Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Super Simple Summer Throw Quilt - Red, White, and Blue in Sarah Jane Studios Fabric

This Super Simple Summer Quilt is ideal for highlighting a few favorite fabrics with large scale prints.  Strip piecing and large blocks are used to make this quilt really quick to sew together, so it can be completed in a full day or weekend.  It would work with any color scheme, but we chose red, white, and blue for a patriotic summer feel.  And a big thank you to Fairfield World for providing me with batting and compensating me for designing this quilt and writing this post.  

We've all got that stack of fabric at home that we're hoarding...fabric we love more than most and we're saving it until the perfect project finally comes along.

The Children at Play line by Sarah Jane Studios for Michael Miller Fabrics was that way for me, in particular the Rocket Launch Club fabric.  Our family is big fans of brainy open-ended activities, and this fabric has it all, right down to the physics equations.  The airplane fabrics if from the Patriots line celebrating Naval Aviation by Robert Kaufman, but is now just about impossible to find.

Unfortunately every single fabric in this quilt is out-of-print, but there are lots of current red, white, and blue prints out there that would also look amazing.

For best balance, you'll want to choose a fabric with a large scale print (or Rocket Boys), one that looks similar to a solid from a distance (our technical airplane drawings), a medium-to-small scale print (our red rockets), and something with stripes or dots or the like.

Here's what you'll need:
  • ½ yard mainly white or cream print (W)
  • ½ yard navy blue print (B) fabric
  • ½ yard each of mainly red print (R)
  • ½ yard striped print (S).  
  • ¼ yard for inner border
  • 1/3 yard for middle border
  • 1 yard for outer border and binding, 
  • 3 yards backing fabric or 2 yards backing fabric and use scraps or ½ yard of fabric to make an accent strip
  • 1 package Nature-Fil™ Bamboo Blend Batting 60″ X 60″.
  • Rotary cutting mat, quilting ruler, and rotary cutter
  • Coordinating thread
  • Basting Spray

Cut the following:
  • W – 8 squares 8 ½ x 8 ½” 
  • B – 9 squares 8 ½ x 8 ½”
  • S – 4 strips width of fabric x 4 ½” 
  • R – 4 strips width of fabric x 4 ½” 

  • Inner border – Cut 5 width of fabric strips 1 ½” wide.
  • Middle border - Cut 5 width of fabric strips 2” wide.
  • Outer border and binding - Cut 12 width of fabric strips 3” wide.

For best results use a quilting ruler.  I prefer to cut strips the width of the fabric and then cut them into the squares for the large squares.

For the red and striped fabrics, cut width of fabric pieces 4 1/2 inches wide.  Sew one striped strip to one red strip along long side.  Repeat with all remain strips.  If one of your fabrics has an “up and down” then you’ll want to alternate which color strip is on top.

Iron seam open.

Trim selvages off.  Cut into 8 ½ inch blocks.

Arrange blocks according to figure below.

Sew block together. with 1/4 inch seam.

Add inner borders.  Sew three border strips together end to end.  Iron seams open.  Sew onto sides of quilt first.  

Trim.  Then sew single border piece to top and bottom.  Trim ends.

Repeat for middle border.

For outer border, sew 6 of your 3-inch strips end to end.  Iron seams open.  Sew onto sides of quilt first.  Then sew onto top and bottom of quilt.

From here you can quilt and finish your quilt the way you would any other.  Here are a few general tips for how I like to finish my quilts.

To quilt on your home machine:
  1. Use basting spray to temporarily adhere each of your quilt layers together.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions on the basting spray can or use an alternative method of basting such as safety pin, etc.
  2. For best results use a walking foot or dual feed foot on your machine.
  3. Example quilt shows quilting and X through each block and ¼ inch to the side of border seams.
To Finish:
  1. Trim batting and backing.
  2. Sew your remaining 3-inch strips of your binding/outer border fabric and sew them end to end.
  3. Press the strips in half the long way.  
  4. Line both raw edges of the binding up with the raw edge of the quilt.  Sew with a 3/8” seam the binding to the top of the quilt, along the sides of your quilt, sewing through the binding and all three layers of the quilt and trim even with the top and bottom of your quilt.  Fold binding around to the back.  Pin.  Stitch “in the ditch” from the top of the quilt through to catch the binding on the back.
  5. Repeat step 3 to sew the binding on the top and bottom sides of the quilt, except cut the binding and extra ½ inch long on both ends, so you can fold under the raw edges before stitching.
  6. Wash to remove the basting spray.
I've hung this quilt up in my entryway, but I have a feeling that once it comes down at the end of the summer this little guy is going to lay claim to it.

And it was so much fun photographing some of our favorite brainy science books with the quilt, that my husband has promised to do his own Top 10 Science Books List for the general population.  So keep an eye out for that soon on the blog.

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  1. Don't let that boy grow!! He is a perfect model with this adorable quilt.

  2. Visiting from Instagram. Love your quilt, thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Cute quilt! I love the red, white, and blue!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ The Submarine Sunday Link Party


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