Now that you have all your squares made, lay them out how you want them to be in the quilt. Have adjacent squares have the bars alternate whether vertical or horizontal. See pictures above and below for ideas.
Fold the second column on top of the first column with right sides together. This will help you stitch them together in what is called chain piecing. Then pick up each pair in order. Make sure you do not turn them so they will be the way you want them.
Stitch each pair together without cutting the threads between the pair. Then open each pair up and pick up the third column. Attach the appropriate square to each pair of squares. Repeat with the other columns until all columns have been added.
Now you need to sew the rows together. Fold the first two columns together and pin so the corners of each square match up. Sew the rows. Repeat until the quilt top is completed.
Next you need to trim the top so the sides are as straight as possible. Then measure it. Cut a backing in a fabric that you will want to be your edging and make it a couple of inches larger than the top. If you want to use a batting you should make that bigger than the quilt top as well. I used a used dryer sheet as my batting but have also used a piece of flannel. Put the backing fabric with right side down. The center your batting on this piece and then center the quilt top (correct side up) on top of that. Pin in a couple of places. You are now ready to quilt it. I machine quilted just a grid over it. I used clear thread on top and a bobbin thread on the bottom. I did my best to "quilt in the ditch" which means sew along the seams.
Now to do the edging. Trim the batting as close to the quilt top edge as possible. Then trim the backing so there is half an inch more on each side. Start with one edge and fold the corner down diagonally (see picture) making an isosceles right triangle. Snip a square out of this triangle. Then fold the side down and fold it over the quilt. Pin. Repeat for all edges and corners. Make sure you pin everything before sewing. This should give you the look of mitered corners. Then stitch all the way around the quilt. Again I used the same thread as I did for the quilting. Trim any lose threads and your quilt is finished.
Since I have been playing with mini quilts I decided to make my swap item a quilt. To make multiple quilts I decided on an easy design that could be made in groups.
To make a quilt you will need at least two different colors and three different fabrics of each color. You will see finished quilts of varying numbers of colors so you can choose the one you like best. Fabric should be washed and dried to take care of shrinking and colors running and then pressed.
To make a group of blocks of one color cut 3/4" strips. You will need 2 strips of 2 of the three fabrics (we will call these Fabrics A and for this color and one strip of the third fabric (Fabric C). (Note: a fat quarter strip will make about 11 blocks and a full fabric width will make 24-25 blocks.) As a quilter, I used a rotary cutter to make my strips nice and straight. (Rotary cutters also help cut wallpaper straight and perfect.)
We have cut the strips to have a 1/4" seam, which is a typical quilter's seam. I experimented with smaller ones but found this to be the easiest to get straight seams. Sew one strip of Fabric A and Fabric B together. Then sew the other pair of Fabrics A and B together. I do this first because it is easy to sew two fabrics together without pins.
Now sew one of the pairs to the Fabric C strip. Make sure you do not catch the seam allowance. I hand press the seam allowances away from the center. Then sew the other pair to the other side of Fabric C.
Now press the strips open. Press the seam allowances away from the center. Cut the strip into 1 3/4" squares.
Make the squares of the other colors you will need.
Lily is the woman who lives on Brookwood Beach. She and her husband built this beach house right on the ocean. Her husband, George, was a fisherman, so he wanted to be close to the sea. George passed away a few years ago. Although she misses him, she manages to stay busy with family and friends. Everyone always wants to visit her at the beach. She is very fortunate to have such a lovely view.
Her favorite visitors are her two granddaughters, Rose and Lavender. They are visiting today. Unfortunately it is a bit cold to go out and play on the beach which is really Lily’s front yard. But the girls are playing their favorite activity with Gram, dress-up. They all have to dress up in an outfit from the dress-up trunk and then they will go down to high tea, well actually lemonade and cookies, but they pretend it is high tea. Today Rose wants to wear the Kimono, and Lavender wants to be a bride. Rose is checking out the other outfits to make sure she is in the one she really wants.
The fire is burning while they play. They had gone for a long walk on the beach and came in from the cold. Lily started the fire to warm them all up. The three fireplaces always seem to heat the house well enough even in the winter.
This visit is extra special because the girls are sleeping over. The girls are very excited to be spending the night. Their parents are away at a wedding so Lily gets to enjoy them a little longer than usual. Their mother, Pansy, is Lily’s only child. It is a family tradition to name all the girls after flowers. The tradition began with Lily’s grandmother, Iris.