Sunday, January 20, 2013

Modern-Striped Twin Quilt - Session #3 of 4

Skill Level: Intermediate
Skills Attained: piecing a quilt, binding, tying-off quilt, slip stitch
Supplies/Materials:
For a list of supplies and materials, refer to Modern-Striped Twin Quilt - Session #1 of 4.
As a refresher, here is the project design and its dimensions. The finished, twin-size quilt is 68" x 87".

As I mentioned in the previous posts, the instructions for this project are broken down into four sessions. The four sessions are as follows:
  1. Cutting the Fabric 
  2. Piecing the Quilt Top 
  3. Sewing the Borders and Preparing for Finishing 
  4. Finishing the Quilt: Tying and Binding 
*****

Let's get started on the next session...

Session #3: Sewing the Borders and Preparing for Finishing


Sewing the Borders


Before you begin sewing on the borders, lay out the borders around the sewn quilt top. First, you will place the 2 1/2" white strips around all four sides. Then, you will place the 4" strips on the outside the white strips. See picture below.



Before sewing the borders, trim any pieces of the quilt top that overhang so that you have even edges. See pictures below.





Notice that the border strips are longer than the sides. You will be cutting the borders to length as you sew.

First, sew the 2 1/2" white strips to the quilt top. To do this, take one of the 2 1/2" white strips and pin it to the left side of the long vertical edge of the quilt top. Pin the right-sides of the fabrics together ensuring that the edges align. Sew a 1/4" seam allowance. Do the same process to the right vertical edge. Once the two vertical white strips are sewn, trim the strips so they are flush with the quilt top. Press the seams open. 



Next, sew the two horizontal 2 1/2" white strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top. Follow the same method as described in the paragraph above. When sewing the horizontal strips to the quilt top, the length of the strip will go the full length of the quilt top, including the vertical strips you sewed as described in the above paragraph. 




Proceed sewing the 4" border strips in the same fashion you sewed the 2 1/2" white strips.

Preparing for Finishing


If you are using a full-size sheet as your backing, you do not need to piece together your material. So, proceed to the next step. If you are using 4 yards of 45" wide fabric, you will need to piece together your material as follows:
Cut the 4 yards in half so you have (2) two-yard pieces of fabric. Sew the pieces right side together along the 2 yard edge, so after sewn, you will have a large piece that is 90" long (45" + 45") x 72" wide (2 yards + 2 yards). Press the seam open and lay the entire piece of fabric wrong-side up.
Note of Caution: Be sure your backing fabric is 45" wide. If the fabric is only 40" or 42", then you will not have enough material. If you cannot find material 45" wide, then you will need to purchase an additional 2 yards of fabric and piece your fabric in two places. 


Next, place your batting on top of the fabric backing so that the batting is on top of the wrong-side of the fabric you are using as your backing. Finally, place your quilt top right side up on top of the batting.


Use safety pins to secure the layers of the quilt in place. (You may also use a binding stitch if you so choose.) I recommend putting safety pins approximately every 8" - 10".



Finally, trim the edges of the batting and backing so that you have an even edge with the quilt top. 

Now you are ready to finish your quilt, which will be covered next week in the last session!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Modern-Striped Twin Quilt - Session #2 of 4

Skill Level: Intermediate
Skills Attained: piecing a quilt, binding, tying-off a quilt, slip stitch
Supplies/Materials:
For a list of supplies and materials, refer to Modern-Striped Twin Quilt - Session #1 of 4

As a refresher, here is the project design and its dimensions. The finished, twin-size quilt is 68" x 87".

As I mentioned in the previous post, the instructions for this project will be broken down into four sessions. The four sessions are as follows:
  1. Cutting the Fabric 
  2. Piecing the Quilt Top 
  3. Sewing the Borders and Preparing for Finishing 
  4. Finishing the Quilt: Tying and Binding 
*****

Let's get started on the next session...

