Friday, November 2, 2012

How to make a quilt


 How to make a quilt

Yesterday, I showed you the quilt that I made for my mom. By the way, thanks for all your comments. Ah it made my heart feel so warm inside.  Today, I am going to show you just how I did that. I took step-by-step pictures (I think more for me to remember just how I did it than for you to learn how to make one of these).
What you will need:
  • Cotton fabric (25cm x 25cm blocks, I made 15 grey blocks and 15 white blocks)
  • Yarn
  • Pins
  • Quilting needle for your sewing machine
  • 1.5m x 1.5m batting
  • 1 Single Bed winter flat sheet (fleece fabric)
  • 10 Pictures
  • A4 Transfer Paper (I used Tribe’s transfer paper)
  • Loads of buttons, ribbon and other memorabilia for decoration
Tip: Don’t rush it. Be prepared to sit for hours, even though your shoulders get sore from all the sewing and your fingers bleed from pinching yourself for the one hundredth time with the needle, it is all worth it at the end. Get other family members involved to help you with creative, memorable ideas. Viv had loads off input about every block :)
How to make the picturesChoose a couple of your favourite pictures and print them on transfer paper. NB: It is important to use an ink jet printer and not a laser jet printer.
When dry, trim around the edges of the image.
Pre-heat an iron (make sure it is not on the steam setting). Place your fabric on a hard surface and position your transfer paper with the photo face down onto the fabric. Press the iron down onto the fabric, make sure that you iron out any wrinkles before you start ironing. Start ironing at a corner and make your way to the top in circular motions- hold the iron in one spot for about 6 seconds before moving onto the next spot.
Allow the transfer paper to cool down before you peel of the release paper. If it is not 100% cool, the photo will crack.
How to make the blocksCut each block 25cm x 25cm. Don’t use thin fabric, especially when you choose white, because the batting will show through.
Decorate the blocksThe fun starts now. If you are making this as a present for someone special, use things that have some type of meaning for them. Cut a piece out of a T-shirt that has some memory attached, buttons to your favourite dress, ribbon that was on special gift, etc. I am a very sentimental person, thus, I keep everything :) I had loads of stuff to put on my mom’s quilt that I knew would have meaning to her.
When you are done with the blocks, lay them all down on a flat surface. Move them around until you like the layout.
Start with the bottom (horizontal) row and sew the 5 blocks together. Then move on to the next row and sew those 5 blocks together. Now sew the 2 rows together. Then sew the 3rd row’s 5 pieces together and then sew that row to the 2 bottom rows.
And so forth…
Cut the batting and the flat sheet (backing material) the same size as the quilt top. If you aren’t keen, then get your man to do that for you :) Thanks Viv.
Pin the quilt top and the batting together. Use loads of pins and make sure that there are no wrinkles. This step is vital. Once you have bound the quilt, it will be too late to remove wrinkles.
I didn’t want to sew the batting and the top together, because I didn’t want the stitches to show.  Use a needle and contrasting thread and sew the 2 layers together by hand. Make sure the corners of each block is pinned down. (this takes forever, don’t give up, you are almost there) 
Make sure that you tie the thread in a double knot at the back.
Place the batting, then the quilt top and then the backing on top of each other. You can see in the picture below the 3 layers. Now you have to sew the 3 layers together. I sew the layers together inside out. Keep one side open so that you will be able to pop the whole thing inside out. (I left the bottom side open)
It will get really heavy, get your man to hold it up for you if you don’t have the muscles like me. Get him to smile at you like this all the time, it will help cheer you on :)
When it’s all done, turn it inside out and then sew the bottom closed.
And then…after numerous hours of work, voila…you’ve got yourself a quilt.

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