Do you remember your childhood bedspread? Most people do. Maybe it's because we always felt so safe and cuddly under those covers. And we all know when you pull the bedspread over your head, you are instantly protected from any monsters who might be trying to get you! Moving from a crib to a 'big boy bed' is a momentous occasion in a toddler's world, and deserving of a special bedcover. Our twin size patchwork quilt tutorial fits the bill. The Gang fabric within the Lil' Rascals collection by Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics is a fantastic easy quilting pick because the design already includes a four-patch motif, making your finished quilt look like you're quite the piecing professional.
Moda Fabrics has been in the sewing and quilting industry since 1975; a leader in bringing beautiful, innovative fabric collections to independent shop owners. It's been so exciting for us to partner with Moda to bring you this great collection of children's tutorials, perfect for when you're ready to update from nursery to toddler's room. Today's twin size quilt tutorial is the last of our eight projects. Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the project to see the other seven related articles in the series.
In the coming weeks, Moda will sponsor a generous Great Giveaway with Lil' Rascals fabric cuts and more. And, we will be posting our own S4H-created picture book to go along with the series. It's the perfect package: you can make all eight projects to outfit your room, then cozy up with your toddler and read all about the adventures of "Little Benny and His Missing Blanket."
Our quilt sample finished at 66" x 90", which is a standard twin size.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 7700QCP)
- Ditch Quilting foot (optional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 2½ yards of 44-45" wide large-motif print fabric for 35 of the 70 quilt squares; we used Lil' Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in The Gang Tan
NOTE: You could get away with 2¼ yards if your motif does not require fussy cutting; we used a very specific part of our Lil' Rascals print and so needed more fabric.
- 2½ yards of 44-45" wide small-motif print fabric for 35 of the 70 main quilt squares plus the four corner squares; we used Lil' Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in Sugar & Spice Natural
- 4¾ yards of 44-45" wide coordinating print fabric for 2 of the 3 back panels and the front borders; we used Lil' Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in Blanket Tan
NOTE: You will end up with a fairly large unused piece (apx. 21" x 81"), which you can use to make another one of our Lil' Rascals projects! If you are a clever quilter, you could piece your border strips, but we prefer to use single strips to keep our instructions as simple as possible.
- 2½ yards of 44-45" wide coordinating print fabric for 1 of the 3 back panels and the binding; we used Lil' Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in Dots & Marbles Natural
- One twin size (apx. 66" x 90") piece of lightweight quilt batting; we used Kyoto Bamboo Batting
- Yarn needle
- One small ball of soft cotton yarn in a coordinating color for the quilt ties; we used a ecru
- All purpose thread to match all fabrics
- Long see-through ruler
- Fabric marker, pen, or tailor's chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Hand sewing needle
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Plenty of large safety pins
- Straight pins
- From the large motif quilt-square fabric (The Gang Tan in our sample), fussy cut THIRTY-FIVE 8½" x 8½" squares.
NOTE: As we mentioned above, The Gang fabric in the Lil' Rascals collection is perfect for a quilt top because the four-patch design of the fabric makes it look like you've done more piecing than you really have. When cutting your squares, make sure you carefully fussy cut in order to get close-to-equal numbers of each of the four-patch designs.
- From the small motif quilt-square fabric (Sugar & Spice Natural), cut the following:
THIRTY-FIVE 8½" x 8½" squares.
FOUR 5⅜" x 5⅜" squares
- From the fabric for 2 of the 3 back panels and the borders (Blanket Tan in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 21½" wide x 90" long rectangles for the two back panels
TWO 5⅜" x 56½" strips for the top and bottom borders
TWO 5⅜" x 80½" strips for the side borders
- From the fabric for 1 of the 3 back panels and the binding (Dots & Marbles Natural in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 24½" x 90" rectangle for the back panel
FOUR 4" x 90" strips for the binding
At Your Sewing Machine
Piecing the rows
- The quilt top is made up of 10 rows of seven squares. Find your 70 squares and arrange them into groups of seven, alternating a large-motif square with a small-motif square.
- If you have repetitive motifs as we did with our Lil Rascals four-patch designs, you should also alternate these along each row. Follow our pattern shown below or create your own.
- Once you have all 10 rows laid out, find the first two squares of the first row. In our instructions, we are working from top to bottom and from left to right. In our sample, the first two squares are a Cowboy Gang and a Sugar & Spice.
