Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Pressing, ironing is VERY important for the finished look of your sewing project! IRON IT darn IT...should be your motto.

As you can see we did not have a quilting frame...not a problem for this small quilt. We just used the floor. Still gets the job done.

Quilting, even your kids can tie a quilt. This one is a baby crib quilt we made as a gift.

The lesson this week is easy Quilting.

Equipment needed: sewing machine with straight stitch.

good sharp sissors




darning needles

crochet or knitting yarn

scraps of cotton fabric

single cotton bed sheet

Making a simple Baby's Crib Quilt size 45 inches wide by 60 inches long

Begin by cutting the fabric into 6 inch strips. I used my rotary cutter and my ruler. You could also rip the strips by cutting a small snip on the salvage after marking the fabric edges with your ruler and pencil making the marks every six inches. You should have 10 strips to give you 60 inches. Most fabric comes in 45 inch widths so that should be no problem. If your fabric is not 45 inches wide then sew strips together to make it 6 inches wide by 45 inches long, trimming as needed.

Look before you sew the strips together. Take a moment to look at the fabrics and combinations that are pleasing to the eye. Always make sure you have patterns and solids in an arrangement that is pleasing to you. Don't just throw any strip together. Be creative.

Now with wrong sides of strips sew them together. Use a tight stitch 2.5 is the usual. Seam allowance is usually 1/4 inch. Iron each seam as you sew. Pull gently on the seam and make sure the seam is secure. If you notice the seam coming apart. Now is the time to restitch. When all of the strips are sewn you will have a large retangle 45 inches wide by 60 inches long. Don't worry if your strips are not even or if you are not absolutely 45 by 60...don't cut anything right now.
Now you are going to sandwich the quilt top you just finished with a layer of batting in the middle and the backing together. Just remember the backing made from a sheet has to be larger by at least 5 inches than the quilt top. When you start tyeing the quilt together you will loose some inches from the backing. I don't know why...I just know this happens everytime I've quilted.
There are several ways you can secure the three layers, hand baste, pins and quilting frame. Since I don't have a frame and I don't like to handsew, we opted for the pins. I use the larger size yellow top quilting pins...great stuff. My gd and I were liberal with them and it worked great.
We started tieing the quilt at the end. You really should start in the middle and work your way out to the edges. But since we were sitting on the floor, it made more sense to start at the end. The strips help you keep track of where to place the knots. We used the width of our hand as a guide as to where to make the knots. Now when you tie a quilt you put a generous amount of yarn on your darning needle. You make your first knot tieing it over and under for a square knot so it doesn't come out in the wash. Now don't cut your yarn, just go to the next spot and tie your next knot..just remember to go over and under the yarn. When you are out of yarn, you can stop...clip the yarn between the knots and leave the tails..they will curl up after being in the wash and if they are too short your knot will come out.
For the crib size quilt it took us two days and about 4 hours each day. We made shopping trips and visited and went to the pool so it probably would have taken less time but where is the fun in that.
When the whole quilt is tied now you need to finish the edges. I took the quilt to my cutting table and using my tape measure and my rotary cutter, I squared all the sides. You can do the same thing with a ruler and pencil. Just cut carefully. For my binding...the peice of fabric which covers all the edges, I used a 4 inch strip of fabric that coordinated with the quilt top. I placed the strip right side to the quilt backing, pinned it together with about 2 inches over the edges. Seamed the quilt and binding together using the 2.5 stitch length and a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I did both the top and bottom first ( 45 inch wide side). Then I did the long sides next..with the extra fabric over each edge. When these were done, I trimed the extra fabric off the long sides only and ironed my seams. I also ironed a 1/2 inch crease...the right side folded toward the wrong side. Then I pulled the binding to the front or the quilt top with all the strips and pinned the creased edge down. I stitched the long sides first. Now you turn under the extra fabric on the top and bottom, pin the edges down and seam again.
Now you are finished.
Later I will try to draw some diagrams that are simple to understand. But if you are interested in making quilts, I think the smaller quilt is a great place to start. Now mind you there are some BEAUTIFUL quilts out there and I know there are tons of quilting books. But I can still remember trying to figure out all the techical jargin and not getting anywhere. My quilts would come apart and or the ends would come unraveled and my boys would have thread bear covers till some one said..." hey sweetie don't make it harder than it has to be. "
Good luck with your sewing.. hugs rozzi and her granddaughters.