Like I told you the other day, if you’re new to quilting, I think you should make this quilt first. It’s fast, cheap and pretty. You’ll get plenty of practice with pinning and sewing straight lines, it won’t take you forever, and you shouldn’t get too frustrated.
The finished quilt top is 49.5″ x 58.5″, which means you’ll need to buy the “throw” size batting, which is a pretty cheap size (the reason I made it this the size, I was after cheap!) And, I promise, this is the perfect quilt for a beginner!
Here’s what I did, and what you need to know if you’re going to make one, too.
First, you need 4 pretty charm packs. (If you don’t want to use charm packs, just cut your fabric into 5 inch squares.)
Each charm pack has 42 pre-cut squares. To make this quilt, you’ll need 143 squares, so you’ll have 25 left over. You could always use your left-overs to make a pieced backing.
I laid the squares out on the floor and arranged them. I tried to separate the colors to balance it out.
After getting them arranged like I wanted, I went down each row and picked up each square left to right, making a small stack for each row. I used Post-Its to keep them organized. The numbers on the Post-It: “1” means that stack is Row 1, “2” is Row 2, and so on. (Since this is a much smaller, much quicker quilt, I didn’t bother doing this like I did with my hourglass quilt.)
Using the picture below, pin your blocks right sides together and sew Block 1 to Block 2. (Now your strip is 2 blocks long.) Then Block 2 to Block 3. (Now your strip is 3 blocks long) Then Block 3 to 4. And Block 4 to 5 and so on until you’ve completed the strip. You’ll have 11 blocks in the finished strip.
Now repeat for each strip, until you have 13 strips.
Here’s my stack of 13 strips.
Now, lay your strips out just like you did the blocks. (Forgive the picture quality, my camera lens broke and this is from my phone, but you still get the idea.)
Ok, notice that I numbered my strips for you in the picture above! Here’s why I did that: Before you sew the strips together, you need to iron all the seams so they lay nice and flat when you sew the strips together. Press the even numbered strips’ seams to the right and the odd numbered strips’ seams to the left. Look at the pictures below if that isn’t clear.
(Of course, you could opt to sew the odd rows to the right and even rows to the left, it makes no difference. They just need to be pressed in opposite directions so the seams will lay flat after as you sew your strips. There’s a picture below to help you understand if you don’t get it.)
Press your (even numbered strips) seams to the right.
And press the (odd numbered strips) seams to the left.
The picture below isn’t great, but maybe you can get the idea as to why you want your seams pressed in opposite directions. The quilt strips that will be sewn together need to have their seams pressed in opposite directions so they lay nice and flat for sewing.
See how the seam on the top is pressed to the right and the one on the bottom is pressed to the left? When you sew over them your fabric will be flat. If both seams were pressed in the same direction, you’d have a thick lump there.
After you press your seams, you’re ready to sew your strips together.
First, you really need to pin your strips together. I skip pinning a lot, but I think it’s really necessary here. I pin at every seam. Maybe that’s overkill, but I find that my squares line up much better that way. But do what works best for you!
If you want to use the picture above where I numbered my strips, you’ll pin (right sides together!) Strip 1 to Strip 2, then sew them together. Then you’ll pin Strip 2 to Strip 3 and sew them together. Pin Strip 3 to Strip 4, then sew. And sew 😉 on until you have all 13 strips sewn together, which results in your completed quilt top!
Last step is to iron all your seams on the back of the quilt top.
And here you go!