Monday, 25 October 2010

Raw-edge layer cake quilt tutorial

This is quite possibly the quickest quilt you will ever make! Mini 10" quilt 'sandwiches' are sewn together with a 1/2" seam. The seams are clipped to give some great 'cuddle-up' texture. 

For a 54" x 63" (6 x 7 squares)quilt you will need:
1 x layer cake or 42 x 10" fabric squares 
2.9 metres (3.25 yards) backing fabric, 112cm wide
1.4 metres (1.5 yards) fusible batting, 240cm wide
0.4 metres (15") binding fabric 

Edit: The layer cake used for this quilt was Bonnie & Camille's 'Bliss' for Moda.


I chose to add an extra row to my quilt by cutting a further 6 fabric squares from my stash. 

For a 54" x 72" (6 x 8 squares)quilt you will need:
1 x layer cake or 42 x 10" fabric squares
6 extra 10" squares from your stash
3.1 metres (3.5 yards) backing fabric, 112cm wide
1.6 metres (1.75 yards) fusible batting, 240cm wide
0.45 metres (17") binding fabric

The fusible batting I used was Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Fusible Batting, 2.4 metres wide. It is fusible on both sides. You can use any quilt batting you like, but you may find some quilt basting spray will be handy to keep the layers together as you stitch.

Cutting:
Cut the backing fabric into 10" squares. 
Cut the fusible batting into 9" squares.
Cut the binding fabric into 2.25" strips across the width of the fabric.

Construction:
Lay a 10" backing square on your ironing board. Place a 9" fusible batting square on top, centring it 0.5" in from each side of the fabric square. Place a 10" layer cake square on top, and fuse the three layers together to form a quilt sandwich.

These three layers are now quilted together. I have chosen to quilt a straight line pattern like this:
To avoid having to mark each square with the quilting lines, I devised a cunning plan! I cut two strips from scrap card, one 2" wide and one 1.5" wide. These will be used as guidelines for your quilting.

Mark a spot on your machine 2" out from the needle. For me, this was the edge of a hole on my machine bed. Start stitching a straight line 2" in from one edge of your 10" quilt sandwich.
You need to stop stitching 2 inches from the next edge. To avoid measuring this, align your 2" wide strip of card against the edge of the square and stitch until you reach the card. 
Stop, with your needle down, and pivot 90 degrees. Continue stitching 2" from each edge, pivoting as described, a further two times. 

As you work your way to the centre, you need to stop your stitching and pivot 1.5" from your previous stitching. Align your 1.5" wide strip of card against your previous row of stitching and stitch until you reach the card. 
Stop, with your needle down, and pivot 90 degrees. Continue stitching 1.5" from your previous stitching line. To do this, use the 1.5" strip of card as a guide, and stitch along its edge as shown:
Continue stitching 1.5" from each previous row of stitching, pivoting as described, until you reach the centre of the square. Backstitch to secure your thread. Hopefully, you will have something that looks like this: 
I know this all sounds a bit complicated, but if you can get your head around it, it makes the quilting step very speedy. 

After quilting all your sandwiches, arrange the squares in seven (or 8)rows of six squares.

Stitch the squares in each row together using a 0.5" seam. Make sure you put WRONG SIDES TOGETHER (ie. the backing side) when joining the squares. The seam allowance needs to end up on the FRONT of the quilt.

Stitch the rows together using a 0.5" seam.

Bind your quilt using the 2.25" binding strips. (If you're not sure how to bind a quilt, there is an excellent tutorial here).

Using a sharp pair of scissors, clip the seam allowances at approximately 1cm intervals. Clip to within a few threads of the stitching lines, taking care not to cut through them!
Throw the quilt into the washing machine for a quick wash. Then fluff your quilt up in the dryer. The more you wash & dry your quilt, the more the seams will fray and the cuddlier your quilt will become. It is a very utilitarian quilt, great for kids. The more they abuse it, the better it becomes!
Now, I hope all this makes sense. Please feel free to ask questions. If you happen to make a quilt from this tutorial, I would love to see it. There is a Flickr group here for your creations from my tutorials.

Have fun! Bloom x

Edit: I have been asked, "When sewing the rows together, do I press the seam allowances open or do I push them to one side"?

On joining the rows, I opened the seams. But it really doesn't matter either way because the join is disguised under the fluffiness of the seam allowance and you don't really notice which way the seams are going.

