12 November 2014

A Little Happy Patchy Heart Quilt Along ~ Week 3 Layering and Quilting

Welcome to week 3 of the Patch Heart Quilt Along.  I hope that you enjoyed sewing all your hearts and piecing your quilt top together.  This week we're going to be layering and quilting.


For this step you will need your backing fabric*, your wadding/batting* and your quilt top.  Both your backing fabric and quilt top should be well pressed.

* If I were making a larger quilt I would always allow for my backing fabric and wadding to be at least 4" larger all round than my quilt top.  For this quilt I allowed 2" all round which  made it possible to make the quilt using 1.25m of backing fabric and wadding with very little wastage.

You're now going to make a quilt sandwich.......

First off, lay your backing fabric right side facing down on a flat clean surface, ideally one that isn't carpeted is easier. Smooth it out so that it is laying nice and flat without any wrinkles, then using a low tack tape (masking tape is ideal, but I couldn't find any to hand so I used washi tape...what a waste!) tape all four corners and at intervals along the sides to hold it in place.

Now lay your wadding centrally on top, again smooth it out so there are not any wrinkles.  You'll find that it will start to naturally stick to your backing fabric.

On top of this lay your quilt top, right side facing upwards.  Make sure that it is centred up with an even border of wadding and backing fabric visible all round.  As before smooth it all out so that it is laying nice and flat.

Grab some safety pins (or basting spray) and starting from the centre of the quilt pin through all three layers.  Working outwards pin at regular intervals, you can never have too many, one at the centre of each block would be good.  Once you've done this you're ready to quilt!


When it comes to quilting, I am definitely a straight line quilter by nature for both hand and machine quilting.  One of my goals for next year is to find my curvier self and explore fans and scallops etc.  But as you can see from the picture below, machined straight lines were the order of the day, by all means quilt yours as desired.

'A little happy' note on quilting.....For machine quilting I switch to my walking foot on my machine.  This type of foot allows the three layers of the quilt to move more evenly and prevents them from bunching up.    If you do not have a walking foot, do not despair, when I made my Tilda brick quilt last year, I didn't have a walking foot, so I used my standard machine foot, you can see the results of this HERE.  If you take to quilting, then I would highly recommend investing in both a walking foot and a 1/4" foot for future projects.

So if you would like to quilt your quilt like mine, here's a little more detail for you.  I set my machine on a slightly larger stitch than I normally use for general sewing and personally I like to use 100% cotton thread to match my fabrics.  I quilted horizontally and vertically using the seam lines on the 4 patch and heart blocks as a guide, with the edge of my machine foot following the seam line.  This gave a lovely grid effect.  Sorry the second picture is a different project, but can you see what I mean with the edge of the machine foot?

Here's a little graphic which hopefully illustrates the course I took.  I started in the centre of my quilt (green arrow) by starting in the middle and smoothing the fabric as you go helps prevents bunching and stitched horizontally, either side of the blocks (as indicated by the red arrows) moving towards the top of the quilt (ending at the yellow arrow).

There's no need to stop stitching and cut your thread at the end of each row, simply stitch outside the quilt top in to the excess wadding and backing fabric, moving from one row to the next.  

Take your time and take a break if necessary.

I repeated the process for the bottom half starting at the pink arrow, working downwards until I reached the aqua arrow.

Now you could stop there and simply have the horizontal lines, this would look lovely (my brick quilt has horizontal lines only!)  or you could as I did, repeat this process for the vertical quilting, remember to start in the middle working outwards to the right and then repeat from the middle to the left.

You can see the grid pattern on the back .....

'A little happy' Tip.... I wear a pair of gardening gloves (clean ones!) with those little sticky palms, they really help to move the quilt about whilst stitching.

You can see more pictures of quilting in progress HERE.

Now just in case you think that my quilting was perfect and went without incident, well as you can see mine does have the odd little bit of bunching....... so if that happens to you, either grab your seam ripper and try again or if it's just a little imperfection, grab a cuppa and move on, believe me when it's all completed, you will not see this little blip, it is after all handmade and none of us are perfect!!

The final step this week is to trim away the excess wadding and backing fabric so that they are even with the edge of the quilt top and that's it you're done!  Next week for the final instalment we'll be adding the binding, so I look forward to seeing you then and don't forget so that I can take a peek, if you share any pictures on Instagram or Facebook please do use the hashtag:


Happy Quilting!


  1. Really useful tips. Thanks!

  2. What a great post. Honestly, brilliant. I havemade the mistake of quilting all in one direction (luckily only on a pencil case) and it pulled and distorted the rectangle shape so it makes sense to go from the middle and then in opposite ways. Also 4" spare?? What a fab idea, I have been a bit caught out there too on more that one occasion. I have cut 270 HST's, next stage to cut the borders for eac block but will definitely be visiting again. I need to know about binding toooo pretty pleeeease!!!

  3. First of all your are so right about the blips, if there wasn't a big circle and an arrow I wouldn't have noticed your blip at all!! Your tips are of course wonderful and invaluable as they have been all the way through. I have purchased some batting for my quilt top, so now that you have shown the next steps I really have no reason not to start do I! I am going to tie my quilt first of all and then do some hand quilting, but now I understand the order of how to do things and so on that will really help me. Thank you so very much and as Jo said above, binding too pretty please with a cherry on top!!!!! xx

  4. Hi what your Instagram account?
    Want to try this - looks adorable


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