Easy Quilt Top for Beginners

I started quilting over a decade ago (I bought a book for beginners).
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Even though that’s a long time and I’ve done close to a dozen quilts, I’m by no means an expert. However, I LOVE the process and marveling at the finished product. Sometimes I can’t believe I was able to make them.

Recently a friend asked me to make a quilt top for her daughter’s bed. This would be the biggest quilt I’ve done to date. Normally I’ve done lap quilts (big enough to cover up, but not cover a bed) or baby quilts. Thankfully she had someone that would layer, quilt and bind it, because I don’t know that I’m quite confident enough in my skill to finish a completed quilt that size. She already had the pattern picked out and it was SO simple for someone with basic sewing skills. I want to preface this by saying that I DO NOT have one of those fancy sewing machines. Mine is 18 years old, a present my husband bought me, and has only basic functions (it does straight and zig zag stitching only) so no fancy machine is needed to make a pretty quilt.

Some tools necessary and worth getting quality (not necessarily expensive), these supplies can be found at any store fabric store. A GOOD pair of fabric scissors and a rotary cutter. They should be used ONLY for fabric, nothing else. There is nothing worse than trying to cut fabric with dull blades. Dull blades will not cut well and will ruin your fabric. A good size cutting mat and a quilting ruler (I use a clear one that has a lip on the under side so it will catch at the top edge of the mat and stay square with the mat.)

I love cutting out the squares, that may be my O.C.D. talking, but I get excited when I see all the piles of completed squares. It’s just pretty to look at. While there’s still a lot of work ahead of me, seeing it come together is so rewarding.

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I use my dining table to lay out as many rows as possible. My lap and baby quilts I can normally fit completely on the table, however, since this one was for a full size bed I had to do it in sections. You can still get the idea.

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You don’t have to do a full size quilt or 8″ squares. This is a fairly easy pattern and if you’re okay doing the math you can adjust the size.

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Quilt Top Directions & Supplies (will cover full size bed)

1-1/2 yds – 4 different fabric colors/patterns (get an extra 1/2 yard of 2 of the colors/patterns to use for inner and outer borders)

Cut 33 8″ squares from each fabric; layout one of each square, repeating the patter three full times across. For each row, shift the pattern over by one square (see photo). You will make 11 rows total.

Sew each row of square together first with 1/4″ seam; once each row of squares is sewn together you will sew them to each other (again with a 1/4″ seam).

For inner border cut 2″ wide strips, so end to end to create a long strip and sew to completed rows of squares (1/4″ seam).

For outer border cut 4″ wide strips, again create a long strip and sew to first border around the quilt top.

For directions on quilting the layers together go here or you can try to find someone local to do that part for you.

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