quilt DONE!

Pretty happy with my scrappy quilt.  I can’t quite decide which way round it appeals to me more:

quiltdone quiltflipped

And the back…


It’s a bit of a hodge podge, in the sense that the striped top was built on light weight polar fleece, so sort of “quilted”, just by the nature of the sew&flip stripes – the border stripes are quilted with just straight lines.  I had seen a tutorial for Quilt-as-you-go that does it like this, QAYG for the top, then adding the back after the fact.   I didn’t follow it exactly, but the general principles are the same.  I went with a tied quilt to join the front, another thin layer of batting, and the back.  I’m sure “real” quilters will shudder at the higglety pigglety assembly, but  its warm and cuddly and looks good to me.

Now, about that border.  I love the look of the alternating B&W squares, but there was simply no way I was going to try to piece it.  I thought to myself if I found a checkerboard fabric that had blocks of the right size, I could fake it.  I went looking for guidance and did lots of Googling, but found nothing.  Images that came up didn’t SEEM to address what I wanted (and I got bored looking thru all the links that ended up being not related) and the site searches didn’t seem to be what I wanted either. If you read this and know of a tutorial for this kind of thing PLEASE share it with me!  I would love to see how a pro does it.

Here is what I did – I hope I can explain it in text, as I didn’t take photos along the way.  I’ll point out the issues as I go.

  1. I cut the fabric to 6 rows of blocks.  One block was about 3/4″ square. I cut along the rows, by hand, with scissors, not with a cutter.  I knew if there was ANY hope of it even sort-of working I had to use the lines of the fabric, not measurements, IYKWIM
  2. I joined the strips, not like bias binding, but straight across, matching the block very carefully (pinning well) and sewing slowly right along the matched edges.
  3. Open and press the seams really well.  Honestly, the join in the PATTERN was imperceptible, and only by feeling could you notice the difference in the thickness where the seam was.
  4. Press the entire length in half, wrong sides together, right along the edge of a row of blocks.
  5. Trim the entire length with a 1/4 seam allowance along the raw edge side.  Looking at the strip you should have folded edge, a row of  B W B W then a half row of W B W B, raw edges.

This is the tutorial for sewing on the binding.  If I had tried to mitre the ends to finish off the checkerboard would have been impossible (well for ME anyway) to match.  Overlapping the ends gave me a better chance of having it look OK, if not perfect.

When you sew the binding to the front of the quilt, pin generously and sew right along the edge of the half block row. Obviously this SHOULD be a 1/4 inch as you’ve trimmed it this way. If you are sewing along and waver a bit and need to make a decision between following the 1/4 inch measurement or following the edge of the blocks, follow the blocks.  GO SLOW.

Do the usual flip at the corner, as per the tutorial.  Now, I thought the corners would be an issue, but whether it was just dumb luck, or something to do with the spacing of the blocks, all 4 corners actually worked out OK.  You can fudge them a tiny bit if need be – I think we are talking maybe 1/4 inch at the most.  Each corner of my rectangle was different.  The ideal is the half black/half white corner.  I managed to get this one bang on!


I have two that have a solid block in the corner, one black, one white.  No so well done with the mitre but again, I can live with it.


When flipping and sewing to the back, I made sure that the fold hit the line between the blocks, so the binding is one row front, one row back.

The join at the end was ALWAYS going to be a risk – no dumb luck this time! I intentionally started the stitching fairly close to the corner so I could disguise this by applique – I thought maybe an arrow, front round to back, pointing to the label.


It’s not PERFECT, but it’s not horrible either.  And I think it’s a reasonable trade-off for how stinkin’ cute the checkerboard looks. I think I would try again, maybe attempting more quilt math to see if I can get the join more perfect.

So sorry to bore all the papercraft people, and the PL printable people, and the Gelli play people with all this sewing malarky.