How to Make a Patchwork Quilt
Welcome to Tuesday!
Today is the day that I’m going to take you through how to make the patchwork quilt that you can see in the picture above. It’s a light and cosy quilt that will last you for many years, withstand the washing machine and I’m sure it will also be more than happy to be included in many events that will hold great memories for you.
The measurements used in this ‘how-to’ are for a quilt that sits fantastically on a Kingsize (UK) bed and measures approximately 210 cm square (82 inches square)
- Once you have selected your fabrics for the quilt, start by cutting them into squares. I chose a palette of light ‘springlike’ colours and patterns that would pretty much suit every room in my house. If you’re after something a bit more colourful, never fear, we’ve got our Summertime quilt to come later in the year!
- We cut our squares of fabric 8″ x 8″ and used 121 squares.
- Arrange all the squares out on the floor in the pattern you want . This way you can see the approximate size and what it will be like, it is much easier to move squares around now rather than when it is all stitched together!
- Starting with the top row, sew the squares into strips.
- Then sew (quilt) all the strips together. Once this has been completed you’ll get a real sense of what the finished quilt will look like and it’s exciting to say the least.
- Take care to ensure that all of the seams meet up. To do this you’ll need to be meticulous when sewing the squares and strips together. You’ll also need to make sure that your hems are all of the same size. The picture above is a great example of the hems meeting up superbly and if you can achieve this then your quilt will look wonderful when spread out in all its glory on the bed.
- However, you’re NOT to beat yourself up if this doesn’t happen. Especially if this is your first time at making a patchwork quilt of this size.
- When sewing together the individual squares and strips of the quilt I used a stitch and hem of this size. This ensures that the quilt is strong and secure.
Binding the Quilt
- The picture above shows the binding.
- ‘Binding’ a quilt together is the term used when covering the raw edges of the quilt in order to protect them. You also use binding to attach the underside of the quilt and hold the wadding/filling/batting in place (we’ll come to the filling in a moment).
- Cut your binding into strips ensuring that you have enough to cover the outer edges of the quilt.
- Mine were cut 1 inch wide using a contrasting piece of fabric that matched the other colours in the quilt perfectly.
- Iron them in half.
- Pin the binding to the right side of the quilt so that the binding is upside down and both the quilt and the binding are ‘face to face’.
- Sew into place about 1/2 a cm from the edge.
- Make sure that you leave some excess binding at each of the corners as you want enough to sew your corners neatly.
- When sewing the corners of the binding together, align two of the binding strips together and then sew from the patchwork corner straight across the binding.It should look like the picture above when turned the right way in.
- You could create a continuous length of binding if you so wish and simply sew it, in its entirety, to the outside edge of the quilt. There are many different ways to do this and many different ways for it to work.
Filling the Quilt
- We’ll now move on to filling the quilt.
- There are several terms used for filling the quilt, don’t be put off by any of them.
- Simply put – You need to fill the quilt with something in order to make it warm and a wee bit more substantial than two pieces of cotton sewn together and the terms wadding, batting and padding are sometimes used interchangeably.
- There are many different materials that you can use for all different types of uses and budgets.
- I used Bamboo wadding/filling and asked my fabric shop to give me a bit more than I needed to make the size of quilt that I was making.
- When cutting your wadding/filling to the size you need, make sure it is slightly larger than the patchwork part as you will need to fill the binding too.
- Lay your wadding piece flat on the floor, then lay your piece of backing fabric on to it (face up), finally, your patchwork piece (face down and with the binding attached) on top.
Note: Ensure your backing and patchwork pieces are facing each other so it is the correct way when you turn it the right way out.
- Pin the wadding, backing and the binding (the edge yet to be attached) together along three sides of the quilt, leaving enough wadding overlapping to fill the other half of the binding.
- Don’t ‘pull’ the binding out flat otherwise it will mess up your corners. Work to the size of the patchwork quilt and NOT to the size of the binding.
- Then stitch all three pieces on three sides together making sure that you leave the wadding longer than the other edges so it will fill the binding when turned the right way. This is done to stop the wadding moving and ending up in a lump at the bottom of one of the corners and to make the quilt generally more secure and sturdy. If you’re going to all of this effort you want to be able to use this quilt for many years to come.
- When all three sides of the quilt are stitched up and secure, you can now start to pin together the fourth and final side of the quilt in the same way as before (pinning the wadding, backing and binding together).
- Start pinning the fabrics together from one of the open corners to approximately 50cm into the middle.
- Do the same from the other corner of the quilt, pinning together approximately 50cm into the middle.
- Machine the pinned pieces of fabric together, leaving you with an opening of approximately 110cm in the middle.
- By leaving this large opening will allow you enough room to turn the quilt the right way out.
Sewing up the final edge of the quilt
- Turn the quilt the right way out
- The opening that is left will be hand stitched together.
- We did this by folding the binding over so it met the backing fabric and the wadding, and sewed the opening up using a very small hidden hand stitch.
- We then added a small stitch which is hidden in the seam every 1 to 2 inches to strengthen the binding as before
- This also helps to keep the ironed fold in the binding central.
- Once the final side of the quilt has been sewn up your quilt is officially finished.
- However I decided that the quilt needed something a little extra to make it …..well, to make it a bit more quilty!
- We stitched a cross, diagonally, in to each and every square of the quilt. This not only added detail to the quilt in a very easy way but also helps keep the wadding in place.
- Again, it’s about making the quilt as sturdy and secure as possible so that you get years of use from it. We’re creating an ‘Heirloom Quilt’ here not something disposable.
A closer look at how the diagonal crosses make the quilt look……
And there you have it.
I really hope you enjoy making and using this quilt as much as I have already.
Have a wonderful time and PLEASE don’t worry if it doesn’t come out exactly the way you want it to first time around. As there are many ways to skin a cat, there are also many ways to make a quilt. And this is my way!
Lots of love,
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