Ohhh is it football season already? Yaaaaay…
While I’m not much of a football fan (sorry, I’m a girl and would rather be sewing and petting kittens), my people back home… New Orleans, that is… live, breathe, and eat it. I understand the fun of getting together and tailgating or drinking and eating yourself into a football induced stupor, I just can’t get into the game.
But my dad always has been and always will be a Saints football fan. So when his birthday came around not too long ago, I couldn’t help but make him a one-of-a-kind Saints hanging quilt… thing…. to put on the wall!
This is slightly different but similar to the LSU quilt I made my husband a couple of years ago. I’ve never made a “real” quilt before and still had no idea what I was doing when I made this, but I took pictures of the process in case you wanted to come up with something similar! Do you want to see how I made it?
Yes? No? Well, either way, here goes:
First I made a run to our local mill end store, SAS to find Saints-appropriate fabric. I literally went through EVERY PIECE of quilting cotton they had stacked (this place is kind of a mess and things are piled sky high everywhere), so this was truly a labor of love! I wasn’t sure what I would find as the Saints aren’t too popular here on the west coast. But thank Breesus I hit the jackpot!
I bought a bit more, but I thought the quilt would look just fine with these 4 fabrics.
I had to have some kind of a game plan, so I doodled some design ideas on sticky notes and note pads and came up with something like this:
So now that I have my basic idea and fabrics, it’s time to dive in!
I first traced the same fleur de lis that’s on my husband’s LSU quilt onto Pellon Wonder Under. Make sure you trace it on the smooth side since that’s the side that doesn’t have the glue!
I then placed the tracing onto the fabric to get an idea of how big I wanted the diamond to be. Remember, we’re just WINGING IT here!
Next, fuse the Wonder Under to the WRONG SIDE of your fabric of choice. My directions read to put a hot, dry iron on it for about 8 seconds. Also keep in mind the image will be reversed, so in my case it’s no biggie but it’s pretty important if you’re doing something like letters. Then, cut the image out! I find it a lot easier to fuse, then cut the shape versus cutting the shape, then fusing, then cutting again. It makes it easier to peel off in the end.
You will peel the W.U. from the fabric, being careful the glue sticks to the fabric. Then, place it onto your fabric and press with a warm iron. I used a damp press cloth (AKA old scrap of fabric) and with my iron on a medium heat setting with little steam, pressed the fabric for about 12-15 seconds.
And voila! You’re fused!
Since my fabric isn’t crazy heavy-duty, I decided to take an extra precaution and iron some tear-away stabilizer onto the back of the fleur de lis.
Next comes my favorite part… applique!!! You can choose just a basic satin stitch to applique your fleur or whatever image you have, but I loooove the way the blanket stitch looks.
Test your stitch out on a piece of scrap fabric first so you have the width, length, etc. that you want. Then go for it! Be careful when approaching curves, I usually do just one or two stitches, then lift my presser foot (with needle down!) and move the fabric slightly to guide the needle on the curves. It takes some time, but it comes out so nicely.
Place the corner pieces right side down onto the focal piece and get sewing! I switched to Frigga for the main construction part since she needs some love, too.
Once you’re done, trim away any wonkiness left so you have a beautiful, straight 1/4″ s.a.! Fake it till you make it, right?
Note how I made my stitch hit the point where your main focal piece and corner triangle pieces meet. Score! I actually did that by pinning horizontally and checking the other side to make sure my stitch line will hit it.
For the final piecing, I made a thick border.
This is where I made a boo-boo. I sewed the top and bottom strips first, which would be fine if you have another fabric. I liked the way the pattern doesn’t break up on these 2 strips, so I actually should have sewn the side 2 strips first.
I wanted the little squares to line up as best as possible, so you’ll see my s.a. markings and placement above.
ANYHOO — sew, trim, press. And you’re done with the front!
I used the main piece as a base to cut out some quilting batting and the back fabric piece. The final measurements turned out to be something like 33 1/2″ x 36″. This is a big boy!
Now we need to make a sleeve for the curtain rod to go trough for hanging! I cut a nice big strip from the leftover curtain fabric. Make sure you cut yours big enough for the rod to fit through, accounting for turning the edges under.
Roll a small hem, press, roll again, press and sew. Now you’ll have an encased raw edge that won’t fray!
You will do the same for the top and bottom edges of the strip.
Next, place the curtain sleeve on the backing, keeping in mind your seam allowances and such when you’ll be attaching everything together. Be careful you didn’t make it too long!
This is where I totally screwed up. I made my quilt sandwich WRONG. I stitched all around leaving a gap to turn, and TRIMMED ALL OF THE SEAM ALLOWANCES. When I went to turn it right side out, I realized my batting was on the outside and my backing fabric was on the inside. What was I thinking?! I guess I wasn’t. So I had to RIP it all out, hating life and cursing my idiocy. I managed to re-sandwich and get close enough to the original seam, thank goodness. Below is what your sandwich should look like, take two.
Bottom – batting
Middle – backing fabric, right side UP
Top – pretty quilt side, right side DOWN
Of course when you leave yourself about a 4-5″ gap, you can reach your hand in between the two fabrics and pull everything right side out. Use a chopstick, scissor tips, or whatever floats your boat to make the corners nice and pointy.
Press the perimeter flat and turn the seam allowances of your “gap” in and press.
Since this is quite a big piece for hanging, it needs to be tacked together somehow. Now for all you cool quilty-people out there, this is where you can go crazy with your free motion stitching and make some really cool designs in your fabric.
For people like me, just stitching around one of the inner rectangles should suffice. For this part, I changed out my bobbin thread to white and kept my top thread black.
And now you can kiiiinda see the stitched rectangle in the center. From the front, it’s invisible!
So what do you think? It looks like a lot of steps but it’s actually pretty easy and goes quickly if you don’t mess up a couple of times like I did. But hey, that’s the beauty in winging it, right?
I like how versatile something like this could be. You could make a Disney themed wall hanging, or cats, CHICKENS?, trains, etc. to go with the interests of the person for whom you’re making it. SCORE!
And who actually uses whom anymore? I totally forgot about that word until I was trying to type the sentence above but didn’t want to end it with “for” cuz that’s just bad grammar. HAHAHA. Whew are we done? OK, we’re done!