Sweetest Things Sampler 2 - Quilt construction
By Dawn, Feb 5 2018 08:21PM
January's just flown by hasn't it! It's been so lovely to see the gorgeous Irish Chain blocks in progress, and the very first Giveaway is heading to Caitlin in Canada.
Thank you so much for joining our Sampler quilt adventure. As part of getting underway, we’re just going to spend a moment, planning for the quilting part of our journey, as I know a couple of you have been thinking of Quilting As You Go, so this post is just for you :)
Click to open or download PDF, or read on....
Our completed quilts will measure 50” x 50” (127cm x 127cm), with the option of adding borders to make a 60” x 60” (approx. 150cm x 150cm) quilt. This size quilt can be quilted on a domestic home sewing machine, or hand-quilted.
Or if you prefer to quilt blocks as you go, then join them together at the end, it is up to you. Whichever method you choose, use the one that you feel happiest, and most comfortable using.
If you plan to quilt as a whole quilt-top, the very first Sampler block in our quilt will be along very soon, by the end of this week, so not to long to wait x X
If you plan to Quilt As You Go (QAYG)
For piecing and quilting as a whole quilt-top, batting and backing is only needed once your quilt top is completed.
But if you plan to Quilt As You Go (QAYG), then you’ll need these early on in the project, and depending on how you join up the quilted blocks at the end, determines the materials needed.
There are quite a few different variations when it comes to joining QAYG blocks, and some need more effort than others, and give a different finish, so it’s worth choosing the one you feel most comfortable with, and which gives you the finish you require.
The joining methods below, have been selected as they don’t require sashing on the front, allowing the Irish Chain pattern to connect from one block to the other.
Method 1: Quilt As You Go – two layer quilt sandwich
(Skill level: beginner)
Blocks are layered with just batting (no backing) and quilted individually. Once all 25 blocks are made, they are sewn together, into rows. Then sew rows together to form a 5 x 5 grid of blocks. Seams are pressed open, and only then is the backing applied. To hold the backing in place, quilt along the seams that join the blocks together.
Fit the walking foot to your sewing machine, ensuring even feed of multiple layers when joining blocks.
Need to bear in mind
• Quilting on the front won’t show through to the back.
The benefits of this approach
• Individual blocks are easy to manouvre if free motion quilting.
Photo credit: Michelle Roberts of Creative Blonde
For more information on this method, please refer to: “Quilt as You Go Vintage” by Jera Brandvig, 2017. Or Quilt As You Go Made Modern by Jera Brandvig. Both published by Stash Books.
Also, Leslie of the The Seasoned Homemaker covers this method of joining blocks in this post - The Quilt As You Go Method
• (25) – 11 ½” squares 100% cotton needle-punched batting; or 80/20 batting. Pieces of batting left-over from previous projects are ideal.
*It’s important to use batting having high cotton content, as when seams are pressed, the batting comes into contact with a hot iron, and if the batting is polyester, it will melt!
• (12) – 11” cotton fabric squares (for Sampler blocks). Cutting these slightly bigger than the 10 ½” Trimmed size allows for any shrinkage when the block is quilted – it can be up to ¼” depending on the amount of quilting or stippling.
Once you’ve quilted the blocks they can be trimmed to 10 ½” the same as the Irish Chain blocks.
• 13 Irish Chain blocks, measuring 10 ½” square (made in previous post – Irish Chain Tutorial).
• The backing is only needed at the end, once the 12 Sampler + 13 Irish Chain blocks have been joined.)
60” x 90” extra wide backing (for 50” x 50” quilt)
Or 70” x 90” for (60” x 60” including borders)
Method 2: Quilt sandwich comprises of 3 layers – top, batting and backing.
(Skill level: Intermediate / experienced)
Blocks, batting and backing are layered to form a quilt sandwich, which is then quilted. Once the 25 blocks have been quilted, each layer of the quilt sandwich is joined together in turn.
Joining the three layer QAYG sandwich is more time consuming and involves a lot more hand-stitching, than method 1 - joining a 2 layer sandwich, but it means the quilting is visible on the back of the quilt as well as the front.
For this method, you’ll need some wiggle room to peel back the layers when joining blocks. So leave an ample margin un-quilted round the sides, so blocks can be joined together.
Quilt each block - the gold dotted lines suggest the area that can be quilted on the Irish Chain block – keeping the quilting away from where the blocks will be joined.
To join, take 2 blocks and peel back the top layer of each quilt sandwich along the edges to be joined.
(Photo is of a previous QAYG project, the Skinny Dippin’ Quilt-along 2015)
Pin top layers right sides together and sew.
TIP Use safety pins to keep the wadding / backing away from the edge being joined.
Now, the top layer of both blocks are joined, smooth the wadding over the seam. You'll find the wadding overlaps, so trim one edge of wadding so that when smoothed flat the edges of the wadding touch.
Overstitch the edges to hold in place.
Finally, smooth over the backing pieces, and fold under the backing edge of one block so that it overlaps . Press and then handstitch the backing in place.
Repeat for each of the blocks, to form 5 rows, of 5 blocks each.
Repeat to join the 5 rows together, to form a 5 x5 block quilt-top.
For more information on this method of joining QAYG blocks, and instances of it being used, please see:
Material required for 3 layer QAYG method:
• (25) – 11” squares 100% cotton needle-punched batting; or 80/20 batting. Pieces of batting left-over from previous projects are ideal.
It’s important to use batting having high cotton content, as when seams are pressed, the batting comes into contact with a hot iron, and if the batting is polyester, it will melt!
• (12) – 11” cotton fabric squares (for Sampler blocks). Cutting these slightly bigger than the 10 ½” Trimmed size allows for any shrinkage when the block is quilted – it can be up to ¼” depending on the amount of quilting or stippling. Once you’ve quilted the blocks they can be trimmed to 10 ½” the same as the Irish Chain blocks.
• (13) Irish Chain blocks measuring 10½” square (made in previous post – Irish Chain Tutorial).
• (25) – 11” cotton squares for quilt backing
If cutting from yardage, you’ll need 2 metres or 2¼ yards,
~ Cut into (7) – 11” x WOF strips,
~ Then sub- cut each strip into (4) – 11” squares.
Alternatively use left-overs from previous projects, for a lovely scrappy effect.
If you have your own preferred method or tips, please do share; and however you choose to quilt and construct your quilt, enjoy!
Dawn x X