I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for so long now – I follow so many people on Instagram who are brilliant quilters, and Tom’s Aunt makes amazing ones too so I’m surrounded by inspiration! Our dear friends Luci and Simon are expecting their first baby in just a few weeks, so I decided that I’d have a go at making them a special quilt. They chose not to find out what they are having so I wasn’t sure if they were going for a particular colour scheme – so I decided to go for all the colours! 🙂
I had a look around for a basic square quilt tutorial online, but couldn’t really find exactly what I wanted. I guess that this is probably because this is one of the simplest quilts you can ever make, so most people don’t actually need to learn how to do it! There are some beautiful quilt blocks out there, and I loved so many of them but I wanted to make mine with simple squares – partly because I was running out of time to get it done, but also because I had seen the funky zebra and cat fabrics and I wanted to have fairly large squares of them to show off the pattern.
I started by collecting my fabrics and buying a few new quilting materials, so I now have a rotary cutter and a big cutting mat, as well as a handy ruler thingy. I didn’t realise how useful rotary cutters are – this has definitely revolutionised my crafting! In terms of fabrics, I chose a mixture of plain cotton solids and some funky patterns in matching colours. I didn’t want it to be all pattern, so the solids help to break it up a bit. I decided to use 7 x 7″ squares with a 1/2″ seam allowance, in a grid 5 squares across and 6 squares down. After drawing out my plan, I worked out that I needed 3 plain squares in each of the 6 colours, and 2 of each of the patterned fabrics. Then I got cutting!
When all the squares were cut, I laid them all out on our living room floor – this meant that I could work out where to pin them together before stitching.
I stitched the squares together so that I had 3 groups of 4 squares joined together, and 3 groups of 6. Then I joined each of those groups together.
Ta-dah! Once all the fabric was joined together, I cut out a piece of wadding and some red and white stripey cotton fabric the same size for the backing. I pinned it all together using some quilting pins and then started sewing each square.
I decided to sew each square with matching colour thread (which did mean a lot of changing bobbins!) and stitched about 1/2″ inside each seam. At first I was worried that the squares were a bit poofy, but the more I stitched the better it seemed – and it needs to be comfy for baby! 🙂 I was also a bit bothered about the fact that my squares on the back didn’t line up with the lines of the fabric, but this also looked better the more I went on.
The final stage is to sew on the binding. I was going to make it myself, but bought some in the end because I was running out of time to finish my quilt! This was a bit tricky and I should probably look up a better way to do it (any suggestions would be gratefully received!). I stitched on the machine but finished a few bits off by hand.
I added a final final touch with this label, which I wrote with a permanent quilting marker pen. I just used some plain white cotton for this, and pressed the edges behind before hand stitching on with some blue cotton to match the binding.
I’m really pleased with how my first quilt has turned out! I’ve learnt a lot from doing it (mainly realising what I need to look into a bit more) and am looking forward to making my next one! Hope you’ve all had a super weekend 🙂