Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Quilt Class

Penny, owner of the local patchwork and quilting shop here in Dundas, has asked me to facilitate a workshop this Saturday! I am so excited about this opportunity. I will be working with this colourful mix of batiks and Kaffe prints.
I am going to use this blog post as my tutorial page, so if you are not interested in a patchwork project "how-to's", then sign off for now.

In Australia, the patchwork shop where I have worked hosts a "Saturday Strip Club" (*!*). I have seen a particular quilt being whipped up by many-a-student during these classes. (In spite of Internet research, I am unable to cite the author, but it is not my own design.)
The following instructions are my explanation for a quick and easy version of this 2 1/2" strip quilt. I have named this version "ARE WE THERE YET?" -you will understand the significance of this name once you begin to sew...

Finished size, before borders, 49" x 64"

40, pre cut 2 1/2" strips. (Penny has some beautiful kits waiting for you!)
1 metre of border fabric ( optional)
60 cm of binding fabric
Cotton thread
Straight Edge
Pen or Pencil
Fabric Scissors
1/4" patchwork foot for your sewing machine
Rotary Cutter and Mat
Sewing Pins

1. Set aside ONE* of your 2 1/2" strips.
2. With the remaining 39 strips, join them with a 45 degree seam as follows:
Place the ends of two strips, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, at a 90 degree angle to each other.
With a pen, pencil or fabric marker, and using a straight edge, draw a diagonal line to mark your 45 degree seam line.

Tip: Fold your fabric back to ensure you have drawn your diagonal in the correct direction

Secure with pins and carefully sew along this seam line.

Repeat this for each of the 39 strips in your kit. Be careful to keep right sides together, and to avoid twisting your strips as go.
(I sew one seam at a time, trim and cut my thread, and I find this helps to keep the eventual long line of strips from twisting.)

3. Take your last strip, the ONE* you reserved, and cut it in half at its' midpoint.
Add one of these halves as your final join.
You will end up with a LONG puddle of fabric strips, 1550" in fact!

4. Press your seams and trim your seam allowance back to 1/4".

5. Keeping RIGHT sides together, find the midpoint of your 1550" length of fabric strips. Again, being careful not to get things twisted, you basically fold your length in half. It's long!
Cut your fabric into two lengths, each 775", at this midpoint.

6. Join these two strips, with a 1/4" seam. ("Are we there yet?") :)

7. You now have a 775" long x 4.5" wide strip of fabric. The rest of the process involves cutting these long strips in half and rejoining the halves by sewing along these long sides. As your strip lengths shorten, your quilt width increases.
- cut the 775" x 4 1/2" strip in half at the midpoint. Join these two halves with a 1/4" seam along the long length.
- cut the 387" x 8 1/2" strip in half at the midpoint. Join these two halves with a 1/4" seam along the long length.
- cut the 194" x 16 1/2" strip in half at the midpoint. Join these two halves with a 1/4" seam along the long length.

8. Final Join!
- cut the 96" x 32 1/2" strip in half at the midpoint.
You will have two sets of strips that look like this:

Join these two halves with a 1/4" seam along the long length. Voila! Your quilt top is complete, and looks something like this:

Adding A Border:
A mitred border would be the perfect finish to this quilt.
The mitred corners would suit the 45 degree joins throughout the body of this top.
- cut seven, 4" x 42" (or width of fabric) strips.
-follow Penny's instructions for a mitred seam on the corners.

Another Border Idea:
Since this quilt uses a variety of prints, choose four fabrics that you have used in your top and add a different print to each side of your top.

Binding Strips:
- cut seven 2 1/2" x 42" strips. Join strips with a 45 degree seam.

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