King size quilt

Still not an expert in sewing but the T-shirt quilt gave me some confidence. A lovely young couple in my family moved to their first home and Christmas was coming, so I decided to give them something that makes their place homier: a hand made huge quilt bed cover.

First I wanted it to be a surprise but what if I spend a lot of time, energy and money on it and they won’t like it or had a different idea? So I raised the idea and they liked it. It is difficult to tell what is men’s take on patchwork so I tried to do it with neutral colours.

To make my task easier I choose square patterns where you only have to sew in straight lines. This time they were smaller squares and matching colours. The bedroom has green walls so I decided on green fabrics. I bought 5 different fabrics, 4 of them had patterns, one was just plain green. There was twice as much of the latter because of partly aesthetical, partly financial reasons.

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The bed to cover was quite big, the final size of the quilt is 220*250 cm which required more than 6 sqm fabric. The backing was another question; most stores don’t sell fabric of this size. Luckily my mom loves reading furnishing catalogs and she saw a big blanket which was big enough and green as well. The batting came in two pieces and I stitched it together with sewing machine – more or less.

I designed the size of the cover and squares on paper. I could use the fabrics best with 20*20 cm squares, after sewing they were about 19*19 cm and I needed 12 rows and 10 coloumns. So we are talking about sewing 120 squares together. Quite a lot and I was afraid of not being precise enough so the panels won’t match at the end. I found a method on the internet and applied it: first I cut stripes of the material and sewed 5 together. Then I cut across the seams and got 5 stripes of squares. I did it 6 times so at the end I had 30 stripes, some of them the same, others different. This part was surprisingly fast, maybe a few hours.

I needed more space, I pushed the furniture apart and moved the carpet. I arranged the stripes with squares to have a random distribution of colours and patterns. At this point you could see how the quilt will look like and it gave me motivation. I sew panels of 5*4 squares then sew the 6 panels together. Can’t say all the corners are exactly at the same point but looks good altogether and you can see it is handmade.

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It took me about a week to get here, working on and off. The reason why it took me about 3 months and missed Christmas was the actual quilting-stitching and bordering. It was not that easy for me, since I’m a beginner and my motivation went low and I let it sit for weeks sometimes.

I laid the back, the batting and the top on each other, pinned and tacked together. I wanted to sew next to each seam of the cover but I gave up the idea. Everything put together was way too big to and heavy to handle easily, I couldn’t sew properly. That was the point when my mother joined me and helped moving and holding the blanket as I was sewing it. I reconsidered the original 9+11 seams and did 2+5 instead plus at the borders. This part wasn’t difficult either, and didn’t take much time after I decided on how to do it.

Finally the border: the back was a bit larger than the top so I folded it back to have a border. I pinned, tacked and sewed it as good as I could. Some parts needed hand adjustment afterwards because the top was shorter at some points.

The quilt was ready and sent it to its new home. My mom made two pillows of the leftover fabrics. It looks great all together. I was happy that I did it, it turned out well, it was appreciated and I learned a lot about sewing. Although afterwards I didn’t go near the sewing machine for a year. Also, I promised to myself that the next blanket I’m going to make will be baby sized!

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Materials and tools:
  • big blanket (220*260 cm)
  • patchwork fabric (7-8 m2)
  • fleece (kb. 6 m2)
  • ruler, measuring tape, needle, thread, pins
  • sewing machine

 

(Magyar verzió: Ágytakaró nagy méretben)

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