The Hands-On Quilting Tutorial in a Bag

I was a senior in college a friend of mine came back from spring break with a quilt she had made.  That’s when I first had the desire to make a quilt.  I even bought a book on making a very country, heart-covered quilt, but then for years nothing happened.  Even reading the book on the potty, I couldn’t quite get how to make a quilt.  Then someone made us some quilted pot holders as a wedding gift and I started looking at them and all of a sudden, “quilting” made sense and I could see what binding was for.  Of course my first quilt at that time was ugggggly.  My second quilt was better and holds happy memories because my sister and I worked on it together in the basement of her in-law’s home over a summer.

So my friend Laura wants to learn to quilt.  She took a hand-quilting class several years ago, but never quite finished the project.  She is an artist, and very visual.  Since it’s so hard to get together with the 5 kids between us, I started loaning her some books and magazines, but it seemed like she just wasn’t getting it.  Then it dawned on me that she is JUST like me.  So, Laura, this is just for you:  the hands-on quilting tutorial in a bag.  In each ziploc bag is a quilt-in-progress, stopped at a particular step with instructions sharpied onto the outside.  And yes, I do realize that these fabrics don’t really go together, but in my defense they were all scraps.

Baggie #1: Piecing (A)

baggie1.jpg

Cut fabric.  Sew pieces together into strips.  Press seams flat to one side.

Baggie #2: Piecing (B)

baggie2.jpg

Sew strips together.  Press seams to one side.

Baggie #3: Behold!  The Quilt Sandwich

baggie3.jpg

Trim excess fabric (if necessary).  Spread backing fabric RIGHT side down (stretch and tape flat onto hard floor if its big).  Spread batting on top.  Spread out quilt top on top.  Pin all over to secure layers in place.

Baggie#4:  Quilting, Squaring, & Binding

baggie4.jpg

Sew lines through all layers.  Square up quilt by trimming all 3 layers on the edges.  Cut and press seams into binding.  Bind quilt.  (I left one edge of this one half-bound so that she could examine it more closely.)

Of course the danger in this is that I don’t do everything the “right” way, and I just might be passing on “skills” that aren’t considered skills at all.  So, I’ll recommend she not enter any quilting contests with a quilt using these tips.  Anything look really wrong?  Please let me know!

I stuffed all the plastic baggies into this little sorta matching fabric drawstring bag.

baggie5.jpg

I’ll be driving this over to Laura just as soon as I’m allowed to drive.

33 Responses to “The Hands-On Quilting Tutorial in a Bag”


  1. 1 Ali April 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Oh, this way of learning really does it for me. Now I just need someone to invent me one for knitting!!

  2. 2 Rosa April 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Lovely! It is a great project kit. I hope she enjoys. Thanks for the step-by-step.

  3. 3 Jess April 22, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    How cool is that!? It’s the perfect quilting-for-engineers tutorial!

  4. 4 Amanda April 22, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    What a great tutorial! And in a bag! I hope she gets into quilting now, it’s good to corrupt–ah, I mean introduce friends to the joys of quilting!

  5. 5 lera April 22, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I’m so happy that you showed this. I’ve been wanting to learn how to make a quilt. I thought I’d start off with a doll quilt (for Spenser). I’m still kind of not understanding the binding part though. Is it like double wide, folded bias tape, but not?

  6. 6 kat April 22, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    wow, how wonderful of you to post this. I think it all looks great…scraps or not! You are a terrific friend.

  7. 7 daisycake April 22, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve never made a quilt. I think I need a quilt in a bag! What a great idea!

  8. 8 meg April 22, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Linda, this is hilarious – you are a genius! I just love it. And this is one of my favorite strip quilting techniques (or patterns or whatever), so I think that makes it extra good. :)

  9. 9 Roslyn April 23, 2007 at 12:35 am

    What a thoughtful friend you are. Notice there is a question about binding. Heather Bailey has a great binding turotial (link at http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/continuous_quiltbinding/index.html) on her blog. She does hers differently to you. From your photo, it appears you use a single layer of fabric for your bind. Heather uses a double layer which gives the quilt much more durability. I find the double layer method much easier to do since you don’t have to fold your bind over by 1/4″. It is already folded & you slip stitch along the fold. Hope that makes sense. Heather communicates the technique perfectly!

