Sewing

How to Make a Quilt in a Day

Make a quilt in a day - multi-colour rag quilt, white buffet cabinet

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DO YOU LOVE THE IDEA OF MAKING YOUR OWN QUILTS, BUT JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME?  USE THIS TUTORIAL TO MAKE GORGEOUS COZY QUILTS IN JUST ONE DAY! SEWING HAS NEVER BEEN SO EASY!

There’s just something about quilts and blankets that bring out the cozy side of your home, no matter the season.  I’m super excited to share with you how to make a quilt in a day using layer cakes!  Yes, that’s right, a Quilt.  In a Day.  Say what?!? 

Whether you want to keep it for yourself (which I suspect you might), or it’s for a gift that you completely forgot you were going to make (as in – you totally planned to make a gift and then got super busy and it hit the bottom of your priority list …), you’re absolutely going to love how quick and easy this quilt is!

 

 

 

The easiest way that I have found to make a quilt in a day is to use the ragged-edge style.  Sometimes referred to as a rag quilt, it’s the simplest form of quilting.  Unfinished edges mean less work and it comes together in a hurry!  You’ll spend more time creating the ragged edges than you will in sewing the quilt itself!

Personally, I LOVE rag quilts.  There’s something so comforting about curling up under a quilt that feels like it’s already been broken in for several years.  I’ve made a few of them, and I have a REALLY hard time giving them up as gifts!  But I can only use one quilt at a time.  Just kidding, I can use several.  It does get pretty cold here in the winter, so yeah, I could probably layer two or three…  BUT, I digress.

 

What You’ll Need

For this quilt, I took my inspiration from a 10″ layer cake that I already had in my stash.  It’s an old one, and you may not be able to get it anymore, but there are TONS of great collections to choose from, either online or in quilting shops.  I love this MODA Lollipop Garden Layer Cake – so pretty!

 

Layer cakes are packs of 42 pieces of fabric, cut to 10″ squares. They are typically all prints in coordinating colours.  I popped into a fabric shop in a neighbouring town and picked up some really gorgeous white and grey flannel for the backing.  Bonus – because it’s a Christmas print and I bought it in May, I got a great sale!  Then I dug into the discount bin and found a few more pieces of flannel for a really good price.  I decided not to use batting, so the mismatched flannels are for the centre of the squares.

 

 

So your list of supplies is short and sweet:

  • 1 Layer Cake set for the quilt top
  • Backing fabric – you’ll need approximately 3 yards (3 metres) of backing fabric – this can be all the same fabric or a mix of prints and solids
  • Centre layer – same as backing – approximately 3 yards of solids, prints or combination
  • Rotary Cutter and OLFA Self-Healing Rotary Mat
  • Sewing Machine  
  • Rag Quilter Snips
 

What You’ll Do

Before starting to build the quilt, I washed all the fabrics.  You don’t want any shrinking or colour bleed once the quilt is all put together!  Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.  I know better, but – oops.  Anyway – I use my DIY Fabric Softener since one of the ingredients is vinegar, which helps to set the colours on the off chance there is some potential for colour bleed.

 

 

Now your fabric is washed and dried, so it’s time to cut. 

A note about shrinkage.  The layer cake started out as 10″ squares but may have shrunk in the wash!  Be sure to measure the size AFTER washing and drying and then so go ahead and cut all your flannel into squares of equal size.  Your quilt will have three layers – top (or front), back and centre.  You can put these together however you like.  I like to have the prints on the front and only one fabric on the back.  The centres don’t really matter in terms of prints.  The only thing I watch for is to make sure if my top layer is a light print, the centre is a light colour as well so that it doesn’t show through.

Once my squares are stacked, I lay them onto the floor and determine what pattern I’m going to put them in.  Once you find a layout you love, take a picture of it on your phone.  That way, you have a roadmap to follow.

 

 

Putting It All Together

Once you’ve settled on the pattern of squares, it’s time to put it all together!  Put on your favourite sewing music or movie, and settle in at your machine.

I like to start by doing all the columns first, and then I put the rows together to finish it off.  Create your columns like this:

Stitch with a 1″ seam allowance, making sure your back squares face each other. 

Then take the next square, back to back and stitch 1″ from the edge.

Carry on until you have completed the column.  Then sew the next one.

 

 

Once all your columns are complete, it’s time to put them together.  Again, back to back, stitch your first and second columns together, with a 1″ seam allowance.  And so on and so on, until you have it all together.

For those of you that have made ragged quilts before using batting, you’ll notice that I’ve skipped a step!  Because all the layers are the same size, there is no need to create the cross-seams to hold the batting in place.  Eliminating that step speeds up the whole process of this quilt.

 

 

 

Finishing up

Once all your rows are sewn together, you’ll need to clip all the edges.  Settle into a comfy chair, that has good light, and pull out your Rag Quilter Snips.  You need to snip the raw edges to create the frayed, or ragged, look that we are after.  I snip the fabric at approximately a finger-width spacing.  Be sure you don’t cut through your seams!  Again, speaking from experience.  I suggest sticking with music for this activity, or an audiobook, but not a movie that catches your attention.  Again – oops!

 

 

After you’ve clipped the edges, throw your quilt in the wash, as the more these are washed, the softer the edges become!  Here is a picture of a quilt I made several years ago.  You can see how the edges continue to fray and soften.  It’s one of my favourite quilts ever!

 

 

The best part?  You finished it in a day!!  Now you can either wrap it up as a lovely, heartfelt gift for someone or curl up under it with a cup of tea and a good book.  Either way – it’s a win!

 

Be sure to check out my other quick and easy sewing projects:

15-Minute Pillow Covers

Table Runner

King Pillow Cases

Each of these projects can be done in a day or less, depending on how fast you sew, and are great ways to spruce up a room in a hurry!

 


 

Want to remember this?  Save “How to Make a Quilt in a Day” to your favourite Pinterest Boards!

 

Make a quilt in a day - multi-colour rag quilt

 

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Hi! I'm Tanya

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