Confession: I hate holidays. Well, scratch that. I hate commercialized holidays. Things like Christmas and Thanksgiving and *cough* Valentine’s Day. The Husbane calls me a grinch because I never decorate; I don’t carve pumpkins or hang garlands or hide eggs. I think it’s the fact that we’re beaten over the head about these days for MONTHS before they happen now, and I just get sick of hearing about it by the time the day rolls around! I’m more of a Memorial Day gal myself. Give me barbecue and the sun and waves over candy any day. BUT! That said, I don’t want to foist my personal convictions on my daughter. So, even though I keep it low-key, I celebrate the days with her. So, she donned a special V-Day-ish shirt, and I made her a pretty flannel blanket!
I went a little nuts at The Quilt Haus in New Braunfels on our last visit to the grandparents and bought a crap ton of fancy-pants designer flannel. It’s the Fresh Picked line from Free Spirit. And oh, is it stunning!
• 4 yards of flannel (I chose 4 different patterns in 1 yard each. You can choose 2 patterns with 2 yards, or do it in a solid)
• 2 yards of white flannel (for the filling, or you can use quilt batting)
I changed things up a little this time with the tutorial, I hope you like it! It’s an easier format to follow, and to pin *wink wink* 😉
Step 1: Iron out any wrinkles on your patterned flannel. Right side down, you’re going to mark your chevrons. My fabric was 44″ wide, so I divided it by 4 and marked every 11 inches. Once that was marked, I measured up every 5 inches 5 times. So that’s 25″ total. Starting from the right, use a straight edge and connect the first 5″ mark to the first low hash mark at 11″ on the bottom edge of the fabric, creating a downward slope. Then connect up, down, and up. You’ll need 4 chevrons at 5″ thick, then do the same for four 3″ thick chevrons.
Step 2: Mark and cut your filler flannel. You’re going to need 8 total 5″ stripes, and 8-3″ stripes. Save your scraps!
Step 3: Sandwich your layers by laying your first strip right side down, then the filler, then right side up. Do your best to make sure everything lines up, though if it’s not perfect it’s no big deal. The ragging will hide any imperfections.
Step 4: Pin the edges to hold it all together.
Step 5: Sew a seam down the middle to sandwich your layers together. This is the quilting part!
Step 6: Repeat for all pieces. You’ll have 2 fat stripes and 2 skinny stripes for each fabric. Now lay them out and define your pattern! I decided to keep the same order for the 4 different patterns, but switched it up a little by alternating skinny and fat rows.
Step 7: Sew it together with 1/2″ seams. If you’ve never sewed chevrons before, it can be a little tricky. It’s not going to line up like you think it should. I don’t bother to pin things, I just took the bottom piece, flipped it up to the one above so they’re “right” sides together, and started with that first line. Once you reach the end of that angle, leave your needle down in the fabric, lift up your presser foot, and rearrange things to match up the next angle. I’m sorry if this is confusing. It took me a couple of tries to get it right, so don’t feel bad if you get really familiar with your seam ripper 😉 Once it’s all sewn together, use the scraps to create your filler pieces for your top and bottom.
Step 8: Flip the quilt over, and press out your seams so it lies flat.
Step 9: If you’re like me, your quilt will be all wonky and confuzzled. Nothing I ever piece together is square, it gets puckered and messy. So I lay it down somewhere that I can line up the edges (like my tile floor) and cut it so it’s squared up.
Step 10: Now that this sucker is square, I used a plain ol’ zigzag stitch around the edge 5/8″ in from the end. Once it’s all sewn, clip your seams with scissors all around the edges, and in the middle if you like. I skipped the middle seams because my hands started aching with carpal tunnel. So just the edges got clipped. And it’s fine. So feel free to be lazy like me! Once it’s clipped, run it through the washer/dryer and you’ll get those lovely ragged seams.
And that’s it! You have a lovely, easy quilt. Well, maybe not the easiest ever, but not nearly so hard as regular quilting. Plus, the chevrons took a ton of extra time to mark out, cut, and sew. This took me about 10 hours total. And I spent $60 in fabrics, because I’m a nutcase. Final dimensions are 40″ wide by 55″ tall, but that’s because I don’t sew well and had to cut a bunch off. Though I really do love how it turned out, and the flannel is oh-so-soft. Plus, the Free Spirit fabrics I’ve used in the past tend to hold their color and texture really well even after repeated washings, so I’m happy to invest in it. You just can’t find patterns like this at the big box stores. It’s a great size for a kid, and she’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come. Tomorrow I’ll show you the much easier straight-line version I made for Charlie’s baby boyfriend Hunter!