Charm Square Quilt – Step 1

Lay out the 81 squares in a 9×9 pattern that you like.

I covered my bed with the design and rearranged until I was happy.  Somehow this took over an hour.

20170807_234955

Then I picked up each row, starting at the bottom, and worked my way to the right. I had nine piles of nine squares.

The first pile is the bottom row in the picture, left to right. I stuck that in a book. Then I flipped a page, and put the second row into the book. I continued until all nine rows were in the book. The three extra squares are in the end of the book so that they don’t get lost.

There ends Lesson 2, Preparing the Quilt Top – Labeling the Rows.

Charm Square Quilt

This is my first quilting project. I am following along with Amy Gibson’s “Learn to Quilt: Charming Baby Quilt” Craftsy Class. I’ve already watched through the whole class once, now I’m watching it again while sewing along.

Finished size of quilt is 40.5 in x 40.5 in

MATERIALS:

1. Quilting cotton, 1 1/4 yards, not prewashed

Kona cotton, 2 yards

2. Precut squares, aka 5 inch charm squares, quantity 81, not prewashed

Black squares
Design squares

3. Low loft cotton batting, make sure batting specifies quilting distance as 10 inches

4. Cotton thread, 50 weight

I am using black thread.

5. For the ties, pearl cotton, embroidery floss, or yarn

I am a knitter, so I have a bunch of yarn.

I also have embroidery floss from many failed attempts at embroidery.

6. Patchwork foot is basically a foot with an attached seam guide for making 1/4 inch seams. It may be replaced by a normal sewing foot with a separate magnetic seam guide.

I don’t know if I have a patchwork foot; honestly, I can’t identify it if I do have it. But I have a general foot, and a magnetic seam guide, so I’m just going to go with that.

QUICK SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT NOTES:

PREPARING THE QUILT TOP:

  1. Stitch length should be 2.0.
  2. Stitch allowance is 1/4 in.
  3. You should have 81 charm squares. Lay them out in a 9 x 9 pattern.
  4. Do not backstitch to secure the stitches (neither at the beginning, nor at the end).
  5. Finish up with nine strips of nine squares apiece.

PIECING THE QUILT TOP:

  1. Fold seam toward darker colored fabric. [This works because Gibson has her squares in a checkerboard pattern; if you don’t, just alternate row to row].
  2. When joining two rows, align the pressed back seams in an alternating way, so no huge bumps are created. With this quilt, it works basically automatically since the black squares are every other square.
  3. When the rows are joined up, from the back you can see the seams are pressed alternatively.

ASSEMBLING THE QUILT:

  1. Turned edge finish – batting first.
  2. Batting on bottom. Taped down. Quilt backing on top of it, right side up. Quilt top on top of the backing, right side down.
  3. How do you raise the height of the presser foot??
  4. Align sewing machine foot to valley of pinked charm square for a 3/8″ seam allowance.
  5. Flip it inside out like a duvet cover.

TYING THE QUILT:

  1. Topstitching STARTS at the opening of the quilt and then goes all the way around the whole entire quilt.

ADDING FINISHING TOUCHES:

  1. Right sides together. You are sewing a pillowcase, then flipping inside out and finishing.
  2. Tuck in the last remaining open side. (Flip inside the pillowcase like a messed up cereal box).
  3. Iron to create crease.
  4. Hand sew the label onto the quilt.
  5. Blind stitch. Start with knot at corner.
  6. This is like doing the hem on a pair of pants.

Loom Hunt Continues

Okay, after hours and hours of research, I’ve come to the following conclusion:

  1. No 10 inch or under looms.
  2. No unfinished looms.

Why? When you weave, the material will pull in and also shrink. So your 10 inch fabric might just end up six inches wide at the end of all that hard work. Such a waste.

Also, the unfinished loom is made of cheap plywood, and is of poor long term quality.

We knitters know how important quality tools are. Don’t be seduced by cheap prices for a dud!

So now I’m thinking of the Kromski Harp.

