Category: Quilt-Along

“Quilting 101” Quilt-Along: Quilt Binding

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-Along

For those of you who are following the “Quilting 101″ quilt-along in 2011, we are now on step #5, our last step of our quilt-along.  Today, I’m going to guide you through the steps you need to follow in order to master quilt binding.  We will be making double fold binding with mitered corners, and sewing it on by hand. It’s not too late to join this “Quilting 101″ quilt-along in 2011 –just follow the before-mentioned link.

Step #1:  First, figure out how much binding you need, by following the before mentioned link for help.  Please realize though, I recommend cutting the binding 2.5 in size, instead of 2.25 like mentioned in the link I suggested.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #2:  We will be cutting our binding 2.5″ thick and on the bias (or the diagonal) of the fabric.  Using a right angle tool of some sort, cut a small right angle triangle off the bottom corner of your fabric.  Continue to cut the binding strips,  2.5″ wide, along the bias of the fabric, using a straight-edge and a rotary cutter.  Here’s a great How to Cut Bias Binding Video, if you would like additional information.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #3:  Find two corners where the slopes are running opposite directions, put right sides together, and pin.  It should look like the photo above.  And in case my picture above isn’t good enough, here’s another photo:

We will be making double fold binding with mitered corners.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #4: Sew a straight line along the two edges, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #5:  The results should look like this.  Continue to sew all your binding pieces together, until they are one big long piece, a piece that is as long as the entire perimeter of your quilt, plus 20 inches or so.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #6:  Iron all your seam allowances flat.  Find the end, or the beginning, either side will do, and iron it under like shown above.  Iron your binding in half, for the entire horizontal length of the binding strip.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #7:  Now, take your binding and your quilt over to your machine.  Starting with the end that is ironed over, open up your binding and sew it down for about 8 inches, locking your threads in at the beginning and the end.  Stop and cut your threads.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #8:  Fold the binding in half, along that ironed horizontal line, and starting where you left off, sew the binding to the quilt, sewing through both layers of the binding, and all the layers of your quilt, using 1/4″ seam allowance.  Stopping about a 1/4″ before you get to the end of the corner.  Lock your threads in, cut your threads, and pull your quilt out from your machine.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #9:  At the corners of the quilt, first you’ll pull the binding straight, and then fold it back on itself to make a right angle.  See pictures above.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #10:  Next, you’ll carefully pull the binding back down along the edge of the quilt, still keeping that right angle fold underneath.  Begin sewing again.  Do all the corners this same way.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #11:  When you get back around to where you started, you’re going to want to cut off any excess binding, and tuck the raw end of the binding in the little pocket that you previously made.  Be careful to cut the binding to the correct length, so that it’s long enough to hide in the pocket, at least an inch.

Quilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongQuilt Binding "Quilting 101" Quilt-AlongStep #12:  Smooth everything out, and sew the pocket closed, stopping about an inch past where you originally began at the very beginning.  Make sure to lock your threads in place again.

Step #13:  Your binding is now sewn onto the one side of your quilt.  Fold the binding over, to the other side of the quilt, and hand stitch it down.  Here’s a great tutorial on how to hand stitch bind invisibly –check it out.

If you’re still confused, here are a few other links that could help:

Making and Adding Binding

How to Bind a Quilt Video

Great!  I hope this tutorial was helpful.

On a side note, before I wrote this tutorial, I already finished my two quilts and mailed them off to my nieces.  Last night my sister confirmed that after just one day, a potty accident already happened and the quilt needed to be washed.  She confirmed that the quilt still looks just as beautiful!

order a custom made quiltStep #14:  Please, leave a comment below and let me know where you are in this quilt-along, what else I can do to help –I’m open to any thoughts, questions, or comments you might have.

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along: Quilt Sandwich, Basting your Quilt, and Quilting your Quilt

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along: Quilt Sandwich, Basting your Quilt, and Quilting your Quilt

For those of you who are following the “Quilting 101″ quilt-along in 2011, we are now on step #4 of our quilt-along.  Today, I’m going to guide you through 3 steps: assembling your quilt sandwich, basting your quilt, and quilting your quilt.  It’s not too late to join –just follow the before-mentioned link.

