Quilt As You Sew – Easy Tutorial
I seem to have a bit of a writer’s block that I am attributing to this darn head cold I got late last week. All I really want to do is sleep, but work is basically inhibiting me from spending my days doing that. Half of me thinks no one would miss an article if one didn’t post anyway . . . and the other half thinks no one would miss this blog either based on the number of people it reaches, but I digress. Sue suggested this topic for me . . . notice I didn’t say she’d write it, but supplying the topic is helpful.
It seems that the quilt-as-you-sew option is certainly not new, nor is it something I do very often. Many moons ago, three of us were quilt shopping in Slinger, WI and we found a shop that was offering a quilted mitten class the next week. Two of us were able to take off and join the class. As it turns out, we were quilting the mitten top and bottom as we sewed. It also incorporated a ‘random’ strip placement technique. I recall pulling strips out of a bag and being appalled at one random choice that was stuffed back into the bag and another strip was chosen. I just cannot put two strips together that didn’t match or clashed – I still can’t and won’t apologize for it either. HAHA
Here is a picture of one set of the quilted mittens. We had a lot of fun making the mittens, and on the drive home I am certain we discussed making these for the quilt fair that we never did participate in. We both stocked up on sherpa, which was used for the lining of the mittens, in several colors. I have to say that these mittens are very warm, and have held up well – mostly because you cannot wear them when driving because there is no grip for the steering wheel. They probably would have been wore much more if they were driving friendly.
Patricia Dunn wrote a tutorial as she worked her way through the steps of quilting as you sew on her website found here. Her steps are exactly the way we made the palm side of the mittens, sewing on one strip at a time through all the layers which in essence is quilting as you go.
Without going into the pattern for the mittens themselves, the basic principle of quilt-as-you-sew is to make the quilt sandwich as you begin the project. A great first project for this technique would be to make a placemat or potholder. Select a backing fabric in a large enough piece, about an inch larger than the desired finished size. Place that fabric wrong side up, and layer one (or two for a potholder) cotton batting squares on top of that – this is a great use for some of that leftover cuttings from larger quilts. Select a few strips from your stash – if you have a draw full like I do, pick the ones you think will look great together! Here’s my strip stash drawer – I put all the leftover binding strips in here, and they are various sizes:
If you don’t have a stash of strips don’t worry! Pick a few favorite fabrics and cut strips from them – it could even be all made in the same fabric. The strips do not need to be any longer than the width of the batting – you could even sew some shorter strips together. You can even choose if you would like the strips to be straight across the width or at a diagonal – either look great. I’d love to see your finished products!! You know I’ll share mine . . . ~smile~