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Creative Casey's Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Easy Patchwork Quilts

I purchased a trundle bed for my spare room. It's a basic metal twin frame with a mattress and then a metal frame underneath the bed that is on rollers and when pulled out pops up into another twin bed or connects to the other twin making it a king size bed.  My sister and nephew are going to be visiting in a few weeks and staying with me so I felt some pressure to purchase some twin sheets and look into buying comforters for both beds. However; once I started looking at comforters and quilt bedspreads I realized it was going to be very expensive to buy one let alone two so I set out to make two twin quilt bedspreads without spending a lot of money or a ton of time on the project.

First I'll tell you my quilting experience. I've been making quilts on and off for the past 10-12 years. I've made a couple of queen size patchwork quilts for wedding gifts, a couple of speciality smaller wedding quilts out of satin, a handful of lap patchwork quilts and a handful of baby quilts some patchwork and some with patterns and embroider work on them. I have only a simple basic $100 sewing machine and not a fancy quilter machine and I have never taken a quilting class just learned a little from my great Aunt who is a Master Hand Quilter.

Here's how I made two twin quilts for about $30 total.  I went to Craft Bits and Pieces which sells donated new art/crafting supplies.  I found earthy tones of solid fabric with a couple of brighter pieces and bought enough material for backing pieces and 12 yards of interface (for the middle layer).  I made a cardboard square 6x6 (usually I make much smaller squares on patchwork quilts but I wanted to try bigger on these). I traced and cut (using a cutting board) and traced and cut and traced and cut until I  had enough squares to make a twin quilt (which is about 65" x 86-90"). I think my quilts ended up being 11 or 12 squares across and then 16 columns down.  I laid the squares out on the floor creating the entire pattern I wanted (this was done in my living room the biggest open space I had). Then I started sewing each row together with the sewing machine. Once all of the rows were together I started connecting the rows to each other vertically until the top piece was finished.

I then used large pieces of different colors of the fabric that was left over from the squares and sewed them together to make the backing (should be about 4" larger on each side than the top piece). I cut and sewed the interfacing together to make the middle layer (this should be about 1" extra on each side).
** It's always better to have extra that you can later trim up rather than to little.  I brought the 3 layers of each quilt to my great-Aunt's house and used her antique stretcher boards (that were her mother's and handmade by her father). We stretched the backing out and then centered the other two layers together, tied the quilt every three blocks (on the seams) and all edges, then folded over the backing and pinned it to make the border around the quilt. Finally I hand stitched around the entire border of the quilt to finish the edging. I did the same with the second twin size quilt.** Note- you can tie the layers together on a large table or on a flat surface like a floor. I do this with lap quilts and baby quilts. Sometimes it's just harder to get each layer of fabric really tight when tying if it's a large quilt and you are doing it on the floor by yourself, but it can be done.

All in all I would say it took about 2 hours each quilt to cut squares, an hour to lay out the pattern on the floor, about 2 hours to sew the top piece together, an hour to measure, cut and sew the backing and interface, 1 hour to tie the quilt and another 1.5 hours to hand stitch the outside border. A total of 7.5 hours per quilt. Not bad.  My one recommendation is iron your squares before sewing them together. I'm always lazy and don't. I wait until the quilt is completed and then iron a huge quilt (which can be a pain) or like you will see in the pics I still have procrastinated and haven't ironed them yet! :)

cardboard 6x6" model, marker and fabric. cut and trace and repeat 100's of times

Sorry I forgot to take pictures of laying the pattern on the floor and sewing, but here is just the top piece sewn together.

Backing using miscellaneous left over pieces sewn together or you can use a solid one color piece of fabric or patterned fabric (it usually takes about 5 yards to make a twin quilt backing).

Interfacing sewn together and placed on top of the back piece.

All three layers together but not tied. I brought my camera but forgot to take pics of the tying process. Sorry!

Turned over extra backing to make edging that I pinned and hand stitched all the way around the entire quilt.

Finish quilt #1

Finished quilt #2

Close up: the white yarn if you can see it is are the ties.  And yes- it needs to be IRONED! :)

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