Quilting can feel a bit solitary at times… those long hours at the sewing machine, giving yourself over to inspiration, time spent enthralled in planning your next project. But it’s lovely when the results extend beyond the studio or the craft room, and quilting for charity is one such opportunity. From our book based on the Craft Hope movement, here is the Take-Along Quilt by Malka Dubrawsky. This quilt is beautiful, quick, made from fat quarters, and, best of all, the perfect donation to organizations like Margaret’s Hope Chest or Project Night Night (blogged here).
(It appears that some people have had issues downloading this PDF, so we’ve posted the instructions below. Sorry for any frustrations this may have caused!)
When it was posted on the Craft Hope site as part of a drive to provide quilts for homeless children in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this project drew an international response. Stitchers from as far away as Switzerland, The Netherlands, Uruguay, and Turkey answered the call, creating more than 500 quilts. This colorful comforter is designed to be rolled and carried.
Basic Sewing Kit
Thread of coordinating color
9 fat quarters of cotton, each in a different print
3⁄4 yard (68.5 cm) of cotton fabric, 44 inches (111.8 cm) wide, for the strap and binding
Large safety pins
Water-soluble fabric marker
Button, 3⁄4 inch (1.9 cm)
4 yards (3.6 m) of cotton flannel for the backing
Seam Allowance 1⁄4 inch (6 mm), unless otherwise noted
What You Cut
9 rectangles, one from each print, each cut across the width of the fabric, for the 171⁄4 x 203⁄4 inches (43.8 x 52.7 cm)
Cotton for Strap and Binding
2 strips, each 3 x 16 inches (7.6 x 40.6 cm)
6 strips, each 11⁄2 x 44 inches (3.8 x 111.8 cm), binding
1. Piece the front of the quilt: Pin and then sew two of the rectangles together along one long edge with right sides facing. Press the seam open. Pin and then sew a third rectangle to them to make one strip. Press the seam open. On the right side, topstitch 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) on either side of the piecing lines. Repeat this step using the remaining rectangles until you have three pieced and topstitched strips.
2. Pin and then sew two of the strips together along one long edge with right sides facing. Press the seam open. Pin and then sew the third strip to them, and press the seam open. On the right side, topstitch 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) on either side of the piecing lines.
3. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the strip of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of one of the pieces cut for the strap. With right sides facing, pin the two pieces for the strap together. Sew along three sides, leaving one of the short ends open for turning. Clip the corners, being careful to avoid cutting the stitches. Turn right side out, using a knitting needle to push out the corners if needed. Press flat.
4. Topstitch 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) in from the sewn edges of the strap. Make a 1-inch (2.5 cm) vertical buttonhole approximately 11⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) from the finished short end of the strap. Set the strap aside.
5. Cut the flannel for the backing into two 2-yard (1.8 m) lengths. Sew them together, right sides facing and selvages aligned, to make one large piece with a center seam. Press the seam open.
6. Working on a large, flat surface, such as a clean floor or large table, place the flannel right side down, smoothing out the fabric from the center. Note: You may find it helpful to use the masking tape to tape the fabric edges to the surface.
7. Lay the cotton batting on top of the flannel, centering it on the center seam. Then lay the pieced top, right side up, on top of both layers, centering it on the batting.
8. Working from the center out, pin through all layers using the safety pins, placing them approximately 4 inches (10.2 cm) apart. Remove the tape at the edges. Trim all layers flush.
9. Fold the quilt in half widthwise with the front sides facing to locate the midpoint of one short edge. Mark the midpoint using the water-soluble fabric marker.
10. On the back of the quilt, center the short, raw end of the strap on the midpoint. Align the raw edges, and pin. The finished edge of the strap with the buttonhole will be facing away from the edge. Baste the strap in place.
11. Make the binding: Lay the short end of one binding strip on another at a 90° angle with right sides facing. Then sew them together at a 45° angle. Continue in this way until you have one long strip. Trim the angles, being careful to avoid cutting the stitches. Press the seams open. Turn one of the short ends of the long strip under 1⁄4 inch (6 mm), and press.
12. Bind the edges. With right sides together and raw edges aligned, and starting at the turned end of the binding, sew the binding to the quilt around all edges, mitering the corners as you go (see Binding Edges with Mitered Corners on page 39). When you get back to the starting point, trim off the excess binding, leaving enough for an overlap. Turn the short end under 1⁄4 inch (6 mm), and finish the stitching to overlap the other end.
13. Fold the binding over the raw edges. Pin the binding to the back of the quilt, turning the raw edge under 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) as you pin. When you get to the strap, turn the seam allowance under on the binding as you have been doing. Once you pass the strap, flip the strap to lie on top of the binding, and pin in place to keep it out of the way when you stitch.
14. Stitch the binding to the back of the quilt by hand or machine. Remove the safety pins holding the layers together.
15. Roll the quilt to place the button. Fold one long edge of the quilt into the center with front sides facing, then fold the other side of the quilt over it. Begin rolling the quilt at the edge without the strap. When the quilt is all rolled up, lay the strap on the roll. Use the fabric marker to mark the placement for the button, and then sew the button at this point.