Sunny Tied Quilt
This quilt is the perfect project for early spring because it introduces a welcome burst of color into your home and it’s light enough to use through the warmest months. –Molly
These materials make a 91-inch by 81-inch quilt.
I picked an assortment of eleven fabrics in greens, yellows, oranges and white and divided them into darks, mediums and lights. I started with 1-yard each of the lights, 1/2-yard each of the mediums, and 1/4-yard each of the darks. If you want to design your own color palette you can do so with any fabric you like. Just make sure that you have at least 6 3/4-yards fabric total.
If you’d like to use the fabrics I used they are listed below (clockwise from the top left in the picture above).
For the Top:
- 1-yard Anna Griffin, Flora in Lime Vines
- 1/4-yard P and B, Color Spectrum in Pea
- 1/2-yard Kaufman, Kona Cotton in Cactus
- 1-yard Kaufman, Kona Cotton Honey Dew
- 1-yard Kaufman, Kona Cotton in Maize
- 1-yard P and B, Color Spectrum in White
- 1/4-yard Yuwa, Orange dots (we are sold out of this fabric but a good alternative for it is Yuwa, Orange Sweet Grid)
- 1/4-yard Kaufman, Kona Cotton in Tangerine
- 1/2-yard Rowan, Shot Cotton in Sunshine
- 1/2-yard Yuwa, Sweet Grid in Yellow
- 1/2-yard Kaufman, Kona Cotton in Butter
Back, Batting, and Tying Materials:
- 3-1/2 yards of Moda, Wide Muslin in White
- 1 Double size Request Loft, Quilter’s Dream 100% Cotton Batting
- 1 skein Cascade 220 100% wool yarn in Gelato
- Silk Ribbon Embroidery Needle Set
- 1 spool Gutermann Cotton Thread in color 1140 (for piecing)
- 1 spool Gutermann Cotton Thread in color 1640 (for attaching the binding)
- One Clover Water Soluble Pen
Prepare + Cut Fabric
Wash, dry and press fabric.
This quilt is pieced in strips that are cut from selvage to selvage.
Arrange your fabric into 3 categories: darks, mediums, and lights and cut them as follows:
- Cut all of the darks into strips, selvage to selvage in a range of widths from 2 1/2-inches to 4 1/2-inches.
- Cut all of the mediums into strips, selvage to selvage, in a range of widths from 4 1/2-inches to 7 1/2-inches.
- Cut all of the lights into strips, selvage to selvage, in a range of widths from 6 1/2-inches to 12 1/2-inches.
Pick any two strips to start with (part of the beauty of this quilt is the random placing of the strips). To begin piecing place the two strips right sides together and line up the top selvages. Let the bottom strip peek out about 1/16-inch (or less) to the right as shown above.
Since none of these strips have to fit together in an precise way (except of course that they must lay flat) you don’t need to use pins for this part… it’s one of the reasons this this such a quick project!
To sew, lightly pinch the fabric together before it goes under the needle as shown above. Keep the bottom fabric peeking out from behind the top fabric to ensure that you are sewing through both layers. Sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance (from the top fabric). The strips should stay together without much coaxing, but go slowly at first until you get the hang of it.
At the bottom of the strips you will probably find that they aren’t the same length. The original fabrics the strips were cut from are all slightly different widths so this is not surprise. Don’t worry about it now- you will take care of this uneven edge in the next step.
Pick out another strip and sew it to the previous strip as above (line its top selvage up with the top selvages of the two you pieced together in the last step, so that when you’re done you will have one even side and one uneven side).
Continue piecing strips together in this manner until your piece measures at least 91-inches wide (if it’s slightly longer don’t worry about it, you can cut it down later). This is the first half of the top.
Piece the second half of the top the same as the first.
Cut + Piece Top, Part Two
Trim the uneven side of each half of the top using a rotary cutter and a long ruler. Using your seam lines as a guide, cut the selvages off at a right angle to the seams, at least 1/2-inch from the shortest selvage edge. If you need guidance using a rotary cutter, please visit our Rotary Cutting Tutorial here.
Repeat for the even selvage edge.
Repeat both steps for the second half of the top.
Trim the width of both halves to 91-inches.
Iron each half of the top, pressing seams towards the darker fabric.
Now it’s time to break out the pins. Pin the two halves right sides together along one of the 91-inch sides. Sew together with a 5/8-inch seam allowance.
Make the Quilt Sandwich
Cut wide muslin into a 99-inch by 89-inch piece and place it on a clean patch of floor.
Tape muslin down to the floor using 2-inch masking tape as follows:
- Pull the muslin taught as you tape it down. First tape the opposite centers of the sides and then tape along the sides from the center out. Always tape one side and then it’s opposite as you go. You don’t have to iron the muslin before this step, the slight stretching and taping should take care of any wrinkles.
Place batting in the center of the taped down muslin. Unfold the batting on top of the muslin and smooth it down gently from the center out. Trim it so that it’s about 2-inches from the edge of the muslin backing all the way around.
Fold quilt top into fourths, right sides together. Place folded corner in the center of the batting and then unfold the top, right side up, onto the batting. Smooth it out gently from the center, it should be 2-inches from the edge of the batting and 4-inches from the edge of the backing as pictured above.
Mark for Ties
Starting from the middle of the quilt mark the top with the Water Soluble Pen every 6 1/2-inches in a grid as shown above.
Thread one of the Ribbon Embroidery Needles with the yarn. Use the smallest, sharpest needle you can thread. There is no need to tie a knot or cut the yarn. Sew a 1/4-inch stitch through the first marked point on the edge. then pull the yarn through and take another stitch at the next marked point. Sew across an entire row of marked points in this manner, leaving slack in between each stitch as shown above. At the end of the row cut the yarn, leaving a long tail at each end. Sew every row of marked points in the manner.
It’s very important that you sew through all three layers (the back, the batting, and the top) during this step.
Cut the midpoints of all your stitches as shown above and then tie each stitch tightly with a square knot. A square knot is a simple double knot: twist the right side over the left side and then the left side over the right side. For a more thorough explanation of this knot (with pictures) click here.
Prepare for Binding
Trim your batting to meet the quilt top by sliding a cutting mat in-between the batting and the backing. Cut the batting with a rotary cutter, using a rotary ruler to guide you. Go all the way around the four sides of the quilt top.
Cut the backing so that it’s 1 1/2 from the edge of the quilt top all the way around using using a cutting ruler as a guide as shown above.
Trim all of the ties to be 1 1/2 inches long. You can get rid of the blue marks by machine washing the quilt when you’re done with the binding or by using the pen’s erasable tip.
The quilt is bound by folding the backing fabric to the front.
Begin at a corner, fold one edge of the backing fabric in half toward the quilt top and finger press it down as shown above.
Fold the perpendicular side in half as well and finger press it.
Fold in the point of the corner at a 45 degree angle as shown above.
To finish fold the sides in towards the quilt top once more and pin the edges in place. The sides should meet to form a neat corner. Pin all four sides down in this way, by folding them in half and then over towards the quilt top.
Use a wide zig zag stitch and the bright yellow thread to sew along the edge where the binding meets the quilt top.
- Begin along the middle of one side.
- Backstitch at the beginning and ending of your seam.
- Make sure your stitch is catching both the binding and the quilt top.
- When you come to the corner sew 1/4-inch past the corner and stop, leaving your needle in the fabric. Then take a few back stitches to the corner, leave your needle in down position, pick up the foot and pivot the quilt to begin sewing the next side. Repeat at remaining 3 corners.