How to make a quilt with Leila, Where the orchids grow

Tuesday 29th April 2014, 16.56

How to make a quilt Leila, Where the orchids grow

Guest blogger Leila Beasley is back again, this time she shows us how to make a quilt. You may remember Leila’s previous summer sewing projects, where she showed us how to make a sunglasses case and a passport holder. This quilt consists of only three prints, yet its simplicity speaks for itself. Leila combines a mixture of our Classic and Spring Summer Tana Lawn prints. This project is ideal for the novice sewer, looking to start sewing? Make this your first quilt. Shop your favourite Liberty prints here and make your own quilt.

Follow Leila’s easy step-by-step tutorial below.


You will need:

1.80 m. Liberty Tana Lawn Asaka

1.80m. Liberty Tana Lawn Umbel

0.50 m Liberty Tana Lawn Capel for the binding.

1.50 x 1.80 Batting

Erasable fabric marker

Seam guide for your sewing machine

A plate, bowl or something similar with a round shape (I will explain later!)

Regular sewing supplies


Step 1: Preparing the quilt sandwich

Give your fabrics a good press to smooth out any wrinkles.

Spread out one of the main quilt fabrics wrong side up on a large flat surface. Place the batting on top of the fabric. Place the other main quilt fabric on top of the batting to create the quilt sandwich. Make sure all layers are nice and smooth and free of wrinkles.

Baste the layers together in the manner which you prefer.

There are several ways to baste a quilt. I chose to use basting spray, it is quick and there are no pins or basting stitches to remove afterwards. Basting spray is a non permanent adhesive that simply washes out once the quilt is finished.


If you find a spot where the fabric is stuck to the batting but is wrinkled, folded or creased you can gently lift it back up again and smooth out.


Step 2: Quilting

We will be quilting in concentric circles using the seam guide that comes standard with pretty much any sewing machine.

You will also need a walking foot for machine quilting to ensure an even feed of all layers of fabric. My machine has a built in double feed option (the black bar that clicks onto my regular machine foot at the back) but if your sewing machine doesn’t come with this feature you will need to attach your walking foot now.

How to make a quilt step 1

To start the pattern we need to trace one full circle first. A plate, bowl or anything similar and round will do as a template. I’m using a breakfast plate. It’s not very important how large your first circle is. On the package of your batting it will say how far apart it can be quilted this is usually 8″-10″ or 20 – 25 cm.. If the diameter of your plate is larger simply quilt one or more lines inside of the traced circle to reduce the distance of the quilting lines.

Determine where you want your quilting pattern to start.

I’m starting slightly off centre for my quilt, just because I find it adds a little interest, but feel free to start in the centre if you prefer.

Trace around the plate with an erasable fabric marker.

Quilt along the traced circle. Do not backstitch, but make sure you leave some extra thread at the beginning  and the end of your quilting line.

How to make a quilt step 2

To finish the loose ends of thread, thread them through a sharp sewing needle, knot the thread and bury the knot in-between the layers of the quilt. Make sure the tip of the needle doesn’t poke all the way through the bottom layer of fabric so the knot gets safely caught within the batting. You can leave all the tail ends to finish after quilting the entire quilt or finish each line of quilting this way as you go.

Attach the seam guide at 1″ or 2.5cm. Place the seam guide so that it follows the previous line of quilting and quilt the next circle.

When quilting concentric circles you can create an interesting ‘water ripple’ effect (like you would see when throwing a pebble into the lake) by gradually increasing the width of the quilting lines as the quilted circles get larger.

Feel free to skip this step if you prefer all quilting lines to be at the same distance.

Start increasing after 5-7 full circles are completed. Gradually increase the width of the quilting lines by 1/8″ – 1/4″ (0.3 – 0.5cm) cm every other row of quilting.

How to make a quilt step 3


The seam guide is intended to be attached on the right of the needle so it follows the edge of the fabric when sewing. However when using my seam guide for quilting I find it easier to have the guide on the left of the needle. It helps reduce the bulk when maneuvering the quilt through the machine harp. So I flipped mine upside down and attached it to the left. Just make sure the seam guide doesn’t drag on the fabric when upside down. It’s obviously intended to be used the other way round and shaped so that when positioned correctly it will easily glide over the fabric.

As the quilting progresses the circles will be broken when the narrow edge of the quilt is met. This is supposed to happen, simply continue to follow the previous quilting line with the seam guide until the entire quilt is quilted.


Step 3: Binding the quilt

Trim back any excess batting and fabric squaring up the four corners of your quilt.

How to make a quilt step 4

Cut the binding fabric in 2 1/4″ wide strips.

Join the strips together with a diagonal seam as pictured to create one long continuous strip of binding. Joining strips with a diagonal seam reduces bulk inside the binding.

Trim back the seam allowance to 1/4″ and press seam open.

How to make a quilt step 5

Press the entire length of binding in half, wrong sides facing.

Start in the middle of one side of the quilt pin the raw edges of the binding to the raw edges of the quilt. Make sure to leave approximately 10″ or 25cm of binding unattached at the start of your seam.

How to make a quilt step 6

I’m using Kerry Green’s pincushion, which you can find in an earlier post.

Attach the binding with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Back stitch 1/4″ from the quilt edge once you reach the corner.

How to make a quilt step 7

Fold the binding up so it’s straight at a 90 degree angle with the quilt then fold back down again so it meets up with the next quilt edge.

Start 1/4″ from the top of the corner and continue attaching the binding. Repeat for all four corners.

As with the beginning of the binding leave about 10″ of binding unattached at the end. You may have more left over this is fine we’ll trim it off after the next steps.

Determine the exact point where the two loose ends should meet. Pinning the remainder of the binding to the quilt is the quickest way to do so. Mark the point where the two ends meet with an erasable fabric marker. You may want to remove the pins again to make the next step easier

Pin the loose edges of binding right sides together at the point you just measured.Trace a diagonal seam line with an erasable fabric marker. Stitch on this line. Make sure the remainder of the binding sits flush with the quilt edge before trimming the seam allowance.

Trim back the seam allowance to 1/4″ (0.5cm), press seam open, fold the binding back in half and sew.

How to make a quilt step 8

Next fold the binding over towards the other side of the quilt. Make sure the folded edge covers the previous stitching line. Use pins or binding clips to keep the binding in place.

Hand stitch the binding down.

Sew all the way towards the corner.

How to make a quilt step 9

Fold the opposite edge down to create a mitered corner.

Make sure the mitered corners fold in opposite directions for nice sharp edges.

Continue sewing down the next side. Repeat for all four corners.

How to make a quilt step 10

You may want to wash the quilt to remove all of the glue basting and any left over marks from quilting.

All done!

How to make a quilt Leila, Where the orchids grow 2

Follow Leila on Twitter @WhereOrchidsGro 

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