Session #2: Piecing the Quilt Top



Now that the pieces for the top of your quilt are cut (Refer to Session #1), you will begin sewing the quilt together; this is also called “piecing the quilt”. Using the design (above) as a guide, lay out your horizontal and vertical strips in the desired design leaving enough room to place the 2 ½” white borders in between each strip. I like to lay out the design to ensure that I am sewing the pieces together in the proper order. (See the picture below.)


First, you will sew the row of horizontal strips together: first the row that is 13 ½” wide and then the row that is 23 ½” wide. You will sew a white border in between each horizontal strip of fabric you have cut out. 

To begin sewing, pin the right sides one of the white borders to the first horizontal strip.


Pin the pieces of fabric together and sew using a 1/4" seam allowance.


After the horizontal strip is sewn to the white border, use an iron to press open the seam.


Continue sewing the next strip to a white border following the instructions described above. Then, sew the two blocks together ensuring that a white border is sewn between each horizontal strip.


Continue until the entire row of 13 1/2" strips are sewn together. Proceed with sewing the 23 1/2" wide strips together as you did with the previous strips.

Here is a picture of the completed strips:


Next, we will sew the vertical strips. Before sewing, lay out your pieces of fabric.


In Session #1, you cut the vertical strips the proper width, but you did not cut the strips to length. Now is the time you will cut the vertical strips to the proper length. Sometimes when piecing fabric together, the dimensions can be slightly off (due to a variance in cutting or seam allowance). So, you waited until the horizontal strips were sewn together before cutting the vertical strips to ensure the correct length.

Cut the vertical strips to length using scissors. When cutting the vertical strips, leave an extra few inches for a margin of error. You can trim the excess fabric at a later time. 


Proceed with sewing the vertical strips as shown below:


When pinning the pieces together, make sure you pin the seam open, as shown below. This creates a smoother, less bunchy seam.


When finished sewing, press the seams open. Continue sewing the vertical strips together as shown below:


Finally, sew the two sections together to complete the quilt top.


Congratulations! Step #2 of 4 is complete. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Modern-Striped Twin Quilt - Session #1 of 4


Skill Level: Intermediate
Skills Attained: piecing a quilt, binding, tying-off a quilt, slip stitch
Supplies/Materials: See below.

The next few posts are dedicated to anyone who wishes to delve further into the world of sewing. Perhaps you have tackled a few basic projects, and now you would like to try something a little bigger. This modern-striped twin quilt may be the perfect project for you! This is a great beginner quilt that will teach you the basics of piecing a quilt together, tying-off a quilt, and binding the quilt. 

Here is the project design and dimensions. The finished, twin-size quilt is 68" x 87".


