Hey there my fellow #EPPPARTY - er's!
When I posted the finished picture of my quilt - there were several of you that mentioned you were stuck on how to finish yours. I hope this post inspires you! I can't wait to see what you come up with.
First - I measured and trimmed all my blocks. Matthew has a great tutorial on his YouTube Channel where he walks you through how to get your blocks square. Once I started doing this, I realized that some of my blocks varied slightly. Some blocks were a perfect 12" x 12" but others had an extra ¼"-⅜" on either side so I decided not to sew them all directly together. PLUS - I knew I wanted my quilt to be larger than 48" x 48".
Once I had them all squared up and measured I realized I could pretty easily make my quilt 60" x 60". I played around with the layout for hours and landed on this asymmetrical design. Here is the layout I ended up with.
My blocks are attached with machine appliqué onto the background. I decided I had had enough hand-stitching for a while. My hands needed a break!
If you are wanting to use this exact layout - here are the fabric quantities I ordered:
Background & Binding: 3.25 Yards
Backing: 3.5 Yards
(I only ended up with about 3" on either side when I was quilting so if you prefer to give yourself a little extra room add a few more inches to your order)
CUTTING BACKGROUND + BORDERS:
I wanted to have as few seams as possible. So here are the pieces I cut:
Background: Cut (2) pieces 54 ½" x WOF
You will then have two pieces that are 54 ½" x 42" (width of fabric) when they are unfolded. The finished piece you will need from each should be 54 ½" x 27 ½" so you will need to cut those larger pieces down on the side that is 42". Below is how I found it easiest to accomplish, but obviously if you have another method go for it!
TIP: Here is how I found it easiest to cut each of the large background pieces. Open one piece up, press and fold it in half the opposite direction that it was before to make it 27 ¼" x 42". The OmniGrid ruler I have is only 24" long so I folded it in half one more time, then cut the height down to 27 ½" to give me the finished piece that was 54 ½" x 27 ½". I then cut (3) 3 ½ x 54 ½ border strips from the remaining pieces while I still had it folded.
For the borders, you will need (5) Cuts that are 3.5" x 54 1/2". If you cut your border pieces while you fabric was folded like I mentioned in my Tip, you will have two that are the right length already for the sides. The other three strips will need to be sewn together into one long strip in order to end up with (2) borders that are 3 1/2" x 61" for the top and bottom.
LAYOUT YOUR BLOCKS :
Now that you have your two large background pieces you can layout your blocks. I started with the TOP background piece and laid them out like so:
Each block is roughly 2" apart from the next block on the top, bottom or sides. However, since my blocks varied slightly in size, I just tried to roughly center them on the blocks that surrounded them.
Seam Allowance TIP: On the bottom of the TOP piece make sure you have left 1 ¼" (same goes for the top of the BOTTOM piece) so that you have a seam allowance to assemble the two halves once all your blocks are sewn down. Also, I left ¼" seam allowance along the outer most edges of the TOP/BOTTOM pieces so that when I attached the borders the blocks would end of right up against the seam. A little more room would have been helpful so maybe leave around ⅜"-½" if you would prefer. The illustration below will help you see what I am talking about.
Once I was happy with the layout I used an erasable pen to mark the corner locations for each block. Also, this is a great time to grab your phone and snap a quick photo so you remember the order of your blocks!
I started with the TOP backing piece. I removed all but one of the blocks from the backing piece and set the other blocks to the side. I used safety pins to baste the first block into place. I think spray basting would have also been helpful, but I didn't think of it at the time.
I use a Bernina 350 QE, so I used the #7 stitch. I took the length down to about 2 and the width to about 1.5-2. You should play around with these settings on your machine to see what size looks best to you. I think a simple zig-zag stitch may work just as well, but you would need to play around with it on your own machine to see what you think. Here is a simple video showing what you are trying to achieve:
Once you have all of that set, stitch around the first block you have basted to the TOP piece. Grab your next block, line up the corners that you marked and baste it down to the TOP piece. Continue across the entire TOP.
Repeat the same steps above for the BOTTOM. Again, pay attention to where your seam allowances are so that you leave room on the bottom, sides, and top for the borders.
Now that all your blocks are attached, sew the TOP and BOTTOM pieces together and press open.
If you cut your border pieces as I did when I cut the two large pieces you should have two that are exactly the right length to attached to either side. Sew those on.
For the top and bottom borders, you will need to connect three of the remaining border pieces so that you have two that are the right length. Once you have those, simply attach them to the top and bottom. You should have a finished quilt top that is approximately 60" x 60"! Yay!
I used the same fabric for the binding as I did for the background. If you want to do the same you will need (6) cuts that are 2 ¼" x WOF. Sew them together into one large strip, press in half and attach as you normally would.
If this was helpful or if you have any questions, please comment below and let me know!
COMPLETED QUILT PHOTOS:
This was the first quilt I tried to quilt using a long-arm! I took a certification class locally and then, using a pantograph, I did a simple curlycue pattern all over the quilt. Also, the backing of this quilt is Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in Seafoam. I LOVE the weight + texture it gives to the quilt!
I used a white thread when doing my machine applique. It matches nicely with the background and is hardly noticeable. You could use a clear thread if you would like it to be truly invisible.