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Topic: wall-hanging crazy quilt, with instructions!  (Read 15097 times)
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trufflegirl
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« on: June 17, 2004 11:51:06 AM »

I made this quilt as a Christmas present to my then-boyfriend, now-fiance.



The whole thing's just over a metre square; the nine panels are hand-stitched to a cotton backing from scraps of clothing and other fabric, then embellished with embroidery, ribbon, rick-rack, and so on.



It's hard to show through photographs, but I wanted this quilt to be really tactile, so I chose fabrics with lots of texture: corduroy, faux suede, satin, and so on.



First, I cut out my nine squares of backing fabric. Figure out how big you want your squares to be in the end product, and then make them about a quarter again the size --- this allows for seam allowance, and also for the inevitable bunching-up that happens when you sew lots of fabric together.

Start by laying one piece of quilt fabric onto your backing piece (in the centre is easiest) and then add another, and sew your first seam. Traditional crazy quilt technique says that you flip the fabrics right side together, and sew so that the seam will be hidden when you fold one piece back, but I found that didn't work well for more than one seam on any piece --- you can't sew one side of a triangle and then fold it back to sew another side, for example. So, using lots of pins, I folded the edge of each piece under, and sewed as close to the fold as I could, as neatly as possible (since the sewing will be exposed). Some fabrics fold better than others --- the ones that don't fold well are good in the centre of the panel, where they can just be laid flat and have their raw edges covered by the pieces around them.

Work your way towards the corners, laying piece over piece. Some fabrics look cool with a raw edge exposed, like frayed denim or something. Do a running stitch around the edge of the square, to make sure the fabric lays flat, but don't worry about it being too pretty --- the edges of the square will get trimmed.

Once you have your fabrics sewn on, you can decorate however you like. I used a variety of embroidery stitches to embellish the joins where two pieces of fabric meet; I also decorated these edges with ribbons. I filled in some of the plainer spaces with more embroidery, like initials, hearts, leaves, and flowers.

When your nine (or however many) pieces are finished, you need to lay them all out and figure out how best to trim them. Each square will have shrunken down a different amount, and in different directions, depending on what's been sewn to it. The easiest thing to do is to cut a piece of cardboard into a frame that's the size you want, and shift it around until you've got the best possible 'picture' in it. Then use soap or a fabric pencil to mark out the edges.

Cut out your border pieces (the black lines between the squares) and, with the vertical pieces, sew the squares together in long horizontal strips. Next, sew together the horizontal pieces and the little squares for where the lines intersect --- do this carefully, so the squares will line up with the vertical pieces when you match them up. Then, sew all the horizontal strips together, so you finally have the complete grid.

Next, measure your entire piece, side to side and top to bottom, and then cut the outside border pieces accordingly. Sew them on.

Then, you just need to add a backing --- some quilt batting gives a little bit of loft --- and attach the front to the back in several places. (I sewed around each square, with black thread, so it didn't interrupt any of the pattern on the quilt blocks themselves. Not the most elegant quilting you'll find, but subtle enough...

Last but not least, add some way to hang the piece. (This one hangs from a dowel threaded through a slot in the back lining; an alternative would be to make tabs to hang it by.)

« Last Edit: June 23, 2004 12:14:09 PM by trufflegirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. --- Dorothy Parker
kayray
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2004 12:36:38 PM »

Beautiful!  I love the color scheme.  Nice job Smiley 

Kara
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rainbowbrit
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2004 01:07:42 PM »

the embelishment looks nice.  i keep wanting to make a quilt for my mother in law with such work on it but i keep procrastinating...i s it really as time consuming as it appears to be?
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craftymed
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2004 01:54:11 PM »

that's a fantastic quilt.  i really love the idea of 'tactile' fabrics.  those are great for kids' stuff, esp when you make an animal with similar texture in real life.  it works as a kinda teaching tool.
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trufflegirl
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2004 04:48:56 PM »

Thanks for the comments, everyone Smiley

Yes, it's time-consuming, but not as bad as you'd think, once you get the technique down. I did hand-sew the quilt blocks, because it allowed me to sew in whatever direction, and maintain better control over the placement of the seam; plus, the stopping and starting on the machine would drive me nuts. That said, I did all the piecing together of the squares and borders on the machine --- much faster, and I could trust myself to sew straighter!

Oh, the other reason that I didn't use the machine for most of the work was that I was making this one and a second, similar quilt that I gave to my parents as surprises, so I couldn't go hang out in the sewing room where my mother would have seen them!

This quilt was a 3x3 block; the quilt I made for my parents (same fabrics, different design & decorations) was a 2x4 long rectangle, so it was 1 less square. You could make whatever shape/size you wanted, and that would defiiitely help adjust the time it takes... I could imagine a long, 1x-whatever rectangle making a neat table-runner or banner decoration, and that would eliminate the need to match up all the little squares where the border grids cross.

As for procrastinating, I know all about that. I made the two quilts during the month of December and had them ready for Christmas; I'm working on a third quilt now that's not even half done and I've been going since January! The new one's more complex, as it shows a scene, rather than just a random pattern. I found with the first two that I could do them while sitting on the couch watching tv, and it was easy to work that into my daily schedule, but the new one involves following an actual pattern instead of just reaching into a bag of fabric and cutting a little piece of whatever catches my eye, so it really involves spreading everything out on a table and focussing on it for an afternoon.

If you're going to make this for kids, make sure you pre-shrink everything well, so it can be washed. Not all the fabrics I used were meant to be washable, but I threw them in the washer and dryer anyway before using them in the quilts. I figured that I wanted the end product to be washable (the black does show dust!) so I'd better make sure that everything could survive. Any fabrics that puckered up or got mangled in the wash didn't make it into the quilts!
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The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. --- Dorothy Parker
grrr betsy
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2004 11:54:11 AM »

wow. i think this is just amazing. i wish i was talented enough to do something like this. that and i wish i had the patience, time and money...
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<3 Betsy
gwensmom
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2004 05:07:39 PM »

Oooooooh  I like it very much! 
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ladymare
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2004 06:50:29 PM »

That's Beautimus! I wish i could make a big one for my boyfriend. He needs some blankets in his apartment BAD!  Cheesy
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Lars
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2004 07:22:53 AM »

 :DHo0oolllyy SHaam0oley!!
trufflegirl, you truly got talent, HONEY!
the colours are absolutely astonishing and such  warm, comforting shades
that w0ould be nice for those chilly winter evenings and such.

I think i have fallen in love with it Cool!

keep on making th0ose amazing creations!

turrah Wink
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And so it goes...
beebidollz
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and the green grass grows all around


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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2004 02:18:54 PM »

Wow! im going to make something just like it! ill post soon as in done! for my fiance too!
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werd....
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