Welcome all ye quilt-alongers to our first quilt along for the Keep It Simple quilt! I've gone over a bit of detail here about the general pattern and supplies, but today I'm going to talk a little bit more in depth about that, and also tell you some things I *don't* think you'll need for this, or any, quilt.
First off, the basic refresher of the quilt you'll be making, in both the finished and floppy (as of now) versions:
The original quilt (my first quilt ever!)
And the new member of the family, complete with another border because I felt like it gosh darnit. (I like to add borders, I'll explain why in a bit.)
There it is. A pretty great quilt to use for all of those "LOVE THEM AND CAN'T CUT THEM" fabrics, as *this* is the amount of scrap you end up with from the fat quarters themselves:
I mean, watch me save this though because I'm totally going to make fabric washi tape which seems awesome... for the organizer I don't have/will never use! Haha! But, still- this is all the waste of those gorgeous fat quarters.
About that and the rest of the supply list:
- 9 Fat Quarters
- 40 2.5inxWOF strips
- 3/4 to 1 yd sashing
- 1.5yd to 2yds-ish for wide border
- 1 yard for binding
- 2.5yd 108in Wideback for backing
- Queen Size batting
You'll notice a few of these directions aren't really, well, specific. That's because for the wide border (and subsequent additional sashing if desired) it will depend on the fabric you pick.
The first quilt features Tula's Octogarden in Coral from Saltwater, a print with a 6.5 inch repeat. To feature the octopi at their best, I cut according to repeats- this wide border is essentially what will be the drop from your bed, so orientation/direction and the full pattern will be seen from the side. For this version, I went with Tula's Frog Prince from All Stars, a print with a 7 3/4in repeat. I needed 7 *almost 8* WOF strips to achieve that border, for a total of a little over a yard and a half. I did (at least try to) pattern match though, so a yard and a half would have been fine had I not done that. The sashing that goes around the main quilt and frames the outer border is 2in, and I had leftover from a yard of fabric with the repeat size I chose.
If you're not sure of the scale of a print or repeat, just ask! We're more than glad to help. Some more recent lines also include ruler photos to help you determine scale- thanks to FreeSpirit for taking up shop owner's suggestions on that one! And for example, if you're considering a HomeMade border (a close second for the wide border on version number 2) it's going to be a 6in repeat, making your quilt just a bit smaller than my finished second version, but still a very generous size.
Oh, should mention. This is a queen size quilt- don't think I've officially said that before. Whoops!
And onto the strips. I cut 40 2.5in strips from 6 different selections of coordinating fabric- or, you could do as I did in my first quilt and start with a 42pc design/jelly roll precut! You will have tons of extra from these strips. Like, enough that I'm going to show you how to do a bonus baby/throw quilt from the scraps with like one more seam. Strictly speaking, if you're a risk taker, I'd say you NEED 30 strips. But I don't think risks like that are too much fun, so we're just going with the industry standard-ish size for the precut to make things easy.
So much strips, you guys. So much.
(Fun quilting fact about me- ironing is my least favorite part! I just hate having to get up, plug it in, wait, move it around and accidentally re-wrinkling it... yeah.)
So this should provide a bit of clarification as you search for those perfect fabrics for your piece. Don't sweat it. This is not rocket science or brain surgery. I KNOW you can do it. I also KNOW your binding will end up better than mine on the first quilt, because I'll show you what I've learned by now- but I'll save that fun show for a later post >.<;
some things I DO NOT think you need to be successful with this quilt, or any one I've done for that matter.
If you look around youtube and the internets, it seems all quilters have a "design wall". Usually a piece of batting attached to something (or just the wall) that they lay out pieces to design on. I had one in a past apartment- batting tacked to the wall. I wouldn't do it again. Why? Well, I'm only 5ft, and, uh, beds are taller than 5ft, so my quilts quickly got a lot taller than me.
