Ever since I was little, I’ve had a thing for blankets. I used to tell my mom if she just got me a new comforter for my bed, I would be able to keep my room clean! I love having blankets and quilts around to snuggle with. There’s something so special about them. Even my kids “lovies” are blankets.
Blankets are even better when they are homemade.
For Hanukkah this year, I made each of my kids a quilt. I spent a long time wandering around the fabric store, picking fabrics that “fit” their personalities. I wanted their quilts to be large.. so they could use them even when they are big and adult-size. After I posted a few photos of their quilts on Facebook, I had people ask for instructions. So here they are.
This quilt is QUICK and easy… and BIG. 50″ x 70″ (or so) finished (and washed) size. And SO, SO cozy! They have weight to them, also, so if you lay under one you will likely fall asleep. OH! And they are pretty cheap (when you get the “stuff” on sale). NO pre-washing, NO ironing.
I’ve never written a tutorial before on anything, so bear with me. But I hope you make one (or two, it’s always nice to give a homemade quilt to people who are special to you!) .. and when you do, please post a photo so I can see!!!!
1.5 y EACH Of 5 FLANNEL fabrics (Coordinating)
3- 1.5y pieces of SOLID flannel (I used white).
(You COULD buy 4.5y and cut into 3 pieces, but SO much easier if the store cuts it for you)
(You will also need to have (or borrow) a cutting mat, a rotary cutter, a sewing machine!, and a pair of these snippy scissors.)
1. When you put a new needle in your machine, be SURE it’s in the right way. (Mine has the flat part towards the back). This caused a LOT of trouble for me one day when I inserted it sideways and kept having my thread snap, get caught, etc.
2. If you’d LIKE to use pins, go ahead. I did it all with no pins. (But I’m not a perfectionist)
3. When picking fabric (This is the hardest part for me), choose a “main” fabric and then use the colors on that to choose your other fabrics and threads.
Here is the “main” fabric for this quilt. I picked it because it reminded me of the person I was making it for.
Here is the main fabric with the 4 other coordinating fabrics.
4. DO NOT WASH the fabric before you begin!!
OK, Let’s see if I can describe this well…ahem…
PREPARE TO CUT THE FABRIC
The GLORIOUS thing about the way I made this quilt is that a LOT of the cutting is already done for you. So all you need to do is REFOLD the fabric like this:
Line up the fuzzy edges to fold in half. (So folding the 54″ side- so it will then be 26″ x 42″)
Then, fold in half again (so it will now be 13″ by 42″).
Do this to all 5 main fabrics, and all 3 white pieces as well.
CUT THE FABRIC
For your final quilt you will need the following of the MAIN fabrics:
4- 11″ pieces (1 each of 4 fabrics)
6- 9″ pieces (1 of 4 fabrics, 2 of 1 fabric)
10- 7″ pieces (2 of each fabric)
1- 6″x6″ square (for initial)
You will need the following of WHITE fabric:
2- 11″ pieces
3- 9″ pieces
5- 7″ pieces
PHEW! That is REALLY the hardest part (besides picking your designs). To do this part, I use a mat and a rotary cutter. I also got this super cool pair of snippy scissors for the final part.
I just line up the fabric on the cutting mat (as shown above) and use a clear guide (I think that’s what it’s called) and slice with rotary cutter. First, though, I slice off the top fuzzy part for a clean edge.
After you have all your fabric cut, you will lay out the quilt pattern. None of the six of these I’ve made so far have had the same “pattern”, so you can really do anything you like for this. You will be making sandwiches. Each sandwich will have 2 pattern pieces and 1 white piece. The first pattern piece goes face down, then the white piece, then the other pattern piece. The only real “suggestion” I have it to just be sure you don’t have the same pattern next to itself. Other than that, go to town.
(Yours will be lines up better than ^… I just put them down and then had to run out the door. Later, I made them nice, neat sandwiches. The brown square is what I used to make the letter.
