February 27, 2014

Muslin Quilt Tutorial

 Alright, I apologize that its taken so long, but here it is! The tutorial on making the muslin quilt! I also apologize for the mediocre photos. Some were taken with my iPhone and some were taken with my big girl camera, but in HORRIBLE lighting, so just pretend all these pictures are really pretty, k? Thanks! :)

This is seriously the EASIEST quilt you could ever make. It's all straight lines and you can make the binding as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

Materials Needed (for a quilt that measures approx 3 ft by 4 ft):

-1.25 yards white muslin (I get the 44 in width and it is usually $2.99/yd at Joann)
-1.5 yards fabric for the back side of the quilt. You can use cotton for a very thin quilt, or flannel, minky, fleece, etc for a heavier quilt.
-.25 yards of 6-8 coordinating fabrics

Optional- if you want another fabric for the binding. 
-.5 yards coordinating fabric

Cut your 6-8  1/4 yard fabrics into 2.5 in squares. (If you want to do larger or smaller squares, you certainly can! I've done 3.5 in squares before and the most recent quilt I made actually had 5 in squares. I like them all!) Once you have them cut, lay your fabric for the back side of your quilt right side facing down. Lay your muslin on top of your backing and trim it so that you have about 3-4 inches of the back fabric extra around all sides. (Refer to picture below) Once that is laid out and cut, you can start laying your squares down in the desired pattern. I honestly never make a real pattern, I just try to make sure that similar colors or patterns are not always next to each other. If you want though, you can make a pattern. I've seen both done and I think they both look great!

All the squares are laid out, but not yet pinned down.
Once you have all your squares laid out, make sure they are lined up pretty straight looking from both directions. I always try and get them straight, but sometimes they just don't end up that way. It's not the end of the world, you just have to adjust your lines as you sew.

Next, start pinning the squares. I usually do 2 pins per square, one on top and one on bottom and that's plenty, especially if it is just a 2.5 in square. Make sure you are pinning the squares to both the muslin and the backing. You want it all attached. Once they are all pinned, you can start sewing! I start on one end and work toward the middle. Sew on one side of the square, removing the pins as you go. If you are doing a larger square, like a 5 in square, you might want to keep the pins in to help keep everything in place. I start sewing at the top where the muslin meets the backing and then go to the bottom, where the muslin once again meets the backing.

All the squares are pinned, and as you can see, the squares on the right are already sewn down both sides. Just work your way right to left!

Once you have sewn one side of the square, move over to the other side and sew that down, continuing until you have sewn all the squares on two sides.

All the squares are now sewn on two sides.

After they are sewn on the two sides, turn the quilt and sew the other two sides down. This does take quite a bit of thread, so be sure to have lots of thread on hand! I usually have to refill my bobbin with thread at least once, sometimes twice, while I am doing this. Once all the squares are sewn on all 4 sides, it's time to start on the binding.

All 4 sides are now sewn down! (Don't mind the imperfections!) :)

Now, I am no expert on binding, so if you feel like you have a better way to do it, by all means, do it your way! :) This is the easiest way I have found to do it, personally. The binding I do for my quilts just uses the backing material as the binding. If you feel so inclined, get another coordinating fabric for the binding and do it that way. If that is the case, you want your muslin and your back fabric to be about the same size, instead of having the extra 3-4 inches of your backing fabric.

So, for the binding, what I do is fold down my backing fabric about 1.5 inches and I iron it down.

Then, I fold it down again 1.5-2 inches and iron that down.

I do this on all 4 sides and then start sewing again.

I sew as close to the edge of where the binding and the muslin meet as I can and sew from one end to the other.

I do this on all four sides until all the binding is sewn down. Now, this is optional, but on each corner, there is a part of the fabric that is exposed and not sewn down on the outer edge and you can sew that down or leave it open. I usually just sew it down for added security and because I think it looks nicer. Now you are almost done!

Throw your quilt into the wash and dry it. I usually just throw mine in with a load of whites or sometimes I will just wash it on its own. If you are nervous about colors bleeding, throw in a color catcher sheet and wash on cold. I've never had colors bleed, so it usually gets washed on a warm cycle. When you take it out of the dryer, you will notice the edges of your squares are fraying. That is what is supposed to happen, so don't worry! Your muslin will also look a little wrinkled as well. In my opinion, those things are part of the charm of the quilt.

Now you are all done! Enjoy your sweet new quilt!

If you have any questions, just ask in the comments section, email me or Facebook message me!


Chase and Elise said...

That's the way I've seen binding done... I love sewing quilts but the binding intimidates me but that way looks super easy! Thanks Ash! :)

ray-ray says said...

thank-you!!! i may have to make the drive to yakima to get some fabric!!