Here is a row ready to be sewn.
Projects, Sewing

DIY Picnic Quilt – Part 2

Lets jump right back in where we left off. Once you get home with your fabrics you should wash, dry and iron them before starting any project.

The cutting mat can be used to make sure the top or bottom edge (depends where you’d like to start from) is square. This will make sure that all the lines you cut are straight, especially in relation to your pattern. It can make the pattern look crooked once it’s sewn together if the lines aren’t square.

Making sure the edge is square will prevent the pattern from being crooked once sewn together.

The fabric I purchased was easiest to work with; the sheets were a bit tricky. The fitted sheet needed all the elastic trimmed away and I cut along the seams of the pillowcase in order to open it up and lay it out flat. I also made sure to save enough fabric for the anchor detail I wanted to add later.

I found it easiest to first cut each fabric into strips 10” wide and then cut each strip into pieces 10” long. Keep your ruler steady and make sure the rotary cutter isn’t dull so you get clean cuts. As I cut the pieces I put them into piles of 10 so I could easily keep track of my progress on the way to 90. Another reason I liked using 10”x10” squares is my mat has an easily identifiable square that size within the grid work so I spend less time matching up lines to cut on.


This square is ready and it's time to cut the next one.

Once all the pieces are cut I like to start laying out the pattern. I find that the best place for this is the floor. In a nice open space start laying out the rows repeating the pattern how ever you’d like. I try not to have the same fabrics next to each other or directly above or below. Move things around as much as you need to in order to get the placement exactly where you want it and to explore your options.

Working on getting the pattern developed.

After everything is how you want it, I like to collect the pieces by row starting from left to right adding each square to the bottom of the pile. I keep each row separate and lay them in order from top to bottom.

This row is ready to be sewn together.

Prep your sewing machine and bring over the first row. Instead of pinning everything together I just sewed on a piece at a time. If you go this route as well just make sure you think about not only the directionality of the pieces but which side they need to be joined on. It can throw off the pattern out laid out and it really sucks to find that out in a later stage, I know from experience.

Keep going until all the pieces in each row are joined together. Then it’s time to set up the ironing board and iron open each seam. Ironing the seams flat will make the joining of the rows go smoothly and it will also keep the quilt from having bulky seams once it’s finished. Remember to keep your rows in order as you iron them.

After the rows are sewn it's time to iron open the seams.

Back at the sewing machine pin the first two rows together, again keeping in mind the directionality of the rows and which side they need to be joined on. Continue to pin and sew. You should now have something that looks very much like half a quilt. You guessed it; it’s back to the ironing board to open all the seams you just sewed.

We are well on our way to creating our quilt. Next week we’ll be getting all the layers together and sewing on the trim. If you attempt your own quilt I’d love to see your progress so far. See you soon.

Once all the rows have been sewn together, they need to have the seams ironed again.

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