Charm Square Quilt – FINISHED

Finished my charm square quilt! Amazing! Sized for a baby, colors for an adult! This works well as a lap blanket for an adult, or a present for someone in a wheelchair.

This is the perfect size for a beginner’s quilt. Honestly, though, it’s not the most useful size for an adult – you’d want it to be at least 45 x 60, or 60 x 60 to be useful as a television throw.

I like the look of the quilt without the ugly hand ties the best. Quilters say that they use that technique mostly for charity quilting, and I can see why. It can be done quickly and cheaply, and it is functionally a good option. But, let’s be honest, it’s not a style most of us would want in our homes.

I’m guessing that Gibson did not add a machine quilting option because that lets her sell three separate “Learn to Sew” classes on Craftsy. The second class is a slightly bigger quilt, I think 45 x 60, with a fluted edge and machine quilting, and the third quilt is the biggest quilt, with a (I’m guessing, the dimensions are not listed) a twin blanket sized quilt, and has a bound edge and machine quilting.

charm square quilt 1

charm square quilt 2

I’m not usually a fan of recommending classes I haven’t taken, but if you want a really thorough and well rated quilting class (that is 14 lessons long, instead of the usual 7), check out “Startup Library: Quilting” and use coupon code “S5R63K6” for 50% off the class (which I think is good until either the end of August 2017 or until August 14, 2017, I don’t remember which). I confess I have not bought the class yet, because I am still debating between that class, Gibson’s other two classes, and the “Start Free Motion Quilting” class that is on sale today for $12.00 (instead of the usual $39.99). And I actually would prefer to learn Free Motion Quilting (“FMQ”).

NOW, I must say, do sign up for the FREE CRAFTSY CLASS (sponsored by the rotary tool maker Olfa) called “Piece, Patch, Quilt: Basic Quiltmaking Skills” by Gail Kessler. The instructor is fantastic, the skills thorough (but more geared for advanced beginner or intermediate quilters). I would start with the first Gibson class, the Baby Quilt class that I did, and then progress to the others. EVERY SKILL she teaches in her one class is in the Gibson class and the Startup Library class. The Gibson class and Startup Library class simply act as filters and keep the more advanced information out of their classes, which make it easier for a beginner or total newbie. But they do it as a cost, so YMMV.

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.