Category Archives: lap quilt

Now I’m ready for Christmas!

I just had to make another one of the super-quick lap quilts. We have a new step-granddaughter who is 4 and I think she will absolutely love the pink sweetness and rainbows on this bright flannel. To avoid a sugar coma, I backed it with white fleece instead of trying to match the pink.

I made the label myself. I fused interfacing to the back of white cotton, then printed what I wanted it to say. I heat-set it with my iron, trimmed, and hemmed it.  Not all printer inks will be colorfast, and I originally tried something with color in it. The black held, but the color washed away. Always do a test patch! As a sweet added touch, I couched pink ribbon around the edge with extra at the beginning and ending, and tied it into a bow.


Quick and simple quilt idea

Simple to make, this quilt can be whipped up in a few hours and make a child happy all winter long.

quick lap quilt

I made these in snuggle-quilt size for a child, but the same steps apply if you want to make it adult size or large enough for a bed. No batting needed.

My husband and I couldn’t resist the monkey and frog fabrics we found in flannel one day. I had already made lap quilts for the two of us using cotton for the front (not pieced, whole cloth) and batting with flannel backing. I wondered how it would work to use fleece for the backing. It would be soft, and warm and heavy enough to replace the batting as well.

For each quilt I purchased 1 1/2 yards of flannel fabric and 1 1/2 yards of a coordinating color of fleece. I knew there would be some leftover, but it’s never wasted.

I prewashed the flannel and trimmed it. Then I laid it out on my cutting table with one corner of the flannel matching a corner of the fleece. I cut the fleece with 2 inches overlap on the other two sides.

Then I repositioned the flannel so there was 1 inch of fleece overlap on all sides. Turn the fleece from the back to the front and pin to the flannel. No need to finish the edge of the fleece, as it won’t ravel.

I made mitered corners by first folding over the point at the corner, then folding down the two sides of the miter. Pin very well.

Because the fleece may tend to get caught between the toes of a presser foot, I used a teflon foot with a flat bottom, and the left position for my needle. I simply topstitched around.

teflon presser foot with roller

Then comes the fun part! I used the darning/embroidery foot and machine quilting thread, and hopped all over the quilt. No need to baste or pin, the flannel grabs the fleece and holds tight, and in doing both quilts I had only one instance of a wrinkle being stitched in place. I blame being distracted, and a careful person wouldn’t have that happen.

darning foot

I moved all around the frogs, sometimes even twice, to secure the layers of fabric together. I could have added shapes, or hearts, or even the grandson’s name, but I left it as a meander stitch.

I wrote down the times as I did the steps. I was very surprised I went from pre-washed fabric in the first photo, to the finished product in only 1 hour 50 minutes. Perception is odd, isn’t it? I was thinking it took so much longer than that.

Here’s the breakdown:

30 minutes to press the prewashed flannel, trim off the selvage, make sure it’s square, trim the fleece to 2″ larger each direction, reposition to 1″ overlap all around, and pin the fleece as a self-binding.

15 minutes to stitch the binding along 4 edges.

65 minutes to change the presser foot on the machine and meander-stitch the body of the quilt. The timing on this part depends on how densely you stitch.

Very quick and very easy to make. Finished size on these is 41 1/2″ by 53″. The fleece backing is so snuggly I really don’t want to give up the quilts, but I’m going to force myself to wrap them and put them under the tree so I don’t change my mind. I can just see two little boys watching TV with these quilts, or sitting in their mother’s lap under the quilt to hear a story.

Back to the past

I have been working when I can on the circle quilt, and it is taking quite a bit of time. I’m beginning to be concerned that I won’t be able to finish 3 quilts by Christmas. One of the hold-ups is that I haven’t been given any additional embroidered patches for the center 12 squares of this quilt. I’m still missing 3 for the first quilt.

Meanwhile, I started working on the second quilt. I cut 150 circles and have them put together in columns of 15 circles. Then I heaved a heavy sigh and looked over my sewing room. Light bulb moment – if I put away a few things piled on top of my old 1957 Singer model 306w, I would have a sturdier work surface, at least.

Singer 306W

I found, to my thrilled surprise, that the zigzag stitch is so much faster on the old machine! I knew I slowed down a bit going to the newer electronic Singer, but the difference, when thinking of all the slow zigzag on this quilt, multiplies to such a great degree. Genius!


Circle quilt progress

I’m making slow progress.

I’ve worked a bit on the circle quilt. I decided, with a small-throated sewing machine, that I must work from the center outward. The reason it makes a difference is the center 12 blocks have personalized embroidery on plain fabrics, instead of the shirt fabric. To preserve the surprise for the ones who will receive the quilts, I did not photograph the embroidery.

I found that I didn’t actually need to have drawn the square on all 150 circles! Now I figure that out! When I work on the next one, I will draw on only half of the circles. Once two circles are sewn together, the entire outline helps to line up the piece to the next one, and so on, until I have a complete column sewn together.

circle quilt

When I finish sewing the squares with batting to the inner columns, I add one column to each outer edge. Then I press the circle parts down, and I can start placing squares on the columns next to the outside columns. I need the outer edge free for sewing the next columns onto.

If you look at the photo above, you can see the grainlines are all over the place. My bad. I highlighted them in bright green so you can see them too. Yes, the circles tend to stretch when I sew the long line. Next time I know better.

I also love to see the design the stitches make on the back side of the quilt. The stitching looks purple but it’s the same color blue as the fabric. That’s due to lighting, I think.

circle quilt from the back

Something I want to tackle as a future project is to take apart this purse and construct a clone. I love this purse and it’s starting to wear out in places. I don’t think I’ll sew with vinyl, so I’ll be looking for a fabric I think will hold up and look as good.