Monday, April 14, 2014

This Is What I Found In A Box In My Basement

Isn't this quilt so cute?  Didn't someone do a nice job?  Can you believe she found all of these things while rummaging through some stuff in her basement and that she put the whole thing together in just a few hours? Well, I did and I love it.  It is amazing what you can do with scraps of material and piecing things together.  I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to create something and really take the time to think about how it should look.  Now I have said it before and I will say it again - I am the LEAST crafty person around but when it comes to sewing, I can surprise even myself!

I found a whole stack of these beautiful quilt squares that were perfectly cut in my basement along with some cute strips of matching fabric that were perfect for a border and some flannel that I just pieced together to make this sweet baby quilt. Actually, you could use it for a baby quilt or as a wall hanging.  Please tell me that I'm not the only person who has ever put something away and forgotten they had it!

I haven't made a quilt in a while and I usually have some sort of a pattern to follow but since I just plucked this material up out of my basement and didn't have any real plans, I just made it up as I went along by recalling previous techniques that I had used before when making quilts and just started sewing! It is a simple but cute quilt and it was so easy to put together.  Here is what I did.

You will need:

  1. 5" squares to make your desired size quilt (Hopefully you can find the stack that is hiding in your basement or attic!)
  2. Border material to make 6" wide borders
  3. Backing material to cover the entire back and bind the front of the quilt
  4. Batting
  5. Thread to match the color of the quilt
  6. Pre-threaded bobbins so you don't have to stop!  I have a box of plastic bobbins so when I start a large project like this I always pre-thread several in the color I am using so that I don't have to stop.
  7. Scissors
  8. Quilters Ruler.  Luckily I also had one of these in my basement.  The lines on it are fading and it is pretty scratched up but it works.
  9. Sewing Machine

All the seams for the quilt top are 1/4 inch

Figure out how you want your quilt top to look by laying your squares out in a pattern. I had 5 inch squares so I just kept moving them around until I was happy with how it looked.  Here is where the creativity first kicked in - it was a little uncomfortable for me, I must say!

Now pick the squares up by starting from the top left row and pick up the 5 squares (that is how many I had in my pattern) ending with the last square on the right at the bottom of your pile.  I now have 6 separate piles of squares with the first row being on the top of my pile.

Take your first stack that will be your top row and move them close to your sewing machine so that you can just pick them up as you go.  This part I really didn't use any pins because it is just sewing the squares together.  When you get to the point where you are sewing the rows together, you definitely need to use your pins so that your seams line up.

Pick up the first two squares from the stack you laid next to your sewing machine and match them up putting right sides together making sure that that edges and corners line up.  Sew them together on one side reversing at the beginning and the end of the stitching to make sure the stitches don't come out.

For demonstration purposes I went ahead and ironed the seams flat on the first two squares so that you could see how it should look.  (Normally I would sew all the squares together in a row and then sew all the other rows piling them up as I went.  I then would press all the seams flat and trim the extra thread.)

Pick up the next square putting it's right sides together with the second square you sewed and sew it together just like the first two and continue until you have finished that first stack.  When you are all done, it should look like this.  Press the seams open so that the material lays flat.  Pick up your next stack and sew them together just like the first row.  Sew each stack together until you have finished all rows and press the seams of all of them open.

Don't these look so very nice?  And yes, that is a little twig in the top right hand corner of the picture from my Christmas tree left over from December. Embarrassing!

Now you have a nice stack of rows piled up in the order in which you want them to be sewn together.

Take the first and second rows and put them right sides together pinning them so that all the seams match up. It is really important to pin at this point because as you sew the material may shift and then your seams will be off.

Sorry about the blurry picture.  This is how your first 2 rows will look after you have sewn them together.

This picture is how they will look after you have pressed the seams flat.  It is so much easier to sew when you iron things flat.

This is what the top will look like when all the squares are sewn together and all the seams are pressed flat. Nice, if I do say so myself!

For the borders I measured the length of the quilt squares sewn together and added 6" plus 1/4" seam allowance on each end.  I cut two of these pieces - one for the left side of the quilt and one for the right side of the quilt.  I then measured the width of the quilt squares going across and added 6" plus 1/4" seam allowance on each end.  I cut two of these strips as well.  I found my old quilters ruler in the basement too so truly, this didn't cost me a dime AND it made the job so much easier!

I first sewed the top and bottom strips onto my quilt squares.

This is how it looked when I was done.  I then sewed the sides on and pressed all the seams flat again to make sure that my next step would go smoothly.

Since I am piecing this quilt together with random pieces of material, I started by laying the backing down first.  I had already ironed this material flat so it was very easy to work with.  I then laid the batting down and flattened it out so that it also was completely flat and yes, I did iron the batting!  It is 100% cotton so I could lightly press it.  On top of that I laid my completed quilt top and pinned it all together so that it wouldn't slip.

Some people use basting spray to hold all the pieces together but I didn't have any so I just used my good old pins.  It works just as well except it can be painful!

Now that you have all three of your pieces pinned together it is time to trim the batting and backing.  I first trimmed the batting so that it lay even with my quilt top. I then cut the backing so that there was a 3/4" border all the way around the quilt. I then folded and pressed the backing in 1/4" all the way around and then folded it again pressing the other 1/2" in and pinned it.

Here you can do some fancy stitching if you like.  Since this was my first time making a quilt in ages AND it was about 1:15 a.m., I decided to just go with a straight stitch, and a simple corner.  Mitering is not a good idea when you are super tired.

So here she is, all finished.  It's not perfect and it is pretty bright, as my husband said, but I think it looks nice considering I found it all in a lovely box stowed away in my basement.

Happy quilting!


  1. Becky i love this! so cute! you are inspiring me to use sme of the fabric I have cut into squares. Thanks for the inspiration my friend Hugs Marie

  2. This was so easy to make, Marie and it turned out really cute. And by the way, you inspired me!


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