HOW TO MAKE A WHOLE CLOTH QUILT
A calming lilac quilt is a bedtime must for a new bubba, we reckon – all hand-stitched love and gently crumpled linen. The Baptist fan pattern repeat gives glorious trad-meets-modern texture and is carefully sewn in matching pastel thread. For a bolder look, you could quilt yours with a contrasting thread, or use different colours to stitch little rainbows. A stronger shade or print for the binding fabric would up the impact too.
01 Cut an 18 x 2.5cm (71/ 8 x 1") strip of template plastic. Use a pen to mark 0.5cm (¼") in from one end, then mark every 2.5cm (1") after that. Pierce each of the seven holes with a pin, then enlarge all but the first with the point of a pair of scissors, pushing them all through from the same side so that all rough edges are on top.
02 Layer the backing fabric – Fabric 2 – on a table, followed by the wadding and then Fabric 1, smoothing out wrinkles as you go. This is the quilt sandwich. Make sure all the pieces are slightly larger than the final size of the quilt, as the linen will shift slightly during the tacking and quilting process.
03 Keeping the quilt sandwich laid out flat, and starting at one corner, use contrasting thread to tack stitches roughly 5cm (2") long down the length of the quilt. Once you reach the other end of the quilt, sew a 10-15cm (4- 6") tacking stitch to one side and start a new line, as shown. Continue until the whole quilt is tacked together.
04 Use a ruler and the erasable fabric marker to draw a 70 x 90cm (275/ x 35½") rectangle on Fabric 1, 8 the size of the finished quilt.
05 Place the template along the bottom line at the right-hand side, positioning the first hole over the corner. Using a pin to hold it in place at the corner, place the fabric marker in the first enlarged hole and slide the template up and to the right, pivoting on the pin, drawing an arc until it reaches the right-hand side of the rectangle. Keep it there as you move the fabric marker to the next hole up before sliding it down to the bottom edge. Move the marker up to the next hole and continue sliding back and forth until all six arcs of the fan are drawn.
06 Move the pin and template to the point where the outer line of the first fan meets the bottom edge of the quilt and start the next fan, drawing the arcs with the template in the same way. Continue to the far edge of the quilt. Start the next row directly above the first fan, placing the pin where the outermost arc of the fan below meets the right-hand side of the rectangle. Continue this row as before, and repeat until the whole quilt is covered with fan arcs.
07 Begin quilting in the lower right-hand corner, bringing the needle with your chosen quilting thread through from the back to where you want to start stitching. Pull the thread until the knot reaches the backing fabric, then continue until the knot ‘pops’ through the backing fabric to rest inside the quilt sandwich. Work your way up and down the fan arcs in the same way you drew them.
08 Once fully quilted, remove the tacking stitches. Using a ruler to ensure the edges are straight, cut away any excess fabric and wadding without cutting through any of the quilting stitches.
09 Cut four 6cm (23/ 8") strips across the width of Fabric 3. Join the strips by laying the ends at 90º with right sides (RS) together. Sew diagonally across the corner and trim away the excess. Press the seams open to create a single length of binding, then the press whole length in half with wrong sides ( WS) together.
10 Leaving a 20cm (77/ 8") tail and starting in the centre of one side at the front of the quilt, align the raw edges of the binding and the quilt, RS together. Sew using a 0.5cm (¼") seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning to secure it.
11 At the corner, stop 0.5cm (¼") from the bottom edge. Rotate the quilt slightly so the remainder of the seam runs into the corner point of the quilt. Remove from the machine and fold the binding up at 45" along the sewn line. Bring it down again so the raw edge aligns with the next edge of the quilt and the fold lines up with the previous edge. Continue sewing the binding. Repeat for the remaining corners and stop approximately 25cm (97/ 8") before the start point.
12 Lay the quilt out and overlap the two ends of the binding. At the centre of the opening, measure 6cm (23/ 8") of overlap and trim away the rest. Lay the two binding ends RS together at 90" and sew together as per Step 9 to join. Align the binding with the quilt edge and finish sewing it down.
13 Turn the quilt over and fold the binding edge to the back. Using a fine coordinating thread, hand-sew down the binding, catching just a small amount of binding fabric in each stitch. Make sure the stitches only go through the backing fabric and wadding or they will be visible on the front. At the corners, fold over into a neat mitred corner and secure with a couple of extra stitches. Once finished, machine wash on a gentle cycle to remove the pattern markings, then dry flat.
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