Charm Square Quilt – Step 4

Turned edges (so no hand sewing!)
Machine quilting (none of those tacky hand ties).

How does this work?

Follow Gibson’s instructions for assembling the quilt:


  1. Cut batting into 45 in by 45 in square. DO NOT IRON. It is best to let it lay overnight to air out and get rid of wrinkles.
  2. Lay batting on the floor. Tape it down.
  3. Put the quilt backing on top of the batting, right side up. It should be a 45 in by 45 in size. If you need to iron it first, iron it first. Make it as flat and nice as possible. How good it looks now is how good it will look in the end.
  4. Put the pieced quilt top on top of the backing, RIGHT SIDE DOWN. It will be the smallest cloth piece. This is okay, you are going to align it later.
  5. NOW, mark off (with two pins on each side, like Gibson!) the opening of the quilt – a four square size in the middle of the side of the quilt.
  6. Pin off the perimeter of the quilt, with a pin every 3 to 5 inches.


  1. You WILL want to backstitch a few stitches at each side of the quilt opening. Keep your machine in needle down position from here on out.
  2. Align sewing machine foot to valley of pinked charm square for a 3/8″ seam allowance. Stitch all the way around the perimeter of the quilt.
  3. When you are done, flip it inside out like a duvet cover. Make sure you are reaching between the pieced quilt top and the quilt back.
  4. Yay you! No need to add a binding, your quilt has one automatically because of this inside out trick. Use a knitting needle to poke out the corners so they look sharp.
  5. Pin the hole closed. Use your fingers. Don’t iron it, you’ll mess up the batting. (Lesson 4: Chapter 6: 21:55).
  6. Lesson 5 Chapter 1 picks up where the hole has been pinned shut. Gibson uses a pin every centimeter. Stitch length 3. Now you are topstitching the hole shut. 1/4 in seam allowance. You will do a backstitch at the beginning and end of the hole. Needle down option. Gibson uses a decorative color here.
  7. Remember to stick to the 1/4 in seam allowance. The inside seam allowance was 3/8 in and you want to catch those loose ends with the topstitching on the other side.
  8. Topstitch all the way around the perimeter of the quilt. (The needle down position is important for the corners).

NOW this is where I diverge from Gibson’s instructions. At this point she goes off on her tying the quilt tangent. I will proceed with machine quilting instructions from here on out.

  1. Stitch in the ditch. This means that you take your walking foot and basically go back and forth over each and every single block at the place where there are already seams. You topstitch ON TOP OF those existing seams.
  2. My batting can be quilted up to 25 cm apart. That is 9.8 inches. Each square is 5 in. So at this point, I am basically done with this quilt, and any other stitching I add is a cherry on the cake.

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


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.



  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.


  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.


  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.


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


  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.

The First Project – Selecting a Pattern

I think it is important to make something you actually like.

So, that rules out totes and coasters and item covers.

I’m making a skirt as my first project.

I purchased the Butterick B4686 skirt pattern at Joann Fabrics. They have great end of season sales, and they usually have 40% or 50% off coupons the rest of the time.

My pattern cost $15.50 on the label. I paid around $5 for it at the end of season sale. Something to note: pattern sizing DOES NOT correspond to the size of your clothes that your purchase in stores.

Me, I’m a size 12/14. I wear a size 20 according to the pattern. Buy the right size. There is NO vanity sizing in sewing patterns. You are making your project from scratch, and you want it to fit. If you are between sizes, size up.

My pattern comes with six skirt ideas. I am making skirt D.

For this project, according to the package, you need:

  1. 7 inch zipper
  2. Hook and eye closure
  3. Fabric – lightweight broadcloth, lightweight denim, and lightweight linen.
  4. Matching thread (I just used white)

I did not know the amount of fabric, so I bought the amount the Joann Fabrics fabric lady told me.

Don’t buy fabric with an obvious top and bottom, nothing with diagonals or stripes, nothing fuzzy or furry. Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be. Seriously.

The skirt I wanted to sew (D) did not need interfacing or a ribbon or buttons, so I did not buy those. Again, simplify, simplify, simplify. Why make life harder than it has to be?

Since I am making Skirt D of this pattern, I am naming this project “Dee Skirt”.