‘Summer Bouquets’ – how to layer up the quilt

The 'Summer Bouquets' quilt on a bed

This post is part of the 2021 Quiltalong. The plan is to complete a double-bed quilt by the end of the year. The fabrics used here are from ‘Summer Bouquets’ collection, available from Spoonflower (here).

The starter post with all the fabric requirements is here. Cutting instructions are here. The first block is here. The second block is here. Making the columns is here. Adding the sashing is here. Adding the internal borders is here. Adding the outer borders is here.

The quilt-top is complete. Now it is time to layer up the quilt.

Preparation of the backing and wadding

You may need to join fabric to get the required width for the backing. Make sure that you remove selvedge edges before joining lengths (they are woven more tightly than the rest of the fabric and will not ‘give’ in the same way as the rest). The backing fabric should be at least 4″ (10cm) bigger on each side than the quilt top.

Your wadding should be at least 3″ (7.5cm) bigger on each side than the quilt top. You may need to join the wadding, too. There is a useful post here to help you.

How to lay up the three quilt layers

1 The first task is to press the quilt top well, using a dry iron (not steam). Ensure that all your seams are lying correctly. Trim off threads to about half an inch (12mm). Do a careful check that there are no stray threads adhering to the back of the quilt top. This quilt using white fabric in some parts – any dark threads would show through!

2 Next press your backing fabric. Find the centre of each side (by gently folding it – without adding any new creases!) and insert a marker pin at right angles to the edge

3 Lay this on the floor, with the right side of the fabric facing downwards. If I am working on a hard floor, I tape each corner to the floor with masking tape and then hold the sides in place with short strips of masking tape. If I am working on a carpeted floor, I insert an extra-large pin (angled like a tent-peg!) into each corner to hold the fabric in place, with additional extra-large pins on the sides. The idea is to hold the backing flat but not to stretch it. This is important. If the backing is stretched, you will get wrinkles when the quilt is finished.

4 Now find the centre of each side of the wadding, by folding and inserting a marker pin as you did before.

5 Lay the wadding on top of the backing fabric so that the pins at top and bottom of the wadding line up with the pins at top and bottom of the backing. Then check that the marker pins on the sides of these two layers are aligned also.

6 Insert a marker pin at the centre of each side of the quilt top, as before, and then lay the quilt top, right side up, on top of the wadding layer. Move it gently until the marker pins on each side are aligned with the wadding and backing pins.

It is much easier to do this with someone else, if you possibly can, when you are dealing with a large quilt.

Joining the three layers

There is a useful post here which outlines the four choices for securing the three layers together so you can do the quilting. The choice is yours!

Next month on the blog (11 October 2021), you will find suggestions on how to quilt the ‘Summer Bouquets’ quilt.

Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here, quilt patterns here and classes here

The ‘Starstruck’ quilt pattern

A new quilt pattern

‘Starstruck’ is the latest quilt pattern from Amanda Jane Textiles. Here’s the quilt:

'Starstruck' quilt by Amanda Jane Textiles, the quilt contains twelve star blocks with pale yellow centres and orange arms, each of these lead out with a burst of yellow squares to the next one. The feature fabric around the stars is 'Micro-organisms' by Amanda Jane Textiles on Spoonflower. Other squares are pale grey and there is a light grey border.

The inspiration for the quilt started with the printed fabric that you can see in the ‘arrows’ pointing inwards towards each star centre. The fabric is ‘Micro-organisms’ and you can find it on the Spoonflower website here.

‘Micro-organisms’ by Amanda Jane Textiles

How the fabric was designed

I designed the fabric originally in response to one of Spoonflower’s weekly contests. This particular one was entitled ‘Micro-organisms’ and after looking at many different images of cells seen through a microscope, I settled for inspiration on this one, which is penicillin! I first painted the shapes that I could see, using watercolours, then scanned and manipulated the painted image to put it into repeat. It has ended up as a modern, abstract design (albeit with an unusual name!).

For some time I have been wanting to create a quilt around this ‘Micro-organisms’ fabric, using the pale yellow, bright yellow, orange and grey that appear in the print. Now the quilt is done and the ‘Micro-organisms’ fabric plays a big part, appearing in each of the twelve blocks. It was so good to cut into it and see the fabric take its place. I found useful ways of cutting out large numbers of small squares quickly, which I’ll share in a future post.

The cover photo-shoot

Part of the job of being a quilt pattern designer is to set up a photo-shoot for the cover shot. Fortunately, there have been some clear-weather days recently. On one of them we headed down to the sea-front in Ramsgate with the quilt.

The wall just to the right of this photo was very textured, and seemed just right for this quilt.

I also experimented with new ways of marking out the quilt top for quilting, which I explain in the pattern.

You can get the pattern from the Etsy shop here

Next week on the blog: the ninth part of the ‘Summer Bouquets’ Quiltalong, to make a double-bed quilt by the end of the year.

The 'Summer Bouquets' quilt on a bed
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