How to make a Lap Quilt
How to make a Lap Quilt
Lap Quilts can be of any size, but here we have based it on the traditional 12 inch block, usually used in patchwork, this gives us a finished size of approx 48 inches square.
Chose any patchwork block (see our what is a patchowrk block page) of 12 inches square (most designs in block books etc are designed to 12 inches square), you can use a larger block but remember this will affect the finished size of your quilt.
Choose your colours to give you some contrast, but remember to check the fabrics by standing about 4-6 feet away, if any fabrics jump out from the rest then these need to be removed and replaced by something that ‘blends’ better.
Make 9 blocks, these can be the same design or you can choose 9 different ones to give a ‘sampler’ effect, you can simply piece the blocks or you can quilt them at this stage. Arrange them in a way which is pleasing to the eye (3 blocks to a row, giving you 3 rows); join them together.
Once you have made the centre of your quilt you are ready to choose a border fabric. We recommend you cut the border 6 inches wide. You will need 2 strips of 6x36, and 2 strips of 6x48, or you can cut 4x48 and mitre the corners depending on your taste, (we will work without mitred corners for ease).
Attach the 36 inch strips to the sides of the quilt and press, then attach the 48 inch strips to the top and bottom of the quilt and press.
Now you are ready to make the ‘sandwich’. Choose your wadding and backing, we use 4oz wadding as this gives warmth and texture without being too thick, and we use fabric of equal quality and thickness to the top of the quilt.
Press your backing fabric and lay on a large flat surface, lightly spray with temporary adhesive and lay your wadding on the top, ensuring there are no creases on the back. Lightly spray the wadding with temporary adhesive and lay your quilt top onto the wadding. Traditional quilters could omit the adhesive and tack the layers together. We do not recommend pinning as we find there is too much movement in the quilt, and it makes machine quilting more difficult.
Now it is time to choose your quilting design. There are so many to choose from, it is impossible for us to recommend any one in particular. Check the recommendations for your wadding, avoid large gaps as these will result in movement and ‘lumping’ when the quilt is washed. The quilting can be done by machine or hand, depending on individual taste.
Once the quilting is finished it is time to finish off the quilt. We suggest prior to binding that the corners are rounded off, as this gives a smooth neat finish to the quilt. Draw a curve around each corner ensuring they are all the same, (an easy way to do this is by placing a plate on the corner and drawing around it), trim around the curve.
You are now ready to bind your quilt, we recommend cutting the binding at 2.5 inches wide. You will need approx 190 inches of binding, this can be in the same fabric as the border or a contrast fabric. Fold the binding in half, giving a 1.25 inch strip. Attach binding to right side of quilt, stitching along the raw edge of the folded fabric, easing it around the curves on the corners. Leave 6 inches unstitched at the beginning and the end, once you have gone all the way around (except the 12 inches not stitched) remove from the machine and determine the exact length needed to complete the binding. Attach the 2 ends together (from the back), then stitch the last 12 inches to the quilt. Turn the binding to the back and hand stitch in place.
Finally make a label for the back of the quilt and attach, or hand stitch a message.