Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quilting for the very first time

First, I want to say I have been scared to death of tackling this quilting project for years. I have felt quilting was something that was beyond my sewing skills and felt I needed much guidance and supervision. 

Just as my luck would have it I have a wonderful sewing friend, Heidi who was willing to supervise me through this project which allowed me to get quilting! 

Here are some pictures, tips and things I learned while quilting for the first time.

Above is a photo of my sewing station after all my squares were cut out. I hate measuring and pinning so I estimated on the size of the squares.
TIP: I used scissors to cut my squares out however, I later learned a rotary cutter is well worth the money.  These handy little tools cost anywhere between £8.00 to £20.00

Cut the cost hint:  All the material used in my quilt was recycled. I used an old skirt, tablecloth and sheet to complete this project.

Step 1: Cut squares of any size as long as they are all the same size. Depending on how big you want the quilt depends on how big the squares are and how many squares are used. I just cut until I ran out of fabric.

Step 2: Lay the squares on flat surface (the floor works just fine) in the order that makes you the happiest.

Step 3: Start sewing! Once you have the rows in the order you are happy with start sewing the squares together. To do this you need to take two squares and sew them right side together (with the patterns facing each other). Sew only on one side of the two squares to start your row.

Step 4: Once all the rows are sewed start sewing them together. The best way to do this is to pin, pin and pin some more! Pin two rows together to ensure the squares on each row matches up.

Step 5: After all the rows are sewed together you have yourself the top of the quilt!  As you can see in the photo above I wanted my quilt a bit bigger so I used leftover fabric to make a border.

How to make a border: Much like the squares I quilted I used the same techniques to create this border.

Note: Skip the following steps if you are not going to make the border

Step 1: Cut small squares (about the same size)
Step 2: Sew two squares with right sides together until you have the first part of the row
Step 3: Sew four rows for each side of the quilt
Step 4: Sew the rows onto the quilt (right sides together)

Finishing the quilt:

Tip: It is very important to safety pin during the next few steps or use quilting adhesive which I wish I would have used. The adhesive is about £18.71 a can- which I will not be too cheap to buy during my next quilting project.

Cut the cost hint:
1. Don't skimp on the adhesive like I did or you'll be sorry.
2. Instead of using quilting batting which and bump up the cost of your project significantly use a mattress pad cover. Yep, you read right- I used a quilted mattress pad cover from Ikea which was no more than 3.00.

Step 1: Cut the mattress pad cover or batting to almost the size of the top of the quilt leaving 1/2 inch on all four sides

Step 2: Cut the back of the quilt the same size as the batting. In order to cut the cost I used an old sheet for the back of my quilt which I recommend rather than buying more fabric.

Step 3: Lay all three layers on the floor in this order: Bottom of the quilt (right side facing down) batting (facing either way) and quilted squares (right side facing up).

Step 4: Either safety pin the three layers (or spraying the adhesive between each layer)

Step 5: Sew from corner to corner of each square all over the quilt (this takes a long time so be patient)

Tip:  Hold all three layers together while sewing so the fabric doesn't bunch up

Binding (the edge of the quilt)

Cut the cost hint: I bought already made binding and it was a waste of money and I ended up not using it. It is best to make your own and I'll tell you how-

Making binding: 

Finial Step: Pin and sew the binding to the quilt- Put the edge of the quilt in the inside fold of the binding pin and sew!

Over all
Cut the cost hint: Fabric can be expensive and if you are anything like me you don't want to waste money on a project especially if it is the first time you are making something so use material from old bedding or clothing. Also look at thrift stores for sheets or bed skirts

I hope this was helpful however, if you have any additional questions you can contact me through the blog.

-Happy Sewing


  1. Yes, yes! I want to see the finished product! And it looks GREAT Kate! I worked off and on on a quilt a few years back and it was a lot of fun (though hard work). I have wanted to venture into it again and you may have just inspired me! Keep it up!