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A Romantic Bedroom Retreat with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabrics: Quilted and Fringed Coverlet
Welcome to Week #2 of our Romantic Bedroom Retreat, sponsored by our friends at Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics, the makers of Rowan and FreeSpirit fabric lines. We hope you’ve been glued to each weekday’s installment, like the pages of summer romance novel, but if you’re brand new to the Series, here’s the scoop. We have nine tutorials (and five techniques) that beautifull portray how we took four new, and somewhat disparate, fabric collections, and brought them together into one harmonious theme. We also show you how to work with some of the new fabric substrates, such as voile, cotton sateen and laminates. Today is a luxurious coverlet, featuring a bold quilting cotton from Amy Butler’s Cameo, sateen from Tina Givens’ Pagoda Lullaby and a coordinating Designer Solid cotton for the back.These are blended with rich velveteen, satin bows and heavy chainette fringe. So – you’re dying to know the difference between a bedspread and a coverlet aren’t you? A bedspread is sized to completely cover the bed with the sides extending all the way to the floor and with enough fabric at the top to go up and over the pillows. A coverlet is a smaller version of a bedspread with sides that normally go only about halfway to the floor and of a size that stops below the pillows so you can feature some beautiful shams. We did exactly that with our Double Flange Shams introduced last week. In addition, coverlets can be various weights, depending on the season. We chose to add a layer of batting, which adds warmth and weight. You could leave out the batting for a summer weight coverlet.
The Romantic Bedroom Retreat features four collections from our wonderful sponsor, Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics: FreeSpirit Pagoda Lullaby by Tina Givens, FreeSpirit The Birds & The Bees by Tula Pink, Rowan Bromley by Victoria & Albert and Rowan Cameo by Amy Butler. Want to learn more about how we brought together these four different collections into a cohesive design? Take a look at our tutorial: A Romantic Bedroom Retreat with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabrics: How to Mix and Match Designer Fabric Collections. And don’t forget to come back each day, because at the conclusion of the series, there will be a Treasure Chest full of fabric cuts from these collections for one lucky S4H Great Giveaway winner.
This project is not super advanced in terms of the patchworking, but it does have its idiosyncrasies that will make it a challenge, namely: the size and weight, which will take a bit of manhandling, and the accent velveteen, which likes to shift and creep as you sew. Staying patient and sewing slowing will get you through.
Paying special attention to seam allowances is important in every project, but is essential in patchworking, because your seams need to match up perfectly (quilters call this ‘perfect points’). Therefore, you need to be very careful to make sure all allowances are consistent. Think of it like putting together a puzzle. In the end, all the pieces have to fit together perfectly. Fabric is more forgiving than the cardboard puzzle pieces, but go slowly and be careful with your pinning and stitching. If you are new to patchwork, we have a beginner’s tutorial that may be helpful. Our coverlet has a traditional ¼” quilting seam allowance throughout. If you are brand new to patchworking, you might want to consider using ½” seams throughout in order to help with the variation in thickness between the quilting cotton, cotton sateen and velvet. It will make the coverlet slightly smaller, but not noticeably so.
A final note about images: With very large projects, such as today’s coverlet, photos can get a little crazy. We’ve referred in the past to needing to purchase a S4H crane! Because full width photos also mean photos in which the project becomes small and difficult to see, we opt for fewer images with big items. Instead, there are very detailed steps and very nice drawings to help you through the steps. Enjoy!
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any sewing machine (we recommend the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000)
NOTE: We used the built-in AcuFeed feature on the MC12000 to handle these thick layers and the tricky velvet. We were also very happy to have the increase bed space of the MC12000 since the coverlet finishes at 93″ x 93″. Without AcuFeed, we would strongly recommend a Walking foot of some sort in order to keep the shifting under control.
Fabric and Other Supplies
For all of the projects in our series, Westminster helped us put together a very handy Where to Buy Retailer Locator, giving you a fast and easy way to source the fabrics we are featuring from both brick and mortar stores in your area (the page is broken out by state) as well as online options. The collections are just coming out now in-store and online
The yardages shown below are to create a coverlet suitable for a kingsize bed; it finishes at approximately 93″ square (excluding the fringe). We’re sorry, but we are unable to create on-demand revisions to our patterns or projects for size or usage variations. Time and budget constraints do not allow us to create our samples in more than one specific size. Our recommendation is to place a similarly sized blanket or sheet (you can quickly pin a sheet into a 93″ x 93″ shape) on your bed. Stand back and look to determine if this size will work for you. If not, you can do some simple math to make adjustments, then scale the original dimensions up or down. Use these new measurements to sketch out a grid. The steps for assembling the covelet will work at any size.
