Sometimes you need a quilt and fast. There is a little girl at my church who was just diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. She is 10 years old and she will start some pretty intensive chemo treatments this week. Although we are all praying for a full and complete recovery for her, we also know that she is about to walk a very hard road. I just couldn’t in good conscience allow her to start chemo without a snuggly quilt to take with her. When I was in Los Angeles for the Mimi G Style conference I found this wonderful Minky at Michael Levine’s.
I knew this would be perfect for the back of the quilt because this little girl’s favorite color is orange! I completed this quilt in two days, start to finish. It measures 46.5″ x 70″. Here is the tutorial for what I did but remember, you have my permission to make it in any colors you want.
What I used:
1-1/2 yards of orange fabric
1-1/2 yards of white fabric
2-1/2 yards of Minky™ (or Minkee) for the back
Sulky® PolyLite™ thread in Ecru for Piecing
Sulky Prewound bobbins in beige
Sulky 30 wt Cotton Blendables® thread in Tangerine Morning #4060 for quilting
Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive
Start by cutting 8 – 6.5 ” strips wof (width of fabric) of each of the orange and white. Put one white strip and one orange strip right sides together and cut your half square triangles with the Easy Angle ruler at the 6.5″ mark. By putting the fabric right sides together you are ready to chain piece them together.
After making the first cut, flip the ruler over and be sure the little black part of the rule is hanging off the fabric (This is why you are able to cut a 6.5″ strip instead of 6.75″ strip. That little black triangle eliminates one of your dog ears.) Once they are all cut, chain piece them all and press your seam allowance to the orange side. If you are not using white as your other fabric, you may want to iron half your squares to one side and half to the other so you can nest your seams when putting the pieces together, but I couldn’t do that with this white fabric. The orange would have shown through.
You now have 96 orange and white half-square triangles. Sew half of your pieces together so it forms an orange triangle and the other half so it forms a white triangle. You will then have 24 Orange triangles and 24 white triangles. Next sew one orange triangle to the top of one white triangle piece to form 24 chevron blocks.
I did 4 blocks across and 6 blocks down to make this quilt. I pieced the top in about 5 hours from cutting to the last stitch and that includes time to stop and referee an argument between my children and have a quick lunch.
Here is a hint about picking the right thread to use for your quilt. Always audition your threads. I pull several yards off the spool and lay it on the top and see how it looks. This is especially important when using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables Thread, which is what I used for this quilt. Sulky Cotton Blendables thread are multicolor threads with a random color change every 2.5 to 5 inches. It often looks completely different on the spool than laid out on the quilt.
In light of full disclosure, I have to tell you I did most of the quilting on a longarm. I am very blessed to have a great friend who lives next door to me who is a professional longarm quilter and allows me to use her machine when she is between quilts. This did make quilting easier, especially since I quilted in the little girl’s favorite bible verse, Philippians 4:13 into the quilt.
Quilting words into a quilt is a great way to personalize your quilt! I love how this turned out. You can do this on your home machine too. You don’t need a long arm. Learn all about the basics of free-motion quilting in Sulky’s newest book, “Embellish Your Life With Sulky,” by Joyce Drexler and Diane Gloystein.
I did quilt part of this quilt free-motion on my home machine. I spray basted the quilt together with KK 2000, I put a Schmetz topstitch 100/16 needle in my machine, lowered the feed dogs and the machine tension. I also used a spring-loaded, free-motion foot. The key here was to go slow and do a practice piece before I actually started on the quilt.
Now onto the binding! I wanted this quilt to have some extra snuggle so I brought the Minky from the back and folded it over as the binding. Minky can be difficult to use, so I asked the experts. Rhonda Pierce with Schmetz needles said, “Minky is a fabulous fabric and sometimes tricky to stitch. A SCHMETZ Stretch 90/14 is the needle of choice and you may need to increase the stitch length.” She also recommended checking out Shannon Fabrics website for more great tips on sewing with Minky. You can check it out here. Carol Ingram also designed an adorable baby quilt in soft pastels using Minky with some tips for “taming the Minky” in the book, “Weekend Quilting with Sulky” #900-B16.
In the end, I am so happy with this quilt. It was quick to make and the smile on this little girl’s face was priceless. If you think about it over the next few months, please pray for my friend, Olivia, as she fights this battle. Happy Sewing!