Assembling and Quilting

With all your blocks finished, it's time to put the whole thing together. In quilter's language, putting the blocks together is called “setting your quilt.” When it's all put together, this top piece is called a quilt top or cover. Sew the blocks together in rows. Press the seams, and sew the rows together. Press that center seam as well.

Attaching the Border

Next you need to sew on the border. With the border strip in your lap, begin with the bottom edge of your quilt cover. Sew the border strip on, and trim it even with the edge of the cover. Repeat the process with the top of your quilt.

Stop and press these two seams, then add the border to the sides of your quilt.

Marking Your Quilt

If you want to do any quilting that doesn't follow the seams or appliqué, you will need to mark it now. One suggestion is to stitch diagonally over the background, up to the letters, tulip, and butterfly. This type of stitching will help tie the quilt together visually, especially if the background fabrics are not the same in all the blocks.

Quilt batting is wrinkled when it comes out of the plastic bag. Spread it out a day before you intend to use it. Spray it with a bit of water and pat it out as flat as possible, and let it dry overnight.

An acrylic ruler is the best thing to use to mark these lines, since they have diagonal lines printed on them that you can line up with the edges of your quilt cover. With care, you can mark your diagonal lines with a yardstick. Make these lines anywhere from 1″ to 4″ apart — whatever looks good to you. Closer quilt lines will make the butterfly and tulip puff out more because the rest of the hanging will be flatter.

Consider marking matching lines across the other diagonal, forming a hatchwork design. You might want to end the lines at the seams of the border or continue to the edge.

Layering and Quilting

Smooth your backing fabric out on a flat surface, right side down. Spread the batting over it, and smooth the cover, right side up on top of that. Beginning in the center, pin the layers together at about 6″ intervals. Flip the quilt over and see if the backing is smooth between the pins. Make any necessary adjustments.

Baste the layers together by hand. Again, it is best to start in the center and work outward toward the corners and the sides. Check the back again to be sure all the layers are smooth.

If you have a walking foot for your sewing machine, you can machine-quilt your wall hanging. Try to keep all the layers smooth as you quilt. Begin near the center, and work outward as much as possible. Stop stitching next to the butterfly and tulip, and resume stitching on the other side of them to avoid stitching across these figures. Stitch around them, either in the ditch, which means exactly on the seam, or stitch ¼″ outside the figures.

You can hand-quilt your hanging if you would rather. Hand-quilting is properly done with a short needle called a between and quilting thread, which is stronger than regular thread and less likely to tangle. There are quilting hoops the size of embroidery hoops that will make it possible to hold your quilt flat while you sew. Make your stitches as small and straight as possible, or look for instructions on rocking the needle to quilt the traditional way.

When you have finished quilting your wall hanging, sew around the edges at about ¼″. Trim away the excess batting and backing. If the sides seem uneven, trim them straighter using a ruler to mark a straight edge.

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