I finally made a quilt after years of wanting to try this hobby. I made it for my boyfriends 22nd birthday. The process of making it was stressful at times. I made mistakes but somehow fixed them, and I was running out of time to finish it. Since I'd never made a quilt before, I didn't have any tools or much of an idea of how to make one. I decided to make it cheaply and not buy any tools (except for a new pair of fabric scissors), so I'll explain my process with this quilt.
Choosing the colours was one of my favourite parts. Sam's favourite colours are purple and yellow but I didn't want to use too much of those colours and have the quilt look girly. I thought I'd incorporate those colours in it somehow, but in the end I went with just blue, brown and white. Blue and brown is one of my favourite colour combinations and it's very masculine. I decided to buy some pre cut squares of fabric as it's easier and I wouldn't end up with too much fabric left over at the end. I found a 5 pack of blue pre cuts and went from there, adding single squares of brown fabric that seemed to match. I also bought 2 metres of plain brown fabric to use as the backing. I ended up cutting squares of that and adding them to the front of the quilt as well.
Since I didn't have a rotary cutter, I cut out each square one by one with scissors. This was time consuming and annoying, but worth it for just one quilt. If I ever take up this hobby more often then I'll definately invest in a rotary cutter.
I chose to cut all the squares 15x15cm so I cut out a cardboard template of this size and traced around it 9 times on each piece of fabric then just cut on the lines.
To make sure each square was the correct size, I pinned them onto the cardboard template and trimmed off the excess. So i cut 88 squares twice.
Then I took over the dining table and laid them out how I wanted. I stressed a lot over this, mainly about the size it was going to turn out. I realised it was going to be a little smaller than a single sized bed, but I really couldn't be bothered buying and cutting out more fabric then laying them out all over again. After I sewed the rows together, I took the last row and added it to the side, making it just a tad wider.
Once the front of the quilt was completed, I added some embroidery. I used an embroidery frame thing to keep the fabric nice and stretched and drew with pencil the shapes and words I wanted and then hand stitched over them with embroidery thread.
Then it was ready to be basted. I stressed out about the batting having creases in it and tried spraying it with water and putting it in the dryer. It made basically no difference and I decided to just leave the creases. I went with the Elmer's school glue method of basting. I didn't want to spend hours doing the safety pin method, that sounded like way too much of a hassle, and I didn't want to spend $30 on spray glue just to wash it out. Elmer's school glue was cheap and quick to do. I just laid the batting on the floor, then laid the backing fabric on top and spread them both out as best I could. Then I folded the backing fabric back halfway and started squirting the glue onto the batting all the way across and about 10-15cm lengthwise at a time. I then just laid a bit of the backing fabric over the glue and spread it flat again. I did this till I got to the end, then just did the other side. The glue showed through in areas but I didn't worry about it too much. I left it to dry overnight, then did the same technique with the top of the quilt. I started running out of glue so just added water to the bottle. Once it was completely dry, I added a few safety pins just to hold it together better. The creases were still in the batting but disappeared when I started the quilting.
The quilting process was a little difficult at times. Again, I didn't go out and buy a quilting foot for the sewing machine, I just pulled it through. It overlapped the fabric quite a lot where the stitches meet, but it's not really noticeable. I used the lines where the fabric meets as a guideline for the stitching, lining it up with the right side of the foot. I had to roll the quilt up to get it through the sewing machine.
For the binding, I used denim fabric and machine stitched it on. I tested a small piece of the denim in water before I did the binding and the colour ran. This made me stress about washing the quilt, so I decided to make some big temporary hand stitches around the edge of the quilt and chucked it in the washing machine with some colour catchers. I was really worried about washing it and having it fall apart or the colours washing, and I was worried that the fabrics I hadn't pre washed would shrink and ruin it (I only pre washed half the fabric because some of them said not to wash). I washed it on a cold gentle cycle and nothing bad happened so I washed it again on a short regular warm cycle, I wanted to make sure the glue washed out. While I left it to dry on the dining table for a few days, I cut out strips of denim basically the same way that I'd cut out all the squares. This was way more of a nuisance to cut out. After cutting out 1 strip, I folded the fabric so I could cut 7 more strips at once. The fabric was difficult to cut through and they turned out slightly different widths, meaning they didn't quite match when I sewed them together. I didn't worry too much because I needed to get it finished, and once it was all binded, it turned out fine anyway.
I love the look of the finished quilt and I'm so proud of it. My boyfriend loves it too and he really doesn't care about the little imperfections I made, like the messy binding stitching and the overlapping fabric. It doesn't quite fit on his bed, he has a king single. It fits fine when the bed is made and no ones in it, but when someones in it, it's obvious it's a little too small. I think it's more to make his bed look nice because it falls off his bed every night anyway lol.