Remember when I shared with you the Downy Touch of Comfort & Quilts For Kids program several weeks ago? Yeah, they’re the ones who gather and deliver handmade quilts to children in hospitals all over the country. Such a heartfelt organization. And one I was really excited to learn about and participate in……but even more, I’ve been so excited to hear YOUR enthusiasm. I love that so many of you jumped right in and ordered a kit (or two) for yourself.
How is that going, by the way? Has your free kit arrived?
Well, some of you are visual learners, so my last post showed how to assemble the Four-Patch-Quilt top…..just in case you needed it. Well, several of you asked if I would show how to add the batting, how to machine quilt it (on a regular sewing machine), and then how to bind it. Well, I have an older tutorial here, showing how to make strips of binding and then how to attach them. But, there’s also another way, that’s quite a bit easier…..which is to use the quilt backing to bind off the quilt. And that’s how I finished this one. Finally. :)
And look, Downy even provides you with a little label to attach to the back of your quilt. Now the sweet child who receives your quilt will know who made it.
I do have a problem though. I was testing out the quilt size on my little Chloe…..and now she thinks it’s hers. Like, she would not let me take it off of her and she sat here for a long time with it around her. Even after the camera was put away. I’ll have to sneak it away during nap time. ;)
And remember, you can DEFINITELY “quilt” this size of quilt on a regular ‘ol machine. (What does “quilting” mean? When you stitch all 3 layers together, all over the quilt.) And if this is your first time quilting, this is probably the easiest way to bind the edges.
You CAN do this. I’m sure of it. And just think, what a great excuse to learn how to quilt and bind (or just get better at it). Whoever receives your little quilt will surely appreciate it.
And just to show you how sweet and fulfilling it is to donate to the Downy Touch of Comfort & Quilts for Kids program is…….watch this video of a recent quilt delivery to the Montefiore Hospital. (And yes, that is Chandra Wilson from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. She is the spokesperson for Downy Touch of Comfort and has an invested interest in this program, as her own daughter has spent a lot of time in hospitals.)
And before you get all nervous about making a quilt, just remember, your quilt does not have to be one bit perfect. Just do the best you can and if you sew a crooked line and can’t stand looking at it, go ahead and rip it out and try again. If not, you’re just adding character to your quilt. And that’s why your quilt will be different from everyone else. Got it? :)
Do you need help with quilting and binding? Or maybe just a refresher course?
First of all, if you missed the tutorial on putting this Four-Patch-Quilt together…..the tutorial can be found here.
After you have your quilt top completed, lay it on top of your quilt batting (must be low-loft batting for the Touch of Comfort program), which is on top of the quilt backing (make sure the right side of the backing is facing down). So it’s like a 3 layer sandwich.
It doesn’t matter if the batting is hanging out or is uneven at this point. But just be sure that your backing is a couple inches bigger around all edges.
Then place pins through all 3 layers, keeping everything in place and to prevent it from shifting when you begin quilting. I added a pin to every other quilt block and around all the edges of the quilt.
Now, it’s time to start sewing on your sewing machine. I always start in the middle of my quilts and then work my way outwards. I could have created the meandering look like I did on this quilt but not everyone has that ability. So I wanted to show you plain ‘ol line quilting. I followed the directions from Quilts for Kids and sewed diagonal lines through all the boxes……but I first rolled up half the quilt until I reached the middle, where I would begin sewing.
Rolling up half of the quilt helps keep it snug and out of the place while you’re sewing in the middle of the quilt. Then I just began sewing from on corner to the other, sewing continuous straight lines through the diagonal of each row of boxes.
After sewing all of the diagonal lines in one direction, I re-rolled up half my quilt and started in the middle again, and sewed all of the diagonal lines in the other direction. Then I sewed one line through the outer border fabric.
Here’s a better look at all those diagonal lines.
Next, I trimmed away the excess batting, cutting right up against the top layer of fabric (shown on left). And then I used a ruler and cut the backing fabric so that it was 1 inch bigger around all sides (shown on right).
Next, I started on one side of the quilt and folded the backing fabric over a 1/2 inch. Then I folded it over another 1/2 inch (up and over the batting and top layer of fabric) and then pinned it down. Continue pinning this entire side of the quilt the same way.
The corners can probably be done a variety of ways……but here is the easiest and quickest way for me. To get this this bottom left corner to look nice and neat, I first fold the bottom corner up in a diagonal, until it’s even with the top (blue) fabric. See, it makes a little triangle (pic on left)? Then, without letting that little fold you made slip, fold over the backing fabric on the left side over a 1/2 inch, just like you did above (pic on right)……..
And then fold it over another 1/2 inch, up and over the batting and top fabric…….the same way you did above. But because you made that first little diagonal fold, it creates a nice and neat little corner. Pin in place.
Then repeat with all sides and all corners, until your binding is all pinned in place. Then stitch around the entire binding, nice and close to the inner fold of the binding (towards the inside of the quilt). Remove pins as you go. When you get to a corner, drop your needle down into the fabric, lift up your presser foot, rotate your quilt, put your presser foot back down (make sure that your needle is lined up with the inside edge of the binding on this new side), and then continue sewing.
Now, your quilt is ready to be shipped of for some sweet little angel to enjoy.
Truly worth all of the effort.