Updated: Mar 16
Oh Help, Oh NO, It's a Gruffalo! I felt inspired to sew as soon as I saw this new Gruffalo collection from The Craft Cotton Company.
The Gruffalo is one of our favourite books to read at bedtime, so I knew I was going to need to sew plenty of things in it. My first thought was a quilt so I thought I would take it back to basics with this tutorial but with a few fun twists. I have also made a video on how I binded this quilt. I go into much more detail than you can get from a picture tutorial. If you are new to sewing hopefully you find it helps.
YOU WILL NEED
Iron and Ironing Board
Finished Size - 88cm Square
Seam Allowance - 1/4"
1. Cut the 5" squares as follows:
- Green - 9
- Orange - 9
- Blue - 9
- White Trees - 5
- White - 4
2. Lay out your fabric as per the picture below:
You could of course lay it out in any way you like.
3. First sew your rows together with a quarter inch seam allowance.
4. I have pressed my seams open.
5. Now you are ready to sew the rows together. Start from the middle and work your way outwards, pinning the quilt together at the seams.
6. Now press your seams open.
7. At this point I have done something a bit differently and added prairie points to represent purple prickles. I saw Stuart Hillard add these to a stocking on Kirsty's Handmade Christmas. I had never seen them before, and I knew I had to work out what project to add them to. I had a brainwave as soon as I saw this collection.
In the purple fabric cut 40 3.5" squares.
Press them in half diagonally and then in half again.
8. You need to pin 10 to each side. Start in the middle and place them evenly spaced across each side. They will overlap slightly and that is ok. Leave a 1/4" gap at the end. When you are happy with the placement, pin them and stop stitch them into place.
9. Cut 4 4" wide, full width of fabric strips in the cream fabric. Sew the sides on first and trim the excess. Press the seams to the middle of the quilt.
10. Sew the tops and bottoms on, trim and press.
The quilt top is now complete.
For the quilting I have chosen to sew straight lines either side of the seams. I have done a top stitch just on the inside of the purple prickles and then another 1/4" stitch around the edge. I have used orange thread and backed it with the orange fabric in the collection. The wadding I have used is from Bosal and is a mid-weight cotton blend. I always use safety pins to baste my quilt. You can use regular pins, if you don't have safety pins but I find it much easier to use safety pins because they don't catch, and I get no accidental pricks.
When you have finished, trim edges.
I have done a little video on how I add my binding. I add mine on the machine 90% of the time. This is designed for a baby and therefore I want to make sure it is extra secure and durable. There is no risk of fingers being able to get through stitches like there may be with a hand binded quilt. Plus, it is my least favourite part!
I always make my own binding for quilts, so I talk through how I do that too but, if you prefer a written instruction to follow here it is:
Work out how much you need for your quilt and add a couple of inches for each corner.
Cut 2" strips, full width of fabric. In this case I needed 4. I do not cut on the bias when I am binding quilts because I have no bends to go round.
With right sides together, place one strip horizontally and one vertically, making a 90 degree angle. Sew from one corner to the other, where the fabrics meet.
Trim, press seams open.
With wrong sides together, press your strip in half.
On one edge only, press over 1/4".
Leave a tail and pin or clip tour binding to the wrong side of your quilt.
When you get to the corner, stop 1/4" away from the end. Lift your foot with the needle down and then sew off the edge to the corner.
Fold your binding out so it is inline with the next side you will be binding. Now fold it back so the crease is along the edge you have just binded. Hopefully, that makes sense from looking at the pictures.
Now start 1/4" from the edge, backstitch at the start and keep sewing. Repeat all the way around the quilt.
When you get 3" or so from the end, stop. The two ends need to overlap by exactly 2". I use a spare bit of binding to measure it. When you have cut it, join the ends as you did when you were making it. It should now lay flat and be ready for you to finish sewing to the quilt.
Press the binding to the outside. Flip it to the front and then press your binding into place. You have already pressed this edge over, so the job is half done already. Clip or pin it into place. When you get to the corners, press them as per these pictures.
Top stitch the binding in a coordinating thread. Backstitch at the start and end.
There you have your finished quilt. I plan on doing a Gruffalo themed DIY photo session with Alfie for his first birthday so I will make sure I get the quilt in the pictures. However, my brother and his girlfriend expecting a baby boy in May and I think this will be the perfect baby gift for them.