You probably know by now that here at Pom Pom we like to mix up our knitting and crochet and dabble in other crafts. What better time than the Christmas break to try something new? Enter this beautiful quilt from PPQ’s resident sewing expert Michelle Zimmer.
And aren’t we predictable – this is a very woolly quilt! And this time we’re not talking yarn-woolly, but fabric-woolly. Michelle gathered up some found and bought fabrics for a beautifully eclectic blanket that’s sure to keep the chill at bay.
Here’s Michelle to tell you how you can make your own:
Nothing says winter like curling up under a quilt watching a movie with some knitting. For extra cosiness I’ve made this quilt using woollen fabrics. I live in a town where every second shop is either vintage or charity so collecting woollen jackets and blankets is a regular activity! You can get quite a lot of fabric from one jacket especially if you buy large sizes. This design also works for other fabric types like linen or cotton, so use whatever you have to hand.
Cardboard for making your template
Tailors chalk to mark your fabric
Curved safety pins for securing your 3 layers, or long pins
Polyester or cotton thread
– This quilt is essentially made up of rows of rectangles. You can make the quilt as large as you want by increasing the amount of rectangles and rows. Each row consists of a mix of 3 different widths of rectangles:
A – 9 x 21cm
B – 13 x 21cm
C – 18 x 21 cm
Gather your fabrics and using some tailors chalk draw around some homemade cardboard templates and cut a mix of A, B and C.
Start by doing approximately 15 of each and then lay them out and see what colours you need more of. I found that my colours fell into greens, greys and blues and I kept them in their colour groups within the rows, but you can also mix all your colours up. Keep going until you have enough rectangles to get the size of quilt you want.
– Before you think about sewing you might want to embellish some of your rectangles, maybe using embroidery or applique. This is the time to do so before you stitch them together.
– At this stage you could take a photo on your phone of your decided layout, or throw caution to the wind and just decide on placement as you go! With right sides together pin your first 2 rectangles. Using a 1cm seam allowance stitch these together.
Try and use a thread colour that blends with your fabrics. Continue these steps until you have a row at your desired length. Press your seam open. Traditionally with patchwork you press your seams to one side, however if you are using wool it is best to open them to avoid bulk.
You should now have a pile of long strips, I have 6 rows but you may have more or less depending on the size of your quilt. Pin your first 2 rows together and sew using a 1cm seam allowance. They won’t match exactly but that’s okay you can trim them down later.
Go slowly, being careful not to flip any of your seams the wrong way when sewing. Press this seam open. After continuing to add a row at a time you should now have a completed patchwork top!
– Time to decide what you want for the reverse of your quilt. In the past I’ve used old table clothes, curtains, bed sheets, or just fabric from a shop (make sure it’s wide enough). For this quilt I stitched together lots of pieces of fabric I had in my stash to create one piece. You’ll also need some wadding for the middle – this is what makes your quilt nice and squidgy! The Cotton Patch offer a good range of waddings. I used polyester this time as it gives a fuller affect than cotton.
– Traditionally quilters make signature labels for all their quilts that include their name and the date it was completed. This then gets sewn onto the back of the quilt in the corner. It’s an especially nice thing to do if it’s going to be a gift. You can use Spoonflower to make a printed label or embroider the words like me.
I used a chalk pencil to mark my letters first. Depending on what fabric you decide to use for your label it may need hemming first.
– Find yourself a large clutter free space, ideally a table, failing that the floor! Lay your back piece down getting rid of any wrinkles, then your wadding, then the top piece. It’s helpful if your backing piece is slightly larger than the wadding and top piece. Using your hands you want to get rid of any lumps and bumps by smoothing from the centre and moving outwards. Using curved safety pins draw all three layers together every 20cm or so. Again starting from the centre and working your way outwards.
To quilt my 3 layers I used some embroidery skein to make small ties. It’s very simple, using a hand sewing needle bring both end to the top of the quilt and double knot it. You can use a variety of threads depending on what texture you want to achieve. For example using yarn would be more prominent and woollier!
This is what the back will look like.
– You can now remove your safety pins and trim any edges to make sure your quilt is looking straight. To complete your quilt you will need to choose a fabric to use as the binding. Wool is too thick so I used a lovely burnt orange linen. Lay some different fabrics against the edge to judge the effect; you want to frame the piece like it’s a work of art! Head over to my blog to follow how to make and attach the binding.