Friday, 13 July 2012

Make a Quilt!

Seriously, I have just finished a quilt for Reuben’s cot (which he’s moving into soon!) and I thought I’d show you how to do it so you can make one too! It’s the easiest quilt ever… if you can sew in a straight line then you can make it… and seriously it wouldn’t even matter if you couldn’t sew in a straight line, you could still make this quilt look good!

Also, as far as quilts go, it’s quite inexpensive to make, since it’s made completely from flannelette. So as far as I’m concerned, you have no excuse not to give this quilt a go!!


I’ve made other quilts using this technique but always smaller. I have a rainbow one that I use with Reuben.. it goes everywhere with us and sits in the pram or highchair or on the ground for a playmat if we’re at a friend’s house. They’re soft and thick enough to be comfortable. They also wash and wear really well, because the more you wash them the better they look!

Okay. So the first thing you need to do is choose fabric. I got this cute cot panel with jungle animals a few months ago, and decided to chop it up for the purposes of a cute quilt. For this blanket, you need to cut out lots of squares, all of flannelette. The quilt is made of four layers. So make sure each of your patchwork squares is a stack of four layers.


To be honest with you I didn’t even use a tape measure for the project. The size of my squares was based on the animal pictures from my original panel. The other blankets I have made had much smaller squares. You can do it however you want! And I ripped my fabric. I don’t usually do that because it makes your fabric fray (especially with flannelette) but in this quilt, that turns out to be a good thing, so go ahead, tear it. It feels good, doesn’t it? Okay. So make your stacks of squares, and lay out your quilt to get it into a design that you like. Now you start work on the squares. Half of your squares are going to have your fluffy, frayed design, and the other half are going to be plain. Obviously, I made my animal prints the plain ones, but like before, do what suits your fabric!


For your plain squares, you want to sew across them, from corner to corner like a big X. This really is just to hold all of your layers together. You don’t want them to come apart. If you are using printed squares, choose a light coloured cotton that will blend in. If your squares are plain, you might like to choose a funky bright colour to make it part of your design.


Your alternate squares are going to have the funky fluffy frayed look. To achieve this you have to follow a couple of steps. In all the other quilts I’ve made like this I’ve only used this diagonal idea. Basically, you need to sew straight lines about 1.5cm apart. They can be narrower or wider if you want, but you need to make sure you can fit your scissors in-between the lines.


Because the next step is to cut in-between each of your sewed lines.


For the love of God, please don’t cut straight through your square. You need to make sure that your bottom layer stays intact, you only want to be cutting through the top three layers. Otherwise, your whole square is going to end up in pieces, and you will probably end up in tears. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.


Once you’re done, you’ll have a sore hand, and a square that looks something like this. See the pretty blue layers in-between showing through? Make sure that your inside layers are a nice contrasting colour, because you will see them.


For this quilt I got a little shmancy and sewed some different designs in my fluffy squares. You can do pretty much any design you want, just remember that you need to be able to fit your scissors between the lines.


Trippy huh?


Next, lay out all your squares and get ready to sew them all together! I like labelling my squares, because I have a three year old who likes to rearrange things.


Okay. Sewing together. The thing with the quilt is that you don’t want to hide your seams. They’re part of what makes the thing look so darn great. So when you piece your quilt together, the trick is to sew with the ‘wrong’ sides facing each other, and the ‘right’ sides out.


You probably want to give about a 1.5cm seam allowance. Make sure you’re catching all of your layers, and try really hard not to let your cut strips bunch up or fold over.

I usually sew up each row, then sew the rows together. Make sure that you have your rows facing the right way up when you put them together, because there’s nothing more frustrating than having to unpick a row when you find you have an upside down giraffe. Again, not speaking from experience or anything!


Ta da! Now there are only three more steps…. the first one is that you need to sew a ‘hem’ around the entire edge of your blanket. Not a real hem, this quilt is far too cool for boring things like hemming. Just sew a line about 1.5-2cm all the way around the edge of your blanket.


Your second-last step is to do little snips around your ‘hem’. You want to cut about 1.5cm apart or so, and don’t cut into your hem line. This step just helps make the fraying on the outside not get too out of hand.

Your last step is to wash your blanket. Seriously, this is an important step, as it starts of the fraying process and makes your blanket look awesome. If you can put it through the dryer too, even better.


And there you have it! You might like to tidy up some of your edges, and some of the longer strands on your frayed squares will need to be trimmed. This is seriously one of the easiest quilts you could make.


{And in case you’re wondering this is what the back looks like}

Now, what are you waiting for?? Go sew!!


  1. That is gorgeous. You are very talented :) Absolutely love it

  2. Thanks Zoey...I have always wondered how to do the multi level layers...looks great :-)

  3. The raw edge style is so unique.... cool!!


Thank you!!


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