You guys, I did it. I made a quilt. Not only that, but I made a quilt in 48 hours.
A friend at work was in need of some baby items ASAP and she was scrambling to gather supplies and get a house ready for a new baby. With my long-weekend ahead of me, I wanted my friend, and this little baby to have something that was made especially for them.
I went to Jo-Ann's fabric, armed with my coupons, and zero plan. I was going to do what I always do with sewing - grab some fabric, get a pattern, and like... figure it out.
I will say, I have mild mixed success with this method. I made an entire Frozen costume for my sister with, no pattern, no measuring, no pins, a borrowed sewing machine and a live mannequin (my sister). I made up the rest with some iron-on appliques and pom-pom ribbon.
As I was wandering the aisles I found my new quilting secret (and maybe yours too). June Tailor, Inc. makes Quilt as You Go batting. It's batting for small quilts/accessories - mine was 40" x 50" - where "patterns are printed on the batting for sew-by-number construction."
So I thought: I can do this. And let me tell you - it's magic.
Step 1: I picked out my fabric, arranged it on the batting to get an idea of how I wanted it placed - and got to work. My first night was spent just cutting the fabric into the 10" and 5" strips needed for the pattern. You can't quite see in the photo, but each section has a letter, "A, B, C" etc. and you just cut the size according to the pattern.
Step 2: Then I starched the fabric. Usually when a pattern tells me to starch my fabric (for easy assembly), I'm like, ya no, that's an extra step. But this time, I did it - for the baby. And also because I was still 100% terrified at the prospect of quilting. I will say to all of you lazy sewers out there (solidarity sisters!) this was actually worth it.
Step 3: The backing was attached by a very expensive (but again worth it) basting spray. This held the back in place, while I pieced and sewed the front.
Step 4: The basic idea from here on out, is that you lay the fabric strips right-side facing on top of the last piece and sew the edge where they will connect. In one single step you are piecing and quilting. It's freaking amazing. I'm not going to try to give you the tutorial here - June Tailor does a much better job at that.
Step 5: Then, all that was left to do was cut the edges, and sew the binding on - and ta-da - I had a quilt!