Last week Island Batik started a blog hope and I am so excited to share my puff quilt and the fabric line Bits and Pieces, as well as some giveaways at the end of this blog hop. So be sure to click the link below and follow along so you can be entered into the blog hop giveaway!
All the ambassadors will be creating a gorgeous puff quilt, these next few weeks. I and one of the first to share my quilt and the bright and bold colors of the Bits and Pieces fabric collection. This fabric is so vibrant that all I could think of was it looks like a rainbow of vibrant batik fabrics; and thats when it clicked, I'll make my puff quilt into a rainbow! My only concern was how do I make the curves of a rainbow? Well, after taking a look at Lo & Behold Stitcherys puff quilt tutorial, I realized all I have to do is make sure the finished top fabric is within that 4.5 inch block. The next step was to pull out my trusty graph paper and see where those curves would need to fall. This took me a few tries but eventually I found what I needed to do. I then created my "templates" and got down to cutting.
The quilt design began with 13 squares across the top and 16 rows along the side. I then broke down the colors into pink, green, blue and purples. I added white batik fundamental fabric for the cloud and sky. If you wanted to do something similar you could add in the additional yellow and orange colors. I then calculated how many different "curved" blocks I would need. I had a combination of HSTs, a snowballed top, a snowballed bottom, a snowballed left side, and a snowballed right side. Once I had all the extra block designs I then wrote out if they were pink and white, or green and blue etc. I moved on to cutting and sewing those top blocks, and the back sides of the puff quilt blocks which are 4 inches (I used a natural muslin for this). I followed the Lo and Behold puff tutorial basically from here on out.
In order to do my folds I placed one of the muslin back and one of my top pieces together, matching sides at the top and right side. I then matched the bottom right corners and pushed the fold down into the middle of the block. I just eyeballed this fold, as I wanted it to feel a lot more organic and not be "perfect". I then used 1/8th of an inch seam allowance and stitched the sides together. I repeated this with the right, bottom and left sides. This is where it got tricky, as I needed to know if my HST, or snowballed blocks were going the right direction. It helped by laying my row out, and that way I knew which side was the "top". I repeated this until I had all the squares sewn on all three sides. Heres a few other views of the snowball or HST blocks and how I folded them:
As you can see I just picked which ever fabric and folded it over where I felt it best, again eyeballing the center. The next step was sewing the rows together. This is done exactly like you would in any quilt, using 1/4 inch seam allowance and sewing right sides together.
You then continue doing this for each row. I had 16 rows, and I made sure to label each row 1 through 16. This helped me keep track because remember I had HST and those snowball style blocks that needed to be in the correct place.
Once you have each row assembled you will then begin sewing the rows together. This is where that big bag of polyfil comes into play!
Lets have a quick laugh at how I purchased this bag of polyfil online, in the UK and didn't really think over the difference of Kilos and Pounds.... So, I purchased 5 kilos, which is only about 11 pounds. I have purchased 10 pound and even the 20 pounds box of polyfil from Joanns when I lived in the states, so I totally thought I had an idea of how big the bag would be. Perfect, right! Purchased it, and a few days later it arrived. The box was about 15 x 15 x 15 inches big or so. Exactly what I thought it would be. BOY WAS I WRONG!
I opened the box carefully, because I didn't want to slice the bag it was in. I then took it out of the box and when I say it just did not stop growing, thats exactly what I mean. IT. DID. NOT. STOP. EXPANDING!
This bag went from a 15 inch cube to standing well over three feet tall! It just would not stop getting bigger. I was dying laughing. So, when in a foreign country maybe triple check your math and size.... I am going with the excuse that my math was correct but that this filler is just a beautiful quality to the point that it has an extra large loft to it. What do you all think, does this look like 11 pounds of polyfil? Let me know in the comments below.
