Monday, October 2, 2017

Cuddle® Squares Quilt - Quilts Kids Can Sew

If you're looking to for a quilt your child can succeed with, this is a Cuddle® Squares Quilt is a great one.  My daughter is a reluctant seamstress, but she REALLY love Cuddle® fabrics, so the right choice in fabric was a huge motivation for her.  Thanks so much to Shannon Fabrics for sending us their amazing Cuddle® fabrics to try and to Fairfield World for supplying the batting and compensating me for this post.  This post contains affiliate links.

There's nothing like completing a large sewing project to help build a child's self-esteem and their enthusiasm for sewing.  Before sharing the specifics of this project here are a few tips for sewing with kids:

  1. Let them choose the fabrics - favorite textures and colors go a long way in building their excitement.
  2. Stick with a simple pattern - Square are a great starting point.
  3. Use Medium-to-Large Pieces - The larger the pieces, the faster the quilt will go together and they'll see progress quickly.  For quilts, I recommend using squares in the 6 to 10 inch range.  (Much larger than 10 inches and the pieces can be unwieldy.  
  4. Use LOTS of pins, especially if you're using Cuddle® fabrics.  I use about twice as many pins for a child sewing than I would for myself.
  5. Don't worry about imperfections.  Little tucks and imperfect corners won't change the coziness of the quilt.
  6. Help with the tough parts.  In this case, I trimmed the edges square and did the binding.
  7. If you're using Cuddle® fabrics stick with their basic prints or shorter pile embossed prints since they tend to shift less while sewing.

Note: We put this quilt together using lots of scraps from past Cuddle® projects...because lets face the scraps are too soft and delightful to throw away.  Some of the fabrics in this quilt are now out of print, but coordinating Cuddle® Fabrics can easily be purchased in Shannon Fabrics 10" Sweet Strips packs that would be perfect for making this quilt.



Cut your fabric into 10" Squares.  When using Cuddle fabric, we strongly encourage you to have a vacuum with hose handy to vacuum any loose fun from each fabric cut immediately.  If you're cutting your squares from Cuddle® yardage or 10" Sweet Strips, you should be able to get 6 squares from each strip if you're really careful.  You may have to use a bit of the selvage edge, but with Cuddle® fabrics, that's okay.

Have your child arrange their squares in a 5 square by 7 square layout.  (Or alternately, if you have 36 squares, you could do a 6 x 6 square layout.  Check each square to make sure the nap (the way you pet the fabric) is all the same direction.  I like the fabric to "pet" toward the bottom of the quilt.)  Snap a picture so you can refer to it for square order during sewing.

Sew your square together with a 1/2" seam allowance.  A walking foot will help a LOT to keep fabric from slipping if your machine doesn't have a built in even feed option. I helped my daughter pin her squares since the cuddle has a tendency to slip.  You'll want to use extra long pins to help with the bulk of the fabric.  Pin at least every two inches.  We sewed ours into 5 square horizontal strips.  You might also want to review these tips from Shannon Fabrics on sewing with Cuddle®.

Pin your strips together matching square corners by pinning in place.  I found not all of my daughters seam allowances were quite the same, which can result in mis-matched corners.  When I helped her with pinning the strips together, we matched the corners first and then pinned in between them to help ease the fabric into matching.  You'll find the fabric stretches a bit more when sewing the strips together.

Once your quilt top is sewn together, I strongly recommend using Basting Spray to hold the layers together while quilting.  Then have your child stitch-in-the-ditch along each of the same to complete the quilting.  Cuddle fabric is SUPER forgiving if quilting lines end up a little bit crooked because the plushness of the fabric hides mistakes well.  (Machine quilting is less frustrating if you're wearing your favorite Chewbacca least if you're 12.)

To finish your quilt, if the sides are uneven at all, you'll want to trim them square.  I did this for my daughter as well as putting the binding on.  Cut five 2" strips from your binding fabric and follow these directions for binding your quilt.

And it will be ready to enjoy!

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