Sunday, 30 June 2013

Quilting... the Rockabilly Stitch Way

Hello Ladies and Gents,

Well I thought I would update you on one of my stitching projects as it has been a while. A little while a go I shared with you I was starting a stitching project for a good friend and now it is successfully completed! For my birthday my good friend and sewing advisor bought me a sewing book called 'Cute and Easy Quilting and Stitching: 35 step-by-step projects for you and your home' by Charlotte Liddle. I browsed through the pages and found the perfect gift to make for my friend - a baby quilt. After reading the pattern I knew I could make it - especially as it seemed quite simple and you can customise it as much or as little as you want - perfect for me!

Option 1 - Template
So the first thing I did was raid the fabric stash that has been growing over recent months. I looked through what I had and decided that I had enough fabric to follow the pattern so I went for it. My fabric was all ready washed so the next thing I did was iron everything...this ensures the fabric is smooth and easy to manage. I then had to make 30 squares of 4"x4" in order to make the quilt element. Now to do this I started off by cutting out square templates out of paper (option 1), pinning them to the fabric and cutting around them. After a few attempts of this I was concerned the squares would not be even so I thought of another way (option 2) - to use a
Option 2 
metal ruler, a 
rotary cutter and the markings on my cutting board. This method made the squares more even, less fiddly and a lot quicker to do. I cut out 7 plain fabric, 5 spotty fabric and 18 flowery fabric (4 different flowery patterns). With the squares I went on to design the lay out the quilt. Once I was happy with it, I then started sewing with my faithful singer machine (not hand sewing I hear some of you cry!). One day I will hand sew a quilt but this pattern can be done either way but I really wanted to use my
Quilt Pattern
machine as I hadn't used it since I cleaned it and put a new needle in. On using the machine I couldn't believe what a difference it made, so top tip, do maintain your machine and change the needle frequently! My machine has only had light use but even I, a beginner, could tell the difference.

This is where I became lazy and in hindsight I should have done this a bit differently. Instead of pinning a row of squares together, I just took two squares and sewed them using the pressure foot as the guide. I did this for each square and ended up with five rows of six. A thing I'm not lazy about (which I'm sure my husbandy will disagree on) is ironing the fabric as you go. Once I had five rows of six squares I ironed the
The lazy way...
seam to make it lie flat and keep the material in shape. When joining the rows together I did pin the edges and again followed the pressure foot as the guide. With all rows now joined it was starting to look more like a quilt! Again don't forget to iron the seams open. The next trick was to cut out the boarders....

Pinning the boarders
Now this is when I had to use maths to solve my problem. The two shorter pieces were the same width as the length of the quilted pieces (5x4"=20). I cut out two pieces of 20"x2" in the plain fabric. I then cut the long side pieces which had to be the same length as the quilt, plus the boarder - the total measurement being 28".  I cut out two pieces of 28"x2" in flowery fabric. I pinned the shorter boarder to the quilt and sewed with the sewing machine. I then pinned the long boarder and again sewed this on.... I was very pleased with myself at this stage and was having loads of fun doing it! 

My quilt was almost complete and all I had to do was attach the backing piece. For this you use one piece of material in what ever design you like. Again, I used a floral design and cut the fabric 24"x28". I pinned the fabric (right sides facing) and stitched around the edge leaving a four inch gap at one end so the wadding can be inserted. Once stitched I turned the quilt inside out and ta dah... I was finished! And I truly was finished as there has been a change of plan since its original use. Once completed I wanted to show off my work so I put it over a little table we have. My husbandy saw it and loved it so much we now use it as a table cloth! So I best get cutting more squares and making another one for my friend as the baby is due very soon! It just shows how versatile this simple pattern is. Without the wadding it is not a table cloth and with the wadding it could be used as a quilt. Sewing is a great way to express yourself... take a pattern and put your own stamp on it... and you'll have loads of fun doing it!

Top tips:
  • Equipment: Fabric (30 x 4" squares, 2 x 20"x2", 2 x 28" x 2" and 1 x 28" x 24"), Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutters, Fabric Scissors, Pins, Iron, Ruler and Sewing Machine.
  • Use what ever fabric you like - it's your quilt!
  • Do pin the squares may seem tedious but you'll have a much neater outcome - trust me :)
  • Do maintain your machine and change the needle frequently! My machine has only had light use but even I, a beginner, could tell the difference.

Happy Quilting x

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