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10-06-2003, 08:56 PM #1
PUTTING THE QUILT TOGETHER tutorial
We are now going to put the quilt together. First there are a number of things you need to know.
~You need to decide whether your going to hand quilt the finished quilt or whether your going to use your sewing machine. Or will you take it to someone you know and have them machine quilt it (which is far quicker but does cost more).
I find hand quilting a quilt that is larger than double is a lot easier than trying to work it on the machine. Hand quilting is very relaxing and fun to do during the winter months.
Machine quilting is quite easy to do when the quilts are wall size hangings, baby quilts or the smaller quilts, such as single size. You can quilt a queen size quilt with your sewing machine though and I have done it successfully. It can be frustrating (just so you know).
~If your going to use your sewing machine, you'll need a walking foot (it is sometimes called a Dual foot). You can purchase these for most sewing machines at your local quilting store. Two machines that do not need one are the Pfaff (which has a built in one) and the Advanced Husqvarna (the new quilting machine made specific for quilting). The Advanced Husqvarna automatically adjusts for the weight of the quilt. (Wouldn't we all want one of those.
Some people (myself included) have quilted a quilt without using the walking foot, but it depends on the quilter and on the batting. (will talk about batting later).
My suggestion though is to get a walking foot or a darning foot which I will talk about in my next post.
Here is what most walking foots look like:
10-06-2003, 09:00 PM #2
Or you can purchase a darning foot (free motion foot it is also called) and then the fun begins.
My suggestion is for first time quilters, not to use this to quilt your quilt, because it takes practise. Now if you want to, you can practise on potholders that you've made and have put batting into.
With the free motion foot, you let it do the work for you in that you do "scriggly" lines and in most cases, not going over the same line twice. Its a lot of fun and gives the quilt a very unique look.
Here is what a free motion foot looks like:
10-06-2003, 09:03 PM #3
You can see in the above picture what free motion quilting is like, but here is another sample. I call it "scriggly" but its actually called stipple quilting.
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10-07-2003, 08:03 PM #4
You'll also need small safety pins. Purchase them in bulk rather than just a few, because if you quilt with your sewing machine, or with a hoop, you'll need them.
You'll need a quilting frame or a quilting hoop if you decide to hand quilt. A 14 inch quilting hoop is the perfect size to use. Getting one smaller is not large enough and become frustrating. Getting one much larger than 16 inches becomes very awkward to use.
If your hand quilting, you'll need thread specific to hand quilting. When purchasing thread, we usually use whites or beiges to hand quilt as well and machine quilt. If you've done an applique quilt, there is wonderful types of threads to use and some of the colors are pretty stunning.
Whether hand quilting or machine quilting, purchase 100% cotton thread ONLY.
10-07-2003, 08:11 PM #5
You'll need batting. Batting comes in a number of different types but I'm only going to mention 3 here because thats all I've ever used. When you purchase the batting, most come in the sizes of single, double, queen or king.
When you pick your batting, you need to decide how heavy your want your quilt, if your going to only be using your quilt as a wall hanging or decoration.
The 3 I'm going to mention are:
Low Loft 100% poly
Poly-down - 100% poly
Warm & Natural - 100% cotton
If your going to hand quilt, you need to choose low loft or poly-down. You can pull your needle through the batting with no problem. You can also use this batting if you've chosen to use your machine to quilt. Its not the best though but it does work. YOU CANNOT USE WARM & NATURAL to hand quilt. The needles won't go through.
Warm & Natural is wonderful batting which comes in rolls. When you go into a quilting store, you'll need the size of your quilt and you'll buy Warm & Natural in metres/yards. It is perfect to use when machine quilting and once you've used it, you probably won't want to use anything else. There are different thicknesses of Warm & Natural. It is more costly than poly though.
For first time quilters, I would suggest Warm & Natural, but I'll leave it up to you as to what you pick.
Poly can be purchased at Walmart quite cheap.
10-07-2003, 08:19 PM #6
If your hand quilting, you will also need a thimble and needles specifically made for hand quilting. They are called "betweens" and you'll need size 9, 10 or 11. They are very tiny, in fact so small you'll wonder how you'll use them. Trust me, they work.