If you’d like a more specific guide to fabric placement, here is the way I did THIS quilt. (Letter on left is on top FACE UP, right is bottom FACE DOWN, and always a white piece in the middle)
FABRICS A, B, C, D, E
A = bird B = blue dot C = green dot D = brown E = tan
11″- A W D
7″- E W A
9″- B W B
7″- D W C
7″- C W B
7″- B W D
9″- D W C
7″- E W A
9″- A W E
11″- C W B
PHEW! That is probably the most confusing part. Soooo.. now, you have all your sandwiches laid out on the floor.
First, you need to make sure you’ve made enough bobbins in your thread color. I like to use a contrasting color… pulled from a fabric. I know it’s hardly visible in the end, but I like it anyway! I made 3 bobbins, but only needed 2.BE SURE, IF YOU ARE ADDING A LETTER, that you sew it on to the top piece of fabric BEFORE You sew the sandwich together.
For each of the wider strips (9″ and 11″) you are going to sew a line (for the 9″) or two (for the 11″) down the strip. It keeps it stable AND looks quilty then it’s done. It takes, for REAL, about 60 seconds MAX to sew each line.
And if you’re like me, your sewing machine will do weird things… and it’s OK. Mistakes add character.
After you have all the “wide” sandwiches stitched, it will be time to assemble. I keep them on the floor in order. And, if you’re anything like me, you may have a helper visit and check everything to make sure it’s lookin’ good.The edges will not be perfectly lined up. I like to line up (the best I can) the left hand side of each sandwich. It’s going to be trimmed at the end anyway.. so “good enough” is… well… good enough!ASSEMBLING
Now, you will just flip one sandwich on top of the one below it… line up pretty well.. and carefully carry to your sewing machine. You will be sewing through SIX layers of flannel.I use a 1/2″ seam…. And keep it as consistent as possible. It wiggles sometimes, but I just do the best I can. Here is how it looks on the machine:See how the fabric pile is pretty much at 1/2″…..and how it’s not perfectly straight. I’m fine with that. If you’re not, use pins. Remember, I am NOT a quilter!
Here’s another bonus…. you do not have to backwards sew to make it secure. Just sew from one end to the other, then cut your string.
You will keep adding more rows on by flipping the next row up (I start at the bottom of the quilt) over on top of the one below… sewing 1/2″ seams.
I actually usually do the bottom 4 rows… the middle 3 rows… and then the top 3 rows. Then sew each section together. It just seems to make it go faster. But it’s personal preference.
THIS ENTIRE PART…. takes less than 1 hour.
So… now you have the whole quilt sewn together. WOO! And you will notice something. The edges are NOT great. In fact… one side is ESPECIALLY uneven.Not… to …. worry.
I just lay mine on my kitchen floor which has squares on it… line up the bottom (or top) and drag it over to a straight line and snip along the line. Just to even things up. I do that to both sides. One will need more of a trim than the other. I’m sure there is a MUCH more technical way… AND.. I’m sure these quilts are not perfect rectangles.. but I’m totally OK with that. They are close!
After you have it more of less even, you will sew around the entire quilt. Seam of 1/2″ (approx) as well. The only important thing here is when you get to a seam, you are going to open it up and sew it flat. And you WILL reverse at the beginning and end to keep this secure. Like this:And VIOLA!! Seriously… that’s it.. 99%.
Now, you will get your snippy scissors. And you will turn on the TV… or chat with a friend. And you will snip ALLLLLLL the seams.
And it will look like this.. ALLL around:If you are going to give it as a gift, you COULD give it like this. Wrap with a nice ribbon and with instructions. Just tell the recipient to throw it in the wash and then dry it. It will FLUFF up. The only reason not to do it yourself BEFORE you give it to them is because it will have little bits of lint, initially… stuck to it.
FLUFFIFY and COZIFY
Throw the entire thing into the wash. I usually toss a towel in with it too just to absorb water quicker in the dryer… because I’m impatient and can’t wait to see how it comes out.
Toss in the dryer.
And this is what it will look like:
I’d love to know if you made one (or more!). If you do, please share a photo with me here or on Facebook.