50 comments:

  1. thank you so much for the tutorial. i really like your quilt and it's inspired me to make something similar! x

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  2. Love this! I especially like the clever quilting. I will have to try that on my next raw edge quilt. Thanks for a lovely tutorial to make a beautiful quilt.

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  3. Grazie per il tutorial, spiegato molto bene con delle immagini ben chiare che aiutano a capire quello che con le parole non è di immediata comprensione.
    Un saluto dall'Italia
    Ciao Domenica

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  4. Love your quilt..:O))

    These quilts are the softest ever.. have one that EVERYONE fights for..:O)))
    Might have to make one for just ME..:O)

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  5. Thanks for the tutorial - this looks easy enough even for the likes of me!!

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  6. Thanks Ros, love the quilt! Great quilting idea for the squares!

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  7. Cute quilt! Thanks for the tutorial. I want to try this and have one question. When you say "...put wrong sides together...." do you mean the backing side? Take care.

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  8. Hi Ros
    just wondering did you use flannel?
    i just received my bliss layer cake,
    great quilting tip with the squares, will have to try this, thanks

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  9. Love your quilt and the design. I especially like the way you have quilted the design in the centre of each square. I will definitely be doing this on my next raw edge quilt, thank you so much.

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  10. Thanks for the tutorial, your quilt is beautiful. I've been wanting to make a quilt like this.

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  11. Thanks for a lovely tutorial to make a beautiful quilt. Great quilting idea for the squares!

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  12. I have tons of material but not
    the space for a quilting frame this is and answer to a prayer.
    We will be making many of these for our missions group to take to KY.

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  13. Bloom: When sewing the rows together, do I press the seam allowances open or do I push them to one side? I tried to look closely at your pics but couldn't really tell. Hope to hear from you as soon as possible as I am putting my first raw edge quilt together as we speak.

    Thanks,
    Pam F.
    hellopf@yahoo.com

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  14. I'm so happy to find your blog! I can't wait to try this quilt. I won some Heather Ross fabric during a giveaway, and really had no idea what to do with it. I think I just found the perfect project! Thanks so much! Happy Sunday!

    Larri at Seams Inspired

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  15. Thanks for the help with the seam allowances. I have just taken my quilt from the dryer and wanted to share a pic with you. I really like it. Can't say it was one of the fastest or easiest quilts I've made but I am glad I tried it. I hope my Son and his son like it. Thanks again for sharing the tutorial! (Guess I will have to email the pic.) Pam F. hellopf@yahoo.com

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  16. I am making my first raw edge quilt and have the same question as Pam, but I don't see your reply. I am making a John Deere baby quilt for my daughter's senior auction on Nov 19. Thanks! Bobbie

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  17. Pam asked: "When sewing the rows together, do I press the seam allowances open or do I push them to one side"?

    Bloom says: On joining the rows, I opened the seams. But it really doesn't matter either way because the join is disguised under the fluffiness of the seam allowance and you don't really notice which way the seams are going.

    ReplyDelete
  18. this is awesome! i saw you linked on cluck cluck sew and it caught my eye. the more i sew and quilt, the more i love things w/ raw, frayed edges .... just so soft and cuddly! "traditional" quilts aren't as cozy, you just gotta admit! they are heirlooms for sure, but the ones like this get used more in our house :)
    i'll have to try your method ...great tutorial! :)

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  19. Hi "Bloom", I loved you tute and made a quilt for my new nephew, I am unsure how to send you a photo for your album.

    Would you like an email with photo attached?? cheers Lea

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  20. Hi

    I've finished my version and posted on my blog : http://quiltitis.blogspot.com/2010/11/comfort-quilting.html

    Thank you for your ideas, the use of the guides for quilting was great and very easy.

    I've linked back to this blog from my posts.

    Cheers
    Di

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  21. I love this quilt and have seen several versions--but there is a thought that worries me about it and I'm hoping you can answer it for me. Does the fraying go down so far on your quilt after awhile that the seams are starting to open (I know this depends somewhat on the fabric type)? I can think of one way to stop it, but was curious about your experience with it.

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  22. I made a quilt like this quite a while ago (here they are called "rag quilts")out of flannel. It is incredibly soft and has never frayed past the stitching, even with repeated washing!

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  23. I just found your blog and I love this quilt. I have never quilted a thing but I want to. Thank you so much for this great tutorial; it has made me believe I just might be able to do it! I am going to get the fabric this week and give it a try. Wish me luck!