I’ve put together a video that will step you though these steps.  Please watch the entire video once, before you begin sewing.

Here’s the video:

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section, and I’d be happy to help out.

order a custom made modern quilt

Good luck –I’m getting excited to see your finished quilts.

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along: Cutting Fabric for the Border and the Back + A Quilt Contest + The Story of My First Quilt

order a custom made quilt

For those of you who are following the “Quilting 101″ quilt-along in 2011, we are now on step #3 of our quilt-along where I will show you your steps for cutting fabric for the border and the back of your quilt.  It’s not too late to join –just follow the before-mentioned link.

Today, I’m going to guide you through 2 steps: putting a border on the front of your quilt, and piecing the back of your quilt.  But before I do, I wanted to share a story, along with a few past blog posts in celebration of my blog’s one year anniversary.

This “Quilting 101” quilt-along has been bringing back memories of the first time I made a quilt from beginning to end.

While the Charley Harper Quilt I made for my daughter was my first design, and mostly my work, the binding, back, and quilting on that quilt was done by a professional.  Soon, after my daughter was born, I wanted to learn the technicalities of quilting and so I took a quilting class.  Again, I wanted the design to be mine (meaning I didn’t want to follow a pattern, rather I wanted to use an idea I had in my head), and for the first time, I made a quilt, all the steps, by myself, from beginning to end –it was officially my first quilt.

order a custom made mondern quilt

get a custom made modern quilt

order a custom made modern quilt

order a custom made mondern quilt

get a custom made modern quiltThe idea behind this quilt, was to “step out of the box”.  As you can see, hand-turned appliqued and hand-embroidered birds are “walking” off their fabric and onto other fabrics on the quilt.  I felt that this described me well as a quilter –I never wanted to conform, rather I always wanted to follow my own designs.

Gen X Quilters Earlier this week I stumbled upon a blog called Gen X Quilters.  They are hosting a competition and so I thought I would enter this quilt.  What do you think?  I’ve always loved it –maybe because it was my first.

Since you guys are making your first quilts, I thought you might want to read about my first quilt.  Check out these links:

Making Another Machine Applique Quilt – Part #1 (Follow this link to read about the rookie mistake I made as a first time quilter.)

Making Another Machine Applique Quilt – Part #2

Embroidery Birds, Making Another Machine Applique Quilt – Part #3

It’s Finished, Making Another Machine Applique Quilt

Well, maybe I should stop telling stories, and instead I should get to the quilt-along part of this post.

Here’s how you cut fabric for the border and the back:

Before we get started, please check your fabric amounts and decide how big you want your quilt to be.  If you have more than 4 and 3/4 yards of fabric for both your back and your border combined, I recommend making your quilt bigger.  The border of a quilt is used to frame a quilt, and make a quilt to the desired size.  Right now your quilt top should be about 74″ x 40″.  My sister wants the quilts I’m making for her to be 48″ x 82″ in size, so I’m going to add a 4″ border around the entire quilt.  A standard twin size mattress is about 40″ x 75″ in size (Note: please measure your mattress, as all mattresses vary a bit).  A standard twin-size quilt is around 60″ x 90″ in size –and that means that you would need a border that is 10″ wide.

Please decide for yourself, how wide you want your border to be.

Now, we need to do a little math.  I’m going to use my quilt-top and border situation as the example.  You might need to vary these numbers a bit, depending on what you decide.

My quilt top with borders is 48″ x 82″ in size.  Add 3″ to the length and the width of the quilt to figure out how big your quilt back needs to be.  My quilt back need to be 51″ x 85″.

When we started the quilt-along, I told you that you needed at least 4 3/4 yards for the back and the border of the quilt (more if you wanted your border to be a different fabric than your back).  This is how it breaks down, and these are the step I took:

Step 1: 4 3/4 yards x 36″ = 171″ (this is the length of the fabric)

Step 2: Divided 171″ by 2 = 85.5″ (Note: My quilt back needs to be at least 85″ long –so far, so good)

Step 3: I CAREFULLY cut my 4 3/4 yards into two pieces, exactly 85.5″ long, or 2 3/8 yards long.

