Monday, April 18, 2011

Blanket to Backpack Tutorial - Part 2

Find Part 1 of this tutorial HERE
  

Step 4
Sew the blanket...
Now, if you have made a rag quilt before, the directions below will be familiar.  If not... don't worry.  This is nothing too complicated.  Promise!

Cut your batting into 8" squares.  You will need 48 squares in total.

Next, I like to draw an 'X' on my fabric squares for the quilt.  You will only need to mark half of the squares, since you will be sewing to squares together (I recommend sewing two matching fabric squares).  I used a washable marker here.  You might have a fabric pen you'd prefer.

For each "set" of squares, center one square of batting in-between.  Right-sides of the fabric will be facing out, with the batting in the middle.  Each of these will create a square for your quilt (totaling 48 squares).

Sew the "X" drawn on each square, securing the batting inside.

A quilter's trick...
Sew one square, then lift the foot and begin sewing the next square.  You can snip the squares apart when you are done, then start again for the second stitch on each.

Note:  No need to back stitch on these blocks, as you'll later be sewing another seam to secure this stitches.

You should now have 48 squares ready to lay in place.

Here are my squares, all arranged.
Make sure your prints are all facing the same direction (as I had to with my stripes and monster prints).
IMPORTANT:  You will want 6 squares along the top and 8 rows down.

Ok.... did you notice the circles in the center of some of my orange squares?  Well, let's just ignore those here.  I added those for fun.  For our purposes, they will help you keep track of what side of the quilt you are seeing (as they are only on one side).

Once you are happy with your layout, you can begin sewing the squares together.
I recommend sewing the rows together, one at a time.  I keep my squares laid out on the floor next to me, so I can be sure that I'm not confusing them.  You might prefer to pin them while on the floor so you don't mix them up.

Yes... I did have to rip a few seams out.
It happens even to those of us who are perfect (ha ha... ok, that was totally a joke).

Sew a 1" seam, attaching each block together in your rows.

Above, you will see my blocks with the right-sides up, seams up, sewn into the rows.

Notice that I have sewn the top 6 rows together.
The bottom two rows, I have sewn in twos.

My dots are now on the backside... I meant for them to be on the front... see what I mean about keeping track of your blocks!  ha ha...

Next, you will sew your rows together as I have done above.
Again, note that the bottom two rows are left in three sections, and not sewn together.

When you sew the rows together, place the back-sides of your fabric together.  Match the seams, and fold the seams in opposite directions.  This will help you to "lock" your seams together as you sew them.

Again, you are sewing a 1" seam.

Now you will add your backpack pocket.
Fold the backpack pocket in half, and lay it right-side up, below the center square at the bottom of your quilt (as shown above).  You will be matching the sides and bottom edge of the backpack pocket to the quilt square.

I pinned these together to ensure that they stayed in place.

Next, sew the three chunks together, securing the backpack pocket in place behind the center blocks.

Now you need to put your straps in place.
I have laid them on top so you can get the idea.  However... please notice that I have flipped the bottom section upside down here (notice the seams are not visible on this side, and you see the backpack pocket).

What appears to be the "bottom" of this section is the edge that will be sewn to the remaining 6 rows already pieced together.

I tucked the straps in-between the layers and pinned them in place on each end.

Now, as the quilt is shown above... I slid the top 6 section down and over the bottom section with the backpack pocket, with back-sides together, and stitched a 1" seam to secure them together.

Note:  You see how my straps are over extended on each end above?  Once complete, I wished that I had made them a little longer.  I would recommend bunching up the excess length of your straps inside the pocket, and pulling each end of the strap to match the edges of your fabric.

This is me stitching the bottom section to the rest of the quilt. I am trying to show you here that I am pulling the backpack pocket down and out of the way (it is hard to tell the difference between the polka-dot block and the polka-dot pocket fabric... sorry about that).

You don't want the top of the pocket to get caught in your seam, or it won't be a pocket ;)

When you come to the straps, back-stitch once or twice to give them some extra reinforcement.

And here is some of the excess strap that I am cutting off...
that I wish I had pulled down further (to give me more strap length) and not needed to cut off!!!

And here are all of the pieces sewn together!
This is the back-side... notice you do not see the seams....

And here are the bottom end of the straps, still needing to be secured into place.

Notice on the left, I have pulled the strap up closer to the quilts edge.
You can see the excess strap at the top of the pocket in the photo above.  Do the same with the right strap as well.  Pin them in place.

Again... next time I will pull it even more, so the edges match as nicely as I can get them to give myself a little extra strap length.

Sew around the entire perimeter of your quilt with a 1" seam.

At this point... you might find it easier to sew the seams open.
However, this is not necessary, and entirely up to you.

When you get to the straps, again, back-stitch once or twice to give them some extra reinforcement.

Step 5
Finish your quilt...

Did I seriously fail to get a picture of the next step?  I think the hours of snipping made my brain a little delirious.  ha ha.

Ok... well, back when I made my first REAL rag quilt, I used this awesome tutorial at Green Apple Orchard.  She has some great instructions and photos of this step. You can find it HERE.

To finish your quilt you will need to snip all of your seams to make a nice fringe.  I cut my fringe about 1/8".  The thinner, the nicer it looks, I think.  But it does take FOR-EV-ER!  So make yourself comfy... and take some breaks so your thumb doesn't fall off!

Next, throw your blanket in the wash... and your Blanket to Backpack is finished!


Step 6
Now... fold your blanket up into your blanket!  Not sure how?

You will find the instructions on my original post HERE.

  

Now, if could only find the time to whip up a couple more of these!

Happy Sewing!

10 comments:

  1. Wow! Great tutorial. It looks like it was a lot of work, but totally worth it, I'm sure, to see that smile on your son's face!

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  2. All that snipping would make anyone delirious! Haha! What a great idea for a backpack.

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  3. Wonderful. Makes me wish I didn't have an aversion to the sewing machine.

    Oh and I love your sons lego creation!

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  4. This is really neat! I've seen the pillow-to-quilt before, but never a backpack-to-quilt. I've been quilting up a storm lately, and this is going straight into my idea file. My kids would both love this!

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  5. WOW< that is talent....I have sewing machine and break it out every so often, but cant do that! Lovely!

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  6. That is adorable! And the directions/tutorial is great! I never would have figured it out without them and I don't know how people come up with this amazing stuff!

    And where did you get that cute, cute, cute monster fabric?

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  7. What brand of fabrics did you use? I would love to make these for my kids, but I am wondering if the cheaper joann flannels will hold up well enough... I will have to save up to spring for the more expensive quilter's flannels! ;-)

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  8. I love your tutorial. I love that you included your after-thoughts. I find that I have a lot of those when I sew, wishing I had thought of that "before" I did something, not after.

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