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  24. So pretty! I have been planning on making a rag quilt just like this and a layer cake is a great idea. Just wondering if the raw edges fray past the stitching? How has it held up? That is the only thing holding me back...not sure if it will be a big mess of strings. I would love to hear how that worked out on yours. Thanks!

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  25. What a great tutorial, just what I've been looking for, thankyou...

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  26. I've started mine, thanks again http://rainingcatsanddogs-x.blogspot.com/

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  27. omgosh! I love you!
    I found you on pinterest...a board of beautiful quilts & bounced to your blog. I LOVE THIS! I am in the process of my first quilt. Im actually making 3 Christmas Tree Skirts using squares cut from my daughters baby clothes.. My squares are smaller but I am so adapting this style to my skirts! Your tutorial is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your gift!
    BTW~ I will be following you in blogworld now too! :)

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  28. So excited! I actually made one of these for my daughter. My sewing skills are not great, and I never thought I'd quilt anything. Thanks!

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  29. I love the fabric you used. Was this from your fabric stash or was it a collection of fat quarters? I always use the same fabric hues and would love to do something different. These colors are so beautiful!

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  30. Thanks for this tutorial! I made a quilt based on this (and then adapted it to my own). Love it!

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  31. Love the colors in this quilt! What is the name of the layer cake fabrics you used to make this quilt?

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  32. Saw a t shirt quilt, then the cake quilt....t-shirt cake quilt? I think so! Why waste all that great cotton material from the t-shirt backs. I'm so excited to try this. BTW...found you on pinterest as well...I am addicted.

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  33. Your quilt design is my first attempt at sewing and quilting. It's so much fun. Quick question: since all seams are 0.5 inches throughout the quilt, shouldn't the binding be a 3" strip so you can have a .5 inch seam to sew to make the squares even on the binding edge? Love the project! Thank you.

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  34. Thank you. Your quilt is very lovely. I started one a few years back made with flannel for the front and back it was a quilt intended for my father. Sadly he has passed and he never got to see it. I keep it wrapped up and put away. I will how ever try my hand at another on this time for everyone who sits and visits a spell to admire and use.

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  35. So I made this and it turned out great! Heads up for those of you who hate doing bindings, if you just sew a half and inch in all the way around and snip the edges like the rest of the seams it turns out fine.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this - I was wondering about doing the exact same thing!

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  36. Thanks for sharing your ideas...I have shared your tutorial on Freebies For Crafters.
    Hugs Khris

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  37. Hi Ros
    I was very keen to see the tutorial after seeing the real thing yesterday!
    Alas the motivation, even the fabric...but no time just now to do this
    The instuctions are very clear so I will be back. I appreciate the time and effort taken to publish them. Look forward to coming back!!
    Maree

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  40. I made several quilts like this a few years ago and I just love them. They were so easy to make and they were just great. I taught a few friends how to make them. These were the easiest quilts I have ever made.

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  41. Thanks for the inspiration, I have just completed my first quilt using your template idea, delighted!

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  42. Will this pattern work with regular cotton fabric or a combination of the two? I can't seem to find much by way of flannel.

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  43. I've been making these for several years and find sewing an X through each sandwich is quick and easy way to do the quilting.. With a reasonably good eye you don't even have to draw lines. I also don't use batting anymore- I use top and bottom flannel and it comes out thick and warm enough, unless you are in VERY cold climate. Use spring loaded snips to cut the fringe because it's easier on the hands.

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    Replies
    1. I am the above and want to add that flannel fringes best and also homespun.

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  44. Can you use any kind of material. What do you think works best.
    Thank You

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  45. is there a reason you couldn't sandwich a piece of flannel the same size as your bottom and top layers? would sewing 6 layers be too much to sew through when putting the blocks together?

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  46. I would like to learn more about clipping on these rag quilts. I am new at all this and have been told clipping of corners is very important but not seeing anything on any of the patterns on this. I realize you need to clip all sides for the fraying, but is their a special way to clip the corners?

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  47. I'm at the point of the batting is pressed in between the squares and I'm quilting them together. My question is...is it normal for the square to feel stiff after pressing them with the fusible batting? Will it soften once washed?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a message. I endeavour to reply to each & every one of your comments, but forgive me if occasionally I don't - life just gets in the way sometimes! Be assured your comments are ALWAYS read & appreciated. Best wishes, Bloom.

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