Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sew a Baby Quilt

baby quilt

I finally finished the baby quilt I started about 2 years ago. I had started working on it but came across some problems and had messed up in a couple of places so I felt like I couldn't give it to anyone. But when I became pregnant I could finish it and keep it for myself. (Sometimes I feel like I am always passing my bad artwork/crafts to people as gifts, so I feel like I should spare them.) In the end it didn't turn out too bad.

How I made it

Basically each square of the quilt is made from
2 4.5 inch squares of main color
1 4.5 inch square of pattern
2 4.5 inch x 12.5 inch rectangles of main color

When you sew all the pieces together with a .25 inch seam allowance, you end up with a 12.5 inch square. When you sew all of the squares together with a .25 inch seam allowance you end up with 12 inch squares.

I sandwiched the quilt together using a Flynn Quilt Frame and tried to use that for machine sewing as well. I'm not exactly sure what went wrong, but my thread was constantly breaking while trying to quilt this quilt. My theory is that I was using an old spool of thread that wasn't of the best quality. When I replaced the thread it was a little bit better. I also think that the batting I used wasn't of the best quality. I haven't read anywhere that batting can cause thread to break, but it seemed to me like my sewing machine would hit a thick spot and break.

So eventually I got rid of the quilt frame because it was really hard to negotiate it smoothly, plus the thread kept breaking and I would have to take the whole thing apart, unjam the machine, etc, etc. But of course after getting rid of the quilt frame the basting I did to keep the quilt smooth was not very good, and I started getting ripples and folds in the quilt. To make matters worse I quilted about 12 inches on the top the blanket and then the thread kept breaking so I decided to start again from the bottom and maybe things would go more smoothly (which they did). So by the time I get to the middle I have all this extra fabric, due to my bad basting job. Oops. I ended up smoothing all the extra fabric in the middle and folding it straight across. So it kind of looks like there is a seam. Next time I make a quilt I'm going to try to get a batting that is fusible. I didn't even know there was such a thing before, but I think that might be good. Because on all the quilts I make, no matter how careful I try to be I cannot seem to keep the fabric on the bottom from folding and bunching.

When I finally finished quilting, 2 years later, I put Wright's Satin Blanket Binding around it. The instructions on the blanket binding are not very good, and I will make another post on how to fold baby binding because it is kind of tricky to go around a corner and all the instructions just say "fold it around the corner". Anyways my binding ended up being 6 inches too short so I have a spot I patched up at the top. If your binding is too short I think your supposed to sew it together diagnoally to create a longer strip. I didn't do this and so the patch job I did doesn't look very good.

I wasn't sure if the binding was supposed to wrap the extra fabric and batting or not. I ended up serging all the way around to trim the extra fabric and batting (also so I could use my new serger). Then I sewed the binding onto the quilt with only about a quarter of an inch of the blanket sandwiched between the binding. So there is no padding between the layers of satin. I don't know if this was right or not, but that is how I did it. When I managed to coax my sewing machine all the way around the blanket I was finished! Yeah!

baby quilt

baby quilt

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