- 4¼ yards of 44-45″ wide quilting cotton fabric for the front feature squares and the back side panels; we used Spring Beauty in Scarlet from the Cameo Collection by Amy Butler for Rowan Fabrics
- 3½ yards of 44-45″ wide cotton sateen fabric for the front center and side panels; we used Pink cotton Sateen from the Pagoda Lullaby Collection by Tina Givens for FreeSpirit Fabrics
- 4⅛ yards of 44-45″ wide solid cotton fabric for the back center square; we used Chartreuse from the Free Spirit Designer Solid Collection
- 2 yards of 57″ or wider cotton velveteen for the front and back accent squares
- King size quilt batting; we used a Kyoto Bamboo Blend batting pre-cut from Fabric.com, which is 120″ x 120″ – more than enough
NOTE: Batting comes in all kinds of configurations; you can buy pre-packaged or off the roll in various widths. Our coverlet finishes at 93″ x 93″, so you need a piece at least 95″ x 95″ to give you enough to work with and to trim flush with your finished top and back.
- 10½ yards of heavy chainette fringe; we used rich black chainette (purchased locally)
- 4 yards of ½” satin ribbon for accent bows
- All-purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Tape measure
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Lots of safety pins for pin basting
The diagram above and the photos below, show you our quilt design in the beautiful fabrics we selected as part of our Romantic Bedroom Retreat with Rowan & FreeSpirit. If you choose to use different fabrics, you will need to rely on these drawings and photos to determine yardage and cuts.
Both of our print fabrics were carefully fussy cut. The Tina Givens sateen took some particularly careful cutting, so we have included our cutting diagram below.
- From the fabric for the front feature squares and the back side panels (Spring Beauty in Scarlet in our sample), fussy cut the following:
FOUR 30½” x 30½” squares
FOUR 12¼” x 30½” rectangles cut horizontally
FOUR 12¼” x 30½” rectangles cut vertically
- From the fabric for the front center and side panels; (Pagoda Lullaby Pink in our sample), fussy cut (see diagram above) TWELVE 12¼” wide x 30½” rectangles.
- From the fabric for the back center square (Chartreuse Designer Solid in our sample), cut FOUR 36½” x 36½” squares.
- From the fabric for the front and back accent squares (black cotton velveteen in our sample), cut SEVENTEEN 12¼” x 12¼” squares.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Coverlet front – rows one, three and five
- Find NINE of the velveteen squares and SIX of the Pagoda rectangles. These will create the top, middle and bottom narrow rows.
- Pin a velveteen square to a Pagoda rectangle, right sides together, along one 12¼” side. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat to create six sewn pairs.
- Place two pairs right sides together, velveteen to sateen so the blocks are alternating as shown in the drawing above. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat with the remaining pairs to create three sets of four blocks (velveteen/Pagoda/velveteen/Pagoda).
- Place one velveteen square, at the end of one four block sewn set, along the remaining raw edge of the Pagoda. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat with the other two four-block sets to complete the three top/middle/bottom narrow rows (rows 1, 3 and 5).
- Press all the seam allowances together and to the right. You can finger press or use a pressing cloth and a cool iron.
NOTE: When working with velvet or velveteen, you may find it easier to pin all the seams first to complete the rows, then stitch all the seams one after another, sewing in the same direction for each seam. As we mentioned above, a Walking foot will help with the creeping that the velveteen will want to do. Any slight unevenness can be trimmed flush on the completed rows.
Coverlet front – rows two and four
- Find the FOUR large Cameo squares and the additional SIX Pagoda rectangles.
- Place a Pagoda rectangle, right sides together, on either side of one Cameo square. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
- Place a second Cameo square right sides together with the completed three-block piece. Make sure the trees of the two Cameo squares are both growing the same direction! Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
- Place a third Pagoda rectangle right sides together with the completed four-block piece. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. This is the finished wide second row.
- Repeat to create a matching fourth row, using the two remaining Cameo squares and the three remaining Pagoda rectangles.
- Press all the seam allowances together and to the left. You can finger press or use a pressing cloth and a cool iron.
Assemble the front rows
- When your five rows are complete, you can stitch them together. Working from the top row down, pin the first two rows right sides together. The most important thing to remember is to keep your seams in line with one another. It can help to place a pin in each seam and match up the pins.
- Remember when you assembled the rows, you pressed the seam allowances in opposite directions row to row? This now allows you to ‘nest’ the seams of the pieces. One seam is pressed in one direction, the opposing seam is pressed in the other direction, and they lay easily against each other.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew the rows together. Your careful matching along the seams will create perfect points on the front.
- Repeat to assemble all five rows.
Coverlet back – center square
- Find the FOUR large solid squares.
- Place two squares right sides together and pin along one side.
- Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Press all the seam allowance together and to the left.
- Place two remaining squares right sides together and pin along one side.
- Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Press all the seam allowance together and to the right.
- Place the two sewn panels right sides together and pin along one long side, nesting the seams opposite one another to create a perfect point in the center.
- Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Set aside
Coverlet back – borders
- Find SIX of the velveteen squares and the FOUR Cameo horizontal rectangles. These will create the top and bottom borders. They are assembled in the same manner as rows 1, 3 and 5 on the front.
- Pin a velveteen square to a horizontal-motif Cameo rectangle, right sides together, along one 12¼” side. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat to create four sewn pairs.
- Place two pairs right sides together, velveteen to cotton so the blocks are alternating as shown in the drawing above. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat with the remaining pairs to create two sets of four blocks (velveteen/Cameo/velveteen/Cameo).
- Place one velveteen square, at the end of one four block sewn set, along the remaining raw edge of the Cameo. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat with the other four block set to complete the top and bottom borders.
- Refer to the drawing above for motif direction; the Cameo trees should be in opposite directions, growing towards the center of the coverlet.
- Press all the seam allowances together and to the right. You can finger press or use a pressing cloth and a cool iron.
- To assemble the side borders, find TWO of the velveteen squares and the FOUR Cameo vertical rectangles. Place a Cameo vertical-motif rectangle right sides together on either side of a velveteen square. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam. Repeat with the remaining three pieces to create two sets of three blocks (Cameo/velveteen/Cameo).
- As with the top and bottom, refer to the drawing above for motif direction; the Cameo trees should be in opposite directions, growing towards the center of the coverlet.
Assemble the back
- Place a sewn side border, right sides together, on either side of the center solid square.
- Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
- Place the top border along the top of the assembled center, carefully matching the outside corners.
- Make sure the Cameo trees are growing down towards the center of the Coverlet. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
- Place the bottom border along the bottom of the assembled center, carefully matching the outside corners. Make sure the Cameo trees are growing up towards the center of the Coverlet. Pin in place. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
Layer the front and batting and attach the fringe
You need a BIG space for this: a large table, mattress or a clean floor.
- Lay your batting flat on your work surface.
- Lay the completed coverlet top on the batting, right side up.
- Smooth it out the best you can. Pin baste the layers together, which means to place large safety pins at intervals across the coverlet to hold the layers together. Don’t be afraid to use lots of pins, we needed forty!
- Once the batting is firmly secured to the quilt top, trim and excess batting so the layers are flush on all sides. Pin around the entire edge of the coverlet.
- Still working on the right side of the coverlet top, and starting in the middle of the bottom edge, lay the fringe around the entire perimeter. The top of the trim should be flush with the raw edges of the coverlet. Allow the fringe to round out around the corners; this is its natural tendency.
- Do not take off the white string along the bottom of the fringe yet… it is holding the fringe together.
- Stitch the trim in place all the way around the coverlet, simply overlapping at the end to finish. The chainette trim is dense enough to disguise this type of simple finish.
- Trim back the batting at each corner to follow the curve.
Attach the back to the front and quilt
- Place the coverlet back right side up and flat on your BIG work surface. Smooth it out as best you can.
- Lay the coverlet front right side down on top of the back. The two pieces are now right sides together and the fringe in sandwiched in between the layers.
NOTE: The coverlet top is very heavy due to the velvet and the sateen and especially the dense fringe. You are likely to break a sweat layered the two sides together, matching all the edges and keeping everything as smooth as possible. Be patience, and remember… no need to go to the gym after finishing this step!
- Pin around all four sides, leaving about a 10″ opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a Walking foot if possible, stitch around all four sides. Remember to lock your seam on either side of the opening left for turning.
- Turn the coverlet right side out through the opening.
- Lay the coverlet right side up on your work surface. Work up a sweat once again to pull out the fringe all around, round out the corners (a chopstick or knitting needle works well for this), and smooth out all the layers. Fold in the raw edges of the opening to either side of the fringe so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Once you have everything as smooth as you can possibly get it, weight the coverlet to hold it in place. You can use pattern weights or you can wrap bricks or rocks in fabric to use as weights.
- Working across the coverlet top, re-pin all the original safety pins, the ones you placed to hold the top to the batting, through all the layers.
- If necessary, re-thread your machine with machine quilting thread.
- If possible, you should still be using a Walking foot.
- Quilt the layers together as shown above in the drawings: around the entire perimeter (this closes the opening left for turning), then stitch in the ditch along the main horizontal and vertical seams. We used a heavy dashed line to indicate the quilting lines.
NOTE: This is a big, heavy piece; rolling it and securing it with quilt clips will help you keep it under control. It will also help if you have as much work surface behind your machine as possible to support the coverlet as it moves through the machine.
- When complete, remove the basting thread holding the bottom of the fringe in place.
- Cut the satin ribbon into NINE 15″ lengths. Tie each length into a pretty bow.
- Handstitch a bow in the center of each velvet rectangle on the front of the coverlet. The bows should be stitched in place with the tails facing the fringe.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever
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