In order to make a quilted blanket from my patchwork layer, I made a sandwich with the patchwork top layer, a layer of wadding and then the backing fabric which for this quilt was a neutral floral print. I was unsure what weight of wadding to use for this blanket but in the end I went with the medium wadding which was 4oz. The result was a thick spongy quilt which will make a good blanket for a baby to play on but may be too warm to get much use as a cover. In fact when I was finishing all the threads for this quilt, my legs were getting very warm.
My plan was to use my sewing machine to do the quilting and follow the lines of the patchwork squares to dreate a checkerboard quilting pattern. I will admit that I was very unsure about what I was doing for this part of the project. I read a few bits and pieces online and having recently purchase a new sewing machine complete with quilters pack, I knew that the pieces I needed to use were all in that box. In fact, this project was in no small part driven by the fact that I wanted to play with the cotents of the quilters pack.
I attached the walking foot to my machine and added the extension table. and then started sewing. I began with a line going across the quilt (it was a few inches shorter) somewhere near the middle. The three layers were held together by small dressmaking pins which with hindsight were insuuficient for the task. They kept working their way out and pinging onto the floor where they lay in wait for an unsuspecting de-shoed foot. If there are any secrets to doing this kind of machine quilting, I would love to know them. The final result that I obtained is picture below but that was after endless rounds of unpicking and resewing. I could not get these to be reliably straight. This did improve with time and in the end, with an increased stitch length I was able to get some good results.
Tip If you are going for a similar quilting pattern to the one that I have used here, keep all the layers of the fabric as taut as possible while you are sewing all of the parallel lines. If you don’t do that, when you come to doing the second set of lines, you will be creating small puckers/pleats at each layer of stitching where there is too much of the backing fabric because it has been allowed to puff out.
For this quilt, I decided not to use bias binding around the edge like so many of the quilts that I have seen online. I wanted a wider border so I made the piece of backing fabric much larger than the top and the wadding with the wadding a bit larger than the patchwork piece. Once all the wuilting was finished, I trimmed the wadding to size such that it extended 8 cm past the edge square minus seam allowance. I then folded the backing fabric over to cover the additional wadding and trimmed it so it had a 5/8″ seam allowance. I then pressed under 1/2″ and topstitched all the way arounf the border going through all the layers of the sandwich. The aspect of this wuilt that I am most unhappy with is the corners of the border. They are nowhere near as neat as I would have liked them to be. I did my best with them but the problem was that the quilting gathers in the backing fabric so that when you extend into an unquilted region, the grain lines are no longer anywhere near parallel with the patchwork squares. This makes a crisp mitred corner extremely difficult to acheive.
Overall, I am really happy with the final result of this project and it was very gratefully recieved. I am looking forward to making the next one 🙂