- Place these two squares right sides together. If you are using a directional motif as we did, make sure the two pieces are both going the right way. Pin together along one side.
- Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- Add the third square in the sequence (a Monkey Gang in our sample). Place it right sides together with the sewn two-square unit, aligning one side of the new square with the remaining raw edge of the sewn square. Pin in place. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- You now have a three-square unit; add the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh squares in the same manner to create the first seven-square row.
- Press all the seam allowances of row-one together and to the right.
- Repeat these steps to create nine more rows, but alternate how you press the seam allowances. In other words, row one: press the seams to the right, row two: press the seams to the left, row three: press the seams to the right, etc. When we assemble the rows (see below) the seams will 'nest' together and create a nice flat intersection.
Assembling the rows
- Find your first two stitched rows of seven squares. Place them right sides together, carefully aligning the seams so your intersections will perfectly match. Remember that pressing to the left and to the right we did above? Now you can see why that was important. It is much easier to align everything when the seam allowances are opposite one another. Carefully pin in place. If you are using a directional motif, don't forget to check before your stitch to make sure all the patterns are going the right way.
- Stitch the rows together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- Continuing adding and stitching rows in this same manner until you have completed all 10 rows.
NOTE: If you are short on space, you could assemble just five rows, then stitch these rows together and set this first half aside. Then, assemble the next five rows and stitch these rows together to make a second half. Finally, stitch the two halves together to create the complete top.
Attach the borders
- Find the TWO 5⅜" x 80½ side border strips (Blanket Tan in our sample). Place one strip along both sides of the pieced quilt top, right sides together and with the long 80½" raw edges aligned. Pin in place.
- Stitch each side border strip in place, using a ¼" seam allowance. Press the seam allowances together and toward the darkest fabric (the Blanket Tan in our sample).
- Find the TWO 5⅜" x 56½" top and bottom border strips (Blanket Tan in our sample) and the FOUR 5⅜" x 5⅜" corner squares (Sugar & Spice Natural in our sample).
- Stitch one square to each end of each top and bottom border strip. To do this, place a square right sides together at one end of a border strip, aligning one 5⅜" side. Pin and stitch in place, using a ¼" seam allowance. Repeat at the other end of the border strip. Then repeat to attach the remaining two corner squares to the remaining border strip. Press the seam allowances together and toward the darkest fabric (the Blanket Tan in our sample).
- Place one strip along the top of the pieced quilt top, right sides together and with the raw edges aligned. Pin in place.
- Stitch the top border strip in place, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- Place one strip along the bottom of the pieced quilt top, right sides together and with the raw edges aligned. Pin in place.
- Stitch the bottom border strip in place, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- Your quilt top is now complete.
Assemble the back
- Find the three back panels.
- Alternate the panels. In our sample, we have two Blanket Tan panels and one Dots & Marbles panel. Pin the two matching panels to either side of the single panel.
- Stitch both long 90" seams, using a ¼" seam allowance. Press the seams towards the darkest fabric (the Blanket Tan in our sample).
Make a quilt 'sandwich'
- Lay out your batting on your work surface so it is nice and flat. Depending on your space, this may mean laying it out on the floor.
- Lay the quilt top right side up on top of the batting. Smooth it out so it is nice and flat and the edges of both layers are aligned. Our batting was a little bit bigger than the top, so we trimmed it at this stage to perfectly match the quilt top. A long see-through ruler and rotary cutter is best for this step.
- Using your large safety pins, pin the quilt top to the batting, keeping the quilt top as flat and smooth as possible.
- Gently roll up the pinned quilt top/backing and place it off to one side.
- Lay the quilt back flat on the work surface wrong side up.
- Gently unroll the quilt top/backing over the quilt back, lining up all the edges.
- Use your hands to press out all bumps and wrinkles, then re-pin through all the layers. This is an important step, and even though it is big, you need to take the time to make sure all the edges are flush and the corners are square. Pinning keeps the layers from shifting. This step is often called 'basting' the quilt layers.
- Once you are satisfied everything is lined up correctly, thread the yarn needle for your ties. At each quilt square intersection, poke the needle through the top and then bring it back up through all the layers. Clip the ends to about 1" each and tie them into a double knot.
- Make a tie at each intersection. There are 54 of them!