Step 4: I set aside one of the 85.5″ long panels, because I’m going to use that for the back of my quilt.

Step 5: With the other 85.5″ panel, I’m going to cut three strips that are 85.5″ long, and 4.5″ wide.  Why 4.5″ wide?  Well, I want my border to be 4″ wide, and my seam allowance is 1/4″.  The border is going to be sewn on two sides, so I take 1/4″ x 2 + 4″ = 4.5″.  So , I first cut off my selvage, and then I cut my three strips and I’m left with a strip that is about 28″ wide and 85.5″ long.

Step 6: Remember, my quilt top without borders is 74″ x 40″.  So I cut one of the 85.5″ strips in half to get two strips that are about 43″ long.

Step 7: Sew one of the 43″ long strips onto the top of the quilt-top, and sew of the 43″ long strips onto the bottom of the quilt-top.  Press the seam allowances.  Using a straight edge, trim off the excess border fabric to square the corner.

Step 8: Sew a 85.5″ strips onto each side of the quilt-top.  Press the seam allowances.  Using a straight edge, trim off the excess border fabric to square the corner.  My quilt-top is now complete!

Step 9: I have two pieces remaining: one that is 85.5″ x 42″, and another that is 85.5″ x 28″.  My final step is to sew these two pieces together, press my seam allowance, and whala, my quilt back is assembled.  (Note:  It’s ok for your quilt back to be too large.  You will cut off the excess fabric after you finish with the quilt sandwich process.)

So, if you only bought 4 3/4 yards of fabric for both your back and border, you follow my exact steps stated above.  If you have more fabric, please feel free to play around with making your quilt larger if you prefer.  Also, pieced backs are really popular these days, so if you find your quilt back being too short, or too skinny, pull out that left-over fabric, and see if you can piece together a row or a strip to make up that needed yardage.

Good luck!  And as always, leave any questions and thoughts in the comment section below.

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along: Sewing your Quilt-Top

For those of you who are following this “Quilting 101” quilt-along in 2011, we are now on step #2 of our quilt-along where we will be sewing our quilt-top.  To start, please gather your cut strips and use the diagram posted in “Quilting 101” quilt-along: Step #1.

“Quilting 101″ Quilt-Along in 2011: Sewing your Quilt-Top

I’ve put together a video that will step you though the next stage of this quilt-along.  This is my first video though, and so it seems a bit rough to me –maybe I’m just embarrassed to see myself on tape for the first time.  Please watch the entire video once, before you begin sewing.

Here are the basic steps:

1.  Layout the quilt-top pieces in order, according to the diagram.

2.  Pining right sides together, pin strip 1 to 2, strip 3 to 4, strip 5 to 6, etc.

3.  Sew, using a 1/4″ seam allowance, and press seam allowances open.

4.  Layout your new pieces, in order, according to the diagram.

5.  Pining right side together, pin strip set 1-2 to 3-4, strip set 5-6 to 7-8, etc.

6.  Sew, using a 1/4″ seam allowance, and press seam allowances open.

7.  Repeat until the entire quilt top is assembled (this will not include the border.)

Here is that video, that steps you though these same steps, in more detail:

Good luck!

quilting 101 quilt-along 2011 a handmade custom quilt

Please let me know if you have any question by posting them in the comments section below.  I can’t wait to see your quilt-tops assembled.

“Quilting 101” Quilt-Along: Quilt Diagram, Choosing Fabric & Cutting Fabric

Today we begin our "Quilting 101" quilt-along where we will look at a quilt diagram, choose fabric for our quilt, and cut the fabric for our quiltToday we begin our “Quilting 101” quilt-along where we will look at a quilt diagram, choose fabric for our quilt, and cut the fabric for our quilt.  If you’ve never made a quilt before, or if you have limited time but you’d like to participate, this is a great quilt-along to join.  The quilt design that we will be making is simple –a skilled quilter could finish this quilt in a few days.  If you haven’t yet joined, it’s not too late, the more the merrier.

