I have a quilt made by my grandmother that often adorns my bed in winter. When I came across the “Granny’s Delight” quilt in Kathreen Ricketson’s new book, Whip Up Mini Quilts, it struck a little chord in my heart. I love the idea of quilt making as a way to pay tribute to grandmothers everywhere, whether they are grandmothers who are savvy with a needle and thread, or not. Kathreen is the driving force behind one of my favorite craft websites, Whip Up, and her new book is an inspiring resource for quilting pros, as well as the tentatively quilt-curious.
This mini quilt explores childhood memories of “Nanna” — of toast and tea served on mismatched china, of false teeth and handmade doilies on the dresser. This quilt is a cheeky homage to grandmothers everywhere. It is designed for you to create your own version with different design elements — teacup, false teeth, and granny silhouette — to embroider or stencil. It’s a perfect project for personalizing, so feel free to make your own templates that reflect your memories of your grandmother.
- Seam allowances are all 1/4 in (6 mm).
- Use the photograph as a guide for placing the design elements — or place them as you like!
- Dye the doily, the binding fabric, and embroidery floss using the tea-dye if you want that vintage look.
- Decide which method you will use for the design elements — stenciling or embroidery or both. If you are embroidering, use three strands of embroidery floss.
- Instructions are given for finishing this quilt in two different ways. However, the materials list is just for making one quilt.
This quilt is nice and easy. It requires simple piecing of the quilt background, along with just enough embroidery to add a little bit of a challenge. The quilt also requires some screen printing or stenciling.
How much hand quilting you do and the type of binding you choose will depend on your level of skill and enthusiasm.
Supplies You’ll Need:
1⁄3 yd (30.5 cm) patterned quilting cotton fabric
1⁄3 yd (30.5 cm) solid quilting cotton fabric
1⁄2 yd (46 cm) muslin for backing and binding, either tea-stained or unbleached
16 x 20 in (40.5 x 50 cm) 100 percent cotton quilt batting
16 in (40.5 cm) mini rickrack braid in complementary color
Embroidery floss, or thread, in contrasting color
1 or 2 skeins white and tea-stained, or variegated beige, embroidery floss
Doily, either vintage or new
Rotary cutter, transparent ruler, and cutting mat
Iron-on transfer pencil or carbon paper
Freezer paper, craft knife, fabric paint, and sponge brush for stenciling (optional)
Chalk or embroidery transfer pen
Decorative elements: Tea dyeing and stenciling.
Hand stitches: Backstitch, chain stitch or stem stitch, running stitch, split stitch, French knots, and whipstitch or blanket stitch.
Binding: Pillowcase method or mitered corner binding.
For the yellow quilt:
- Cut one 13 1/2 x 7 1/2 in (34 x 19 cm) piece of patterned fabric.
- Cut one 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in (34 x 26.5 cm) piece of solid fabric.
- Cut one 15 x 20 in (38 x 50 cm) piece of backing fabric.
- Cut one 15 x 20 in (38 x 50 cm) piece of batting.
For the brown and pink quilt:
- Cut one 14 1/2 x 10 in (37 x 25 cm) piece of patterned fabric.
- Cut one 14 1/2 x 9 in (37 x 23 cm) piece of solid fabric.
- Cut one 16 x 20 in (40.5 x 50 cm) piece of backing fabric.
- Cut one 16 x 20 in (40.5 x 50 cm) piece of batting.
Cut 2 in (5 cm) strips of the binding fabric to make approximately 2 1/2 yd (2.3 m) of double-fold binding.
Assembling the Quilt Top
- With right sides together, sew the two pieces of fabric for the quilt top together with your sewing machine and press seams open. Machine or hand sew the mini rickrack braid over the seam you’ve just sewn.
- If you are embroidering your motif design elements, trace your teacup, granny, and false teeth motifs from the templates onto the quilt top. You could use an iron-on transfer pencil or carbon paper to do this. Embroider around the perimeter of the designs with the embroidery needle using an outline stitch of your choice, such as back stitch, chain stitch, or stem stitch. Alternatively, if you are stenciling any of the motifs, then trace the template with freezer paper, cut out the design carefully using a craft knife and iron the design in place. Once the stencil is in place, sponge your fabric paint over the stencil, using thin layers and waiting for them to dry in between, until you have a result you are pleased with. You may need to set the fabric paint with an iron — please be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions first.
- At this point, decide whether you will do a pillowcase binding or a traditional binding. If you are using the pillowcase finishing method, as on the yellow quilt, follow the instructions here. Once you are finished, hand sew a simple running stitch in a contrasting thread or embroidery floss color around the perimeter of the quilt.
- If you are using a traditional binding, as on the brown and pink quilt, assemble a quilt sandwich (backing face-down, batting and quilt top face-up) and safety-pin baste the layers together. The binding will go on at the very last step.
Finishing the Quilt
- For either quilt, the next step is to add any additional hand quilting or embroidery and
- Using the tea-stained or beige floss, embellish the patterned fabric with running stitches, split
stitches, French knots — whatever suits the pattern on the fabric.
- Pin the doily to a corner of the solid fabric, and attach it to your quilt with a whip stitch or blanket stitch around the edge to hold it in place. Sew on your button.
- At this point, if you used the pillowcase finishing method, press with an iron set for hot steam, and
- If you chose to do a traditional binding, then you still need to attach the binding. Follow the double fold mitered corner binding instructions here.
Thank you to Kathreen Ricketson and the good folks at Chronicle Books for sharing this project with us. For more small scale quilting projects, check out Whip Up Mini Quilts.