Category Archives: Christmas quilt

Père-Noël zigzag quilt tutorial part three: improv patchwork for the quilt back and machine binding with mitered corners

In this third and last tutorial I will make an improv design for the back of the quilt using some left over fabrics from the top of my Père-Noël zigzag Christmas quilt top.

See also:

Part one: quilt top assembly

Part two: embroidery embellishments

Improv back of quilt

There are no patterns for this one, just a visual progression of the improv patchwork being put together.

I used the charm squares trimmings and some matching reds, green and white solids.

The patchwork is made by sewing the trimmings in between rectangles of solid colours.

I started with the middle strip. The white rectangles are 2 1/2 in wide down but they decrease in width and end in a triangle. The most obvious way to achieve this is to cut a long strip 2 1/2 wide which ends in a pointy end. Then slice the strip into bits.

The length of the strip depends on how long you want it to be. I wanted it to be almost as long as the quilt.

This is what the strip looks like.

After sewing the white strip I cut the trimmings again.

And did the same with both red solids. Some of the trimmings had to be stitched together.

To sew both strips together, place both strips side by side right side facing up. Overlap both edges well and then pin. Use the overlapping line to cut through the bottom strip.

Now pin together well and sew.

Do the same with each strip.

I continued until I finished all trimmings more or less.

This is the resulting improv patchwork that I will be the back of the zigzag Christmas quilt.

Now you need to square the improv patchwork into a panel that will be making the back of the quilt.

Use the same technique as before when sewing two pieces with uneven edges. Place the piece on top of a muslin or calico piece of fabric and pin. Then cut along the overlapping edge. Pin together and sew.

Do the same for both edges.

The back of the quilt is finished.

Assemble the quilt sandwich and quilt.

I used a variety of free motion quilting patterns for this quilt. The patterns follow the zig zag in the quilt.

Trim off the quilt backing and batting.

Machine binding

I have been machine binding my quilts lately. It takes a small fraction of time as compared to slip stitching them at the back and the finish is just as good in my opinion.

To machine bind a quilt, you need to place the binding on the back of the quilt, aligned to the edge of the quilt, as opposed to stitching it to the front first.

For small lap quilts I don’t use binding cut on the bias but just cut straight from across the grain of the fabric.

To start, cut a strip about 225 in x 2 1/2 in. You’ll need to cut several strips and piece them together to obtain this length.

Fold the strip in half and iron well.

Take the quilt on the back and place the raw edge of the strip aligned with the quilt edge.

Mitered corners

Stitch all the way to the corner stopping at 1/4 in from the edge.

Now fold the strip up in a 45 degree angle as per picture.

Then fold the strip back aligning the fold with the top edge as per picture. Pin.

Now stitch all the way to the end again, stopping at 1/4 from the corner and do the same again for the next corner.

Once you have done the stitching your top will look like this.

Now fold the strip back over the top of the quilt. The binding will cover the raw edge all the way to covering the stitching line.

When you reach a corner, with your finger fold the mitred corner as per picture.  First fold in a 90 degree angle the binding at the corner.

And then fold back again as per picture making sure you align both corners.

Pin the whole quilt binding this way.

And now top stitch as close to the edge as possible.

The binding is done.

And this is the quilt, back and front.

Ready for Christmas!

Père-Noël zigzag quilt tutorial part two: embellishing the quilt top with embroidery

This is the second part in a series of three tutorials. Part one shows you how to make a Christmas themed quilt top using charm squares.

See also:

In this tutorial I will embroider a French Christmas children song on the quilt top and do some other embroidery on the white fabric as an extension to the fabric print.

This is the song:

Père-Noël

Un, deux, trois

Qui est-là ?

Père-Noël

Père-Noël

Entre vite, il fait très froid,

Bonne fête et chocolat !

Father Christmas

One, two, three

Who’s there?

Father Christmas

Father Crhistmas

Come in fast, it is very cold,

Happy Christmas and chocolate!

