I am a sucker for bedding, I can’t help it. I have always loved quilts and eiderdowns: you know those completely useless mini duvets that lay on top of your bed looking pretty! It magically turns a boring bed into a beautiful bohemian gypsy haven, and as a bonus it keeps you warm in winter. After a relatively mild winter last year, Florence, my youngest, needed one pronto so I decided to get to work…
I did look at some beautiful offerings like this one, or this one, but my budget didn’t stretch that far. I just had to make one myself. Now, if you’ve had a baby in the last three years, chances are you have tried to swaddle your newborn with one of those giant muslin squares, am I right? I unsuccessfully tried the swaddling thing too and was left with three barely-used giant muslins knocking around. I mean, they did a great job as a sunscreen over the pushchair but that was about it. So I decided to turn my already useless swaddle blankets into a quilt! An Heirloom Quilt no less! One she will cherish for the rest of her life. And it has sooo much meaning already, I mean, it was her swaddling blanket after all (you see where I’m going).
1. Two giant muslin squares like these
2. Piping or decorative trimming, about 5m
3. Wadding, about 1.5m
4. Embroidery thread in a contrasting colour
5. Tassels, bells… optional
6. Thread, pins, needles, sewing machine
1. Start by ironing and cutting your muslin squares so they are the same size. Don’t assume they will be the same size! I totally tried to cut corners and didn’t check. I paid for it later on…
2. Take one of your pieces and pin the piping (or other trimming) along the edge of the fabric, right side up. You will need to snip little bits around the corners to make a nice turn, see below. Don’t bother trying to make it into a square angle, it just won’t work.
3. To join the piping, just overlap it in a slight angle, it will make a little V, see below.
4. Sew as close as possible to the piping edge, all around your fabric.
5. Now put your second piece of fabric over your piped piece, right side against right side, and sew over it, leaving a 15cm opening at the end.
6. Turn inside out and carefully iron your cover. Now cut the wadding to the same size and stuff through the 15cm opening.
Huummm no, you’re not colour blind, my piping miraculously changed from gold to silver! And yes that’s the reason why YOU SHOULD ALWAYS MEASURE YOUR FABRIC before starting your project.
7. With a safety pin secure all the layers in the centre, so the wadding won’t move while you finish up your quilt.
8. Pin the opening and hand sew to close neatly.
9. To quilt my blanket, I decided to use the star pattern and hand stitched around each of them with embroidery thread. It’s a circular pattern which helped with the ‘closing’ of the quilting. You must start on a point and make sure you finish on the same point so you can knot the loose ends and cut. The end of the stitch will be hardly noticeable.
10. I finished off my quilt with tassels and a bell on each corner. You can make your own tassels by using simple sewing thread and this technique.
Photography & styling: Clementine Larvor