Embroidery Library

Lovely Lap Quilt

 

Free project instructions for an embroidered lap quilt

Floral blocks, borders, and corners make a lovely quilt. This tutorial demonstrates several quilting techniques used to make a lap quilt.

I'll show you how to embroider the blocks, assemble the pieces, quilt the layers together, and finish the quilt with a binding. You can use these concepts to make many different sizes of quilts, or quilted items such as placemats, table runners, and tote bags.

Read on for more details!


Free project instructions for an embroidered lap quilt


Supplies Needed:


**2 1/2 yards solid-colored quilter's cotton
(2 yards of one color for blocks and borders, 1/2 yard of another color for remaining blocks and corners)

**1 1/2 yards print quilter's cotton (for borders and back)

**36" wide by 42" high piece of cotton batting (I prefer Warm and Natural brand)

**4 1/2 yards double fold bias tape quilt binding

**Medium weight cutaway stabilizer

Supplies Continued: 

**Temporary spray adhesive

**Air-erase pen

**
Rotary cutter and cutting pad

**Straight edge

**Nylon monofilament thread (for quilting in between blocks and borders)

**Cotton or polyester sewing thread (for quilting outer borders)
 



Special Project Notes:

There is a bit of science that goes into making a beautiful finished quilt along with all the amazing art. Below are helpful tips to ensure your quilt is as lovely as it can be.

Fabric and Batting: Choose a high-quality quilter's cotton for the best results (I use Kona cotton). Use 100% cotton batting and fabric, as the fabric must press well with a hot iron. 100% cotton fabric will not scorch or melt.

Pre-wash: Pre-wash and dry quilter's cotton, as it's prone to shrinking.

Design Choice: Quilter's cotton is light, so choose designs that are lightweight and open. Redwork, toile, vintage-stitch, and simple designs are excellent choices. The article Fabrics 101: Embroidering on Quilter's Cotton is a great resource for your projects that include quilter's cotton.

Stabilizer: To avoid puckering, and to avoid large holes in the quilter's cotton, use one piece of medium-weight stabilizer. Do not use more than one piece; the needle will dull quickly, and you'll see larger needle holes left in the fabric.

Needle: A 75/11 sharp needle stitches a nice crisp design.

Designs Used:
I used the medium size designs from the Blooming Block Party Design Pack, the medium size of the Flower Quilting Border (Single Run), and the medium size of the Flower Quilting Corner (Single Run) designs.

Finished Size:
36" wide by 42" high


Free project instructions for an embroidered lap quilt

Preparing Center Blocks

I began by measuring and cutting my 12 center blocks. I prepared each block using the following steps. With an air-erase pen, I drew a 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" square on the solid-colored quilter's cotton.


Free project instructions for an embroidered lap quilt

Then I measured and marked the center of each square by measuring and dividing by two. Where the lines cross is the exact center of the shape.



Free project instructions for an embroidered lap quilt

I like to use templates to position designs, so I created paper templates of my designs by printing them at full size with embroidery software. If you are new to using templates, click here for a quick tutorial.


I trimmed the template around the design, poked a hole in the center of the template, and aligned it with the center point on the fabric, making sure the design fit well within the shape. There should be at least 3/4" space between the edges of the design and the edges of the shape.

 



Free project instructions for an embroidered lap quilt
 

Spray a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive, and smooth the fabric on top. Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together by lining up the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric.




 

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so the needle is directly over the center point on the fabric, and embroider the design.




 

After the design finished, I cut out the shape by unhooping the fabric and stabilizer, and laying the fabric flat on a cutting pad. To keep a clean, straight edge on my blocks, I used a straight edge and a rotary cutter when cutting them out. This is important because the straight edges will help all the shapes line up perfectly when they are pieced together.

I did not trim the stabilizer away from the backside of the design like I normally do. Quilter's cotton is thin, and the edges of the trimmed stabilizer may show around the edges of the design. So I always leave the stabilizer in place on the backside of the embroidered blocks.

Repeat the design marking, hooping, and embroidering process for a total of 12 blocks. I embroidered 6 designs on one color of the solid-colored quilter's cotton and the other 6 designs on another color.




 

Assembling Center Blocks

When all 12 blocks are complete, it's time to put them together. To assemble the top row of blocks, I laid the first three in a row next to one another, right sides facing up.




 

Then I aligned the left block on top of the center block, right sides together, and pinned in place along the left side. Then I lined up the right block on top of the center block, right sides together, and pinned in place along the right side.




 

I sewed a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges only (generally almost all the seams in a quilt are 1/4" seams).




 


It's important to press the blocks to ensure that they fit together exactly as they should. I laid the blocks flat and pressed the seams open with an iron. Don't steam the fabric -- set the iron on "cotton fabric" (the high setting) and press without steaming. Steaming the fabric can stretch, shrink, or distort the blocks, causing them to line up improperly. Repeat the pinning, sewing, and pressing process in the steps above to create a total of four rows.




 

I placed the rows together how I wanted them, aligning the top row on top of the second row below it, right sides together, with the seams and edges lined up together, and pinned in place.

I tacked the seams together by sewing a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge (just at the seams). Doing this makes sure the fabric will not push around when sewing the final seam, causing the seams to become misaligned. Then I sewed a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge all the way across.

I repeated this process, working down to each row, aligning the next row on top of the row above, lining up the edges of the fabric and the seams, pinning in place, tacking the seams, and then sewing a 1/4" seam across the entire pinned edge.




 


Preparing Inner Side Borders

Now it's time to prepare the inner side borders. I cut two pieces of the print cotton fabric to 1 1/2" wide by 24" high. Then I laid the assembled blocks flat with the right side facing up. I lined up the border fabric along each side, right sides together, pinned in place, and sewed a 1/4" seam along the side edges only. And then I pressed the seams.




