November 28, 2008

How to Make a Doll Quilt from Memory Fabrics Part 1

For my fellow bloggers I'm going to create a tutorial. I'm thinking it will have five parts. Fabric selection, Creating the Quilt Top, Basting a Quilt, Quick and Easy Machine Quilting and Last but not least How to Bind a Quilt.

First let's talk size. Sometimes we really just want to use what we have to save a bit of money and that's what I'm doing here. This very morning my daughter told me her favorite color is purple so I pulled out all my left over baby clothes fabrics from the quilt I made for her that are purple. My squares are 3.5" that means with a seam allowance of 1/4" they are sewn in and end up being 3". If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it, I'll explain in part two. From my supply of fabric I selected this one first. It's a stretchy fabric and it isn't being stabilized in anyway. But it has butterflies embroidered on it and I just know Jessica will like it, so I chose it as my focal point color. Since I know my squares will sew in at 3" I go ahead and plan on a 12" baby blanket. Four over and four down. As you can see it's a dark color and this will help to prevent stains from showing but will also require a bit of extra attention to match it up with other fabrics.
Next I add two lighter shades of purple. The fabric above is more towards pink and the fabric below is more towards blue, but both are purple. Keep in mind that you should trust yourself and what you think will look nice. Put the fabrics together, do they play well with others? If your eye screams no, listen. If you are especially fond of that one particular fabric try it with other colors. Yellow and purple can be extra hard to match with yellow going dingy at the drop of a hat. Sometimes changing to a different color like yellow and red or yellow and blue will keep that from happening.

Now I only have that one little thing of the fabric in the upper corner, but I really like it, so I know if I stick it in the corner it could work, so I put it up there now so I don't forget.
Now just for a moment let me draw your attention again to the fact that these fabrics all used to be baby clothes. These were Carter's PJ's so you know they have a bit of give to the fabric. It needs stabilized. But don't buy stabilizer! What you need is called interfacing. This will move with your fabric and give it a bit of structure. So it doesn't stretch when you sew.

Interfacing comes in many ways. It can be iron on, sew in, or peal and stick. With all the money in the world I'd get Sulky Iron peal and stick. It works great and has a grid so you don't waste much. But it gets extremely expensive on big projects. If you're going to splurge now keep that in mind should to want to move on to a bigger quilt.

I like to adhere it before cutting my fabrics out. That way the interfacing will go edge to edge.
This is stabilizer, it is normally used for embroidery. But I didn't know what I'm telling you now when I bought it, so since I got such a good deal I went ahead and used it. This will not wash out, and I have sprayed it in with spray adhesive. Because it doesn't MOVE I will need to remove it before I quilt it in. That part is easy but time consuming because for every piece you used you need to peal it off. The sewing line does act as a perforation and that helps to remove it a bit. I do not recommend using this in quilts, but you could leave it in for a wall hanging. Using it is a last ditch of "I bought it I may as well use it". If at all possible don't buy it in the first place.
Next try to add some more fabric. What do you see, what does a little project like this need? Keep in mind you can always turn the fabric different ways to get different looks. Sometimes you can even put a fabric in upside down to help accomplish something pleasing. There are no limits, only your own inhibitions.

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