Values quilt

For a quilt of 10 x 10 squares, or 20 x 20 triangles... I'll mainly refer to the squares in making the quilt as most time is spent working with paired up triangles.

1. Cut out 100 6 inch squares. If you're doing dark, medium, light, (repeat twice and then one final dark triangle on the outermost corner) from the centre outward, you need 32 darks, 34 mediums and 34 lights.

2. Follow the instructions on the tutorial at Sew Katie Did.

3. After you've laid out your pieces in a pattern that you like, start assembling them. I separated my quilt into quarters, each one quarter of the diamond shape. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all pieces here: Then sew together in rows of 5 squares across, press all seams open, then sew the rows together, and press open again. Repeat for the other 3 quarters.

**A note on pressing. Pressing is not the same as ironing. First firmly push the iron onto the seam before opening it out. That's right, press with the two squares right sides together. Then open it out and firmly place the iron on the seam to press it open. This way you get a really crisp finish.

4. Now sew together the two quarters that make up the top of your quilt. Press as above. Do the same for the bottom two quarters. Press. Then sew these two halves together and press... Now it looks a lot like a quilt!

5. Measure the edges of each side of you quilt. If you've managed to be very accurate in cutting and lining up all your seams they should all be the same. If like me you're a little out on some of your seams allowances, cut a strip for every side according to the measurements you've taken. (Mine were roughly 49.5 inches). I made mine 1 3/4 inches wide. Add 1/2 inch to the side and the top for seam allowances (so mine is 50 inches by 2 1/4 inches).

6. Now cut 4 squares measuring 2 1/4 inches x 2 1/4 inches from whatever fabric you like for the corner pieces. Sew together in the method described for the quilt squares.

7. Sew the squares onto the tops and bottoms of your two side borders and press. (I sewed the squares so that the diagonals of the triangles were parallel to the direction of the diamond pattern but you could make yours snazzier and do it the other way.)

8. Sew the top and bottom borders on. Press.

9. Sew the side borders on, matching up the corner inserts with the top and bottom borders. Press.

10. Choose any fabric you like for the back. If you quilt is wider than the backing, sew it together down the long edge seam. If you're a newbie, a busy pattern will be more forgiving if you quilt with the lines of the pattern of your topside, especially if the seams don't quite match.

11. Now here is a big point of contention among quilters. To spray baste, or not to spray baste, that is the question. A very earnest pro-baster is Patsy Thompson, whose advice on spray-basting you can watch here. I didn't spray baste partly because I couldn't be bothered to wash my quilt, but also because I live in a flat and there's not really any wall space that I could use to do it. Also, the owner, my mother, would have gone ape shit at the sight of me spraying adhesive anywhere near her lovely pristine walls and white carpet. The fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl that I am, I didn't even use safety pins; I used ordinary dress pins, with the glass heads.

12. When basting, make sure your backing fabric has been nicely ironed, then smooth it out onto your surface. Smooth over the wadding. Then smooth over your top. Your backing be at least an extra 4 inches bigger than your quilt top all the way around. For the wadding I reckon you're good with 2 inches (there's no grain so no worries if it goes a little skewwhiff).

13. Pin at regular intervals. I pinned the corners of every square, where you have 6 triangles meeting.

14. Now for the fun bit--quilt! Use an embroidery thread on the top and a regular cotton for the bobbin. And use a walking foot. If you don't have one, I would really suggest getting hold of one. (They're also really useful for sewing slippery fabrics like georgette or chiffon and fabrics with thick piles like velvet.) Start at the centre. This way, you never have to have more than one quarter of the quilt shoved in the arm of your machine, and for this you will be eternally grateful! I sewed on all the seamlines, just slightly to the right. Stitching in the ditch means not only do you have to be really accurate or it just looks a mess, but that all that loving hard work is only visible on the back!

15. Backstitch carefully for just over a quarter on an inch. Sew down the middle seam line, from the centre to the bottom. Do this all the way across until you get to where the border meets the quilt. Leave this seam unquilted for now. Then sew crossways in the same manner. Do the same for all the quarters, carefully matching up all your lines so it looks like one continuous line of stitching. Now do the diagonals, starting from the centre and working out. I did them in a continuous line, lifting the foot with the needle down and pivoting at the points of the diamonds. (Use an ironing board to your left hand side if you need to support your quilt--quilts have a tendency to drag because they're heavy and this makes the stitches really small and crooked.)

16. Sew all the way down the border seams, including the little corner inserts. Then quilt the diagonals of your mini triangles.

17. I made mine out of crossways strips (cut on the weft, if you're feeling  textiles-technical) because of the pattern on the fabric and because then I could be a cheapskate and only buy 30cm, but normally I think that bias is best (even though it is more time consuming to mark out a 45 degree angle). I cut four strips along the width of the fabric, 2 and 1/4 inches wide, and sewed them together matching up the pattern. Press 1/4 seam all the way along one edge.

18. Right sides together, start sewing your binding on the unpressed side with your walking foot about 4 inches off centre from the bottom of your quilt. when you get to the corner, make a lovely neat mitre. Here's a how to for mitred corners. Repeat for the further three corners.

19. Stop 4 inches short of the centre, so 8 inches off where you began sewing. Now mark where the centre is on each piece and draw a straight, perpendicular line. Cut with a quarter inch seam allowance. Sew the free end bits together, be careful not to catch any of the quilt. Press seam open. Check it lays smooth and flat along the remaining unbound edge. Now sew up those 8 inches, making sure the seam lies open.

20. Trim the backing and quilt to 3/4 of an inch from where you sewed the binding. Now for the boring bit, slipstitch the binding onto the back along the pressed seam just below the line of machine stitching, making mitred corners as you go.

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