How to Make Your First Quilt — What to Know While Sewing

Posted by on Jun 01, 2011

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Jupiter Images, Getty Images


The fabric's chosen and you've cut it into pieces, so what's next? Ah, the sewing — aka, piecing the quilt. Prepare to spend most of your time here.

Quilting expert Meg Cox interviews
Meg Cox
Avoiding the Major Evils of Sewing a Quilt

One of the biggest complaints with sewing a quilt? Getting it to lie flat. To help with this major problem, Cox suggests, without a trace of sympathy in her voice, “Lots and lots of ironing — every seam. Precision really helps. Try and get those quarter inch seams as exact as you can. Iron those — press those, neatly.”

Translation: After every piece that's been sewn together, iron. Soon enough you'll start to wonder whether it's quilting rather than ironing that you're accomplishing, but if new quilters do this, then sewing the quilt will be much easier.

But what about making sure all of the blocks are the same size, which in quilter speak is called squaring up a block? Cox recommends a good ruler as well as a mat lined with measurements.
Need a visual? Watch this video from Wonder How
about squaring up a block. You can also get a gander at a mat and ruler.
making quilt sandwich
Quilt top is sewn, so how do I make it a blanket?

We're just about ready to put together the quilt top with its batting and backing, better known to quilters as the quilt sandwich. To do so, lay the batting on a flat (clean!) surface, then place the quilt top over it. Roll both up like a sleeping bag to create a long tube — great for dirt-free transportation.

With the tube pushed aside, spread the backing out on the floor (or other flat surface) and tape it at the corners and along the sides. The pretty side should be facing the floor. Align the quilt roll so that you have at least 2 inches on all sides, and then slowly unroll the batting and quilt onto the backing.
Get a photo tutorial from Oh! Fransson about making a quilt sandwich!
Excerpted from "The Quilter's Catalog" by Meg Cox, published by Workman Press.

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