Lewis & Irene Secret Garden Quilt

Making the 'Secret Garden' Quilt

Secret Garden Quilt - sewing the three layers together at the machine

The Secret Garden Quilt.

We've made a quilt kit out of this adorable range by Lewis & Irene. All the pieces for the top of the quilt have been cut to size and the wadding and fleece backing are also included in the kit.

The finished quilt measures approximately 105 x 85cm (41 x 33").

There are some written instructions with the kit but we thought it might be useful to show you some pictures and more comprehensive instructions of the making up process for further clarity. 

Seam allowance for sewing the main body of the quilt is 1/4" (6mm). I didn't sew the pieces in any particular sequence, instead I made sure they were fairly random. 

Step 1. Sew the large squares and rectangles.

Take 4 large squares and 5 rectangles for each strip. Work with right sides together when sewing. All the squares will be sandwiched between a rectangle once sewn together. Repeat this process 4 more times so you have 5 strips in total. See picture below left.

Step 2. Sew the small squares and rectangles.

Take 5 small squares and 4 rectangles for each strip. Sew with right sides together. This time all the rectangles will be sandwiched between a small square. Repeat this process 5 more times so you have 6 strips in total. See middle picture below.


Step 3. Pressing.

Essential for the next stage. if you look at the right image above, you'll see that the narrower strips are pressed one way and the wider strips the other. This really helps to keep the squares sitting together neatly when you start sewing the strips together. See picture above left.

 Step 4. Sewing the strips together.

The main picture above shows you best the sequence used to sew the strips together. It's a narrow strip, followed by a wider strip. Repeat this process until you have sen all the strips together. Press.

Step 5. Sewing all 3 layers together.

Firstly, on a flat surface, place the fleece face down and smooth out so it's nice and flat. Place the wadding on top of the fleece, again making sure it's laying flat. Next, place the quilt top, right side up on these two layers. Using plenty of pins, attach all three layers together. I like to start in the middle and work outwards, making sure all the layers are nice and flat as I go.

Now to the sewing. This is the more time consuming bit. Again, starting towards the middle of the quilt, work in lines, sewing across and down, stitching in the seam line (stitch in the ditch - look it up, it's a really useful technique in dressmaking too). Work up and down until you've sewn down every seam and around all four edges of the quilt too. See picture below with the underside of the quilt.

Trim all the edges to neaten, cutting them approximately 1/4" (6mm) bigger than the quilt front

Binding strip

Step 6. Side Binding.

You're nearly there. Press all the long strips in half across the short width. Working with the quilt right side up, start with the two side edges. Match up the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt. Using a 1/2" (12mm) seam allowance, sew down the binding to the quilt.

Press out the seam and then 'wrap' the binding over onto the back of the quilt. Pin down the binding from the front, catching the binding about 1/8" (3mm) from the folded edge on the back. You might want to tack this before you sew. Carefully, stitch down the seam (in the ditch) down the entire edge. 

Step 7. Top and Bottom Binding.

This process is much the same and will neaten and finish the binding. The images below show the steps to achieve this.

When pinning the binding to the quilt front, allow a 1/2" (12mm) overlap. Wrap this overlap over onto the underside of the quilt, catching this when sewing the binding down.

Press out and fold over and sew ( in the ditch) as you did with the other two side edges. You will have a nice, neat edge that encloses all the seams.

top binding overlaphow the overlap lookspinned edging

 Pictured below are the front and back of the quilt. Ta da.



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