Here are a few photos of the quilt we will be making:

custom made quilt and quilting 101 quilt-alongcustom made quilt and quilting 101 quilt-alongcustom made quilt and quilting 101 quilt-along

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Please read through this entire post, before you begin.  As you can see, we are dealing with a very basic quilt design, made up of stripes and a border.

Here is a diagram of the quilt:

quilting 101 quilt-along quilt diagram

And here are a few more photos:

quilting 101 quilt-along 2011 a handmade custom quiltquilting 101 quilt-along 2011 a handmade custom quilt

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Choosing Colors and Fabric:

As we quilt-along, I’m going to be using “relationships” as a metaphor to describe the parts and/or steps of making a quilt.  Today, I want to talk a little bit about coordinating fabrics since your first assignment is to gather supplies and purchase fabric.

In my eyes, coordinating fabrics is similar to how two peoples’ personalities might complement each other in a relationship.  If two people are exactly the same, the relationship might lack depth and seem bland.  Instead, I think it’s better when two peoples’ differences compliment the other’s personality.  For example, I am a very passionate person; I feel deeply and strongly about everything.  My husband on the other hand is more logical, more of a thinker.  I can not tell you how often this difference compliments our marriage and the decisions we make everyday.  Do I need to go more in depth, or do you get what I mean?

Coordinating fabrics and colors for a project is similar.  The fabrics you choose need to go together, but they also need to have an element that makes them different or makes them compliment each other in someway. Instead of recreating the wheel, here are a few helpful links I found online:  Color, Rule of Thumb & Color Basics for Quilting.

Once you’ve found your fabrics, I encourage you to use the diagram above like a coloring page to help you decide how you want the certain colors and patterns to coordinate and play together.

Ordering Fabric:

I order most of my fabric online because I love the selection online shopping offers.  My favorite online shops include Fabric Worm, Fabric Shack, and Above All Fabric.  I also think it’s great to support local quilt shops, if you’re lucky enough to have a good one in your area.

Fabric Amounts:

The quilt we are going to make for this quilt-a-long is approximately 48″ x 82″ in size.  This does fit the top of a twin size bed, but with very little hangover.  Ideally this quilt would serve as a throw or a blanket you fold up on the bottom of a bed.  It would be easy to make this quilt a bit wider by making the border a bit wider if you desire a bigger size, or smaller by taking some of the strips out if you want a smaller quilt for a young child.  Here’s how much fabric you’ll need to order:

  • Fabric A – 5/8 yard
  • Fabric B (large print optional) – 1 yard
  • Fabric C – 3/8 yard
  • Fabric D – 5/8 yard
  • Fabric for quilt binding (stripes, solids, or small prints work best) – 1 yard to be safe although 3/4 would work if you’re careful
  • Fabric E (border of the quilt & backing of the quilt) – 4 3/4 yards
  • Note:  if you want your border and your back to be different, you’ll need 2 3/8 yard of fabric E and an additional 4 3/4 yards for a solid back or 2 3/8 yards for a pieced back.  Let me know if you have any questions.

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Note:  I realize the above amounts changed a little from a comment I left a while back.  If you already purchased fabric and this is causing you problems, please let me know and I’ll help you work it out.  Basically, you’ll need to widen some of the strips and shorten others to balance out the fabric amounts you have.  If you have more than 4 fabrics that you’re wanting to work with, you could also add those in to make up the difference.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  I didn’t like how two of the fabrics I ordered looked and so I altered the pattern a bit.  I do hope you understand.  If you’re struggling, please email me and I’ll email you a diagram of the original quilt pattern, along with cutting instructions. Here is a diagram and the fabric amounts for that quilt…
quilting 101 quilt-along quilt diagram 2
  • Fabric A (large print) – 3/4 yard
  • Fabric B, C, D, E & F – 3/8 yard
  • Fabric G (border of the quilt) – 2 and 3/8 of a yard
  • Fabric H (binding) – 1 yard
  • Fabric I (back) – 4 3/4 yards for a solid back
  • Email me, or leave me a comment, if you would like a larger picture of this diagram.

