We receive a few questions a month about the entire process of quilting and it dawned on me that while we love to talk about quilt tops and have lots of free tutorials for making quilts–we have yet to write one post on what the entire process is for making a quilt! So, today’s post will remedy that…for all those that are wondering what exactly is the process of making a quilt…here you go!
- Gather your supplies. In order to make a quilt you will need a few supplies. A sewing machine for starters. You will also need thread (I like cotton thread) fabric (both for the quilt top and the backing), batting and then a coordinating fabric to make binding. Other tools that can help with the quilting process are: (Affiliate links) a cutting mat, a quilting ruler, a rotary cutter, pins or wonder clips and a needle and thread.
- Cut your fabric according to your quilt tutorial or pattern. This step is mostly about following directions according to a tutorial or pattern but here is a good post on how to cut fabrics that are square and even if you need one.
- Sew together your quilt top together. This process of sewing together a quilt top can be as simple or as complicated as you would like it to be. We have lots of free simple quilting tutorials to teach your about different kinds of quilt tops and quilt blocks (Click TUTORIALS and scroll to QUILTING) but the next step is to make the quilt top itself, making sure to press each seam as you go. You will also want to press the quilt top as flat as you can before the next step. A full quilt top sewn will look something similar to this.
- Baste your quilt. There are several ways to baste a quilt but the process is the same. Basting is a temporary way of holding together all the layers that will be in your quilt. Many quilters call this “making a quilt sandwich.” The bottom layer will be your backing (right side down), the middle layer will be your batting, and the top of the sandwich will be the quilt top you just made in step #3. Some quilters like to use special pins that look like a curved safety pin shown below. HERE is a whole tutorial on just pin basting a quilt.
The other method of basting a quilt is to use a temporary spray glue which is called basting spray (affiliate link). This spray glue washes out but keeps all 3 layers of the “quilt sandwich” together before you quilt it.
5. Quilt your quilt. There are quite a few ways to quilt your quilt and a lot of it depends on your personal choice but the process is the same. The actual “quilting” in a quilt is to now permanently hold the quilt top, the batting and the backing of your quilt together. You can quilt your quilt on your home sewing machine with thread, or you can even use yarn to hold the quilt together called “tying a quilt.” HERE is a tutorial if you’d like to try your hand at tying a quilt.
Machine quilting with your home sewing machine is a fun process as well. When I am quilting on my home machine I love to do straight line quilting or some sort of a grid that I mark with a fabric marker but some people love to do free-motion quilting as well. HERE is a great tutorial on how to do straight line quilting with your home sewing machine. You will most likely need a walking foot if you are choosing this method of quilting. You can check with your sewing machine dealer for what walking foot works best with your sewing machine.
6. Bind your quilt. The last process of making a quilt is to bind your quilt. The binding will be made from the coordinating fabric that you picked out. I usually buy 1/2 yard or 2/3 yard pieces cut from the fabric store for binding and have a stash of simple bindings that go with many fabrics. I love to use stripes and dots—so when in doubt go with a stripe or a dot!
The first part of the process is to make the quilt binding. HERE is a great tutorial for helping you make your quilt binding.
And then the second part is actually sewing the binding to the quilt itself. This is done with your walking foot and HERE is a great tutorial for doing the binding part.