Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quilting for Lazy People

Today I thought I'd walk you through the process I go through when I make a quilt.  You can get quilt patterns in lots of places, but I usually don't. I like to start with graph paper, and work on that way what design I want to use. 

Once I have the pattern figured out, I pick out fabrics. I like colour, so I often use a bunch of colours in a single quilt.  

For this quilt, I used a pattern involving triangles.  I started with 4" squares, then cut them in half diagonally. I used 2 fabrics per block.

This pattern used 8 triangles (or 4 of the original squares) of each fabric. 

I matched one triangle of the first fabric to a triangle of the other fabric, then sewed them together along the long edge.

I move from one to the next one without cutting the thread, so they all end up in a chain rather like a sausage. (I hate cutting threads.)
Once I have the triangles sewn into squares, I arrange them to make sure I like the pattern.  Do I want to do blocks like this:

Or like this?
(Of course, there are other options as well.) Anyway, I chose the second one, and then I flipped one square over the other so that I could sew them together.  That created two strips of 4 triangles each, which I sewed together to make a square.

 When I had all the squares done, I laid them out on the fabric I'd chosen to go between them to find an arrangement I liked. (When I'm using a lot of different colours, I like to have one consistent fabric to tie them together.)

I then ripped 2" strips of the yellow fabric. I started with the middle section, because i had the big panel piece to work around.

Of course, I'm not super exact about how I cut and sew the blocks, so they're not all exactly the same size. That's OK - the yellow hides all of that.

Once I had the top completely done, I layered it with the batting and the flannel back piece. I like to have the batting a little bigger than the top, and the backing a little bigger than the batting.

Pin, being careful to catch all three layers (and not the bedspread it's lying on):
Once it's all pinned, flip it over to make sure the flannel back is lying flat - you don't want to have any folds.

If it's flat, it's time to start quilting.

My plan was to quilt down the yellow strips.

When I was done, I flipped it over again to make sure there were no folds.  Sadly, there were, so I had to rip out that seam and sew it again.  (I rip seams while watching Downton Abbey. I'm totally hooked, but I'm late to the party so I have no one to talk about it with.I just finished season 2.)

Once it was all quilted, the only piece left was the edge  This is where the larger back came in handy.  I folded the edge over once, then again until it overlapped the top (so that the edge is finished):

When I got to the corner, I folded it as I would if I were gift-wrapping a box:
And then again:

I then sewed around the entire edge to secure it, and here's the finished product:

This was a more complicated pattern, so it took about 5 hours from start to finish. 


  1. And...I'm not sure why this post is called quilting for *lazy* people? As this seems like a TON of work??? :) Lovely finished product :).

    I've always been interested in quilting but what really scares me is the actual quilting part - the part where you sew through all the layers in some kind of pattern. I'm not bad at sewing straight but add curves and flowers and whatnot But I do admire quilting in others!

  2. That's why I only do straight seams while quilting. :) I skip the ironing whenever possible, and don't make a proper edging (because that involves ironing).

    1. Oh, this all seems too much for me. I guess I must be beyond lazy. It's a beautiful quilt.