Alright, back to the puff quilt! Now we start to assemble the rows. I started by stuffing the last row (row 16) and then using a basting stitch at 1/8th of an inch seam allowance and sewing along the top side, remembering to make you fold in the center of each block.
This is again showing my snowball like blocks, as I tuck them after being stuffed and folded over, while I bast them down. I did this basting as I was sewing each row on. I did not stuff, fold and bast each row separately. I did this as I added each row on top of the next one. You probably could stuff them, fold the blocks and bast stitch them each separately but as you go to sew the rows to each other the bulk from the puff might be a bit much to manage. Highly recommend taking a look and Lo & Beholds tutorial as I am sure she explains it a lot better than I do.
Once all the rows were finally assembled I then basted the top row closed. Picking out the backing was a tough one, as the quilt top is already really heavy, but I know it will act a lot like a weighted blanket for my son, so I knew I needed to add a soft backing fabric. Quickly, cotton backing was out. Alright, so do I piece the flannel I have (as it comes in very small widths), or do I find my fleece and or mink thats wide and long enough to be my backing?
I decided to go with a neutral backing. I had this soft brown fleece, and it was wide enough and just long enough to work for this quilt.
I did a light spray basting on the back of the puff quilt and pressed it against the fleece backing. I was careful to make sure there was no wrinkling or puckering anywhere.
I wanted to quilt along the seams but after assessing the thickness of the fleece and folded layers of fabric; I decided to just do as the tutorial did and had tie the quilt.
In the tutorial she did X style knots but I just did one diagonal tie. I did them on every 2nd intersection, moving down diagonally one, every row, so that the design is in diagonal line. I then decided to not do the style of finish that the tutorial talked about but instead decided to do traditional binding. I prefer the look of a true binding. I did use one color of each from the Bits and Pieces collection. I love how the binding is just so bright a cheerful.
I cut my binding at 2.5 inch by WOF (which I had fat quarters). I then sewed them all together to make one long strip. I then ironed them in half with wrong sides together. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, I sewed the binding on to the front. If binding is something you would like to see a tutorial on, please let me know and I will gladly make a post about it. I debated on whether I just do a scrappy binding or I match the colors to the colors on the quilt. Which is what I ultimately went with, matching each color. This just means I need to know exactly when the color transitions from one to the other and to line up my connections at those points.
You can see in this image that the fabric is white, so the binding is white also.
Once all the binding was on, I then cleaned up the edges a bit. I went along and just trimmed the backing and seam allowance down a little more. With the many layers of fabric, the seam was a bit thicker than the usual binding. By trimming it down a little, this helped me when I started to hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt.
I absolutely love finishing my quilts with the hand sewn binding to the back of the quilt. I use what is called a ladder stitch. It slides between the back of the quilts fabric on the outside of the stitching, and then I pass the needle between the layers of the binding, sandwiching it in between the fold. I then repeat going back and forth. You never see any of the stitches and it looks so clean.
Its a gorgeous way to finish the quilt. Now, you might ask did I add a label.... no. Not yet. I do want to add a label that will state when, what and where or what for, but that will be later on when I finally get some time to write it all out. Do you put labels on your quilts? Are you really good at adding them when you are working on the quilt or after the quilt is long done?
The last step was to get some beautiful photos of this gorgeous quilt with the bright and cheerful fabrics! Don't forget Bits and Pieces collection is shipping this month to your local stores so be sure to check your local quilt stores and ask them about the Island Batik collection.
The Rainbow Quilt in the winter forest here in England. Does it look like a rainbow? Let me know your thought in the comments below.
Can you see the matching binding a little better now?
Now, head on over to your local quilt shop and ask about this collection Bits and Pieces:
Lastly, stay tuned to see an extra project I did with this fabric where I combine my love for FPP and puff quilts to see if it will work out... or end in a disaster! Be sure to subscribe and come back real soon. In the mean time go click the BLOG HOP link and join in on the giveaway fun.
Stay safe, stay healthy and be kind.