How to: Make a Whole Cloth quilt

Are you in a bit of a creative slump? Or maybe you need a gift that needs to be made VERY quickly? If so, a whole cloth quilt may be just the project for you!

What is a whole cloth quilt? Basically it's a quilt with one piece of fabric on the front, and one on the back- so no cutting or piecing. But it's still a super satisfying project to make as you still have the batting and binding (and quilting!)

If you have a bit more time, you can choose to hand quilt and hand bind your quilt- but if you are after a super quick make, machine quilting and binding is just as beautiful. 

So let's get started!

(I have kits to make whole cloth quilts which include optional hand quilting needles and thread) 

You need:

Fabric/ Batting:

Option 1: Baby quilt (standard WOF)

  • 2 pieces fabric 44" x 44" (WOF)
  • 1 piece batting 44" x 44"
  • 12" coordinating fabric for binding or 2 fat quarters 

Option 2: Small throw (larger WOF)

  • 2 pieces fabric 58" x 58" (WOF)
  • 1 piece batting 58" x 58"
  • 18" coordinating fabric for binding

Notions:

Start by cutting your fabric and batting to size (each piece will be 44" x 44" for the baby size of 58" x 58" for the small throw size). Don't worry if there is some selvage included- we are going to trim this later.

Once this is done, we are going to baste our quilt top and quilt back to our batting.

Lay your batting out on your table, and use clamps to keep it in place (you can also lay your batting on the floor and use tape to keep it in place if you prefer. Then lay one of the layers of fabric on top, matching up edges and corners and smooth it out.


If you are pin basting, flip your fabric and batting over and repeat with the other piece of fabric. Pin as required 

If you are spray basting, fold back half of your fabric, and spray onto the fabric. Fold the fabric onto the basting and smooth out. 

Repeat for the other half of the fabric. 

Then flip over your batting, attach with clamps and repeat with the other fabric. 

If you have spray basted, I like to give both sides a quick press with the iron to make it super smooth but this step is optional!

Now it's time to quilt. Firstly, using a hera marker or marking tool, mark the lines where you would like to quilt. 

I did a diagonal lines going both ways to form a grid. My lines were on a 45 degree angle and 4.5" apart. 

Quilt (either hand quilt or machine quilt) as desired.

Before we trim our quilt, if you have hand quilted, we are going to quickly secure those stitches so all your hard work isn't undone! Using your sewing machine with very short stitches, go over each of the ends of your hand quilting 1/8" away from where you will be trimming your quilt. This will ensure the hand stitching doesn't come undone when you trim it. 

Trim your quilt down to 42" x 42" (baby size) or 56" x 56" (small throw size)- basically we are just squaring it up and making sure there are three layers everywhere, as well as removing the selvage. If there is a really nice printed selvage, you may choose to keep this as a feature.

Next we will make our binding. Taking your binding fabric and cut strips that are 2.25" wide (by the length of the fabric). If you prefer a slightly wider binding, you can use 2.5". We need 5 strips (baby size) or 7 strips (small throw size).

Then take your strips and draw a 45 degree diagonal line on the edge. Cross two strips over right sides together and sew along the diagonal line. 

Trim 1/4" away from the line. Repeat for each of your strips. 

Now press these seams open, 

 Then iron your binding in half (wrong sides together).

Using your sewing machine, attach to the "front" 1/4" from the edge.

Flip your quilt and stitch down the back either using machine sewing or hand binding.  You can find a tutorial for big stitch binding here

And that's it- your whole cloth quilt is done! 

 


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