Meet Samantha Saturday – our resident Senior Photo Retoucher. Not only does she have the coolest name ever, she’s also a quilting queen! A proud member of the Orange County Modern Quilt Guild, Sam has honed her craft for the past two and a half years. “I love creating quilted items – from small wall hangings to full size quilts.”
Quilting in Quarantine
Since Sam is stuck at home in quarantine, she is quilting like crazy! And she’s not the only one. As Sam points out, quilting is having a major comeback, “Many may still think of quilts as something their grandmothers made. However, modern quilting is on the rise. The idea of what a quilt can be is now extended beyond what you put on your bed.” For instance, with this DIY project, Sam quilted a mini 10″x10″ wall hanging. Small enough to complete in an afternoon, colorful enough that it brightens up her work-from-home setup.
Block it Out
Want to join the quarantine quilting party? Ms. Saturday is walking you through the process, stitch-by-stitch! First things first, block it all out.
“In quilting, pieces of fabric are sewn together (or ‘pieced’) to create a ‘block.’ In each quilt, you can repeat the same block or combine several different ones to create your design. The design of my mini is simple, based off the traditional log cabin block. In a log cabin, strips of increasing size are sewn around a central square or rectangle. Traditional quilt folklore suggests that a red central square represents the ‘heart’ or ‘hearth’ of the home, which the log cabin is built around.” Home is where the quilt is, right?
“For my log cabin mini, I was inspired by ModCloth’s ‘Groovy Noodles’ print! While it isn’t an exact copy, I used it as a starting point in choosing my fabric colors. Using an existing print, piece of art, or photograph that you love is a great way to start choosing colors for your project!” Call us biased, but our clothes are a really cute source of inspiration.
“Once all the individual blocks are pieced, they are sewn together to make your quilt top. Every quilt is made up of three components: a pieced top, a backing, and batting in between (though you can use other materials depending on the final effect you want, batting is most commonly used).”
“Once you layer these three, you have what is called a ‘quilt sandwich.’ For larger quilts you would want to ‘baste’ (loosely attach the quilt sandwich together) the quilt at this point, but for something this small it’s not necessary.”
It’s Quilting Time!
“Now comes the part where your pieces truly become a quilt! As writer Mary Fons says ‘It’s not a quilt until you quilt it.’ Quilting is the process of sewing through all your layers in order to secure them together. This adds stability as well as a design that can add texture and dimension to your fabric.”
“For this mini, I stitched down the center horizontally and vertically to secure it with a stitch that blends in. Then, because I love the interesting detail it adds, I hand-quilted through some of the negative space using a big stitch technique. I love this step because I slow down and spend some quality time with the piece I’m creating.”
“After you’ve quilted your piece, you’ll trim it and add a binding. The binding is a piece of fabric sewn around the edges of your quilt to finish off the edges of the quilt and ensures all the layers are secured.”
“To hang the mini quilt, attach some small rings to the back and use hooks to hang it on your wall. Similarly, gift it to a friend to bring some light to their day!”
Still Sew Confused?
Still stressed out, seamstress? Luckily, Sam has broken it down even more below! And in case you’re still stuck, she highly recommends the Quilty YouTube channel for videos on essentials tools and basic techniques.
Materials & Tools
10″x10″ square of each fabric in your top
12″x12″ square of backing fabric
12″x12″ square of your batting
1/4 yard of fabric for binding
Rotary cutting mat
Iron & ironing board
Needle and quilting thread (optional for hand quilting)
- Gather all the fabrics you’ll need.
- Press and cut all your fabrics according to the cutting chart. As a guide, use the blank cutting chart below. That way, you can color in with the colors you are using.
- Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the pieces together in the order labelled on the cutting chart. You’ll want to make sure you sew around in a circular pattern as marked on the diagram. That is what creates the log cabin effect.
- Repeat steps 1-3 until you have 4 blocks sewn.
- Sew the two top blocks together, then the two bottom blocks together. Then sew the top and bottom together to complete your quilt top.
- Cut out your batting and backing. You’ll want these to be slightly larger than the top in case your fabric shifts as you are quilting.
- Quilt your quilt by sewing through all the layers. One great way that I love to quilt a modern top is 1″ “matchstick” quilting, where you simply sew 1″ away from your previous line. You can use your center seam line as a starting guide.
- Trim off the access backing and batting.
- For the binding cut two strips that are the width of the fabric by 2.4″ and attach together at the ends. Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together, and press.
- Sew the binding to the front of the quilt, then flip to the back and hand or machine stitch it down.
- Attach your desired hanging hardware to the back.
- Hang on your wall or gift to a friend!