10-08-2003, 09:21 PM #7
Backing for the quilt should be 100% cotton. Broadcloth is great and can be purchased at a reasonable price pretty much everywhere. When purchasing the backing for your quilt, always measure so that your adding on 5 inches on each side of your quilt, so that your material has a hang over of 5 inches on each side.
Often when it comes to back, you might not want the broadcloth to be seen should your quilt flip over a tiny bit, so you might want to put a border around your backing of about 5 inches. You can use the same material you've used for the front or you can pick a new color and print. When we come to putting the quilt together, I'll explain this better.
Now I'm going to say something here that some quilters would shoot me for. I use sheets often for the backs of my quilts. I have a quilt (the second one I made), which is almost 17 years old and I used a flat sheet for the backing which I wasn't using. That sheet has stood the test of time and has no wear on it whatsoever, but the 100% cotton that I used on the front is wearing around the binding. You can pick up sheets for a song at yard sales or on sale at Walmart. Just be careful when picking them up used, that they are good quality sheets. If your hand quilting, you shouldn't use sheets though because its hard to hand quilt through the sheet.
When it comes to the backing, I like to have the back as pretty as the front. I really don't like broadcloth, but will use it. I usually like to get a printed material to use for the back of my quilts, so that in actuality, you could if you so choose, use both sides of the quilt.
10-08-2003, 09:24 PM #8
Before we talk about putting the blocks together, were going to talk borders. I'm almost finished the pictures, will get them developed on the weekend and on Monday, will begin the borders.
So hang on, its all coming together!!
10-10-2003, 09:33 PM #9
Borders - Borders are used to show off the block, to make the block stand out amongst the other blocks and to stop one block from rolling into another block.
On some quilts, you don't need borders but on a sample quilt, you need the borders around the blocks to seperate them from each other.
When picking material for a border, you can draw a color from the blocks you've already used or you can pick another color that co-ordinates with the colors already used or you can use a color that isn't in your blocks at all. Black comes to mind as it often makes the block "jump" out at you.
Borders can be all sizes. I'm going to show you a quilt that has a 1/4 inch border around each block. If I had not put a border around the blocks, you'll notice in this pattern (Bear Paws) that the blocks would have just run in together. You wouldn't know where the pattern begins and ends in each row.
10-10-2003, 09:36 PM #10
For our borders, were going to cut them 1 1/2 inches wide. When sewn, the border will end up being 1 inch wide.
18 - 1 1/2 inch strips 12 1/2 inches long
18 - 1 1/2 inch strips 14 1/2 inches long
If your doing 20 blocks, you would need to cut:
40 - 1 1/2 inch strips 12 1/2 inches long
40 - 1 1/2 inch strips 14 1/2 inches long
If you want to make thinner borders, go ahead. You don't want them wider than what I've suggested and what I'm using, because we still have the sashing to do.
10-10-2003, 09:40 PM #11
Take one of your finished blocks and place your 12 1/2 inch strip on the side, sew and press. Do the exact same thing with the opposite site.
tip - always make sure your block it up as you will do this on the side of each block.
When I do the more advanced tutorial in the new year, I'll show you some neat ways to do the borders and more advanced. I'm giving you the simple way for this quilt.
10-10-2003, 09:43 PM #12
Take a 14 1/2 inch strip and sew to the top of the block. Sew and press. Do the exact same thing to the bottom of the block.
10-10-2003, 09:44 PM #13
Your finished block should look like this:
10-10-2003, 09:46 PM #14
Here is another block to look at. See how the blocks are coming together with the border. I've pulled a color from the blocks and I'm using it as my border.
10-10-2003, 09:49 PM #15
Tip - with the borders, here is where you can fix your small mistakes if your block isn't quite 12 1/2 inches. Place your strip exactly as I've instructed and rather than sewing a 1/4 inch seam allowance, make that seam allowance a bit smaller (the amount your out actually).
No one knows how small your seam allowance (so don't tell them) and it does not make a difference in your final finishing. Just make sure though that you do have a seam allowance!!! (Here is one time only where your 1/4 inch seam allowance doesn't make a difference if your correcting a mistake and its not for any other reason)
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