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Washing Your Fabric:

I do NOT wash my fabrics before I use them.  The overall quality of fabric has increased significantly in the past decade and it seems that many people do NOT wash fabric before they sew anymore.  I took a twitter and facebook pole today and only one person reported washing before sewing.  It’s completely up to you, but I don’t wash before I sew and I’ve never experienced problems.

Cutting Fabric:

My biggest piece of advise is to measure twice and cut once!!!

If you have never used a rotary cutter before, here is a great Rotary Cutter Tutorial.

Cutting width of fabric, or from selvage to selvage, make the following cuts:

Fabric A:  A1 – 4.5″ x 41″, A2 – 6.5″ x 41″, A3 – 4.5″ x 41″, and A4 – 2.5″ x 41″

Fabric B:  B1 – 6.5″ x 41″, B2 – 10.5″ x 41″, and B3 – 14.5″ x 41″

Fabric C:  C1 – 2.5″ x 41″, C2 – 2.5″ x 41″, C3 – 2.5″ x 41″, and C4 – 4.5″ x 41″

Fabric D:  D1 – 4.5″ x 41″, D2 – 6.5″ x 41, and D3 – 8.5″ x 41″

Set fabric E, backing fabric, binding fabric, and/or border fabrics aside for later use.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them for me in the comments section so that all participants can learn from each other thoughts.

I’ll post step #2 next week sometime –stay tuned and good luck!

A Quilting 101 Quilt-Along

Echino Fall 2010 by Estsuko Furuya Wild Forest Natural/Charcoal

Michael Miller, Dumb Dot Charcoal Patty Young Sanctuary, Orchid Feng Shui Berry Patty Young Sanctuary, Zen Garden Pear Alexander Henry June Bug, June Dot Charcoal Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids Aqua (1/2 Yard) Robert Kaufman Pure Organic Solids Grey (1/2 Yard)

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Over the weekend, I placed a fabric order in preparation for the quilt-along I’m about to conduct here at The Artists’ House.

I’m calling this quilt-along “Quilting 101” because the purpose of this quilt-along is to teach the fundamental aspects of making a quilt.

I’ll step participants through each aspect of making a quilt, providing free tutorials along the way.  And in order to keep things interesting I’m going to be using “relationships” as a metaphor to describe the parts of a quilt.  Why?  Because sewing is like therapy to so many people.

pictures handmade quilt

We will be making a simple quilt for this “Quilting 101 Quilt-Along”, made up of stripes and a border –similar, yet different to the picture shown on the left.

(Note: I will do more complex quilt-alongs in the future, as a means to teach other skills.)

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When are we starting?

I’ll actually be making two quilts for the quilt-along instead of just one.  Why two?  Well, my sister has two little girls with new bunk beds, and while she is in the midst of remodeling their room she asked me to make their bedspreads and curtains.  (I think maybe I’ll need to make a pillow or two as well.  Don’t you think?)  And so I’m going to make the first quilt this week, as a means to provide a visual example, and then I’ll make the second quilt along with all of you.  So when are we starting?  How does January 18th sound?

What should you do now?

Leave a comment below, and tell me about the quilt you hope to make:  What room in the house is it for?  What color scheme are you considering?  Is this your first quilt?  Are you making this for someone special?

Oh, I almost forgot…

I’m putting together a little SURPRISE for “Quilting 101 Quilt-Along” participants –so stay tuned and leave a comment below if you would like to participate.

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Image Credit:
Film in the Fridge Blog
Fabric Mentions:
Echino Fall 2010 by Estsuko Furuya Wild Forest Natural/Charcoal
Michael Miller, Dumb Dot Charcoal
Patty Young Sanctuary, Orchid Feng Shui Berry
Patty Young Sanctuary, Zen Garden Pear
Alexander Henry June Bug, June Dot Charcoal
Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids Aqua
Robert Kaufman Pure Organic Solids Grey
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