I’m torn between the 16 inch and the 24 inch. Neither will sit on your lap, and will require resting the back legs on a table. But it is finished, high quality wood, and comes with a warping board. It is also portable — it folds!

See Kromski Harp vs. Schacht Heddle Review for info.

Great guide to rigid heddle looms.

Okay, for sure – don’t want a 10 inch or under, but don’t want a 30 inch or over also.

That leaves the 16 inch and the 24 inch.

Since I want to make garments out of my woven fabric, I think the 24 inch might be the best option for me.

People who recommend the 16 inch take the loom on car trips and airline trips, neither of which I will be doing. I basically want to do the equivalent of knitting, but on a loom, at home, while watching television. Really basic, I know.

Ooh, reading online reviews, the unfinished looms require quite a bit of sanding to work properly. And then staining (which I don’t really know how to do..). Why bother? Get something that works right out of the box.

Maybe the 16 inch.. the 24 is so wide, I will need to get a stand. I think the 16 in would work more easily without a stand. But then again, for garments, a 24 in might be best.. IDK.. !

From an Amazon review:

“In the short time I have been weaving and using all these looms, I’ve come to the conclusion that a 24″ loom is great IF you won’t be moving it very frequently. Also, you will probably have to buy a stand, make a stand, or use a card table (and adjustable chair) to support it. It is a good size in that situation. However, I have hauled both my LeClerc 24″ and folding Ashford 24″ looms to class, and it ends up that we students all have to use dolleys to pull our looms on. Major pain in the butt. Plus we were told that folding with a warped and partially finished project is risky, as the original tension may not be recovered. So I would definitely advise against a 24″ loom if you expect to be folding it and carrying it around.

I never thought I would appreciate a smaller loom, but the time saved warping, the cheaper accessories, and the convenience of carrying are all positives I have discovered.

Bottom line: if you want to weave large items and not sew (piece) something together, go with the 24″. If, however, you prefer to do smaller sections and like experimenting and/or having a more portable loom, go with the 16″.”

Cons of the Kromski Harp Forte 16 inch – terrible assembly instructions, and no beginner weaving instructions.

Hmmm? Advice?

 

Weaving

All right. So I came to sewing from a knitting background, and now I want to play with fabrics. With yarn, though. So.. weaving.

I am considering purchasing an Ashford Sampleit 10 inch loom. It is supposed to be a good strong sturdy and portable beginner loom, and has great reviews, and also — it is only $150!!  (Check out loom prices, and you’ll see why I think $150 is a bargain! ^^)

I’m also told that weaving is a great stash buster, and I have a bunch of gorgeous yarn that I’d like to use up 🙂

Loom info: https://www.ashford.co.nz/sampleit-loom

Manufacturer Spiel:

We wanted to make a loom that is inexpensive, compact and cute without sacrificing function. This is a loom for new and experienced weavers. The perfect classroom loom. Whether you are learning to weave for the first time, want to learn new techniques or sample your wonderful yarns, this loom is fun and easy to use. Just add yarn!
This is the perfect gift for a new weaver. Anybody can weave on this wonderful little loom.

The 25cm (10ins) weaving width allows you to sample all your favourite rigid heddle patterns, textures and colours. Weave scarves, fabric and more. So compact, it is only 1.4 kg (3lbs).

The loom is made from beautiful solid natural Silver Beech timber and has strong handles, ratchets and clicker pawls so your warp never unwinds unintentionally. Built-in second heddle option.

Also available are 2.5, 5, 10, 12.5 and 15 dpi (10, 20, 40, 50 and 60/10cm) reeds so you can weave fine to textured yarns.

weaving width 25cm (10″)
weight 1.4 kg (3lb)
assembly required
included accessories 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed, step by step instruction booklet,
2x26cm (10″) shuttles, threading hook, warping peg and clamp.
finish natural
dimensions Assembled 330mm wide x 470mm long x 135mm high

 

Catalogue: https://www.ashford.co.nz/images/download_pdfs/brochure/ashford_brochure_english.pdf

Solo Warping Instructions:  https://www.ashford.co.nz/images/download_pdfs/brochure/ashford_brochure_english.pdf