Friday, July 8, 2011

Sewing Stage Fright

So I finally finished my big queen-sized wool star quilt blanket and the only thing left is to sew a soft flannel backing onto it and now that I'm looking at it I'm terrified. I don't know how to sew! I took it to a master quilter for advice and she said that she wouldn't try it even on one of those big machines with the rollers that are used to back sewn quilts because the wool will stretch as it moves through the machine. It's got to be done by hand.

This is my plan so far and I'm hoping that Stephanie or anyone else reading this will tell me if there is a better way:

I bought a soft flannel sheet that is larger than the blanket. I'm going to take advantage of 2 of the hemmed ends and cut the other 2 sides so that the whole thing is about 3.5" bigger than the blanket on each side. Then I'll fold over 1.5 inches on each side and iron in some of that sewing tape stuff to hold it in place. This will leave me with a square that is about 2" bigger than the blanket on each side. I want that extra play in the material because wool stretches a bit over time and without it the blanket will pucker. Then I'll lay it out on a sheet on the floor and carefully tack the edges and pin or baste it in place. Once that's done I'll move it onto the bed and stand at some horribly awkward angle to hand stitch it all in place right under the edging and try to keep the stitches as even as I can. After that I'll lightly tack the backing down at regular intervals to keep it in place. It will be a little loose at first but will fit more tautly as the wool stretches. Does it sound like I'm leaving anything out?

I'm going to make myself start it tomorrow morning because the longer I think about it the more nervous I get. I suppose that the worst I can do is ruin the flannel or have to spend a day carefully picking out stitches. I suppose that one advantage is that no one will ever question whether or not it was handmade once they see my amateur uneven stitches. Maybe they'll think it's quaint and charming or something cool like that :).

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at


  1. sounds like your doing it right, but sewing is one of the few things I have no clue about!

  2. Well, the first thing that I learned is that it takes a very long time to rip out a whole side if you sew it on upside down. Yes, I really just did that...