My Whimcees

My Whimcees

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tied Fleece Quilt Tutorial


Today I have the tied fleece quilt tutorial that I promised to post. I hope that you enjoy it and have fun making one of your own! :<)

I call it a quilt and not a blanket, as after I have finished all four tied edges, I also then measure 7" squares across the quilt in rows and tie 8 strands of embroidery thread at each corner of the 7" squares. This holds the pieces together to make a sturdier quilt. This is not necessary and it takes more time, but I like to finish it off this way. I will explain his process later on in the tutorial.

I use 2 1/2 yards of fleece to make a basic quilt for an adult. The one I just made for my son Jim I used more yardage as he is a big guy and wanted it extra long for his bed cover. Decide what length you want it to be when purchasing the yardage - keeping in mind that 5" will be used from each end for the ties so 10" will be subtracted from the length of the yardage. One of the lovely things about this quilt is that the process is the same no matter what the size and you can make one quite quickly if you do not tie the surface. I want to make a toddler size and a baby size for my two great-grandsons and they won't take any time at all. :<)

Because my apartment is very small and I have no floor space to work on, I use my bed as my work surface when making a quilt. It's a pain, but it works. :<) First, layer the two pieces of fleece together and lay them down so that they are smooth and even across. Then trim the salvage edges (the long sides) as you do not want that in your ties. I line up one of the end cut edges and then roll the fabric up until I reach the other end and trim that edge even - as in the photo below.

You will need 2 pattern pieces for your quilt. You will be cutting strips that you will tie together in pairs across the top, bottom and sides of the fleece. I cut the pattern pieces from a light weight cardboard that comes with SU designer paper packs.

The 1 1/2" x 5" are the strips that are cut and tied across the four edges of the quilt and the 5" x 5" inch square is used to cut out the four corners of the quilt - a 5" strip going each way. The photos will help to see what I mean.

If you choose to do so, the 7" x7" square is used to measure the rows of squares that cover the finished quilt where I tie it with embroidery thread.

After you have made one of these quilts and are familiar with the process, you can make the strips shorter/longer and thinner/thicker depending on your preference. But the measurements that I am using in this tutorial are a good basic size for the strips.

Just remember - the corners are the length of the strips going BOTH ways - this measurement creates the square that is cut out of each corner.

Once you have cut out a corner using the 5" x 5" pattern, then start to cut the strips using the 1 1/2" x 5" pattern. You will want to use a sharp scissors as this will give you a clean cut.

Once you have the first 2 corners and the strips cut across one end and along both sides as far as the placement of your fabric allows, start then to tie two strips together in a double knot. I work on one end until it is tied all the way across and then roll the fabric as I work along the sides to the opposite end. This also allows me to keep the fabric smooth and even.

When you tie at a corner - you are pulling the fabric in two directions, so stretch gently between the first two ties. It should lie flat as in the photo below.

When I have one end and the sides finished as far as I can go and have rolled up the fabric to this point, I then turn the fabric to continue to the other end - making sure the fabric is laying smooth and the ends meet evenly.

To tie the quilt I picked 4 colors of embroidery thread that matched the colors in the fabrics and took 2 threads from each one and combined to make a 16 thread multi-colored thread to use to make the ties. Time consuming, yes - but this was for a "New Home" quilt for my son. :<) Remember, this step is not necessary - as the finished quilt with all the edges tied will be fine and wash up beautifully. I tend to be compulsive of details at times. :<)

I rolled up the finished quilt from one end to just before the center of the quilt so that the center part of the quilt to the opposite end was open to work. Starting at the very center of the quilt, I lay the 7" x 7" square pattern on the fabric and made a stitch at each corner of the square with the embroidery thread (a curved needle works well), cut the thread leaving 6" on each side of the stitch and tied it in a knot 4 times.

Then I moved the pattern to the right, lining it up so that the two left corners of the pattern piece were on the previously tied corners and tied the two corners on the right side of the pattern piece - and continued across the quilt as far as I could work - laying the pattern piece end over end until I reached the end of the quilt.

With the first half of the center row completed, I then lay the pattern piece above the center square where I began and worked across again - this time the bottom of the pattern piece was on the tied corners and I tied at the top two corners. Working in this way I went up across the quilt.

When the top rows were completed to the edge of the quilt, I worked down from the center row in the same way - starting with that first center square and lined up the pattern pieces with the top two corners of the pattern now being the ones already tied and I would tie the bottom two corners - going across the quilt in rows until I had reached the other edge.
When I finished with this half of the quilt, I would then roll up the fabric and turn it on the bed, unroll the unfinished half and start to tie this remaining half in the same manner, starting with the center row. I will add a drawing later today to this post. :<)

If you look closely you can see the four corners of the center square are tied. I then move out from there across the quilt to create a row and then create rows up from this center row and down until I have continuous rows across this first half of the quilt. This creates a tie every 7" over the entire quilt.

When all of the ties were finished every 7" of the quilt surface, I then tied across the edges of the quilt every 7" to finish the rows all around - as in the photo of one of the corners.

And you are done! :<) The quilt can then be washed and ready to use. No special laundry instructions are necessary - I just use warm wash/warm rinse.

Thanks for stopping by today!

I hope that you enjoy this tutorial and decide to make a tied fleece quilt of your own! They are so warm yet light weight and you can make them any size from infant to child to teen to adult!

Send photos and I will post them! I have photos of one lovely quilt one of my readers has sent me and I will post that soon! :<)

Wishing you a great Monday! If you have any questions I will be happy to help! :<)

Barbara Diane


Kylie said...

Wow, this tutorial is just amazing!! Thankyou so much for posting these instructions in an easy to understand format. Now I really have no excuse not to make one! Great instructions and yours turned out fantastic.

Kylie ox

Jackie Thomas said...

Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial. Will definately give this a go. xo Jackie

Joani said...

You've been very busy! This is wonderful. I can't imagine! For the life of me I can't sew a stitch. Thank you for sharing with us. Great tutorial, and very detailed too!

Gaby said...

Hello Barbara,

what an awesome tutorial.I have never seen quilts like that before.
Great idea.

And thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog. Yes, I missed being creative, but there was just no time left.
I hope you got ride of your cold.
Seems like it, because you are very busy making lots of beautiful things. Thank you for sharing.


Carol said...

Barbara...I love this tutorial. I have wanted to do one of these blankets for some time now. This would be great for my craft group. We make blankets to give to charity and this would be easier than the quilts we make. What a pretty blanket with nice fun colors and images.

Bear Hugs,
Carol :o}

Zebiline said...

Amazing!!! Thanks for this very smart tutorial!

Hugs Gaby