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Easily Create a Vintage Sheet Quilt

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Nothing says "cozy" in a bedroom like a vintage quilt on the bed, but quilting is not just for bedding. You can create virtually any fabric-based item with a quilting pattern,and even a novice can learn how to do it. With the right quilting supplies and some cheap quilting fabric, you can redecorate every bedroom in your home simply by changing the bed cover.

A vintage sheet quilt is the ideal low-cost, high-reward beginner project for a quilting newbie. All you really need to make this quilt is some old sheets, a sewing machine, an iron, and a flat space.

Photo Courtesy to Andy/Flickr.com
Photo Courtesy to Andy - Flickr.com

Gathering Quilting Supplies

1. Fabric Selection: First, check your own linen closet. This is a wonderful opportunity to breathe new life into sheets that have worn in some places; you can simply discard the threadbare sections and cut the rest of the sheet (or pillowcase) into squares. The sheets don't even have to match; you are only limited by your imagination. Of course, you can go with a theme, but the pattern is entirely up to you.

2. Batting: Batting is the insulating layer in the middle of the quilt. You can find it at any fabric store; how thick the insulation is depends on how you want to use the quilt. For this project, you'll want lightweight batting.

3. Binding: Binding is the fabric strip that encloses the raw edges around the quilt. This, also, can be found at any fabric store. Or use pretty ribbon.

You will also need an iron, a sewing machine, a very sharp pair of scissors, a template for cutting (you can use a large square cut from an A4 sheet of paper as a cutting guide), and a large, flat surface on which to work.

Photo Courtesy to lisaclarke - Flickr.com

Assembling Your Quilt

This is the easiest type of quilt to make and, even if you don't know how to quilt, you'll turn out a beautiful piece to either put on your bed, give as a gift, or use as a wall hanging.

1. Cutting and Arrangement: First, cut your pieces by placing the guide (like the sheet of paper mentioned above) on the sheet and drawing around it with a soft pencil, then cutting along the lines. Arrange the pieces in a pretty pattern.

2. Sewing the Top: Next, sew some of the squares into strips and iron the seams flat. For a single bed quilt, you should go eight squares across, so build the quilt in fours (sew four squares together at one time). If placement is an important issue, stick a small pin in the right hand corner square, so you will always know which end is up. Then, sew fours together into eighths, and continue in this manner until the front of the quilt is assembled. Once again, put a pin in the bottom right hand corner.

See how easy that was? Next, you will be...

3. Sewing the Bottom: Simply repeat the process for the bottom of the quilt. That's it!

4. Pinning and Sewing Together: First, lay one half over some batting and backing. When assembling your three pieces, tack them together in an all-over crisscross pattern, or secure them together using a series of safety pins. That's it!

Photo Courtesy to Annette Young - Flickr.com

How to Bind a Quilt

You can use commercial bias binding for these quilts; however, you can also find some pretty ribbon to bind and sew along the edges. These quilts are soft and for enjoying now, and probably won't last into your grandchildren's lifetimes, so the binding should be pretty and doesn't necessarily have to be super-sturdy.

Binding can be accomplished in these easy steps:

1. Calculate and Cut Binding Strips. To do this, measure the perimeter by adding the length and the width of the quilt, then multiply by 2. Add an additional ten inches to account for seams and corners. Take this measurement and divide it by 40. This will give you the number of strips you need to cut (if it comes out to something like 5.66, round up to the next number.

2. Sew Binding Into Continuous Length. Place two strips with their right sides together at a 90 degree angle; sew together at a 45 degree angle across the diagonal.

3. Press. Iron the binding, wrong sides up, along the entire length.

4. Attach. Trim the extra batting and backing (if used) before attaching the binding. Run the binding along the perimeter to make sure you don't have seams in the corners (move it up or down here and there to avoid this). Then, start 6" - 8" away from the corner and place the binding on the front of the quilt. Leave a "tail" of about 6" - 8"; line up the open ends with the edge of the quilt (folded edge should be facing toward the quilt). Then, sew the binding onto the front, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. When you get to a corner, stop stitching and sew it off.

5. Hand Stitch the Back Hand stitching creates a pretty finish. There are several tutorials online that will show you how to accomplish the stitching you desire on your quilt.

And there you have it; a complete, vintage sheet quilt that even the greenest of quilting novices can create and enjoy!

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