- Once you have your ties in place, you can remove the safety pins from the center of the quilt, but it's a good idea to leave them along the borders. It will help to keep the layers from shifting when you attach the binding.
Attach the binding
- Stitch the FOUR 4" x 90" binding strips (Dots & Marbles Natural in our sample) together end-to-end (along the 4" sides) to create one long strip. Press all seams open.
- Press this entire long binding strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
NOTE: Because this is a beginner quilt, and has a definite front and back, we decided to bind the edge with a machine sewn seam. This is quicker and easier than the more traditional hand-stitched finish. It allows for a clean bound edge on the front with the stitching line only showing on the back.
- If you're brand new to binding, you might want to take a look at Bias Tape: How to Make It & Attach It, to give you a solid, overall understanding of binding techniques. Also, since we don't have many photos here, we used this same binding technique on our Eyeglass Case. Binding is not hard, it just takes practice to get used to the twists and turns.
- Starting in the middle of one edge of the quilt, and working on the FRONT of the quilt, line up the raw edges of the folded binding with the raw edge of quilt. Leave about a 5" tail at the start. Pin in place to the first corner.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, start sewing the binding to the quilt. Go from your starting point (remember to leave that 5" tail) to the first corner.
- Stop at the corner. Raise the needle and the pressure foot. Pull the quilt out slightly from under the needle to the left of the machine. You do not need to cut the thread.
- Rotate the quilt. To turn the corner, bring the folded edge of your binding up. This automatically creates a pleat and a 90˚ corner. Pin. Line up the next side's raw edge with the raw edges of the binding, working your way towards the next corner. Pin in place about 6".
- Place the quilt back under the needle and foot to continue sewing the binding, starting about ¼" in from the top edge.
- Stop, with your needle in the down position, to continue your pinning once you get past that first 6".
NOTE: You can pin all the way to the next corner, or - because it's so big, you can work with small sections of pinning.
- Repeat these same steps at each corner.
NOTE: A quilt can become a bit unwieldy. Sometimes it's easier to gently roll it to make it easier to handle and maneuver.
- When you're approaching the point where you started, stop about 8" short of this point and back tack. This will allow you the space to join your binding end-to-end, then attach it to the quilt for a clean finish.
- With the 5" tail you left at the beginning, and the tail you have at the end, unfold the binding strip and place the two binding tails right sides together.
- Determine the point where you can sew a straight seam (just like you did when you joined the binding pieces end-to-end at the start), which will allow your binding to lay flat against quilt. Pin the ends together at this point.
- Pull the binding away from the quilt so you can place it under the foot of your sewing machine.
- Sew a seam where you pinned the binding. Trim the tails to a ¼" seam allowance. Press open.
- The binding should now be a perfect fit flat against the quilt. Press this loose section of the binding in half wrong sides together (into its original shape).
- Pin the raw edges of the binding to the remaining raw edge of the quilt.
- Finish sewing the binding to the quilt from the point where you stopped to the point where you started, matching your seam lines.
- Press the binding up and away from the quilt front.
- Wrap the folded-edge of the binding over to the back of the quilt, encasing the raw edges of the quilt. Align the folded-edge of the binding so it is just beyond your previous stitching line. Make sure your fold is even all around the edge. You'll probably need to futz with the corners a little bit to get the pleats right. Press in place.
- On the front of the quilt, place pins "in the ditch" of the binding seam line, which is just below your original seam line. You will remove the pins as you sew your seam.
- Using a straight stitch, sew ‘in the ditch' - again, this is right along and just below your original seam line. Go all the way around the quilt, pivoting at each corner.
NOTE: You can sew in the ditch with a regular presser foot, you just need to be very careful placing your foot on the fabric and aligning your needle. Then, sew slowly and keep your fabric along running along a needle plate guide line. We're very lucky to have Janome as one of our sponsors, because they have a wonderful Ditch Quilting foot that worked great for this project. It has a handy guide that you can run right along the previous seam to keep the ditch stitching perfectly straight.
NOTE: As we mentioned, this is a faster and easier way to finish your binding. If you want a more traditional quilt binding, use a hand sewing needle and thread to stitch the binding down on the back of the quilt with a whip stitch. If you'd like to review how hand-stitched binding is done, this method was used on our tutorial, Turquoise 2010: Moda's Ruffled Jelly Roll Table Runner.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild