Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to sew a very easy quilt: Part 2 of 2

Find a large, flat surface on which you can lay out your fabrics and batting, in preparation for pinning and sewing. If your fabrics are two different widths, then you will first work with the smaller piece. Cut off the selvages, and this will determine the size to which you need to cut your larger piece. Cut off one selvage of your larger piece, then lay it out with the smaller piece, matching all sides of the larger piece to the smaller piece except for the selvage edge. Cut this edge down so that both pieces now match. If your fabrics are the same size, you will still follow the same basic procedure.

Pick up your fabric pieces, and now lay your batting down. Lay your fabric pieces on top of the batting right sides together, and cut the batting down to match the fabric. You should now have three layers—two fabric layers and one batting layer. Carefully pin around the edges of the three layers to hold them together. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of pins; too many pins are far better than too few. Leave a 12 inch gap between pins in the middle of one of the short sides.

Take your pinned layers to the sewing machine. Make sure you have attached the walking foot. Starting to the left, or below, the gap (when you put the fabric under the presser foot, the gap should be behind the foot, and the pinned part should be in front of the foot, nearest you), put the presser foot on the fabric and lower the pressing foot. The batting should be facing down, and the fabric side should be facing up; otherwise, the batting will get caught in the presser foot. Take a few stitches, backstitch a few stitches, and then sew around the perimeter of the layered fabrics. When you get to a corner, stop with the needle down in the fabric, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric 90 degrees, lower the presser foot, and continue to sew. You should remove the pins as you sew; do not sew over the pins.

When you reach the side where you began sewing, sew up to the gap, backstitch a few stitches, then stitch going forward a few stitches. Cut the thread and remove the piece from the sewing machine. Cut the four corners at a 45 degree angle; this will make it easier to turn. Do not cut through the stitch line. Now go ahead and turn the quilt inside out, making sure to poke the corners out as you smooth the quilt out. When you have done this, you can turn the edges of the fabric at the gap to the inside, and sew the opening closed. Sewing the gap by hand will make for a more invisible stitch line. If you must sew by machine, match the top thread to the top fabric and the bottom or bobbin thread to the bottom fabric, and sew as close to the edge as you can.

For this quilt, you will merely tie it down by hand. You will not worry about actually quilting it. Thread the curved needle with the coordinating embroidery floss. Every 6 inches or so (or follow the batting manufacturer’s recommendations for spacing between stitching), insert the curved needle into the fabric and bring it back up within a quarter of an inch of the entry point. Do this until the entire quilt has been tied. This will keep the batting from migrating.

You have now completed your first quilt ever! Was it fun?

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