Geta Grama from the Romanian Quilt Studio shop and blog recently showed us How to Make a Drawstring Bag. This tutorial shows off some of Geta’s intricate quilting skills. Learn to make her 15″ x 15″ Flamenco Mini-Quilt with fusible raw-edge appliqué (or turn it into a fabulous pillow!).
Quilt size: 15″ x 15″
- Background fabric in a light neutral color: 17″ x 17″
- Colored fabrics for the wavy design: use as many as you like
- Solid fabric: tone-on-tone or very small prints work great for this pattern. Do not use large prints. I used three tones of the same color.
- Fabric 1 (the dark color): 8″ x 21″
- Fabric 2 (medium color): 8″ x 19″
- Fabric 3 (light color): 7″ x 19″
- Fusible web: 15″ x 15″ (Wonder Under, Vliesofix/Bondaweb, Heat and Bond, Steam a Seam)
- Batting + backing: 18″ x 18″
- Binding: Piece a 2½” wide binding and 70″ long from the background fabric.
- Water soluble pen
More on the Water Soluble Pen:
You have to mark the design on fabric and then fuse the appliqué pieces onto it. You will be ironing over the markings, so make sure you use a marking pen that does not disappear with heat, but can be washed out when you are finished with the quilt.
Test how your marking pen reacts to ironing. Mark a scrap of fabric then press. Wash the fabric the same way you will wash the quilt. Before starting to make the quilt, make sure the marking lines wash out completely.
I use washable markers designed specifically for kids. They are cheap and come in many colors; see here more information about them.
Prepare the Paper Pattern:
Print the Quilt Pattern. Print in the original size (check the “Actual Size” box in the print dialog box). A test square is included on the first page of the pattern. Measure it to make sure that you print the pattern at the proper scale.
Tape the pages together. To easily tape one page to another, remove the right margin of the first page (cut on the red dashed line) and tape the first page to the second page. Use a similar method to tape the rows together.
Transfer the Design on Background Fabric:
Reverse the paper pattern (turn it on the other side) and tape it to a window. On top of it tape the background fabric (right side up). The right and bottom edges of the fabric should be placed about 1″ away from the right and bottom edge of the design.
Copy the design onto fabric, using the water soluble pen. Your pattern on fabric should look like this picture.
Prepare the Appliqué Pieces:
Using the paper pattern RIGHT SIDE UP, copy the entire design onto the paper side of the fusible web.
Number the design as shown.
Cut the fusible web out roughly around the lines.
Place the fusible web templates, rough side down, on the wrong side of the corresponding fabric.
Press according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cut on the lines with a pair of scissors.
Remove the paper backing from all the pieces (score over the paper with a needle, this makes it easier to remove the paper).
Appliqué the Design on the Background Fabric:
Place each piece in the corresponding position, coated side down. Press with the iron to fuse the piece to the background fabric. Follow the fusible web manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat until you fuse all the pieces.
You can secure the edges of the appliqué pieces at this stage. Use a zigzag stitch and invisible (monofilament) or neutral or matching thread.
Usually I do the appliqué part and the quilting at the same time. In other words, I secure the edges of the appliqués pieces stitching (quilting) through all the layers (top + batting + backing).
Prepare the quilt sandwich with the backing on the bottom (wrong side up), batting in the middle and then quilt top right side up.
Baste as desired; I used a temporary adhesive spray. If you use pins or safety pins, try not to pin through the appliqué pieces. Quilt as desired.
Here is how I quilted my quilt. First, I secured the edges of the appliqué pieces with a zig–zag stitch and matching thread. I used the walking foot. Then on the background, outside the design, I stitched a few lines (spaced at about 1″), following the most outer edge of the design. I used again the walking foot. Then I switched to the darning foot and I filled the space in between these lines (and in between the colored waves) with feathers.
Washing the Quilt:
Wash the quilt by hand. Use warm water and a little mild detergent; gently agitate the quilt and let it soak (for a few minutes) until the markings disappear. Put the quilt in the washing machine and spin on low speed, to leave some water in the quilt.
Remove the quilt from the washing machine and lay it on a table. Smooth it from the center toward the outside edges until it is flat. Keep the quilt flat to dry.
Finishing the Quilt:
Square up the quilt. First, trim 1/8″ away from the edges of the design. Then trim the other edges so in the end you have a 15″ square.
Then bind the quilt. Your quilt is finished. If you did not quilt over the appliqué pieces, they might need a gentle pressing.
I chose to finish my little piece into a pillow. If you are not fond of feathers, here is a piece entirely quilted with the walking foot.