Last month, Layla made her big cross stitch pillow. When we talked about what she would like to do next, she expressed to me that she would love to make her own bed quilt. She helped with piecing this one and this one, and made this mini version by herself from start to finish. I think making her bed quilt is a great project, and while it will be more involved than her recent pillow, its an excellent way to learn so many sewing techniques.
If you are thinking making a quilt, especially a bed size one is a crazy goal for a kid, just take it a week at a time. There’s no rule that a kid friendly project has to be done in a day. A quilt not only teaches a lot of techniques, it also teaches patience and endurance. You have to slow down and cut and sew carefully. It takes time and love. You know your child. If working on a project a couple times a week isn’t their thing, start small. Make a mini quilt for their favorite stuffed animal or toy and they will get excited about going from there. Just take it a step at a time and HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Today we are going to chat about plans and getting started. Next week, we will piece, and after that baste, quilt, and bind. Unless you are going to be taking an entirely improvised approach, I highly recommend going in with a plan. Knowing where you are headed simplifies the process of cutting and eliminates a ton of waste. I always have a pad of graph paper nearby to sketch out my ideas to scale so I can easily plan how much I will need of everything.
Layla just loved arranging and piecing together this Swatch quilt (pattern by Alexia Abegg), that she wanted to make it on a larger scale with the Rifle Paper Co. Amalfi fabric. We got a fat quarter bundle, and added a fabric to make 18 total prints (I like even numbers). Knowing that her bed is twin size and we need to make a quilt that is 72×90″, we divided 72″ by 18 fabrics and know we will need 4″ wide fabrics of each across the width of the quilt, and 10 rows of 9″ tall along the length. Now since we are using fat quarters which are only 21″ wide, we may need to add a 19th row along the width to get us to 72″. Still, we have a great guideline to work off of, so we will cut 10 4×9″ fabrics from each fat quarter which will yield 180 total units.
I like to use my bed to lay out large bed quilts because its a queen size, and it will fit more than Layla’s bed. The floor is also a great place to layout if you can keep the area free of little children and animals, but that is less likely in our house. Many people like to use design walls, wherein they attach a piece of batting to the wall, and just lay the fabric onto it in the arrangement they like. I don’t ever do this, just because I like my lay-it-out-on-the-bed method, but do whatever works best for you. Layla really liked using my bed as her canvas.
Once she found an arrangement she was happy with, we stacked all of our rows, clipped them together and labeled them for piecing them on the machine. Next week we will show you the next step, which is piecing the rectangles together. If we can get Facebook Live to work, we will aim to do that on Monday. If not, we will still upload a video. You can check out my Facebook page HERE.
We hope that this series will encourage you to sew with your kids and pass on a love of working and creating by hand! Its such a wonderful way to spend time together. Thanks for popping in!