Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

If I can make a Quilt, anyone can!

So a couple of weeks ago I had a day off, and I had the whole day to myself.  A first in a very long time.  I had many things I should have done, but my heart was set on creating a quilt.  I had bought fat quarters in fall colours, and they had been hanging out in my knitting basket since that day I had the urge to quilt.probably 18 months ago. Well the day had finally come.
I looked at several patterns, and headed to the basement to my fabric stash to figure out what I could put together.  Low and behold I found a quilt kit with an array of plaids, and it had been hidden away for years.  I can't even tell you when I bought it, but I was thrilled to find it. I added a few fabrics from my stash to break up all the plaids, and cut them into the same size blocks. Now you were supposed to just sew the  squares together and make a patchwork quilt, but of course, that would have been too easy. 
I had been surfing around Pinterest and had found an easy 9 block or Disappearing 4 Block,  and decided that I could tackle that.   You can find the tutorial at Andie Johnson Sews.
  The irony was that the kit said it could be made in an evening, but with my variation on the blocks it was a weekend project.

I started by matching up four squares in a pattern that I thought was appealing and with a 1/4" seam created a larger block and kept my seam ripper handy for when the seams didn't quite line up the way they were supposed to.

When all the blocks were put together I laid them out on the floor and marked them with post it notes so I would remember the order of the blocks, and then I started to cut them in order to make them into 9 blocks using my rotary cutter and quilters rulers.

 Using the centre seams as my guide I cut the squares 1 1/2 " from the seam creating 9 separate blocks

Then turn the centre blocks so that opposite fabrics are next to each other.  The picture below, I just realized has an error as the centre block was not turned correctly.

In the finished blocks I ensured that the largest block had the small square adjacent to it. Then those nine blocks were sewn together.

One block almost completed
This shows the correct way to turn the cut blocks.

Remember to press your seams as you go.  I cut all blocks to the same size and then it was time to sew three blocks together to create a strip.

Seams pressed

Ready to add the backing

 I had some muslin left from another project so decided to use that for the backing and to create the binding from that as well.  I used spray adhesive to first attach the batting to the top, and then to the muslin.

It was time to decide how to quilt.  I decided to keep it simple and marked diagonal lines through the blocks with chalk and began to sew.

  I cut the backing so that there was a 1 1/2" excess on all sides

The next step was to create the binding.  I folded the backing toward the quilt top, pressing it in half and then in half again and pinned it in place.  There are some great tutorials on line for mitring the corners.  Hope my visuals help.

1.  With the first side of the binding on your right hand side, fold  the binding  up to meet the edge of the quilted squares and create an angled edge.

2.  Then fold the bottom edge up to meet the quilted squares.

3.  This step can be a little fiddly.  Fold the bottom edge again to create a nicely mitred corner and pin in place.

4.  After all the sides are pinned, sew the binding in place. I used the edge of my presser foot as a guide to keep the seam straight.

The finished product

It is lap size, fits perfectly for me, and displays nicely in my cheesebox when not in use.  What else could a girl ask for. 
 Although no where near perfect and a true quilter might cringe at my techniques, (It has been years since I took a quilting course, and made a beautiful twin size rag quilt) I was happy to have used some of my stash and cross a project off of my to do list. 

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