Make it Quick & Easy
I am guilty of grabbing a yard stick and laying it over the bed I want to design a quilt over, and then figuring the rest out in my head. I like the freedom to improvise and design as I go, piecing fabric scraps together; however not everyone is comfortable quilting this way, so I’ve listed standardized reference charts below.
Standardized Bedding Charts
For those who prefer to use sizing charts here are two very useful references, charts of standard-size bed and batting (rolls of layered comforter stuffing) from AllPeopleQuilt.com for crib to king-sized quilts . If you need something more visually instructive, with helpful illustrations, try their article “Bed-Size Quilts” .
These bed-sizing charts will help determine how much fabric and batting you will need to construct a quilt from scratch. This is the ideal way to back an embroidered crazy-quilt type of comforter, or any other interesting detail which is easier to do on a single fabric thickness, but is not necessary for several of the quilts below.
Quilting from Scratch
Fabric selections will be based upon the bed size and quilt style you are planning to create. Following the charts above, the amount of batting (stuffing) and fabric selections are easier to determine. Choose washable, lightweight cotton fabrics for top and bottom layers of your quilt. The batting (stuffing) thickness should be determined by skill level (thin and lightweight for beginners).
Basic Quilt Assembly
Depending on the bed size, begin by stitching the long row (or rows) of fabric squares or patches together, forming top and bottom quilt layers. Lay the batting between both top and bottom layers, pinning or basting into place.
Either turn ends under before stitching all around to encase the quilt, or sew long lines up and down by sewing machine, treating all 3 layers as one fabric. This method will ensure batting stays in place during laundering. Finish by binding edges with a fabric blanket or binding tape.
Embroidered Scrap-Hearts Quilting
Perhaps your fabric-scrap hearts (explained below) are solid colors and you would like to create interesting embroidery stitches, you can do so by creating flowers, or write family member’s names with embroidery floss. Embroider directly onto the pre-cut fabric hearts before stitching them onto your quilt.
Pin the finished embroidered hearts in place onto your quilt, folding the edges under all around the heart. In keeping with the embroidered heart designs, stitch each one in place using embroidery stitches and floss, creating a signature crazy-quilt pattern.
Repurposed Puff-Hearts Quilting
If you have a thick, warm comforter you cannot bear to part with, but it’s in need of repair, then mend and launder to use for scrap-heart quilt background fabric. Using your scrap hearts (explained below) in color-coordinated fabrics, place over and around mended areas, pinning into place.
Pre-cut batting scraps (or other stuffing material) ¼ to ½ inch smaller than the pre-cut hearts, and position underneath each individual heart. Fold the raw heart edges underneath the stuffing, and hand-stitch each one into place.
Or leave raw edges unturned and use a sewing machine, set on a zig-zag darning stitch, to sew around each heart. This will conceal and finish the raw edges around the heart, securing them for machine laundering.
If you sew you probably have lots of remaining fabric scraps, or you can cut out hearts from donation clothing, reusing your family’s old clothing. Either fold fabrics in half and cut out half a heart freehand, open up to use as a model size for your other hearts, or create a cardboard stencil to use.
You should probably create a cardboard stencil if you are only planning to use one size of heart, whether 4″x 5″ or 12″x12″. Freehand heart cutting can be fun to present an all-over, multi-heart pattern. Stick with the method you are most comfortable creating, and have fun designing your heirloom heart-scraps quilt.