I mean, they look beautiful in a dedicated space and all, and are very pintrest-worthy, so if that's your thing don't let me harsh your mellow, but I've found I don't *need* it. Plus, eventually the batting does show some wear and you have to replace it and it's a whole thing.
This is my "quilt design board":
The bed. A bed. Usually the bed the quilt is going to end up on anyways. It works especially well because you can see it in the ACTUAL context with which it will be used! I may have made some different placement options with this quilt if I laid it out vertically on the wall, honestly, but because it was on the bed, I was able to consider which fabric I wanted most to be right up against all night. (It's the Zuma print that says "A Smooth Sea Never Made A Skilled Sailor" BTW) You can also lay it over pillows and see the drape as you work, too!
Good Night Moon Bunny is just here for extras.
Another thing you don't need:
A Super Special Sewing (read: $$$$) machine for quilting- I'm honestly, as they say, quilting this one by check, IE paying someone with a longarm to do it. (That someone is here!) AND not only that- one of the two grand prize winners will win all over quilting of their quilt from her too! Winner will supply batting, or she has it for an additional charge. I'm going with a lightweight bamboo batting for this guy, as it's clearly a summer stunner! But yeah. Don't splurge on a sewing machine because you want to start quilting- you never actually do have to *quilt* (sandwich the stuff) yourself!
That said, I have successfully quilted numerous large quilts up to 92x92 on my simple Bernina 350. I do have a walking foot, but, I'd honestly say that you may not need one. The mistake a walking foot led me to make sometimes when quilting either large or small is, well, it's a "walking foot" and I wanted a "running foot". Straight line quilting is super easy to achieve, and looks surprisingly good! One of my quilts I'll show later is completely vertically straight line quilted using a rainbow of coordinating thread colors on a white background, and I think it's possibly one of my favorite quilt jobs of a quilt I have! I also was able to stitch-in-the-ditch for Tula's 100 block City Sampler on the same basic machine. I've only had three machines in my quilting life- first a Bernette 150 that I got to hem pants with. (That's the one the original Keep It Simple Quilt was done on!) Second, my grandmother's older Bernina QE, which I then traded for my third and current Bernina 350 Tula Pink edition. I have no plans of trading further up for any more gadgets- who needs it when quilting? Not I.
Anyways. Oh yeah- I did mention prizes at the start of this! Let's go back to that.
Grand Prizes- there will be two (2) Grand Prize Winners:
- First Grand Prize: All Over Quilting of your finished KIS quilt by Mistletoe Quilting Company
- Second Grand Prize: $100 The Trendy Little Geek shop credit, good for any item available on the site!
Grand prizes will be awarded via instagram check-in. You must post your pieced quilt top by 5pm EST on July 13th to be entered into the grand prize drawing. You can also get TWO additional entries by sharing our Instagram post about the quilt along, or by shopping with us here and leaving your handle at checkout.
Weekly Check In Prizes
1 winner each Check In period, drawn at 5pm EST on day of check-in, 2 Grand Prize Winners drawn July 20th at 5pm!
Check In Periods:
- June 15th Supply Gathering/Checking In Starts! (You can post your check in with supplies any time between now and June 22nd to be counted)
- June 22nd Supply Check in Due, Strips and FQ Cut Check In Begins
- June 29th Srtips/FQ cut Check in Due, Jelly Roll Race Segment Start Check In Begins
- July 6th Jelly Roll Race Segments Check in Due, KIS Body Assembly Check In Begins
- July 13th Finished KIS Body Check in Due, Final Borders and Finished Quilt Top Check In Begins!
- July 20th- Drawings for the Grand Prizes will be drawn off of these names of those who have finished quilt tops and checked in by this time!
Weekly Prizes will be some nifty stuff we have lying around- of course, Tula related. You never know what a Tula collector with as voracious an appetite as I have has up her sleeve. Promise it'll be good.
So let's make this a fun, relaxing summer sew, shall we? After all, I think we owe it to ourselves!