Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sewing Up a 'Convenience Quilt'

I'm not a fan of the term 'cheater quilt'. It makes what I designed for Modern Yardage sound cheap and second rate. I know full well the difference between a pieced quilt and mine, the hours and dedication it takes, but I do think the pre-printed designed fabric panel deserves a better term. So I'm going to refer to it as a 'convenience quilt'. To emphasize my point, 13 year old Lindsey is going to make the baby quilt in 5 hours while her Mom, Melissa/owner at The Linden Tree, guides her and I photograph the steps. Here goes:

My Amelia Harper panel is available at Modern Yardage. It is 36"x 54" and costs $17. Lindsey first trimmed off the excess fabric and then measured 66" of dark blue fabric for the back.
She trimmed the back panel to 40"x58" and saved the remaining fabric for the binding.  Melissa suggested a batting that would accommodate stitching 7.5" apart- the distance between the fabric squares- and Lindsey trimmed it to 40"x58" as well.
The next step required spraying a temporary adhesive on the wrong side of the quilt back, smoothing down the batting on top of it.  Here Lindsey is spraying just half of the panel at a time in a well ventilated area.

After spraying the batting, she laid down the top panel and smoothed it out, finishing her quilt 'sandwich'.

Then came the fun part of topstitching the front panel. Lindsey 'stitched in the ditch', carefully sewing along all the pattern pieces.

It looked amazing! The whole process up to this point took about 3 hours.

 Next Lindsey trimmed out the binding strips to 2.5" wide, cut the ends at a 45 degree angle and stitched them together. I apologize the fabric looks a different color blue but it isn't.
 She folded the binding strip in half and pinned the raw edges together on the back side panel, leaving the first 5" free of stitches to connect the final strip at the very end.

It was difficult to photograph how she sewed the corners since the thread is the same color as the fabric. Lindsey stitched to about 1/4" from the end and stitched at a 45 degree angle to the corner. She folded the fabric to create a flap and folded again to continue sewing.

 When Lindsey reached the end of the binding, she marked a 45 degree line meeting the beginning strip.

She unfolded the binding, pinned them together and stitched across.
Here's where the bind came together, was folded in half and stitched along the raw edges to finish the bind.
Melissa was close by to guide Lindsey thru the final binding stitches.

Here's a close up of the top side of the quilt where the binding folded at the corner. Lindsey did an excellent job stitching close to the edge nearest the design to give the quilt a finished look. 
Voila! A beautiful 'convenience' quilt done in about 5 hours. Jackson gives his pose of approval.  I'm so grateful to Lindsey and Melissa for showing how my fabric panel can be made into a beautiful baby quilt!