Download:

French Christmas song embroidery for tracing (pdf).

WARNING: The song sentences do not fit the zig zag lines exactly. You will need to move the paper to make it fit better to the zig zag path.

Print pattern and stick together.

Placing the paper underneath the top, trace the song making sure the words follow the white fabric zig zag area.

Closeups of the song

Using stranded cotton in matching colours embroider the song using stem stitch.

The song has been embroidered.

Pattern matching embroidery

To complement the poem, I decided to extend the patterned fabric into the white areas so I selected some prints and drew the rest of the flowers or graphic elements using a water soluble marker.

Just a few graphic elements here and there.

Spread out throughout the whole quilt.

And then I embroidered those.

I like the look of the pattern overflowing the white areas.

The top is ready for the backing and quilting.

Père-Noël zigzag quilt tutorial part one: quilt top

This is the first tutorial in a series of three that makes a Christmas themed lap quilt.

Part one: quilt top assembly

Part two: embroidery embellishments

Part three: improv patchwork back of quilt

Quilt top pattern

The quilt top has a zig zag or chevron pattern with a Christmas theme.

Finished size: 51 in x 53.5 in

Needs for the quilt top

  • 81 x 5 inch square charms or two charm packs (typically charm packs contain 42 x 5 in squares)
  • White fabric:
    • 162 4 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in rectangles
    • 18 x 6 1/2 in square for the large on point triangles
    • 2 x 3 3/4 squares for the corners small triangles

Important: do not throw away any of the charm squares trimmings. They will be used in the backing of the quilt.

The layout is very basic and is made of 2 rectangles of contrasting fabric stitched together.

Block construction

For each block, trim 1/2 inch off one side of the 5in charm square. You will obtain a 5in x 4.5in rectangle.

Then cut the resulting rectangle in two again so that you have 2 rectangles measuring 2.5 in x 4.5in each.

For each rectangle cut an equal rectangle 2.5in x 4.5in in white.

Stitch both rectangles together. You have one block.

Number of blocks: 162 blocks

Block placement

Place the blocks in a zig zag way as per diagram below.

The quilt is set on point. This tutorial illustrates what set on point is. Basically you sew the quilt in rows in the diagonal with each row starting with a triangle.

In this quilt, after you place all blocks as per diagram above you will end up with 2 corners where you will place 2 large triangles together to make a larger triangle (see first photo – the top corners in the photo are made of 2 large triangles). And you will have two more corners with just one small triangles ( and the bottom corners use the 2 small triangles).

The top is now completed.

In part two we will embellish the top.

Give handmade gifts this Christmas: 9 free tutorials

I’m digging out some of the items I have made in the past few months. I made many of them as gifts for friends and relatives.

Most of them can be made in a few hours and all tutorials are original and free.

  1. SEWING: iPad / e-book reader beanbag
  2. SEWING: Mini wallet/bag
  3. SEWING: Spirit tote bag
  4. EMBROIDERY: French cuisine embroidery tea towel
  5. PATCHWORK AND EMBROIDERY: Reversible tray cover using improv piecing and embroidery
  6. FOUNDATION PIECING AND QUILTING: Foundation piecing teapot holder pattern
  7. SEWING AND EMBROIDERY: Embroidered spare toilet roll holder
  8. FOUNDATION PIECING AND QUILTING: Scrappy heart potholder
  9. SEWING AND QUILTING: Quilted hot water bottle cozy

If you  are thinking of making any of the items why not share photos of your finished project. I love seeing what you make with my tutorials.

Note: you need to have a Flickr account to be able to upload pictures to the pool.

Cute Christmas craft with a needle

Cute and easy Christmas craft. All tutorials are free.

  1. Patchwork Christmas tree softie tutorial
  2. Christmas tree softie tutorial
  3. Cute Christmas bunting part II and  bunting appliqué part I
  4. Christmas embroidery mounted on canvas