This is the second part of my three part tutorial which will show you step by step how to sew your very own patchwork quilt. The first tutorial shows you how to piece together the patchwork top, this one will show you how to quilt your layers together and the third how to bind your quilt.
For this tutorial you will need a sewing machine, a neutral coloured thread, a rotary cutter, a self healing mat and quilting ruler, your patchwork top and a piece of fabric and a piece of 4oz wadding, both slightly larger than your finished patchwork. As with all the fabric in the last tutorial, you will need to wash, dry and iron your backing fabric before you start sewing.
To get started, lay out your backing fabric, wrong side up, then your wadding on top, then your patchwork top, right side up. You are creating a sandwich, the layers will look exactly like a finished quilt, there is no turning out or changing the layers later.
To quilt these layers together you will be putting all three layers through your sewing machine at once, sewing down the lines of your patchwork. This is also known as “stitch in the ditch” because you are sewing in the “ditch” where the two pieces of fabric join. The photo below shows you which lines you need to quilt first.
When quilting, you always start in the middle of your patchwork and work out to the edges. This should help to minimise puckering and keep your work nice and flat. You can start with either the vertical or horizontal line, as long as it goes through the centre point of your quilt. Smooth out your fabrics and pin along either side of one of these lines. I tend to put one pin in each square of my patchwork to keep it nice and secure.
Then you need to pop this through your machine and sew through all three layers, in a straight line in where the two fabrics meet. The quilt will probably be much wider than your machine so simply fold the edge over like in the photo below. Try and keep the fabrics as flat as you can as you go along.
When you have sewn this first line, turn your quilt over to check that there are no puckers on the reverse. Pin your second line in the same way as the first, taking care to smooth out the backing fabric, away from the first line of stitching. Once you have stitched your second line you will have a cross shape through your quilt which will hold all the layers together.
When your first two lines are complete, you can then move on to your outer lines. You can quilt these in any order you like, but if you have many more lines to quilt, then work from the middle outwards. The photo below shows the next four lines to sew on my quilt.
Once you have quilted all of your lines your quilt will begin to look padded and like this.
Sometimes the edges of the quilt can get puckered up and caught under whilst you are sewing the top. The photo below shows this. This is really easy to fix, simply unpick and sew back into place.
Next you need to neaten all your edges. You can use scissors for this but it is much easier to get a neater edge with a rotary cutter and a ruler. Simply trim off the excess wadding and backing fabric so that they both line up with your patchwork top.
Now you are going to sew all the way around the edge of your quilt so that when you bind the edges everything will stay neatly in place. Lay your quilt down on a flat surface and pin the edges, checking that the fabric is smooth. As before, I pop one pin into each square to hold it secure.
Now you need to select a medium length zig zag stitch and sew all the way around the edge of your quilt, keeping as close to the edge as you can.
This is what your edges will look like when you have stitched all the way around.
Now sit back and look at your quilted masterpiece!
Next month I will show you how to bind the edges of your quilt! Binding is the bit that seems scary but trust me, I can show you a way that will look really neat and professional and that is easy to do. For the next tutorial you will need some fabric that you would like to use as binding. This can be the same as your backing fabric, or something completely different. Good luck with your quilting – keep me updated on your progress!
If you fancy making your own quilt then you can buy most of the supplies from Amazon. If you purchase anything through the links in my post you are helping to support my blog as I get a small referral fee from Amazon. Thank you!