Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sampler Quilt Backing and Building Tutorial

It is time to assemble my sampler quilt and I would like to take you through the process if I may. My Auntie showed me this great technique which is definitely worth sharing and bookmarking.

After adding solid borders to each sampler block, it was time to make last minute cutting decisions to help with accuracy. I trimmed each one down to 34x34cm. I purchased a single sheet from a charity shop for the backing. Seriously, £1.99 and it looked as if it had never been on a bed. The others are solid colour left over bits I am keen to get rid of.

Next it was time to lay out the design ensuring the samples which were similar in pattern were not close to each other. They were sewn into 3 strips of 5. I am going to work on each strip separately. 

Each strip has the backing and wadding attached with safety pins. Always ensure some fabric is overlapping to allow for movement. Use safety pins so that you don't keep stabbing yourself when guiding it through the machine. 

Now I can easily machine quilt these under the sewing machine. It is not too wide, too unwieldy or too daunting a task. I have a new stitch-in-the-ditch foot which allows me to sew either in the ditch or just on the edge (if you look closely on the blue) depending on where I set my needle. 

Then the magic happens to attach them all together. You use bias binding to join two strips together. Finally, add the last strip of five in the same way. You should now have a quilt topper which is backed and machine quilted but has gaping seams at the back.

Next, sew bias binding by hand over the back joining seams after you have trimmed them to meet in the middle. Don't over trim them with a gap or you will have a floppy weak point running all through your quilt. 

Then to complete the quilt use bias binding to encase the outer border. This is 30mm wide bias from Frumble. I really like to use it.

I also included some hand quilting but purely because I like doing it and I am not very good at free motion quilting on my machine.

See, it looks good and Little M, aged 7, really loves her Sampler quilt.

 I was so excited to finally find a way to part machine quilt without swearing, sweating and shoving my carefully made large topper through my tiny machine aperture.

Starting at top left:

  1. Half Square triangles - left over from a double quilt in 2015
  2. Diagonal stripe - using up thin strips
  3. Brick wall - using really small pieces
  4. Fussy cut framed butterfly - using a saved piece of fabric
  5. Half Square Triangles - demo piece from sewing class
  6. Fussy cut with applique butterfly motifs
  7. Crazy quilt technique - no measuring required
  8. Postage stamp block - 10cm blocks
  9. Log Cabin strips
  10. Postage stamp
  11. Applique hearts
  12. Brick wall
  13. EPP eight pointed star - pieces already made from a bigger one
  14. EPP hexies - I will NEVER make whole a hexagon quilt
  15. Patchwork squares
If you want to know how to make these you can use the labels on the right to look up patchwork and they are the latest ones.

Let me know if you like this method of backing. 
What do you think?

Jo x


  1. That looks fab. Little M will be thrilled with all the bright colours. Well done.

  2. That's a great way to back a quilt. It can be a bit tricky if the quilt is big and you do it all in one. The finished quilt is fabulous, perfect for a little girl, even when she grows older. Love it. x

  3. Such a great idea to use the bias binding. Genius!!
    Your finished quilt looks brilliant and I can see why your daughter loves it so much. The Hello Kitty badge on the back is a fun idea too.

  4. Jo, you are brilliant, your Aunt is brilliant and so is that quilt.

  5. Fantastic Jo! The little blocks are beautiful and so lovely that they are all different and what a great joining method too! I am sure that your daughter will love it for a long time!

  6. I have never come across this method before, so it was a joy to learn something new. The quilt looks fantastic I can see why your daughter was so pleased with it. Beautiful creation and made with love.

  7. That is a work of art. I always admire anyone who can make something so complicated. I just wouldn't have the patience.

  8. Gorgeous and so colourful just what I like to see. That is a clever way of doing it. xx