Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to make an Easy Peasy Little Quilt out of Moda Charm Squares.

 I promised my Facebook page likers that I would write up a tutorial/pattern for this little quilt.
It only takes a few hours to make and is a great stand-by, go-to quick project for a gift for just about anyone.
I've made lots of these, and it's my favourite little starter quilt to teach.
Here it is in gorgeous  Australian designer fabrics: Saffron Craig on top  and a  Melanie Hurlston back.
It finishes up at about 1m - 1.2m square, so just big enough for a baby, child or lap. It's perfect for watching TV, babies to crawl on, decorating a spot that needs it or giving as a gift.

9 Squared Quilt
What you'll need
  • 81 x 5 inch squares
  • 1.2m, 115cm wide  fabric for backing something a bit different to the top is fun) 
  • 30cm binding fabric cut into 4, 2 - 2 1/2 inch strips across the width of fabric.
  • 1 x 1.2m square of natural wadding (I prefer bamboo)
  • neutral cotton thread for piecing
  • machine quilting thread (I used Wonderfil Confetti in a light grey)
  • Sewing machine, rotary cutter, ruler, pins etc.

My lovely Janome 6500 is back from the sewing machine doctor.
This is the combination of Moda fabrics I used in the quilt : Tend the Earth charm squares, grey Sunkissed backing and  a graduated spot from Hoopla. (Could have probably gone for something a bit less of a statement for the binding...c'est la vie!)
How to Make it
  • First, open your charm packs and sort through the colours and patterns. You will need to use 81 of the 84 squares in the two packs, so you can straight away put aside three of the squares you don't like.
  • Next, lay the squares out on a design wall, floor, bed - somewhere you can see how the fabrics look together. Move them around till you're happy with the placement of colour and pattern.
  •  Start by sewing across the rows. 
  • Then sew the rows together, working down the quilt. To get the points exact, I prefer to press the seams in alternate directions. For a quilt like this, you can press all the seams in a row in the same direction. Then all the seams in the next row will be pressed in the opposite direction. Very easy.
  • Once the top is all together, give it a good press and run a row of stitching about 1/8 inch all around the edge to stop keep it neat.
  • Now baste the top, backing and wadding. 

  •  Quilt "as desired". By machine, the easiest way is to sew a continuous cross hatch through all the squares using a walking foot and increased stitch length (about 3.5). I made this one a little bit different by using one of the sewing machine's inbuilt fancy stitches. Sometimes I stipple, use a free motion foot and do a curvy design. You could also quilt by hand. Whatever you choose, it won't be hard, or take long, because the quilt is so small.

The quilting stitch is a fancy stitch on the sewing machine.
  • Run a line of stitching  around the outside, a bit less than 1/4 inch from the fabric edge.
  • Square the quilt by trimming the edges using a rotary cutter and ruler.
  • Make the binding and attach using your preferred method. For these quilts I usually do an all in one machine binding which I make by cutting 2 inch strips of fabric and turning them into binding with a one inch bias binding maker, then sewing onto the edge through all layers all in one go. 
*I saw a fabulous post about different machine binding methods on Kathy Mack's Pink Chalk Studio Blog, so have a look there at some other methods used by quilters.)

  •  Your quilt is finished and you can throw it in the wash, gentle cycle, gentle low phosphate liquid detergent; tumble dry on synthetic cycle for about 90min. this will make your quilt soft, crinkly and fluffy

You can see the machine sewn binding and the "fancy" stitch quilting here.

Of course, you can use any fabrics you like. Sometimes I combine two different charm packs. I've also used just fabric I like. But to keep the quilt and the requirements simple, the finished top has to be less than the width of a regular 115cm wide cotton fabric so you can easily cut the backing. If you're using 240cm wide batting, you can get 1.2m and you will get 2 quilts out of it.
Hope you get time to make a 9 Squared quilt, and I'd love to see it if you do. 
This Quilt is for SALE @ $75.00
Have you got an easy peasy little quilt you like to whip up for all occasions?

Till next time -
Ann ♥

1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial, Ann! It's a lovely little quilt. Thanks for posting.


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