 


Making Embroidered Borders


To make the embroidered borders, I drew a 6 1/2" wide by 3 1/2" high rectangle on the solid-colored cotton fabric. Then I marked the fabric and embroidered the designs as I did for the 12 embroidered center blocks in the steps above. First I marked the center of the fabric by measuring and marking the center of each side, then drawing lines connecting the marks.

I hooped the fabric, loaded and embroidered the design. When the design was finished, I cut out the shape with the straight edge and rotary cutter. I prepared a total of 14 embroidered border pieces by repeating these steps.

Preparing Corners

I also prepared four embroidered corners by first drawing a 3 1/2" by 3 1/2" square on the solid-colored cotton fabric and embroidering them as I did for the blocks and borders. After you've embroidered the corner pieces, set them aside. You'll add them to the borders a bit later on.

Assembling Embroidered Side Borders

Now I can assemble the side borders. I laid out the border pieces (four for each side) how I wanted them, end to end. Then I put them together just as I did for the rows of center blocks, sewing them together with a 1/4" seam.




 

Adding Embroidered Side Borders

Next, I added the embroidered borders to the assembled block/side border piece, right sides together. I aligned the edges of the fabric and the seams, pinned in place, and tacked the seams in place with a 1/4" seam. Then I sewed a 1/4" seam along the entire side edges, and pressed the seams. 




 

Adding Inner Top and Bottom (Print Cotton) Borders

To add the inner top and bottom borders, cut two pieces of the print cotton fabric to 26" wide by 1 1/2" high. Align the borders at the top and bottom of the assembled block/side border piece, right sides together. Pin in place, sew a 1/4" seam along the top and bottom edges only, and press the seams.




 

Making Top and Bottom Embroidered Borders

Next I put the top and bottom embroidered borders together. I laid out the border pieces (three for the top and three for the bottom) how I wanted them, end to end. I assembled them as I did for the embroidered side borders earlier, stitching them together with a 1/4" seam.




 

Cut four pieces of the print cotton fabric to 1 1/2" wide by 3 1/2" high. Align them at each end of the assembled embroidered border pieces, right sides together, pin in place, and sew a 1/4" seam along each end only. Press the seams.




 

Adding Embroidered Corner Pieces

I aligned the embroidered corner pieces at the end of each assembled border piece, right sides together, pinned in place, sewed a 1/4" seam along each end only, and pressed the seams.




 

Adding Assembled Top and Bottom Border Pieces

Next I lined up the assembled border pieces to the top and bottom of the quilt-in-progress, right sides together, pinned in place, and sewed a 1/4" seam along each only. Then I pressed the seams.




 

Preparing Outer Print Cotton Borders

To prepare the outer print cotton borders, cut two pieces of fabric to 28" wide by 1 1/2" high for the top and bottom pieces. Add the side borders first and then the top and bottom borders as you did earlier for the other border pieces.




 

Adding Outer Thick Borders

I added the outer thick borders (I will quilt these borders later) by cutting two pieces of the solid-colored cotton fabric to 4 1/4" wide by 34 1/2" high for the side borders, and two pieces to 36" wide by 4 1/2" high for the top and bottom borders. Add the side borders first, then the top and bottom borders as you did earlier.




 

Adding Batting and Back

Now it's time to add the batting and the back. Lay the print fabric flat, right side facing down. Next lay the cotton batting on top of the print fabric. Then lay the assembled block piece on top of the batting right side facing up. This is your "quilt sandwich." Pin in place and trim the back fabric and batting by cutting around the shape of the block piece.




 


Quilting Layers Together

To quilt the layers together, I put nylon monofilament thread in the needle and regular sewing thread in the bobbin, and sewed along the existing seams of the blocks and the borders, working my way from the center out as much as possible. This prevents the layers from pushing around and pinching the fabric. When I was finished quilting around the blocks and borders, I sewed a 1/2" seam around the entire outer edges of the quilt.




 

Quilting Outer Borders

To quilt the outer borders, I used embroidery designs to bind together all the layers. I used the Flower Quilting Border (Single Run) and the
Flower Quilting Corner (Single Run) designs. I printed templates of the designs and arranged them on the outer border how I wanted them.

I spaced the designs equal distances from one another, with 3/4" from the inner edges of the designs and the inner edges of the border. I poked a hole in the centers of the templates and marked the center points as well as the axis points.




 

Next, I removed the templates and drew lines connecting the marks. I hooped all the layers together (you don't need stabilizer) by lining up the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric.




 

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so the needle is directly over the center point of the fabric. I embroidered the design with polyester sewing thread in the needle and regular 70 weight bobbin thread in the bobbin.

You can use cotton sewing thread if you like. And, you can use regular polyester or cotton thread in the bobbin, too. Regular sewing thread is a little heavier than embroidery thread, so the result is a bit more textural. Repeating the hooping and embroidering process for each design.




 

Finishing With Binding

Now that all the quilting is complete, it's time to finish the quilt with the binding. Wrap one end of the bias tape binding (around all the layers) near one of the bottom corners and pin in place.

Continue wrapping the tape around the entire outer edge of the quilt, pinching and folding the corners over as you go to form an angled "mitered" corner. When you reach the start of the tape, fold the end of the tape over 1/2" and overlap the start of the tape about 1/2". Sew a 1/4" seam along the entire inner edge of the tape. And your lap quilt is complete!




 

A lap quilt blooming with a whole garden of colorful blossoms brings home decor to life!

Products used in this Project: