For the past few weeks I’ve been keeping myself busy at the sewing machine working away on the quilts for Emma and Brendan’s room. I just finished cutting and piecing together both their quilt tops and it’s so exciting to see them coming together!
I’ve been loving the timelessness of striped quilts so I decided to play around with that idea and keep it as simple as possible for myself. After we had picked out four fabrics for each quilt, I started mapping out how I wanted to put them together.
Planning out the Design
I wanted the quilts to fit the kids new twin sized bunk bed, so I planned on the finished size being about 60″ x 90.” I wanted them to have that handmade, pieced together look so I decided to make the finished stripes 3″ wide and switch up the fabrics along each stripe.
The simplest way to do that seemed to be to vary the stripes by making patterns of 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 equally spaced fabric pieces along the length of each stripe. That way it was easily repeatable, but still had enough variety to mix them up some and give it a bit of a random feel.
Twin Striped Quilt Top
Note: I used a 1/2″ seam allowance for all the sewing, so the cut size will be 1″ larger then the finished sewn together quilt.
- twin quilt top: 61″ x 91″
- fabric needed: about 6 yards of quilting cotton (make sure you prewash your fabric before cutting)
- stripe size: 4″ x 61″
- stripes needed: 30, 4″ stripes
Cutting the Fabric
First I cut all my fabric into 8″ strips (they get cut into 4″ stripes later on after they are pieced together, so this will really end up giving you two stripes). Then each 8″ strip got cut up into smaller sections to be pieced together lengthwise into the stripe variations below:
- 3 fabric pieces per stripe. Cut 9 pieces at 21″
- 4 fabric pieces per stripe. Cut 12 pieces at 16″
- 5 pieces per stripe. Cut 15 pieces at 13″
- 6 pieces per stripe. Cut 18 pieces at 11″
- 7 pieces per stripe. Cut 21 pieces at 9 1/2″
You will be cutting enough fabric for three stripes of each kind. So you will have 15, 8″ x 61″ pieced stripes in total. I did my best to vary the fabrics between each stripe set so they’d be evenly used throughout each quilt.
Piecing Together the Quilt Top
After the fabrics for each stripe size were cut, I laid them out beside each other and played around with what order to put them in. Once I had a layout that I liked, I sewed the short pieces together into full length stripes. Then I pressed each seam open, on the back side of the fabric.
Once all fifteen larger stripes were sewn together, I cut each stripe in half width wise. So each stripe went from being 8″ x 61″ to 4″ x 61″, which was the size I wanted my finished stripe (with that 1/2″ seam allowance on each side). This saves some time when you are piecing the stripe fabric together, as you only have to sew it together once for two stripes.
When all thirty stripes were cut and ready to go, I started playing around with the final layout on the floor. I took one of each of the different pieced stripe sets and moved them around on the floor until I found a design I liked.
Then I’d get down another set of stripes and add them below the others in a slightly different layout. This method spaced the different stripes out nicely, without having to duplicate the exact same order each time.
Once I had them all laid out I took a step back to see if anything looked out of place as a whole. I usually ended up switching one or two of the stripes to a different spot to help with the overall flow of the quilt.
After I was happy with the layout of the stripes, I took out some painter’s tape (that’s what I had on hand, but you could also easily use masking tape too) and numbered the back of each stripe, so they wouldn’t get mixed up during the sewing process.
Once they were labeled, I piled the stripes up in order and then draped them over the back of a chair beside my sewing machine. Then I simply sewed one stripe to the next, until I reached the end of the quilt. After that I pressed the new seams open on the back of the quilt, so they would lay nice and flat. Then I laid out the quilt top and carefully trimmed the edges until it was nice and square.
Aren’t they fun? I think they will add just the right amount of colour and life to the kids room. I love how they are similar in design, but have their own unique look for each child. Coordinating, but not quite matching.
Next up is getting the quilt batting and backing set up and a whole lot of machine quilting. Do you have any tips for me? I’ve attempted a few smaller quilting projects, but never a large quilt so I’m hoping they come together alright!