Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An easy-peasy quilting tutorial

So, I posted this over on the wedding blog and I figured I might as well share it with you all, as well. I thought it might be helpful to offer up a little advice for folks who want to help Jacob and I symbolically mend the world a little bit with our wedding quilt. We would love it if all our friends and family would put together a 6 inch by 6 inch square of patchwork out of green fabric for us. If you have some sewing experience, please feel free to use whatever pattern you'd like.

If this is your first time considering a project like this, there's a chance you are feeling a little overwhelmed or saying in your head, "Oh, I'm not a sewer/artist" or "I don't have a sewing machine." I've felt and said all of those things to myself as I was learning how to make stuff, too.

But really, what we're asking for is not complicated at all. Let me show you . . .

All you need is two pieces of green fabric, a pair of scissors (sharp is better but average is OK), a ruler or measuring tape, thread and a needle.tutorial2Cut out 2 squares of each fabric so that they measure 3.25 inches on both sides. Notice that my square does not have perfectly straight lines. Just do the best you can. It will be fine. You will end up with 4 squares. (If you need to err in one direction, make them a little bit bigger but all the same size.)tutorial3

Take 2 squares of opposite designs and put one on top of the other with the right side of the designs together.

Unspool about a foot (12 inches) or a little more of your thread, stick one end into the needle and pull the needle to the center of the thread. Place the two ends of the thread together and tie an overhand knot in the end.


Sew a seam .25 inches away from the edge of your two squares. Just stick the needle down from the top and up from the bottom over and over again.
tutorial5Then, pull it through. When you get to the edge of the squares, make sure that the fabric is smooth with no puckers.

To make a knot at the end, stick the tip of the needle into just a little bit of fabric and out again. Pull through until there is a loop about the circumference of a quarter.tutorial7Put the needle back through loop to make a knot. Repeat for a stronger knot.
tutorial8Repeat the process to make two rectangles.
tutorial9Place the right sides of the two rectangles together. If you can make the .25 inch seams point different directions like the picture, that will be fantastic. If it doesn't happen, don't sweat it. If you have an extra needle or a couple of pins, go ahead and stabilize your set-up before you start sewing.
tutorial10Create a .25 inch seam to sew the two rectangles together.

When you open it up, it should look like this. And that's perfect.

Of course, if you want, give us a call and we'll come over and walk you through it. In fact, that would be a whole lot of fun. :-) Otherwise, send an email or give me a call and I'll do the best I can to help you out.

We are so excited that you want to put your energy into helping us with this project and can't wait to see the fabrics you choose.

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