Just having some fun with all my quilt scraps. Pretty cute!
Thank you Petchy for the online tips.
Before you sandwich layer the back, batting, and front, please do yourself a huge favor and make sure all layers have been washed and dried. I do cheat with my batting by misting it on both sides with my garden hose and promptly placing it in the dryer.
I use a sandwiching technique that requires carpet. If you only have a hardwood floor click here for step by step instructions from Oh, Fransson!. I do not agree with every technique she promotes, but knowing about various perspectives is healthy. You’re bound to find one that works for you.
Step one is making sure your carpeted area is free of clutter and clean. So break out that vacuum. Place the back upside down onto the carpet. You will be pinning the circumference of the fabric. Make sure the pins are coming towards you as if to poke your knees. If the pins are turned the other way, the fabric will slip. Save yourself the headache and do not close the pins. During this process you will pin opposing sides versus going clockwork. This is because you will be lightly stretching the fabric, side to side, making the fabric extremely taught and wrinkle free.
Next, using the batting of your choice, lay onto the stretched fabric and smooth out. I prefer using bonded cotton batting, but have been known to find 100% cotton blankets on sale. Be creative. With that being said, the major perk to using bonded cotton is the magical fleece like texture that acts as a magnet to the fabric. Bonded cotton makes pinning a breeze and it’s much easier to quilt. Think of cling plastic wrap. Yes, it’s that amazing!
Once the batting is smooth, lay down the top face up. The lower 2 layers should be larger in size giving you some flexibility on placement. Don’t try to save fabric and batting by cutting them to the exact size of the top. You “might” be able to pull it off, but it’s doubtful. Give yourself a few inches, or more, on all sides and keep your sanity. This is just a strong suggestion, but one you will appreciate. Smooth out the top and make sure your squares are in alignment and not wonky. Next, start pinning. You will close these safety pins. Go slow and be careful not to mess up your smoothed quilt as you work. I start at the bottom and work my way up. Be liberal on pinning and make sure you get through all layers. Avoid pinning the carpet. Once you have pinned throughout the quilt top, finish by pinning around the circumstance of the quilt. Then you may remove all the safety pins used to stretch the back fabric. Trim off excess fabric and batting, leaving at least 2 inches of wiggle room.
Ready for quilting.
Choosing sashing can be tricky. I normally venture to the fabric store with a few crazy patch squares and spend quite a bit of time picking the perfect fabric. At times, I will pick up to 10 bolts. I recommend finding a place in the store where you can play. Unroll the fabric off the bolt and place the squares on the top letting the fabric peek through. You’ll know when you find the perfect one. It just makes sense and is visually pleasing. Until you feel “YES”, keep looking.
My orders were very specific. I was only to use red, black, and white fabrics, which made choosing the right sashing a cinch. I eliminated using red fabric because I wanted to use red ladybug fabric as center squares. My choices were then white or black. I picked a solid fabric with poke-a-dot imprints. I’ve learned that solid/simple fabrics works much better for sashing with crazy patch squares. Busy prints camouflage the squares and that’s not my goal.
I laid out my squares and thought. Wondered. Made up my mind. Changed my mind. Made up my mind again.
You might have noticed that each color gives a different feel to the quilt. The white is soft and more welcoming. The black is much more dramatic. I personally liked both options. Black was the riskier option and added the drama factor which was more of what the customer wanted. I’m very pleased with the end result.
The sashing is 2″ finished. Cut the sashing the length of your squares and 2 1/2″ in width. You’ll be sewing in 1/4″ on either side, which will take your sashing to 2″ finished. The center squares are 2″ X 2″ finished. That means you’ll cut the squares 2 1/2″ X 2 1/2″. I add an extra 1/4″ around the frame of the quilt (2 3/4″) because I want the sashing to be even on all sides and the outer binding will take away some of the sashing frame around the quilt. This may sound complicated but it’s very simple. Feel free to leave a comment if you need further explanation.
The next step is the ladybug applique. This is going to be super-duper cute!
1. Cut 9 different 12″ X 12″ Squares
2. Stack all 9 squares in a pile. The stacking order is not important but once determined, the squares will need to remain in that particular order for the process to work.
3. Make a diagonal cut through all layers. Take the top piece of the right stack and move it to the bottom of that stack. Stitch the squares back together 1/4″ in, making sure to keep them in the same order.
4. Repeat this process on the left side. However, this time you will take the top 2 pieces and move them to the bottom on that stack, keeping the squares in the same order.
5. Rotate the square and repeat the same process on the right side. This time you will move the top 3 pieces to the bottom of the right stack and stitch the square together. Do not try to match the seams together, it isn’t possible. It’s a crazy patch after all…so don’t worry about it.
6. Keeping the square rotated, repeat on the left side. This time you will take the top 6 pieces and move them to the bottom of the left stack and stitch the square back together. At this point, you don’t need to keep the squares in order.
7. Trim all finished blocks to 10 1/2″ squares.
I repeat this process twice for crib size quilts, which leaves me 6 extra squares to play with on the back of the quilt. When I make a toddler size quilt, I repeat 3 times, which leaves me 3 extra squares to add onto the back. I use 2 1/2″ (2″ finished) sashing to complete the top.