Let me start off by saying, I AM NOT A QUILTER. I really wish I was, and I do aspire to someday be a quilter, but right now I’m busy mastering the art of sewing a straight line. With that said, I have actually made 5 quilts!
It all started when I was pregnant with my firstborn. We looked everywhere for pirate themed nursery bedding for his pirate room, but nothing panned out. Finally I just decided to make it myself. At this point, I owned a sewing machine but didn’t know the first thing about it. Seriously–not how to thread it, not how to sew a straight line–nothing.
A nice woman from church came over one Sunday to teach me the basics. I also had a friend I worked with at the time who was (as is!) an amazing quilter and she helped me get started with my first quilt.
Fast forward 4 years, and I’ve made
- A quilt for each of my babies (3 quilts)
- A t-shirt quilt
- A “bookshelf” quilt for my sister
Here’s why I say I’m not a quilter:
First, I don’t know how to follow any sort of pattern, nor do I know what any tools and other sewing accessories are called–or what they do. Second, I don’t do the “real” method of sewing all those swiggly lines at the end. But I can sew a straight line.
That means I can still make quilts! So if you’re like me and don’t know all there is to know about quilting (or sewing), here is a quilt I know you can make.
Super Simple Quilt Tutorial
Step 1: Choose/buy fabric and cut what you’ll need
The dimensions of this quilt are 42 x 49 inches. For this quilt, you will need fabric for 1) the backing 2) the squares 3) the border. I always tend to buy a little more than I need in case I end up making something like a crib skirt or pillows, so these are generous amounts.
- Backing: 1.5 yards
- Squares: 6 different fabrics, 3/4 yard each
- Border: 1 yard (will also be used for some squares)
You will also need tools for cutting fabric, two bunches of tacking thread, twin size or crib size fusible batting, plain white thread, and an iron.
Cut 30 squares, 8×8 inches. For the border, you will need 185 inches of a 2 1/2 inch strip.
Step 2: Arrange your squares and iron
This step can take you 10 minutes or 3 hours, depending on how particular you are with your placement of squares. It takes me a good two hours because I have slight OCD issues. I sort of feel like I’m solving the world’s greatest puzzle. Hopefully you can move a little quicker than me here. 🙂 You will have 30 squares total: 6 down and 5 across. After you arrange, TAKE A PICTURE. You don’t want to go to all the trouble of placing your squares and then forget where they all go. Once you take your picture, iron the squares and border.
Step 3: Sew-your squares together to make rows
Next sew your squares together. I like to lay out my squares according to my picture and just do it square by square. Fold each side (the side with the pattern) together and use a 1/4 inch seam.
Step 4: Sew your rows together
Once your rows of squares are completed, you will then sew those rows together. Fold each row so that the patters are facing each other and make sure they are facing the right direction!. Use a pin at each seam to make sure that when you sew it together, all four squares at each corner will be aligned. After you’re done sewing your squares, iron all the seams flat.
Step 4: Add border
Once you have your squares done, it’s time to add your border. Fold the border flat against the squares to pin (so that the prints are facing each other). Cut off any excess border fabric. Now the front of your quilt is done! Iron all seams flat (lots of ironing!)
Step 5: Fuse layers together
Now it’s time to layer all three layers together. First, spread out the backing with the non-pattern side up. On top of that, lay your fusible batting. On top of that, lay your quilt front. You will need to cut off excess of the batting so that it’s just slightly bigger than your quilt front. I just use scissors here. No need for it to be exact.
Once all three pieces are layered correctly, it’s time to get out your iron again. Start in the middle of your quilt and, using your steam function, press and hold for about 4-5 seconds. Repeat until you’ve reached the entire quilt surface. This takes some time–put a show on and make sure if you have kids that this is during nap time. 🙂
Step 6: Pin and sew border
Almost done! Once your quilt is “fused”, you will trim any remaining batting and also trim your border so that it’s 2 inches bigger than the quilt front. Fold the border to the end of the quilt front, then fold it over again on top of the quilt front. Pin all the way around the quilt every 3 or so inches. Then sew your border.
Step 7: Tack your quilt
Tacking is the final step. You might notice that your quilt still isn’t “fused” in every spot. You can try ironing it again, or you can skip any additional ironing since you will be tacking it anyway. Tacking is what will hold it all in place permanently. Cut several 7-8 inch tacking strings. Thread through a needle. At every intersection of squares, insert your needle into the front of the quilt and bring it up through again, as close together as you can get it. Tie a knot. You can cut the excess string to get it to the length you desire.
Enjoy your quilt!
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