Some time ago my oldest grandson had ask me to make him a quilt. I had made him a baby quilt before he was born, but that was ten years ago. Now he wanted one big enough for a twin size bed. He lives on a farm and I had some primary colored fabrics with whimsical farm animals that would be nice. But how to combine them to make a twin size quilt? Most of my projects are table runners or smaller. However, I had set together two queen size quilt tops with embroidered blocks, so I knew I could do it. I decided to use a simple design and big squares to make the project go faster, and to show off the animals in the print fabrics.
The first thing I did was cut all the animal print fabrics into 8 1/2 inch squares so I could see if I had enough to do the project. I ended up with just enough! The next challenge was to pick out other primary color fabrics to use as frames for each square. If I were to do this again, I might try to find another green fabric to use instead of the brown. The frames for each squares are two pieces that are 2 1/2 by 8 1/2 for the top and bottom of each square, and two pieces that are 2 1/2 by 12 1/2 for the sides of each square. As much as possible, I tried to make sure that each row, vertically and horizontally, had a different colors square in the center. I also tried to make sure that no two squares with the same borders were side by side. I didn’t quite make that work out. I have two places where yellow borders are touching. It is also important to balance lights and darks so that one side or end of the quilt isn’t “heavier” than the other. After I had all the squares made and stitched together, I took the top up and spread it out on a queen size bed. One corner had a lot of dark blue in it and the opposite corner didn’t have any. So I took some of the seams apart and moved some of the squares around. It was a royal pain, but I’m glad I took the time to do it.
I chose dark blue of the inner border to tie all the squares together. I had planned to use a lighter blue, perhaps a print, as the outer border, but when I saw this yellow and blue striped fabric, I knew that was what I wanted. There are online calculators that will help you figure out how much fabric you need for the width and length of border you need. I like to use corner squares rather than mitering the corners. You can also run the strips by, just like you do for the squares in the quilt, but corner squares are more fun.
For the backing, I had a piece of flannel with a cute puppy print, so I added a dark red fabric to the sides and bottom of the piece of flannel to make it big enough. The finished size is about 70 inches by 90 inches. The photo was taken laying across a king size bed.
I knew I didn’t want to try to quilt anything this big on my Bernina, and I had already taken a couple of quilt tops to a local quilt shop, so I trusted Brenda with this one, too. Each frame has continuous swirls and each square has an animal. I’ll post a couple more pictures so you can see what I mean about the animals. There are horses, cows, pigs, bees, ducks, and more.
I had thought about using a dark red for the border, but changed my mind and went back to the dark blue. I stitched it front and back by machine so it will stand up to much use and washing. I still have to make a label, then it will be ready to go.
If you have any questions about how I did this, just leave me a comment and I will try to help!