Quilt Along: Finishing
You made it! All 16 blocks are complete and you are ready to put together your quilt! Today we are going to walk you through the 5 steps you need to take to fully complete your quilt. Each step has different techniques that you can use. The ones we are showing you are our favourite or more commonly used but there is ALWAYS more than one way to do something.
You’ve made it this far so don’t stop now, let’s finish this quilt together!
The first step before completing your quilt is to sew all of your blocks together. You will need to make sure all of your blocks are measuring 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ and all edges are squared. You can sew them together and whichever order you would like but it will be 4 blocks x 4 blocks.
*For ease of this tutorial we will be showing you the steps on a mini block made of 4 mini squares.
You will have 3 pieces to complete your quilt: Quilt top (the blocks we put together, Batting and Backing.
Your Batting should be at least 2 inches bigger than your quilt top on all sides.
Your backing should be at least 3 – 4 inches bigger than you quilt top on all sides.
To layer your quilt we start by putting the backing down on a flat surface( either a floor or a big enough table) right side down. Smooth out your backing and make sure it is pressed crisp and clean. Tape the edges to your surface so that your quilt does not shift and move. (Test the tape to make sure it sticks and doesn’t cause damage to the surface.) Make sure your backing is as smooth and taut as possible, and tape the whole way around the edges.
Spread your batting onto the backing and smooth out, make sure it is slightly smaller than your backing.
Spread the quilt top over the batting and repeat smoothing everything out. You want it as flat and as smooth as possible. Make sure your batting and backing are larger than your quilt top.
You can baste your quilt by either using safety pins and pinning or using Odif 505 temporary adhesive.
To pin your quilt top you will start in the middle and put curved quilting or flat safety pins through all 3 layers. You will need enough pins to space them out every 4 – 5 inches. Try to avoid placing the pins where you’ll be stitching. Start from the centre and work your way out smoothing as you go.
For spray basting you will need to remove the batting and quilt top from the backing, now spray the backing using Odiff 505 Temporary Adhesive.
Spread the batting onto the backing and continually smooth as you go. Re spray any areas you may have missed.
Spray the back of your quilt top and spread onto the batting continually smoothing as you go.
*Do not spray directly onto the batting as it will just absorb the spray and get heavy and sticky.
Once you are happy with your basting remove the tape and lift your quilt from the surface.
If you are not quilting right away it is best to store quilts by rolling them.
When machine quilting at home there are a few important things to remember:
Always start in the middle of the quilt. This way if the quilt shifts it will not be all to one side.
Always sew in the same direction. For instance if you are quilting top to bottom straight lines, always finish at the end and then start again at the top. This will prevent puckers pulling in different directions
Continue to flatten the quilt and hold the fabric tight, this will help stop puckers.
A walking foot is a great tool to use when machine quilting.
Once you have decided on your quilting design you can draw it on with a water soluble marker. We are doing straight line quilting, 1/4″ from the main seams of our quilt.
Start in the middle and quilt out to the side. Once you have finished one side roll that side up to allow you to easily quilt the opposite side. you will quilt in the same direction and go from the middle to the opposite side.
Once your quilt is quilted you can trim away the excess backing and batting. This is also a good time to square up your quilt and make sure your edges are straight. We remove the excess so that we can apply the binding to finish our quilt.
Be careful when squaring up to not take off too much of the quilt top or you may start to lose the design.
A lop sided or wavy quilt is not a bad thing. Practise makes perfect so don’t expect a perfectly square or straight quilt on your first go.
There are alot of different binding when it comes to quilts but these are the most popular two:
Double Fold – This is the most common way to bind a quilt. It is durable and easy to apply. It is made from a double layer of quilting fabric using either the bias or straight of grain.
Binding Tape – This is the most common type of binding and most sewers have already used it. It is easy to apply and can be bought pre-made. It is cut on the bias to allow for a nice stretch.
What binding you use is down to personal preference. We are using 2 1/2″ double fold as it is quick to make and gives nice corners. Make a binding that is about 25″ longer than the distance around all four corners of your quilt.
Start at the bottom of your quilt and place the raw edge of your binding along the raw edge of the quilt on the right side.
Starting about one-third of the distance between two corners, align the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt top, right sides together.
Starting a few inches in from the end of the binding, stitch around the quilt until you are a few inches away from the start of the tape.
To create corners you will pull the binding straight up, positioning it so that its right edge is parallel with the next side of the quilt to be bound. Move the lower edge of the strip to form a 45-degree angle.
Fold the binding down, leaving the top of the fold flush with the edge of the quilt top behind it and its raw edge aligned with the next side of the quilt. The 45-degree angle should be intact under the fold.
To join the ends make sure you have an over lap of the binding, cut away the excess and join both ends. Now sew the remainder of the binding down.
Fold your binding over and pin or clip in place, Pin on the back if you will be hand sewing and pin on the front if you are machine sewing.
We machine-finished our binding, so we folded it from front to back, pinned in the front and topstitched next to the fold.