i did a quilting kit for the I want to learn to (blank) swap, and instead of just sending my partner a tutorial i thought i would post one here for all to see. Being that this is geared towards a beginner i thought i would stick to simple clean lines. and go with plain squares. i am doing a small 10 inch block that shows you how to do all the steps needed to do a complete quilt but with out 40 billion pics cluttering up the server. so to start off with you need to gather your materials.
by far the most important tools are a rotary cutter and mat. this isn't necessary but will make the job 10x easier and faster than cutting with scissors. any transparent ruler will do although a 12" by 6" quilters ruler can be a good investment if you were to take up quilting full time.
to make 1 block 12" by 12" you will need 64 two inch squares. so to get a lap size quilt you will need to make 12 blocks so in total you will need 768 squares.
wall hanging(4 blocks) - 256 two inch squares
twin size (24 blocks) - 1536 two inch squares
queen size (35 blocks) - 2240 two inch squares.
so to cut 2" squares just line your ruler up so that it over laps the fabric by 2" and glide your rotary cutter slowly along the edge of the ruler to make 2 strips. then turn the strip and do the same thing lining up the ruler 2" overlapping the fabric.
while you are cutting you might as well cut the borders and binding i used 1.5" inches for both the border and the binding but on larger quilts i would suggest the following for the border
wall hanging - cut 2.5" stips (approx two 45" strips)
lap quilt - cut 3.5" strips (approx four 45" strips)
twin - cut 3.5" strips (approx five 45" strips)
queen - cut 4.5" strips (approx six 45" strips)
binding is easiest using a 1.5" strip and the approx amount of strips is the same as above.step one
take two squares and put them right sides together bright sides together (dull sides out)
sew a scant 1/4" seam (i use the outer edge of the presser foot as a guide)
continue sewing till all your 2" squares are paired and sewnstep two
press open with seams toward the darker fabricrepeat
steps 1 and 2 until you have 8 two inch squares sewn into a stripstep three
take two strips of 8 squares and put them right sides together and sewn lengthwise with a 1/4" seam. line up each square as you go step four
press open but in this case just choose one direction to press regardles of dark fabric as it will be hard to do this with multiple coloursrepeat
steps 3 and 4 until you have 8 rows of 8 two inch squares. this will give you a block of approx 12.5" by 12.5" or 12" by 12" once finishedrepeat
steps 1 threw 4 until you have the desired number of blocks for the size of quilt you are makingStep 5
once you have the desired number of blocks arrange them as follows
wall hanging - 2 by 2
lap quilt - 3 by 4
twin - 4 by 6
queen - 5 by 7
sew your blocks together making sure your squares line up, much the same as you did when putting the blocks together.
(lets pretend the squares in this pic are 12 x 12 and the arrangement is 4 x4)step 6
you may need a bit of cleared floor space for this step if you are making a lap, twin or queen size as you should lay your quilt out flat. measure from corner to corner and cut your border to fit the edge of your quilt. as beginners i suggest cutting one side, then sewing then laying out and measuring the second side and so on to make sure you don't mess up the measurements.
press your seams outward into the border fabric so bulk is reduced.
take a step back and admire your completed quilt top!
now the quilt isn't done there. you have a few options to finish your quilt. one is to machine quilt it, a second method is tying (GREAT for beginners) or a third is to send your top, batting and back fabric to a professional quilter.
you will also need to choose an appropriate batting and backing fabric. beginners i would suggest using 100% cotton batting and a plain cotton backing fabric (flat sheets work awesome for this purpose) as this cuts down on the three pieces shifting while you quilt it. 100% cotton is also very warm. polyester batting will make for a lighter quilt, if warmth is an issue (summer months etc.) if sending your quilt to a professional quilter ask her what she prefers to work withstep seven
quilting your quilt on the machine is relatively easy if you have patience. for a beginner i would suggest doing the "stitch in the ditch" method for your first time. in order to do free motion quilting your machine will have to have a darning foot but every machine can stitch in the ditch. you line up the center of you pressure foot and needle to the seam going down the quilt and follow the seam and stitch in the ditch all the way down.. you can snip the loose threads once you are done quilting. quilt as close or as far apart as you like. for a quilt that will see alot of washes closer is better and for a quilt that is purely ornamental farther apart is acceptable.
(this is a pic of the back of my "stitching in the ditch")step seven B
if you choose to tie you quilt you will need a tapestry needle or other larger needle that will accommodate embroidery thread/yarn/crochet thread. some like to tie in the center of the squares and some like to tie at the junction of the squares. its up to you cause its your quilt. same rules apply here as for the machine quilting. closer together for many washes and farther apart if not.step eight
making your own binding to match your quilt fabric is always a nice touch but you can also buy ready made binding. but here is how to make your own. line up the ends of your strips and overlap about 1.5"
cut diagonally from corner to corner of overlapped fabric.
right sides together sew 1/4 seam and press open splitting the seam. then lengthwise press 1/4 to 1/2 inch over.step nine
to sew your binding onto the quilt you should first round the corners of the quilt (i use a spool of thread as a template) this avoids having to miter your corners but still looks nice. on the back of your quilt line up the open edge of the binding with the edge of the quilt and sew a 1/4 inch seam
once all the way around the neatest way to complete your binding is to fold the folded edge over to the front of the quilt and hand stitch the binding down using the whip stitch. you can also use your machine to sew the binding down but the back may not look as neat once you are finished.