Many of you admired the Shaggy quilt that I shared last week from Vintage Twist Company so today I thought I would just post a little tutorial for those of you who would like to make one.
Shaggy Quilts are really easy to make and are ideal for the beginner sewer or quilter. Now for those of you who are not accustom to quilting you will notice that I will be working in inches as all quilting is based in inches due to its American origin. I have given cm conversions but these are approximate and will change the sizing a little.
What you will need:
- Fabric – I will talk more on this later
- Cotton or wool batting – again I will talk more on this later
- Rotary cutter, ruler, mat
- Walking foot
As these are “quilt as you go” quilts they can be customised to suit your needs, so firstly you will have to decide what size you might like your quilt.
The other thing you will need to decide on is what size squares you would like. I have always used 5 ½ to 6 ½ inch squares (14cm to 16.5cm) and for the purpose of this tutorial I will be instructing you to cut 6 ½ (16.5cm) inch squares and use a 1/2 (1.3cm) inch seam. This will make a finished lap quilt measuring 39 1/2 inches x 45 1/2 inches (100cm x 1115cm) This will mean that there will be 8 rows across and 9 rows down.
I have always enjoyed the process of choosing my fabric and when it comes to Shaggy quilts I like to use flannel as it is soft and snugly and it frays well. However you can use cotton, chenille or even cotton on the front and flannel or chenille on the back.
Now for this tutorial I will be using just two different fabrics for the front with one for the back. That way the back will all look the same and I will alternate the two different fabrics on the front.
So fabric requirements for this quilt will be:
40 inches (1 m) each of the two front fabric choice ( based on fabric width of 44 in (110cm)
80 inches or (2m) of backing fabric choice (based on fabric width of 44 in (110cm)
32 inches or (80 cm) of cotton or wool batting (based on fabric width of 95 in (240cm)
However you can use any combination on both front and back. Remember there are no strict rules when it comes to fabric co-ordination with this quilt so go all out if you want.
Now for the batting you can use either cotton or wool, that is purely a personal preference and I guess depending on where you live and how cold it gets.
Once you have decided on the size and chosen you fabrics and batting let me show you the simple process it takes to create your shaggy quilt.
Firstly you may or may not choose to wash, dry and iron your fabric. I must admit I don’t always (I do when making clothing) however I will leave that up to you as everyone has their preferences. If you are a beginner I would say it is my duty of care to recommend that you do.
Now let’s start cutting. As my quilt will have 8 rows x 9 rows of 6 ½ (16.5cm) inch squares front and back, I will need to cut a total of 144 squares; 72 squares of those square I will cut from the material I have chosen for the back as I am using the same fabric for every square panel; as I am using two fabric designs on the front of my quilt I will be cutting 36 squares of each design.
Once I have done this I will cut my batting. I like to cut my batting a ½ inch (1.3cm) smaller than the square panel so I will be cutting 72, 6 x 6 inch (15cm x 15cm) squares.
Once I have all my squares cut I will now construct each individual square. I place my backing squares right side down and position the cotton batting square in the center of each. I then lay the top square right side up to complete the square.
Once I have all layers together it is time to sew. With my walking foot on I sew slowly diagonally across from corner to corner.
Once I have sewn all my squares it is time to assemble my quilt. As the seam allowance is on the front of the quilt it is important to remember to keep the backs together when assembling the quilt.
Using a very short stitch length, I sew each square to make a strip of 8 contrasting blocks using a ½ inch seam allowance. I assemble 9 of these rows and then join the rows together to finish the construction of the quilt . Take each row and making sure that the backs are together so that the seams are towards the top of the quilt. I sew each row also making sure that the seams match. A bit of tip here when sewing your rows together to get a nice matching seam intersections and for your machine to run effortlessly over the seam intersections, have the seam allowances placed in opposite directions so they will “lock” into each other.
Once all your rows are sewn together you will now sew a 1/2 inch seam around the edge of the entire quilt.
Now that I have finished constructing my quilt it is time to snip the seams so with some very sharp scissors I snip the seam allowance just stopping short of the stitching and keep snipping at intervals of about 3/8 inch along every seam.
DONE! Once the quilt is washed the edges will start to fray and look shaggy.
Well I hope I have explained that well enough, if you have any questions please just contact me.
Don’t be shy if you choose to make a shaggy quilt please share it on the Inspiration blog, I would love to see it.