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Quilters... Can I do this? How?

(13 Posts)
HeadFairy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:17:04

It's my mum's 70th birthday this summer and I really want to make her a quilt. I've not really done much quilting, just a couple of little ones for dd's dolls and a quilted bag. I've got an old duvet which is torn but has some really pretty embroidered squares on it (pic on my profile) which I've been meaning to do something with and I thought as they're squares they would be perfect for a quilt. I've also seen some lovely fabric on eBay here which I thought could work with it.... But I just don't know where to start.

Should I cut out the embroidered squares from the duvet and lay them on top of the fabric, kind of like appliqué? Or would it be neater to cut the liberty fabric in to squares too? How do you then decide on the pattern of the actual quilting once the patchwork has all been put together? Should I go for a traditional diagonal quilting pattern or squares as the embroidered flowers are squares?

Argh, I really don't know how to design this quilt. Should I follow a pattern or go free style?

Thank God her birthday isn't until August grin

I think I would cut out the squares from the duvet and cut squares the same size from the Liberty fabric. Then alternate them.

The other option I'd consider is buying a few different Liberty prints and bordering each duvet square with them (to make bigger squares) then joining them in rows.

I'd probably quilt using stitch in the ditch to leave the embroidered squares as they are.

MiddleEnglish Tue 19-Mar-13 15:34:18

just be careful with that fabric, as it says interior fabric so might be quite thick, upholstery type. I think either of crafty's suggestions sound good though. I've seen quilts made with old baby clothes that are made of plain squares each with an appliqued shape in the middle -e.g. a heart - made from the clothing fabric, and that works well but might be fiddly. What is the duvet made of? Depending on the condition of the fabric it might be better stabilising it with another fabric underneath iyswim.

HeadFairy Tue 19-Mar-13 20:43:40

Thanks for the advice... I hadn't read the full description of the material to be honest. I was thinking I might pop to Liberty in my lunch break (I work around the corner) and go and feel some of the fabrics and then try and see if I can find some seconds on eBay.

The duvet is 100% cotton. It is quite fine and soft so I suppose the rest of it should be made of a similar weight material.

crafty I was thinking of doing just as you said (quilting in the seams of the squares) but I was worried that the quilting lines would be too far apart, the embroidered squares are 15cm square... I guess leaving a seam allowance they'd be 11cm square. Perhaps I should make them 10cm squares for ease of measuring grin

Seam allowance should be 1/4 of an inch. So you'll only lose half an inch. You'd have to see how far apart the wadding recommends the quilting to be.

HeadFairy Tue 19-Mar-13 21:32:44

Thanks crafty I'm not sure I understood the second part grin

When you make a quilt you do a patchwork top, then a layer of wadding (sometimes called batting) then a fabric bottom layer (the back of the quilt) - the quilting is the sewing that goes through all those layers and holds everything together iyswim.

There's different types of wadding/batting (e.g. cotton, polyester, bamboo, wool) and each has a recommended max distance between quilting. Its basically telling you how close together your quilting lines need to be so that the batting doesn't come apart with repeated washing. You can quilt closer (that's not a problem) but quilting further apart can lead to problems with the batting breaking up.

So if your squares end up roughly 5 1/2" then it might be worth looking for a wadding that says stitching should be at most every 6" (or anything bigger than that).

did that make sense - have confused my own brain with min/max!

HeadFairy Wed 20-Mar-13 20:26:17

Oh yes, that made perfect sense. Thanks for that, I shall look out for a suitable batting.

happyis Thu 04-Apr-13 22:43:55

Liberty Tana Lawn is a beautiful lightweight fabric, feels almost like silk.

As you are making something rather special, I would go with cotton batting/wadding. You get a much nicer drapier quilt.

I have made a handful of quilts so far but still find the quilting process quite daunting not to mention difficult on my home machine.

I made my Mum a quilt last year for her Birthday and sent it away to be quilting by a professional "long armer" It cost about £100 including postage. Expensive but it was well worth it. The quilting was amazing and turned my average quilt into a work of art!

Another alternative would be "quilt as you go" I think this would work lovely for you as it is easy and a great pattern for a beginner as it wont matter if your accuracy is out. I would start by cutting all your duvet squares the same size and using those for the centre squares, then maybe cutting the rest of the fabric into 2.5 inch strips.

Backing fabric is another big expense, I tend to use 100% cotton sheet/duvet from TK max or charity shops/carboot, just avoid anything with a high thread count or it will be a bugger to sew through all the layers. Or try IKEA, the kids department does 3 metre pieces for £5 or they sell by the metre in the market bit.

It is certainly not a cheap hobby!

happyis Thu 04-Apr-13 22:55:49

I just went to look at the quilt on your profile and noticed your home town.

These shops are near you

Creative Quilting, Hampton Court
Tikki London, Kew
The Quilt Room, Dorking

I have never been to the last one but Both the other two shops have great selection and great staff that are happy to explain and answer any questions. I did a beginners class at Tikki but Creative Quilting also run classes.

However, sadly I dont buy much fabric from them, i tend to buy when on sale, ebay or recycle 100% cotton clothes and bedding.

steppemum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:01:33

I would be wary of using the old duvet myself, especially if it is very soft.

It maybe nearly worn out, and you will make the quilt and then the squares will rip.

FairyJen Thu 04-Apr-13 23:12:52

I've just made two quilts one for each dc. After advice on here I used a fleece for their wadding. My squares were 10cm and then some larger 20cm ( with seam allowance after initially messing this up ) I used double sheets for the backing.

It's not easy on home machine am cried a fair few times as well as unpicked however must say I'm very impressed and proud of final results.

It's a very very addictive hobby tho I found myself stopping tasks just to have yet another fiddle with my layout before I finally stitched the top together!

Can I just say your dc are utterly gorgeous btw! smile

FairyJen Thu 04-Apr-13 23:18:48

Oh and fabric wise I made their quilts out of their old baby clothes and donated pieces from family. For ds (11 month) I wanted his quilt to be really tactile so used cord, fleese, denim etc and did loads of appliqué etc but mixing fabrics probably tripled the work!

Will try upload some pics later

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