Most of the special fabric I bought for the quilt I placed in the middle and used the sheet fabric mostly as a border.
Crafts, Projects, Sewing

DIY Picnic Quilt – Part 3

Your quilt will be ready to use by the end of this tutorial, but I’ll warn you now that we’re going to start with what I found to be the most frustrating step.

When we left off we had a finished front piece, our next step is to put all our quilt layers together. In order to do this it will be best to have a large area to work in. Having a queen sized quilt I moved some furniture and used my living room, but found the hard wood floor to be a bit of a hindrance. For the first set I used my spare room and the carpet seemed to help grip the bottom layer in place. On the hardwood everything slid around especially as I moved around on the fabric, which is impossible to keep from doing.

Laying all the layers out to smooth them out as much as possible before applying the spray adhesive.

After taking a break from moving your furniture out of the way, start by spreading out your bottom layer. In my case this the navy blue flat sheet that I’ll be using as the quilt back. Get it as flat as you can. It’s not easy, do your best. Next take your batting layer and spread that out over top, again getting it as flat as you can.

Depending on how you want to make your quilt, some methods say to lay out all the layers and then pin them together. Instead I have used spray adhesive and no pins to help keep the layers together so I can sew them in place. Read the directions fully before you purchase to make sure this will work for you. Spray adhesives should be used in a well-ventilated area and they will wash out of the quilt.

This is after I have spread out all the layers and applied the adhesive.

I found what worked best for me was to roll back one side of the batting to the mid point of the quilt. Then spray a line of adhesive and smooth the batting over top, repeating this process all the way to the edge. Then I would roll the other side of the batting back to the mid point start adhering it. Just to make sure there was a good bond between the layers I went around pressing everything down. Feel free to roll around on the quilt to do this, it’ll make faster and I won’t judge. I may or may not have even done this myself.

Now spread out the quilt top and repeat the same process of adhering and rolling around as above. You will notice that all your layers may not be the same size and that’s ok. For the most part my top layers weren’t as big as the flat sheet. Take your scissors and trim the edges down to fit the smallest layer.

After the layers are stuck together it's now time to trim all the layers to the same size.

Lets go back to the sewing machine and get these layers sewn together. Now this is where you can get creative and make all kinds of patterns like circles or whatever to sew these layers together. With the size of this quilt I knew I would already have some difficulty maneuvering the bulk while sewing so I kept it simple. I used the squares on the front as my guide and sewed straight lines going both vertically and horizontally. In order for the stitching to blend in more, I used a white thread for the top and a navy thread on the bobbin. Whichever patterns you decide to use, keep in mind that you don’t want the spaces to be too large. Once the adhesive washes out the fabric could get baggy in places where the stitches are far apart.

It’s now time for the last step, closing up the edges. Bias tape is available in small packages at most fabric stores, which are good for small projects. You are going to want to go somewhere that you can buy bias tape by the meter. This way is more cost effective and you won’t have to attach all of those pieces into one large piece. I selected a colour that is the same as the backing fabric, but you may be limited by the colour options available. Just go with something you feel coordinates. I prefer the double fold variety of bias tape.

The first step in closing up the edges is to sew one side of the bias tape all around the outside edge of the quilt.

Start by unfolding the bias tape, take one of the inside folds and pin right sides together to the quilt back. Pin the bias tape all around the outside edge of the quilt front. When I sew this I keep my stitches in the first fold line. When this is finished you might need to do a little fabric trimming so the edge of the quilt layers matches up exactly to the inside edge of the bias tape. Fold over the bias tape, the middle fold should match up with the edge of the quilt layers. Pin this down and sew around the edge of the bias tape. I like to have the front of the quilt facing up as I do this, just to keep an eye on this side, since it will be seen most.

The next step in closing up the edge is to fold over the bias tape and sew it down.

Congratulations, you’ve officially made it through the process of making your quilt. You can now move your living room furniture back. Or you can join me next week where we will add some finishing details to this project.

If you’ve tried quilt making I’d love to see what you’ve created.


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