  10. 10 Nancy-The Unlikely Homesteader April 23, 2007 at 1:33 am

    That is such a cool idea and totally thoughtful of you! That step #4 is a real bear though – quilting, squaring things up, and binding – EGAD! I’m still stuck on the binding. This is my first quilt and I’m just about ready to tape the thing closed. ugh….

  11. 11 Sue B April 23, 2007 at 4:38 am

    Fantastic idea! and I love the idea of putting it all into that very fab bag.

  12. 12 Vicki April 23, 2007 at 6:20 am

    What a fantastic idea! Much better than a book!

  13. 13 Barbara April 23, 2007 at 6:26 am

    I love the brown colours. You have gorgeous ideas!

  14. 14 Jhoanna April 23, 2007 at 6:34 am

    this is so awesome! great idea. Wishing you a speedy and healthy recovery too :-)

  15. 15 Jenny April 23, 2007 at 8:10 am

    What a kind friend you are…Just the perfect gift and the perfect way to learn how to quilt by yourself. Well Done.!!

  16. 16 cindy April 23, 2007 at 9:11 am

    We probably all can pull out our first quilts and go “what the heck??”. I learned to quilt by looking at my friend’s rail fence quilt and figuring it out that way. We cut all the strips with SCISSORS! Can you imagine?? The things we do for quilts. :)

  17. 17 knittingcaboodle April 23, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    What a great package to give a friend!

  18. 18 mommiemarzie April 23, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    What a genius idea! And what a great friend you are. Amazing! And I’m sure you did this all while still not feeling quite 100% yourself again. WHAT A WOMAN!!

  19. 19 Allie April 23, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! And I’m praying for you to heal up smoothly and quickly.
    Allie

  20. 20 Coryn April 23, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Linda, you are a clever sweetie. The combo of the Miller Toile and Flea Market fancy is gorgeous. Yes, some people need to learn “hands on”. I was going to suggest the continuous binding-but yes Roslyn has given you the tip. I always cut my binding double so I don’t have to fold one edge under.

  21. 21 kerry April 24, 2007 at 2:45 am

    Linda you are an amazing friend, I am sure Laura will be very grateful for the effort you have put in, and I am sure her first quilt will be just perfect with those wonderful samples.
    Hope you are recovering well.
    Kerry

  22. 22 Debbie April 24, 2007 at 7:51 am

    So clever. Great tutorial!

    And I just love that kids toile fabric. Have to think of something to use it for!

    I hope you are recovering from your surgery.

    Take it easy.

  23. 23 karla nathan April 24, 2007 at 8:32 am

    I admire your quilting. My mom was a quilter and I have never been able to sew, no matter how I try, but I do enjoy seeing other’s work.

  24. 24 Allie April 24, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    What a cool idea! I can see how your background as an occupational therapist really comes into play as you break something down into very clear steps; the tangible examples are a priceless gift.
    Allie

  25. 25 Ashley April 24, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Ooh, what a great gift idea! That is really sweet & thoughtful.

  26. 26 missharleyquinn April 26, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    What a great idea! I don’t know how you come up with all this stuff, but am so very glad you are! Thanks. :)

  27. 27 Hilari April 29, 2007 at 1:51 am

    That is super cool! You’re supposed to be recuperating and not coming up with way nifty stuff like that!!!

  28. 28 weirdbunny April 29, 2007 at 6:47 am

    What a wonderful friend you are !

  29. 29 Evelyn Lum April 29, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    I am having a give-away. Do check out my weblog and add your name!

  30. 30 Lori May 2, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    What a great gift idea. You will have so much fun with your friend.

  31. 31 Elisabeth February 23, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    This is a really great way to help novice quilters. I am also new to quilting and I found that using pre-cut fabric kits can make things really easy too. I found it took me forever just choosing and cutting fabric, but with the kits, it’s super easy. Does anyone know of a website that ships quilting supplies to Canada for a good price? The place that I get my quilting supplies from is a 45 minutes drive from my place and doesn’t have the best selection. I’d so rather shop from home.

  32. 32 katiejean September 28, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I love the fabric that you used! it all went together so well :)


  1. 1 Giving the furniture a face-lift « Lily Josephine Trackback on April 24, 2007 at 11:32 am

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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