The instructions for this project will be broken down into four sessions. I will post one session per week over the next four weeks. The four sessions are as follows:
  1. Cutting the Fabric 
  2. Piecing the Quilt Top 
  3. Sewing the Borders and Preparing for Finishing 
  4. Finishing the Quilt: Tying and Binding 
Here is a detailed list of supplies and materials you will need for the project: 
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins
  • Safety Pins
  • Pencil/Chalk
  • Needles: Quilt Needle and Tapestry/Embroidery Needle
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Rotary Cutter, Mat, and Ruler
  • *Fabric for Horizontal Strips: 1/3 of a yard of 7 types of fabrics. You can choose up to 7 different types of fabric for this. Let your imagination run wild. You can use any pattern or color. You can choose 7 different fabrics, or you can use fabrics multiple times. Take a look at the quilt design above to get a better idea of how the fabrics will be used. You don't have to use fabrics in the same color scheme; choose whatever you would like. 
  • *Fabric for Vertical/Center Strips & Outside Borders: 2 1/2 yds. You will be using the same fabric for the two center strips as well as the outer border. If you want to use a different fabric, you can definitely do that. You will just need 2 yards of each type of fabric. 
  • *Fabric for White Borders: 2 1/4 yds. A basic cotton (or muslin) fabric will suffice. But, you can certainly use something else.
  • *Fabric for Backing: 4 yds of fabric OR full-size flat sheet. You can buy 4 yards of whatever type of fabric you would like (again, cotton or flannel), but you could also use a full-size flat sheet. Some twin flat sheets may work, but make sure the dimensions are at least 68" x 87". With a flat sheet, you wouldn't have to piece any fabric together. 
  • *Fabric for Binding: 3/4 yd. This is the small strip of fabric (kind of like a border) that is used to "bind" the front to the back. You can use any of the fabrics you already picked out, or you can choose a totally different fabric; whatever you prefer. You will only see about 1/2 inch wide of this fabric, so I wouldn't choose anything with a big print. 
  • Thread: one spool. Use any color thread you would like. You will just need one spool. No need for an expensive kind; the "all-purpose" thread will suffice. 
  • Embroidery/DMC Floss for tying quilt. Choose any color you would like as this will be used to tie the quilt at the very end. You will be tying-off the quilt rather than machine or hand quilting. 
  • Batting: twin size (72" x 90"). Batting can be purchased off of a spool or pre-packaged. If you purchase it pre-packaged, it will say "twin size". If you purchase from a spool and have it cut, make sure you get it cut for a twin-size blanket (72" x 90"); you won't want to piece this together. Polyester batting is the cheapest. You can also purchase cotton batting, which is more expensive. There are 60/40 or 80/20 blends as well. Feel free to purchase whatever kind you would like.

*Note on Fabric: The dimensions for the fabric above assume a 45" width. So, be mindful of the fabric width when you are purchasing the fabric. This is especially important for the backing fabric; if the fabric width is less than 45", then you will need to purchase an additional two yards of fabric. This will require additional piecing for the back fabric.

*****

Let's get started on the first session...

Session #1: Cutting the Fabric


In this session, you will only be cutting the fabric for your quilt top: horizontal strips, vertical/center strips, outside border, and white borders. We will cut the remaining fabric at a separate time. 


Washing the Fabric


Before cutting the fabric, wash and iron the fabric. This step will prevent the quilt from shrinking unevenly when you wash your finished quilt in the future. Most fabrics will shrink to some extent when washed, and when using various types of fabrics, each fabric may shrink differently. If you did not wash your fabric before cutting it, then you may run into some issues after you have sewn your quilt together and wash it for the first time. The long and short of it all is to simply wash your fabric before you cut.




Cutting the Fabric


After the fabric is washed and ironed, cut the fabric using a rotary cutter. 

Note on Seam Allowance: The dimensions of the cut pieces are 1/2” larger for both the length and width than the final dimensions to allow for seam allowance. This pattern calls for a ¼” seam allowance on each side. So, the 9 ½” x 13 ½” piece will result in a 9” x 13” finished piece after sewing is complete.

Using the rotary cutter and mat, cut the fabric into the following dimensions: (For further instruction, visit my previous post on Using a Rotary Cutter.) 



·       Horizontal Strips (Cut each of the 7 fabrics into the following):
  • (1) - 9 ½” x 13 ½” 
  • (1) - 9 ½” x 23 ½”

·       Vertical/Center Strips & Outside Borders:

  • (2) - 7 ½” strips (vertical/center strips)
  • (4) – 4 ½” strips (outside border)
Cut the strips the length of the longest side, so that your strips 2 1/2 yards long. You will cut the vertical strips to length after you have sewn the strips for the horizontal pieces together (Session #2 & #3). 

·       White Borders:

  • (10) - 2 ½” strips
Cut the strips the length of the longest side, so that your strips 2 1/4 yards long. Once the 2 ½” strips are cut, cut six (6) pieces 13 ½” long and another six (6) pieces 23 ½” long. You will cut the remainder of the strips the desired length at a later time
(Session #2 & #3).


Cut Fabric

Congratulations! You have completed the first step of the quilt. Next time, you will learn how to piece the top of the quilt together.