a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

i made a quilt!

hi everyone!

last year, i bought a new sewing machine, a DKS100. (one day i will get round to writing a dedicated post to it!)

it came with a quilting kit which set me off on a mission to make a quilt.  it was the kit, and the fact i am always cold to be honest.

i didn’t do much research before i started (measurements etc) but knew the type of quilt i wanted to make.  i found this on pinterest and decided it was the one.


i like that it looks like gingham pattern and thought the contrast colour binding was really nice, although i’d decided to keep my binding neutral so it goes with whatever colour i choose to decorate with when i buy a house.

i’m really not good at maths at all, but decided to try and work out how much fabric i was going to need.  i wanted the quilt to measure 1.5m x 1.5m as i thought it would be big enough to curl up underneath while i’m knitting, or any other old lady hobby where i like to keep warm, haha.

so, i went all out and did this:

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LOOK AT ALL THE MATHS, GAH.  this was all to work out how much fabric to buy.

i will try and explain…

first, i drew out the quilt and counted how many squares of each colour i was going to need.

i needed to get the width of each square so, 1.5m = 150cm.  150cm ÷ 15 = 10cm (this is the width of each square).  then i added seam allowance of 1cm all around each square, meaning each square now was 12cm.

then i did 140 ÷ 12, to work out how many squares i could get out of the width of fabric that was 140cm wide.   in the case of 140cm wide fabric, i could get 9 squares out of the width.

i divided the amount of squares i needed by the amount of squares per width to get the number of times i would need to go across in the length of my fabric.  i rounded it up to get whole numbers and then times it by 12 (because of the squares being 12cm each) to get the proper length.

i have NO IDEA if it makes sense to anyone else but me, but that’s what i did.   i did the same for 160cm wide fabric just in case i found fabric that way.   i had plenty of fabric (actually too much) so it must have worked in some way.  or just evidences the fact that i absolutely cannot do maths.

enough of that brain scratching crap.  let’s talk about buying fabric!

i went to the sewing show at the NEC in november and decided to buy my fabric from there, thinking i would be able to get all the solid colours i needed.  then saw this dark grey with little stars on… and then my emo dream quilt was born.


we trapsed around for AGES looking for matching fabric and in the end, i found this lovely off white which matched the stars perfectly.  at the same stall, found the best dancing skeleton fabric ever.  it was quite possibly a halloween fabric, but isn’t it the best?!  i still went with the gingham pattern but used the patterned fabric instead.

i didn’t bother washing the fabric before hand, because even if it shrinks a bit, it’ll still go over my lap haha.  i cut all my fabric out as soon as i got home from the NEC because i was super eager.

i went to my machine a couple of days later to start putting the squares together, but my new machine, the one that inspired me to make the quilt, wasn’t playing ball.  (it turns out that i was using bobbins that weren’t right for the machine and it wasn’t pressing something down which initiated the bobbin motor, so i sent it away to get looked at for completely no reason but whatever *embarrassing*).  while it was away for no reason (other than my stupidity) i used my mom’s old singer to piece everything together.

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isn’t it fun sewing 200+ squares together when the machine doesn’t have a reverse/backstitch button? *cries through manic laughter*.  to be honest it wasn’t really bad at all haha.  it was nice to use the machine again, it smells so wonderful and in a way i’m really pleased that i got to create something with it that will (hopefully) last a long time with it.

it took about 2 hours a day for a week to get all my squares sewn together.  it would have been faster if i’d had my machine, i’m sure!

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i wanted to make sure all the seams lined up, and used a method where you press the seams of each row in opposite directions, then when you put it together, you butt the seams up against each other… it’s hard to explain but works very well.

the wadding i chose was from the NEC too, and it’s a very light one.  firstly because i was scared of it being too bulky and also because i only wanted something light.  i wish i could tell you the weight but i can’t remember, sorry!

i ended up buying wide backing fabric from ebay, and went for this leafy design.  just in case i don’t want to look at the dancing skeletons any more (AS IF THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN).


i watched a great video on youtube about putting the quilt together (it’s here if you want to see it) before i attempted to join any of my layers.  i read online that a basting spray was really useful for sandwiching the layers, so after a bit of a hobbycraft hunt around, finally my friend found some for me.

i was quite liberal with it and still have some left over, so it was worth the price of £6(ish).  i then safety pinned every other square to make sure it was all stuck together.

pinned quilt (1)

i used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch.  i did all the horizontal rows one day and then put the quilt away for a couple of months.  i’m not sure why, but it might be because i wanted to make some clothes and i just got out of the habit.

i was home from work early the other day and had the opportunity to use the big table in the living room, so went for the finish!  i did all the vertical rows and sewed the binding on (a dark grey from ebay).

then i spent 3 hours of my saturday watching say yes to the dress (because who doesn’t want to look at lots of wedding dresses?!) hand sewing the back of my binding.

and now i have this beautiful quilt that i couldn’t be happier with!  i’m sure that someone who has been quilting for a while would be able to see where my ditch stitching isn’t perfect, but hey, i really love it and i’m not going to kick myself about a couple of little things no one else will really see.



props to my parents to having the best garden for me to take these pictures in!

i’d say all together it took around 15 hours to complete.  considering i was using a 60+ year old machine for the most part and then spent 3 hour hand sewing, it’s not too bad!  i don’t think quilting is going to be my new ultimate favourite hobby, however it’s been really nice to make something different.

happy sewing!


9 Discussions on
“i made a quilt!”
  • It’s brilliant and looks just gorgeous. You’ve done a fab job and now I feel inspired to make one but have too many projects on the go. Love the fabric choices too. Nee x

  • Rach, this is fantastic! I’ve never been inclined to do any quilting before but the way you have explained it and the end the result is fab and makes me want to do one some day!! We’ll done for the perseverance using the old machine. Like you say how lovely to use it for something that will be cherished so much X

  • It’s a great quilt, I love the colours of it! I think it’s great that you used a vintage machine to make what is, in effect, a vintage style sewing project… Meant to be, I reckon.
    Funnily enough, I have the DKS100 (I think it’s the best looking machine out, atm) and find her very picky. If she doesn’t have the right needle or the right thread, then she has a hissy but, get everything the way she likes and her stitches are great, especially the fancier ones… And her button holes are superb. I did recently get told, by the shop I bought my machine from, that Janome doesn’t do a straight stitch needle plate for her. Given I’ve just got my hands on a fair bit of silk chiffon, I’ve ended up buying a couple of vintage singers (the 28k and the 221k) to use with the chiffon… Just in the process of tidying them up.
    Oh, and your ditch stitching looks pretty good to me 🙂

  • Lovely quit, I like the gingham idea. It’s so satisfying when ditch stitching turns out well, isn’t it?

    I’m looking forward to your review of the new sewing machine…that one is on my list of machines I want to buy so I’m interested to hear what you think

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