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Confessions of a quilting virgin: An easy peasy quilt project

This weekend I embarked on a new project – a patchwork quilt to cover mine and the boy’s new, extremely cosy double bed.

I’ve always loved quilts, especially when they’re made of gorgeous fabrics and look all snuggly and warm. However, some designs can be incredibly intricate and complicated to make. So for this project, I’m aiming to create the simplest – yet most awesome-looking – quilt possible.

There are two main types of quilting techniques – machine stitched and hand stitched. Machine stitching is suitable for regular square or rectangle-shaped pieces of fabric. Hand quilting is suitable for hexagon shapes, which are generally too fiddly to sew by machine.

Hexagon quilting, via Pinterest

As I am attempting to create the world’s simplest quilt I am, understandably, going for the machine version. So the first step is gathering together a selection of gorgeous fabrics.

Now this is possibly the most fun part, picking and choosing different contrasting and complimenting colours and patterns. However, if you are massively strapped for time, it is possible to buy sets of fabric squares that have been specially selected to make a lovely-looking patchwork pattern.

I picked up a set from Country Threads in Bath, a specialist quilting shop that stocks some amazing fabrics. I chose vintage-style florals and prints in blue, red and grey, as the boy and I are both fans of the shabby-chic look.

However, please be aware that, although this may be the simplest way to make a quilt, it’s probably not the cheapest! My set cost £9 for 42 5×5 inch squares, so you could source fabrics yourself much cheaper. But I’m going for the time-saving approach!

My quilt squares all laid out

The next step involves fussing over all the different squares and figuring out which ones should go next to each other. This took me longer than I anticipated as the red squares really ‘popped’ compared to the others, so needed careful arranging.

Sewing the strips together

Once you’ve decided on your square arrangements, start sewing them together in long strips. It’s a good idea to keep your seams all the same length so that the squares join up when you sew your strips together.

One finished strip!

Ta da! If you’re in a bit of a hurry/ have a shaky hand, which has resulted in uneven or wonky seams, then try not to worry too much. You can always arrange your strips so that the squares are staggered, which should hide any mishaps.

Next step will be to stitch them all together, then add some snuggly filling, backing fabric and a border. I’ll post my final results and the second part of this how-to soon!

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About the Author

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I am a journalist living in Bristol, UK. My work has been published in The Independent, The Guardian, Dazed and Confused, Mixmag and DJ Mag, amonst others. Drop me a line at jess.fmb@gmail.com.

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