Improv back of the quilt tutorial and self machine binding – Textured 4-patch quilt

Quilt back

Quilt front


Some points before I start.

For the back I decided to do some improv patchwork again after my Père-Noël zigzag quilt improv patchwork back of quilt because it is a good way to free yourself after finishing a structured quilt. It’s the back after all, you don’t have to see it if it doesn’t turn out well. But if it does it is an added bonus.

For the back of the quilt’s I made a strip of “pretty much anything goes”. I added fabric scraps with some failed textures and blocks as well as other fabric scraps I used on the front.

You will need about 3 yards of white fabric and fabric scraps for the improv patchwork.

Quilting through the bulk added by the extra textures in the back may be a challenge for some machines.

Improv patchwork visual process

As I said before, this is a very much anything goes process. The only rule that applies is that your seam allowance must be 1/4 in or less.

Start by stitching two pieces together. As you can see, they’re not the same length but it does not matter.

Just trim the excess after the pieces are stitched together. Do not throw the trimmings away as they may be useful later on.

Pick up another piece of fabric, the same length or longer and stitch to the previous piece.

Now get a different piece. It does not matter if it is a triangle or a rectangle. Even a curved piece though curved pieces need a different stitching method and I did not use any this time.

Stitch and trim off the excess fabric.

As you can see the point is to square every piece as much as possible after adding a new piece. Squaring out the piece will make it easier to keep adding pieces.

Same as before.

Just keep adding and trimming.

I even added pieces of blocks that didn’t work.

And textures I decided not to use.

Keep stitching away until you reach the length of the quilt and a bit over to allow for self binding.

The next step is to place your strip where you want it to go on the back of the quilt, either on a side or in the middle, and then cut two pieces of white fabric for each side. I can’t give you the exact size of the side rectangles because your finished improv piece will be different to mine but I used about 3 yards of white fabric.

If you intend to use self binding, make your quilt back square at least 2 inches longer than the top all around.

As you can see in the picture below I added a bit of black to the improv patchwork because I thought it added some extra interest.

Self machine binding

Once you have quilted the quilt sandwich, trim the quilt back fabric leaving a 1 1/4 in allowance.

Now fold the fabric as per picture.

And fold again. Pin.

Continue to do as described above until you reach a corner.

To do a mitered corner, fold the corner at 45 degrees as per picture.

And then fold the fabric again like before.

Pin and continue.

Then just top stitched as close to the edge as possible.

Self binding may not be as durable as regular binding but it’s quick and suitable for some projects that won’t have as much wear and tear.

Textured 4-patch quilt tutorial

This quilt has 16 x 10 1/2 in blocks.

Each block is a 4-patch block in greens and reds. The fabric manipulation is made in a cream fabric.

See all Textured 4-patch quilt tutorials.

See also my first Textured quilt sampler tutorial.

Share your pictures

Are you making this quilt? Share your pictures on Flickr’s TeresaDownUnder group.

Assembling the quilt top – Textured 4-patch quilt

IMG_6572


Cut:

  • nine 3 in squares in cream fabric
  • 24 rectangles 3 in x 10 1/2 in red fabric
  • 2 strips 5 1/2 in x 50 in
  • 2 strips 5 1/2 x 61
  • 2 strips 1 1/2 in x 48 in in red in red fabric
  • 2 strips 1 1/2 in x 50 1/2 in in red fabric

Placement diagram

Place the blocks in the desired order or as per diagram above. Then place the sashing between blocks and the squares in the intersections.

I stitched the blocks from left to right but you could well start from top to bottom or whatever way you’re accustomed to.

After stitching all sashing, add the first narrow border. Cut two strips 1 1/2 in x 48 in in red in red fabric and two strips 1 1/2 in x 50 1/2 in in red fabric. Stitch the 48 in long strips on opposite sides. Press seams and stitch the other two strips on the opposite sides.

Almost there.

Your quilt size after adding the sashing is about 50 in x 50 in.

The next and last step before quilting is adding a 5 1/2 in cream border all around.

The top is finished.

Textured 4-patch quilt tutorial

This quilt has 16 x 10 1/2 in blocks.

Each block is a 4-patch block in greens and reds. The fabric manipulation is made in a cream fabric.

See all Textured 4-patch quilt tutorials.

See also my first Textured quilt sampler tutorial.

Share your pictures

Are you making this quilt? Share your pictures on Flickr’s TeresaDownUnder group.

Block 16: honeycomb smocking – Textured 4-patch quilt

Close up

Block type: 4-patch

Block size: 10 1/2 inches

Colour scheme: reds, greens and neutrals

Texture/fabric manipulation: Canadian smocking

Cut:

  • one 10 1/2 in x 8 in cream rectangle
  • one 4 1/2 in red square
  • one 4 1/2 in pale green square
  • two 3 in red squares
  • two 3 in pale green squares
  • two 5 1/2 in x 3 in pale green rectangles

Making the honeycomb smocking

On the right side of the fabric, draw a grid at 1/2 in intervals using a water soluble pen.

Stitch the smocking using the diagram below. Stitch 1 and 2 points together. Then move the thread to the next 1, on the wrong side of the fabric, and double stitch on 1 again to anchor the thread. Keep reading for details on this process.’

As the smocking is done on the right side, use stranded cotton of the same colour of the fabric.

Double stitch on the first dot. Then pick up the next dot and pull both dots together.

Double stitch.

Put the thread through to the back of the fabric.

Then put the needle through the next dot.

Now anchor the thread first by double stitching on the dot. And then stitch to the next dot and pull together. Do that till the end of the row.

On the next row alternate the dots (refer to the diagram above).

Stitch about 8 rows in this way and then stretch on a mat and wet or steam.

When dry remove from the mat.

Trim to 6 inches.

Cut all the required pieces that make the block (refer to cutting instructions above).

Cut the 4 1/2 squares in diagonal.

Arrange pieces as per picture.

Trace a diagonal on the back of the honeycomb piece.

Stitch at 1/4 in from the diagonal on each side to stop the smocking coming apart when the square is cut.

Cut through the diagonal.

Arrange all pieces and piece together.

The block is done.

Textured 4-patch quilt tutorial

This quilt has 16 x 10 1/2 in blocks.

Each block is a 4-patch block in greens and reds. The fabric manipulation is made in a cream fabric.

See all Textured 4-patch quilt tutorials.

See also my first Textured quilt sampler tutorial.

Share your pictures

Are you making this quilt? Share your pictures on Flickr’s TeresaDownUnder group.