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Topic: I've never made a quilt in my life, but I want to make this...  (Read 1430 times)
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« on: November 07, 2010 06:39:40 PM »

I would like to make something like this, in greens instead of blues. I've never really quilted before (although I *sort* of help my sister make a quilt once... It did not go so well). I've already bought batting for a queen size quilt, but have not yet bought the fabric I need.

I was planning on just "winging it", but I have no idea how much fabric I need. Any help on how much fabric I need will be greatly appreciated as will ANY advice at all! If anyone wants to offer another technique besides "winging it" I will be very, very appreciative!


Will personal swap! Please, PM me!
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010 05:11:34 PM »

Well, as quilts go, you've actually picked a fairly easy "I want to make it" ... one of my cousins insisted she was going to start quilting by doing a double wedding ring.

First off, fabric. What I'm going to suggest is Kona cotton, which is available in a plethora of colours, and sold everywhere from joann's to online quilt stores (like fat quarter shop) to local quilt stores. That one requires 7 colours.

First, figure out what *size* of quilt you actually want. For a queen size, it's somewhere in the 80-90 inch wide range, which makes this much easier. However, there's a bit of an issue:  only one of each colour, with only as many colours in the picture is going to result in a very small quilt. You want to either pick more tones, or double up in some way. Either larger individual stripes (scaling up, if you will) or repetition of the pattern (mirror, end to end, whatever.) I can give more specific yardages if you tell me what you want to do.

(Aside: All numbers mentioned below include seam allowances, so if I say 2", I mean a 2" raw stripe which then pieced becomes an inch and a half)

Fabric comes in 45" widths, so you'd need 2 widths, sewn end to end, to make up that 80-90". Then, decide the height of each stripe. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that the coloured stripes are somewhere in the region of 8-10" in height. So if you're only doing one stripe of each colour, you'd need about 20" of fabric for each colour - I'd probably go with 2/3 of a yard just to be safe.  You also want to pick a neutral - I'm 99% sure that quilt uses kona's ash. Darker greys (coal or charcoal) will give more sharp contrast, white will tone it down a little. This quilt uses (i bet) 2" strips for the narrow bands, and probably 5" stripes for the diagonal. You may want to break out the graph paper to be sure of how you want it to look. You can also use scrap fabrics to do a test to see if it's coming out the scale that you want. Supercheap cotton poly broadcloth is EXCELLENT for this purpose, as it comes in a bunch of colours. Muslin doesn't quite give my eye as much information, but if you've ever made a muslin off of a dress pattern, it's the same concept.


Assuming you decide to do a queen sized quilt:
Cut the pieces to the desired heights for the stripes. If indeed the stripes are 10" high showing, then you want to take the width of the fabric, and cut 10.5" off of it, and then cut 10.5" again (Change this to 8", and you want to cut 8.5 and 8.5) . Sew these pieces short sides together - and here's the important bit - do it on BOTH ends, so you have a loop. The beauty of Kona is that there isn't really a "right" or a "wrong" side, but you do want to make sure that you end up with both of your seam allowances facing either in or out. Now, you want to make a single, 60 degree angle cut in this, somewhere. (if 45 works better for you, do 45. it doesn't matter, it's what you like.) It doesn't matter what direction the cut goes, do it to suit yourself. It also doesn't matter *where* you cut it, so long as it's not on or particularly near the seams you just sewed. This will give you a strip with two pointy ends. Once you do this with ALL of the coloured fabrics, you want to lay them out so that they're pleasing to you. Flip them around, if you have to, to make the angles go the right way in the right place. What you're trying to do is figure out *where* you should make a cut across the strip, so that the angled part lands in the right place. The part you cut off will then comprise the OTHER part of the stripe.

Take the neutral colour, and cut as much as you need to make up the angled part. Here's where it starts to get picky, so either PM me or reply here with what you want to do, and I can give you more precise fabric estimates and cutting directions. Suffice it to say, you want to cut a piece that will fit in the gap left by the angled cut in the coloured stripe, and I wouldn't do it much more than 5" wide, or 2/3s of the width of the coloured stripe. Sew it in place, so that you now have long strips of coloured fabric with an angled grey piece in the middle. Then cut 2" strips off the leftover grey neutral fabric. Sew them end to end - you'll need a bit more than 2 of them for each stripe. Lay the whole quilt out on the floor at this point, and sew one long grey stripe to the bottom of each of the coloured stripes. Trim the ends so that they're all even, and then sew each of the segments together. (This is easier, and results in a more even quilt, then just sewing them all together 1234.)

Once you get this far, pat yourself on the back - you made a quilt top! From there, you need to either make or buy a back that will cover the quilt top plus about 4" all around (you get waste here, but trust me, it's worth it). Layer the three with the batting in the middle, baste, and quilt using a walking foot.
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