Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Adding to the quilt, a tutorial

In this post I will describe how to add a new section to a quilted section.  There are a few photographs.
However, I hope that it will be of interest to some of you who want to quilt large projects on your home machine.
I quilted most of the central panel of the Fancy Dish quilt. It is quite long, about 105 inches, and 39 inches wide.
This was the rough diagram I made when I was figuring out how many blocks I needed.  I also used it to plan what sections Iwould divide it into for the machine quilting. 
I decided to divide it into four main sections, each of them is outlined in orange pencil crayon. The central panel that I quilted above. Is the one that is three blocks wide and has the blue on it.
Now I'm going to add a single row of blocks, which has purple on the diagram.  That will leave the two side edges to add later, they will each have a roll of full blocks and a half block border.
So first of all you trim the edge of the section that has been quilted.  I trimmed it about 1/8 of an inch past the raw edge of the pieced blocks.
Gather the batting, backing and the next row that you plan to add. My pieced blocks were 13-12" wide, so I cut my batting and backing about an inch wider, at 14-1/2".
Lay out the quilted section so that the backing is facing up.  Lay the the new strip if backing fabric right sides together along the edge. ( I really like this backing fabric!)
Pin the edge, and also pin the fabric to the quilt along the other edge, so as to keep it out of the way.
When you pin it on, you might need to stretch the quilted part a bit because the quilting tends to make the piece take up a bit. 
Turn the section right side up so that you can add the pieced row to the top of the quilt.
Place it right flush against the edge of the quilt top, the 1/8" inch of batting and backing will extend a bit farther.  Matchup any seams as you go. Also move the pins from the back to the top so that you won't run over them when you are sewing..
Again, you will need to ease in the fullness of the top strip, because quilted section will have shrunk up a bit.
Also pin down the strip on the other side it so that it doesn't flop around when you are sewing.
Here it is all pinned now.
I folded it up like an accordion so that it would be easy to move to the sewing machine.
Now, Sew the seam one quarter inch away from the raw edge of the blocks, taking out this row of pins as you go.   I'd recommend using a walking foot for this. It gives a better even feed.
To add in the batting you will just need to change your stitch to a very wide zigzag.  Push the edge of your new batting strip close to the right edge of the batting and zigzag it together

This is what it looks like now that the batting strip has been added.
Lay out your quilt on a flat surface again, and remove the pins that are holding the backing out of the way.  Smooth the backing over the batting.
Do the same thing for the front of the quilt. At this point you might even want to iron the seam that has been created.
Go ahead and pin-baste the new section, and you're all ready to quilt again.


  1. thank you for this! i suspect this will become a standard procedure for me! yay!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Michelle! I've always wondered how people do the large quilts in chunks and it seems like everyone has their own method but this one seems very neat and tidy. :-)


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