Yesterday, I shared about how much I love quilting and how it has been a very fun and rewarding skill to develop. I want this blog to be a place where people can be inspired and motivated to try new things but also, a place where my readers can come to learn new things too. I know a lot of people in my life who love to look at creative blogs and are inspired to try new things but don’t know how to go about starting. Sewing and quilting can seem very daunting to someone who has never tried it before or doesn’t have a mom/friend to show them how! It was daunting for me- and my mom (an accomplished quilter and seamstress) is one of the best teachers/coaches I know.
So, if you’ve never quilted (or even sewn!) a thing in your life, but would like to try- this tutorial is written for you. Please, ask questions if you need to. I’m sure I won’t be as clear as I hope to be and although I’ve tried to explain and define all the relevant terminology, I’ve probably missed something. So, feel free to ask and I will try my best to clarify! And thanks for reading along!
What you will need:
*3 coordinating fabrics. You can buy 3 “fat quarters” (a piece of fabric that is sold pre-cut by a fabric shop and measures 18″x22″) or just use scraps that you have lying around. You can even re-purpose clothes, sheets, or linens. Cotton fabric will work the best- you do not want something that will stretch!
*Batting: This is the flat, stuffing-like material that is the middle layer of a quilt. It is sold either by the yard or in packages in different sizes. It is made out of polyester, cotton, or wool. For this project, I used a leftover piece of cotton batting. If you are buying some at the store, you can buy the smallest packaged size and will want to get cotton or polyester LOW loft batting. (It’s easier to handle as a beginner) Alternatively, if you want to use this project as a hot pad, you can also buy a product called Insul-bright. It’s essentially batting with a foil layer to help insulate against heat. This is sold by the yard at places like Jo-Ann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby.
*Thread to match your fabric. (All purpose thread is fine)
*Hand sewing needle
*Scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat
*Sewing machine (You can do this project by hand but it will take significantly longer to complete- but, it’s up to you!)
Everyone still with me? Let’s get started…
Step 1: You will need to cut your fabric. I started with the middle squares… you will need 9 squares that measure 2.5″x2.5″. (If you follow my pattern, you will need 4 of one pattern and 5 of another but you can make them all different if you want to!)
Then you will also need to cut the strips for your border. You will need 2 that are 2″ wide by 6.5″ long and 2 that are 2″ wide by 9.5″ long. Cut a 10″x10″ square out of your backing fabric and your batting.
I always use a rotary cutter, acrylic quilters’ ruler and cutting mat to cut my quilt pieces but if you do not have those tools, you can carefully measure, draw, and cut out your squares with a pair of good, sharp shears.
Step 2: Lay out your squares in the pattern that you want to sew them into. This pattern is known as a 9-patch… 9 squares sewn together into one bigger one.
Step 3: Sew 2 squares together. Pin 2 squares right-sides (pretty sides) together and you will sew a seam 1/4″ away from the edge. If you’re sewing by hand, mark and draw a straight line 1/4″ away from the edge and sew a running stitch. (A basic sewing stitch- up and down with your needle and thread) If you’re sewing with your machine, figure out where to line up your fabric so that the needle is 1/4″ away from the edge of the fabric.
Step 4: Sew the 3rd square in the row onto the other side of the middle square.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3&4 to make 3 rows of 3 squares each.
Step 6: Now, you need to press your seams flat. Each row’s seams should all lie in the same direction and I find that it’s helpful to iron each row in the opposite direction. Hopefully, this picture makes sense… row 1 to the right. Row 2 to the left, row 3 to the right.
Step 7: Now it’s time to sew your rows together. Take your first 2 rows and lay them right sides together. Align the seams (which will be easier because the seams will be pointing in opposite directions) and pin. Then sew together with a 1/4″ seam.
Step 8: Sew the 3rd row onto the first 2 and then press all of your seams flat.
Step 9: Time to sew your borders on! Sew the 2 shorter strips on opposite sides from each other and then press flat. Then, rotate and sew the two longer ones on and press.
Now you’ve “pieced” your quilt top! Piecing is the term that refers to sewing all the pieces of the top together. It’s time to quilt! Not to leave you hanging, but I’ll show you to quilt and bind your trivet in tomorrow’s post as this one is already quite long. (And I still have to fix dinner and take care of things like laundry every once in a while!)
See you tomorrow,