Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quicky Quilt

Get your mind out of the gutter- it's not about that!      The weekend before the 4th of July found me working fast to try to make strip quilts for the grandkids' new bunk beds, since they would be coming to visit.  I knew I needed something eye catching and fun, yet quick to make. So I adapted Dawn Cavanaugh's strip pieced placemat pattern and created quilts on the longarm machine.   Here are step by step instructions for anybody who wants to make on of these super quick, super easy quilts.  Don't worry if you don't have a longarm machine; you can easily create this on your domestic sewing machine with a large table to support the weight of the fabric, batting, and backing layers.

Supplies needed: 44-45" wide quilters cottons in various colors (around 10 fat quarters)
90" wide white cotton for strips and backing (5 yards)
90x108" quilt batting
rotary cutter and mat
acrylic 6 and 1/2" wide rulers
sewing machine
longarm or midarm quilting machine with some type of channel locks

Step 1: Choose a wide assortment of coordinating fabrics.   These are from Cranston Printworks and Robert Kaufman fabrics.  You will want some light, some medium, and some dark that go together, but still have some contrast.  I chose pinks, blacks, and lime greens.
Step 2: Cut the fabrics into strips along the straight of grain. I cut mine 4 inches wide by the width of the fabric (44 or 45").

Step 3: Cut the 4 inch wide strips into rectangles of various lengths. I cut most of mine 6 and 1/2 inches since that was the size of the ruler I was using. I also cut some into 5 inch long rectangles and even ended up with some left over squares.
You will end up with several stacks of 4 inch wide rectangles and squares.

Step 4: From your white fabric, cut off a piece 90" x 72" to use as backing. Cut the remaining white fabric into strips. I made mine 5 and 1/2" x 90". Lay those strips and the large backing piece aside.

Step 5: Take the colored rectangles you cut earlier to your sewing machine. You will be randomly piecing them together to create 90" long strips.
I have a 1/4" foot for my machine.

Just sew the short edges of the rectangles together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Try not to repeat the colors too close together unless you want a very patterned look.


You will end up with several strip sets. Press the seams flat on these. Be careful not to stretch the long strips.

Step 6: Load your backing fabric onto your longarm machine. 

                                        Then lay your batting on top of that.

Step 7: Engage the channel lock on your machine so you can make a straight, horizontal line. (Mine uses clamps to hold the wheels in place) Stitch across the top edge of the backing and batting sandwich.  This marks the line where you will lay your first strip. 

Step 8: Lay your first white strip (right side up if using colored fabric instead)  with the top edge just above the line you just stitched through the backing and batting.   Now stitch that exact same line again, this time capturing your first white strip.
 Then pin the strip down through the batting and backing so it doesn't flip when you sew on the first colored strip.

Step 9:  Lay the first colored strip, right side down, on top of the white strip you just attached. Align the bottom edges together.  (You might need to place a pin here and there to keep things in place).  Reposition your machine and stitch the edges together.

Flip the colored strip down and it should look like this

Step 10: Then lay a white strip, (face down if using a colored fabric) on top of the colored strip, matching the bottom edge.   Reposition your machine and sew across. 

Flip this open and you have this       

Just repeat steps 9 and 10 until you have used all your strips.  

Then go back and add some quilting to your strips if you want.  

Then, all you'll need to do is remove it from the frame and add the binding (or add it with the longarm). You will end up with a fun, fast quilt like the one below. 

I hadn't stitched the binding closed when I took this picture.

I hope you make one of these Quicky Quilts. The entire thing took me one afternoon to make, less than 5 hours.  Be sure to leave me a comment and send me a picture of the quilts you make.  


  1. I may offer a kit to produce this quilt, or a smaller version of it. How many would be interested in purchasing a precut kit, which includes the backing, colored fabric strips, and white strips?

  2. love this teresa! thank you for the details on how to make. I might be interested on a kit depending on price. I can see these for quilts for new college kids!

  3. These would also be sized accordingly for baby quilts, or lap robes. Also would fit well, using
    reds, whites and blues for QoV. Gold could be used in the QoV, also.

    Terrific idea Teresa.. I make quilt as you go quilts, but they are square, and a back strip, batting strip and top strip all go on
    together, working around a starter block.

    I like this idea so much better and I've the scraps to use for community Service quilts. A tripple whammy for me.
    Thank you so Very Much.