Tuesday, October 05, 2010

QUILT ALONG WEEK FOUR: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

I've kind of dropped the ball on this whole quilt along thing. I have good excuses, least of which is that I've spent the entire last week sick. But I'm feeling better now and ready to finish up this quilt! Especially since Storey keeps dragging the finished top outside to play with it. I want it completed and safely in her bed.

As a recap, this is what you need for this week:

  • 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
Because I have to start everything with a disclaimer, here it is: I am not a professional quilter. My way to putting a quilt together should definitely not be taken as gospel truth. There are quite a few ways of doing this and this just happens to be the way that works for me. So if you like to tie quilts, by all means, do it. If you want to use large safety pins instead of the spray adhesive, pin away. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.

Instructions:
  1. If you are using spray adhesive, then you'll want to take your quilt outside. Otherwise putting this quilt together will cause you to have other, unwanted, side effects. Like hallucinations. Okay, probably not, but safety first, people. Take your batting and backing fabric with you.
  2. Spread an old sheet or towel over a flat surface, like your driveway. Grass doesn't count.
  3. Lay your quilt top, face down, on the sheet. Make sure it is completely flat, no wrinkles.
  4. Spray liberally with the spray adhesive.
  5. Spread your quilt batting on top. The easiest way to do this is to roll up the batting and unroll it, smoothing as you go on to the quilt top.
  6. Flip your quilt over to be sure that the quilt top didn't wrinkle while you were working. Adjust as necessary.
  7. Flip it back, so the batting is facing up.
  8. Spray the batting liberally with the spray adhesive.
  9. Roll up your backing fabric and unroll it, smoothing as you go, on top of the batting. Make sure that the right side of your backing fabric is facing up!!
  10. Again, flip over your quilt and make sure that the quilt top has no wrinkles in it. Adjust as necessary.
Now you can decide whether you want to tie your quilt or machine quilt it. You do need to choose one or the other before binding your quilt (we'll discuss binding next week) to ensure that the batting doesn't bunch up at one end or get lumpy.

If you want to tie your quilt, this is a really good tutorial. I always use embroidery floss when I tie quilts. For this quilt, you should probably tie at the corner of each 4.5" by 4.5" square. No need to tie in the middle of each square (except for that big middle square, if you did that).

I'm going to machine quilt this one. It's a rather easy pattern, so even if you have never machine quilted before, the baby clothes quilt is a great place to start. You are going to be doing what is referred to in the sewing club as "stitch in the ditch." Basically, you stitch where the seams are. Because I want to make sure that the batting doesn't move around, I also stitch through the middle of the filler squares. See the (extremely rough) picture below. Hopefully it does not confuse you even more. Make sure that when you machine quilt it together, you start with the middle square and not on the biggest square on the outside. You may want to pin around the outside edges because the backing fabric sometimes has a tendency to bunch around the edges.

I usually quilt one square, take it off the machine and flip it over to make sure there aren't any serious issues, then continue with the next square, etc. Keep a seam ripper handy.

More professional quilters will recommend a different type of foot for your machine, called a walking foot. I, on the other hand, have never never invested in one. I do all my quilting with the regular foot that is always on my machine. I'm sure if I was doing stippling (all those curvy sewn lines everywhere) or something fancy I would need one, but if I want quilting like that, I pay someone else to do it.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this step. Machine quilting sounds daunting at first, but this simple pattern is really very easy and a great way to practice your skillz.

Happy Sewing!! Only one more week to a completed quilt!!

1 comments:

AikoArt said...

Stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago. I have been pondering what to do with my daughter's clothes & I want to make a quilt. I was so excited to find your tutorial since it looks pretty easy. Thank you for the hard work you have invested in doing it.
Looking forward to week 5!
Sara

http://www.AikoArt.Etsy.com

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