Monday, September 13, 2010

QUILT ALONG WEEK THREE: SEWING THE QUILT TOP

**Those of you who have been following along will realize this soon, so I'm just going to point it out. On week two's instructions I told you to cut out 44 filler squares and 64 baby clothes squares. Wrong. Math has never been my strong point. Just ask my mother. Anyhow, the CORRECT numbers are 40 filler squares and 60 baby clothes squares (or 56 squares and one larger 8.25" x 8.25" square for the middle). Sorry to cause confusion-I'll be sure to have Zak count things from now on. Oh, and the instructions have been changed to reflect the correct numbers.

To get started for this week, you'll need all of the squares that you cut out, a sewing machine (dust it off! open that box! you can do it!), an iron, and white thread.
Instructions:
  1. Lay out your quilt. First lay out the baby clothes squares. There is no right or wrong when it comes to order of the squares-it's all a matter of taste. The outside border of the quilt is 10 squares by 10 squares (use baby clothes squares). The inner box of baby clothes squares (not the center) of the quilt is 6 squares by 6 squares
  2. Once you have a layout that you are happy with, fill in the blank areas with the white (or other solid) squares. The two areas should be 8 squares by 8 squares and 4 squares by 4 squares.
  3. Take a picture of your quilt just in case a small child runs through your sewing room and the squares go everywhere.
  4. Now it's time to get sewing. I sew each horizontal row, starting at the left. I pile the row up, with the left-most square on the top. That way when I get to the sewing machine, I can remember the order of the row.
  5. Take your top two squares and line up the edges, right sides together. Sew, using a 1/4" seam along one side. Do NOT pull off the machine and cut the thread.
  6. Now take the next two squares and place right sides together. Place under the sewing foot and continue sewing the squares together. I'm not sure what the real sewing term for this way of sewing squares is, but I call it continuous sewing (wow-sounds so technical). It saves so much time when sewing a quilt top. Rather than sewing and cutting between each set of squares, you just continue to sew. And once you've sewn all 10 on the row, you get something like this
  7. Snip the threads between each set of squares. Now take the first two sets, right sides together and line up the edges. You may want to pin, but I am lazy and a terrible example to others. Sew, using a 1/4" seam.
  8. You should now have 4 squares sewn together in a row. Take the next two sets of squares, right sides together, line up the edges, and sew one side with a 1/4" seam. Then take the last two squares and sew them onto the end.
  9. At this point, you should have a set of 4 squares and a set of 6 squares. Place right sides together, line up the edge (pin if you want), and sew one side with a 1/4" seam.
  10. Da! Da! One full row of 10 complete!
  11. Continue to repeat steps 4 through 10 for the rest of the rows all the way down the quilt.
  12. Skip to step 20 if you are not using a large square in the middle.
  13. If you have a large square (8.25" x 8.25") for the middle piece, you'll need to do something a little bit different when you get to rows 5 and 6. You have 4 squares on either side of the large square. Start by sewing those 4 together on both rows.
  14. Next take the two rows of 4 on the left and place them right sides together (line up the vertical seams), pinning the seams together between each square.
  15. Sew the two rows together using 1/4" seam.
  16. Do the same thing on the right side of the large square.
  17. You should now have two rows of 4 on each side of the large square.
  18. Take the large square and place it right sides together with the left 2 rows. Sew together using a 1/4" seam.
  19. Sew the left two rows to the large square by lining up the opposite edge of the large square with right sides together. Sew using a 1/4" seam
  20. Now that you have all of your rows sewn together, you need to iron your seams before finishing up your quilt top. You want to iron the seams of each row in the opposite direction. For example, you will iron the seams on the first row to the left and the seams on the second row to the right. This will help your quilt lay flatter.
  21. Starting with the top, take the first two rows, place them right sides together, line up the squares ,and pin each seam.
  22. Sew using a 1/4" seam.
  23. Take the third row, place it right sides together with the first two, line up the seams, pin and sew it.
  24. Continue doing this until all of the rows are connected. And....your quilt top is complete!
  25. Do a little dance.

Supplies for week four:
  • 1 1/4 yard of cotton fabric for the back of your quilt
  • 1 1/2 yards of quilt batting (I like Warm & Natural 100% cotton, but this is a decision left to you)
  • yarn for tying (if you are going to tie your quilt-you can also machine quilt it)
  • spray adhesive for quilting (can find this in the sewing area of Joann's or even Wal-mart)
  • white thread
Almost done!!

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