Monday, March 25, 2013

Easy Quilting for Crazy People

Warning this is a picture heavy post. It is a full tutorial that shows you how to do a mitered edge that is one sold piece with your back.

I think this is best described as quilting for crazy people. I have no idea if this is actually an accepted method of quilting among anyone. If it is please let me know the proper term for it and I'll relabel it. This is something I figured out on my own though so for right now that is what I'm calling it. Considering I've never quilted before this is an easy beginner method for a small quilt. However I doubt it would work to well on a larger one.

First start by laying your unquilted top over your batting and cutting your batting around 2" larger on each side.

Next you need to cut your quilt backing to be about 2 1/2" bigger on each side then what your batting is. Now lay your quilt backing right over the top of your quilt top with right sides facing each other and the batting in the back.
It should be a quilt sandwich right now with the smallest piece in the center. This part is going to seem strange but stay with me here. It will work like magic in a few minutes. 

On the two longer sides match up the edges of your quilt back with the edges of your quilt top. You will have over hang on either side so try to center this as best as possible. A yard stick will help. 

Now pin this side down. In the picture below you can see the over hang I have on the right. Just try to make sure you have an equal amount on the left. You will have batting hanging out below and that is good. DO NOT CUT IT and DO NOT LINE UP THE BATTING. 

Now do the same to the other side. It's best to lay this out on a flat clean surface and not try to do it on a couch like I did. That made it a lot harder then it should have been. You really do need to pin both sides like this in order to make sure you fabric doesn't shift and end up wonky. You will end up with a big fold in the middle that looks like extra fabric. Do not panic that is how it should be. In fact making a nice clean fold of that in the center will make it easier to line up your other side and pin it. Then sew along your pinned sides. Only sew from the beginning of the top quilt piece to the bottom of the quilt top piece and then stop. Remember your quilt top piece is in the middle and smaller then your other pieces. This may sound tricky but if you have them lined up then it's pretty easy to see where your quilt top starts and ends. You can probably even tell in my pic where mine begin and end.

Now you will have big fabric tube. Just reach between the quilt top and quilt bottom pieces and pull inside out and TA-DAH! WOW! Nifty, right? Flatten and smooth it out like I did in the picture below.

 Now your fabric will already turn up on two sides. Just take the corners and fold them down like a triangle.

Then fold the side down in half and adjust your triangle however you need to line it up for a clean mitered edge. Iron this so you know how you want it to fold. Also take note of how much overlap you need to fold down to tuck in your raw edge. 

Now unfold and iron the raw edges over the length you need them to be. 

Now pin everything down and sew. I sew right up into the corners and back down again and continue going around from there. 
To quilt it I simply stitched in the ditch along every other outer square. You could do any sort of quilting though. That part just needs to be done AFTER you've flipped your quilt tube. 

Now you've finished your quilt and have nice mitered edges.
Have you used this method before? Will you try it now? Let me know. :-)

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