. I'm new to quilting, so I feel confused when I see the fancy edge to edge stitching. I dont know when it's necessary and when it isn't.

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    3. If you're just starting out, I would suggest doing a straight stitch around the edges of the top and the minky to hold them together before adding the border. It will just make things a little easier than trying to add the border at the same time. And if you are doing a small enough blanket, like this one, it is ok to not have any "quilting" stitches that hold it together in the middle (more than a straight stitch around the edges). However, if you want to make a big quilt, like to cover a bed, you're going to want to put some stitches in the middle to keep it together. There are all sort of options for this, depending especially on what kind of fabrics you are using. To learn more, I would recommend searching YouTube for tutorials... the often have great video tutorials demonstrating different stitches, borders, etc.

      Good luck! Quilting is a lot of fun!

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