Start with some fabrics you really love. I am using patriotic colors, as Baby Austin's Daddy is retired Air Force.
Cut fabric in squares of desired size. I did 6" x 6" squares. I used my rotary cutter and self-healing mat (available at any craft store), but you could use scissors. The rotary cutter and mat ensure near-perfect squares.
I then laid all the pieces on the floor in my desired pattern. (Not shown.) I wanted a random pattern, but obviously you can do whatever you want! I then sewed sqaures good side to good side, and repeated this process when strips were made, attaching the strips together.
Here is the top all pieced together. I added panels of solid fabric to have a background for my letters. Just sew panels to the sides, then the top.
The next step uses a really cool product called Steam A Seam 2. It is double sided fusing that you iron on. Perfect for some other projects I will be showing you in the near future. It comes 5 sheets to a package, and a package costs $3.99 at JoAnn's. Of course, you could get it cheaper if you waited for a sale or used a coupon.
I cut out the letters for the name on my Cricut machine, but you could use scissors if you don't have a totally awesome Cricut. (By the way, have I mentioned that if you don't have one, you really need one?) I then traced the letters backwards onto the Steam A Seam paper.
Steam a Seam is supposed to be sticky on its own. Sometimes it has lost its tackiness. If it is sticky, pull off one side, and stick it to the bad side of the fabric you want to use. If it has lost its stickiness, iron on. Then, cut out the letters carefully.
You will lay the letters how you want them on the front of the quilt and iron in place. I chose to also use a zigzag stitch around each letter, just to be on the safe side. For the record, Steam A Seam is supposed to hold up in the wash, and stay stuck.
Select a fabric panel for the back of your quilt. Cut it to size, line it up and pin in place. I pin my quilt in many places to ensure it won't move while I'm quilting it. I then do a process called, "Stitch in the ditch." This is where you stictch with your machine along the seams where the fabrics meet. This will ensure a clean look. I used pretty thick batting, so that results in the squares being puffy, and looking 3-D like.
After the quilt was fully sewn together, I made a tape (small strips of fabric) out of a coordinating fabric, and sewed it along the edge to give the quilt a finished look. I used the machine to sew along the front side, then tacked it on by hand on the back. This is a little trick my mom taught me, and it will save you a ton of time. (Sorry I don't have a picture of this process!) This is the only fussy part of the process, and I kind of enjoy the old fashioned feeling a needle and thread gives me! I am domestic afterall!
Nolan shows off the finished product.
Time taken: About a week of nap times. ;)
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