written by Pam Cirincione (aka Sleepy) for Stitching the Night Away
Need a gift? Make a quilt!
Do you have a wedding or baby shower coming up and just don’t know what to give as a gift? Have you looked at your stitching and wanted to do something different with it? How about make a quilt?
I’m not talking about a quilt with hundreds of swatches of fabric precisely cut and pieced together to form an intricate design. I’m talking about a quilt, with your stitching at the center, sewn together with colorful, color coordinated fabric, to make a comfy throw or a baby blanket. It’s really easy!
You will need:
- your completed stitched piece(s), washed, ironed, and completely dried
- 1 yard of fabric, color coordinated to your stitched piece
- 1 package cotton batting
- 1 spool matching thread (matched to the darker fabric you are using)
- straight pins
Note : The quilt that I made used three separate pieces of aida, each 18” x 12”. If you stitched piece(s) is/are larger or smaller, follow the directions, but cut your fabric to fit your needs.
Always remember when you are sewing your fabrics together that the good sides must be facing each other. This way when you open them up at the seam, the right sides are out.
To begin, cut four strips of fabric, 18 inches long (or the length of your stitched piece) by 5 inches wide. Next, lay your stitched piece, right side up, in front of you. Lay the edge of one the fabric strips, right side down, along each of the long edges of the aida cloth so that the edges meet, pin and sew the edges together leaving a ½ inch seam. Next, lay your next piece of aida , right side down, along the edge of the second strip of fabric, pin the edges and sew together leaving a ½ inch seam. Continue sewing the strips of fabric and the aida cloth until all pieces are sewn together. Iron the seams to flatten them out.
Measure the length of your quilt top and cut two strips of fabric equal to that length, and 5 inches wide. Lay these strips (again, good side down) along the top and bottom edges of the quilt top, pin in place, and sew the edges together. Iron the seams to flatten out. Now, measure the width of the quilt top and cut strips of fabric equal to the width and 5 inches wide. Pin and sew the edges.
Now we are ready to add the border. Measure the length of the quilt top and, using the fabric that you have for the border and the back, cut two strips of fabric equal to the length, and 8 inches wide. Pin into place and sew the edges together. Iron the seam to flatten it out. Measure the width of the quilt top and cut two strips of fabric equal to the width and 8 inches wide. Pin into place and sew the edges. The top of your quilt is done!
The next step requires a fairly large work space. I usually use my living room floor. Lay the cotton batting on the floor, making sure it is as flat as possible. Lay the quilt top, right side down, over the batting and spread it flat. Taking care not to cut the fabric, cut the batting so that you end up with a piece the same size as the quilt. Pin the batting and the quilt top together and sew the edges all the way around. If you are using a sewing machine, please note: When you begin to sew these pieces together, turn the quilt so that the batting is on the bottom. The batting will wind up getting caught in the foot of the sewing machine if that side is face up (I learned this the hard way!).
Now all you need is a back. You will need your large work space again and this step is pretty much the same as the one we just did. Lay the backing fabric in the floor and make sure it is flat. Lay the quilt top that is now sew together with the batting on top of the fabric, good side down, and cut the backing fabric so it is the same size as the top. Pin together and sew the edges together, LEAVING A SPACE OPEN SO THAT YOU CAN TURN THE QUILT RIGHT SIDE OUT! When the edges are sewn, turn the quilt and sew the opening together.
Now you have a beautiful, handmade quilt that is a perfect gift for a new couple or a new baby!
This type of quilt can be made any way to fit your tastes and needs. If you want to use more than one color of fabric around the stitching, you can do that. This is the type of project where the only thing that limits you in your imagination and creativity.