Who doesn’t get excited at receiving some fabric to work with so I’m hugely thankful to UKQU.co.uk for kindly giving me the opportunity to write this product review for the Woodland Fabric pack generously provided by MAKOWER UK.
Twenty beautiful designs in this magical WOODLAND themed fabric – all that’s missing is the unicorn! Hedgehogs, rabbits, deer, seed heads, grasses, leaf designs and a mix of plain fabrics form part of this charming collection.
A mix of blues, greys, teal and brown soft tones very much set the woodland scene although, instead of the ‘wavy stripes,’ a knotted wood design would may have worked better.
The fabric irons like a dream and it really makes a difference to the overall finish of a quilt as well as the pressing of seams in between. I managed to cut cleanly and accurately through 5 layers of fabric (including seams) very easily with a rotary cutter.
So soft to touch too and each sample was of equal weight and size. It can be bought from a range of suppliers; internet research shows that it is approx. £12.00 – £14.00 per metre and there is an option to buy a Woodland Quilt Kit from some suppliers. The fabric is approx. 44 inches wide (112 cm) and classed as a medium weight 100% cotton. It can also be bought in Layer Cakes, fat quarter packs of 16 (approx. £50); on some websites fat quarters can be bought individually costing approx. £3.50.
So … What to Make?
As always, I struggle to find the right thing to make with the wonderful material in these sample packs and I’m always pleasantly surprised with my results. Not because I lack the confidence in my ability but more about my lack of experience in ‘building’ something different from scratch! Plus, of course, I want to make something that shows the fabric off to its best!
MakowerUK provide instructions for a Messenger Bag and Quilt instructions and you can access this at their website at any time.
Keep it simple is always a good mantra to have so, when trawling the internet, I found this STACK and SLASH quilt design dating back to 2011. An EASY quilt to make for BEGINNERS too.
|What you need:|
Fabric – different colours or chose a themed fabric
|Backing Fabric & Wadding (yardage will depend on the width of these)|
|Contrasting border/binding fabric – 1 or 2 different colours – approx. 1.5 yards||Sewing thread|
The original design used 25 – 9” x 9” squares of fabric and, with borders (2½” & 6½”), it measured 54” x 54” square.
I had 20 – 10”x 10” squares in the sample pack, (2 of each pattern of fabric in a different colour) so this quilt design just shouted out to me as being the one to try. I also used 1.5 fat quarters of contrasting fabric for the inner binding. I’m really interested to find out just how big this quilt top will finish at.
How to make the QUILT TOP
Make a STACK of 5 pieces of fabric e.g. 10” x 10” square; all the RIGHT SIDES must be FACING UP for this to work.
Make the first SLASH – the ‘line of cut’ needs to be opposite sides – either left to right or top to bottom as shown below; either is fine.
Take one half of the top piece of fabric and put it to the bottom – now pair up the ‘halves’ so you have two different fabrics together – like in the picture below.
SEW together using a ¼ inch seam. PRESS.
STACK the ‘sewn’ pieces in same direction of the first cut. then turn 90 degrees in either direction. (You have already shaved ¼ inch from sewing the first seam so by turning it you will ‘square up’ the block and make it easier to trim later).
Using the same cutting principle (opposite sides) as before, SLASH through the STACK firmly (including the seams).
Before sewing mix up the pieces so that you have 4 different fabric pieces on each block, i.e. No repeat of the same colour/pattern in each block. You can see in the example below that block 5 is the only block that does not have the brown woodland fabric in. See if you can spot the others!
SEW seams of ¼ inch as before. Don’t worry about matching either!
PRESS the seams (direction is not altogether important so don’t worry about what the reverse looks like).
REPEAT the above steps creating a different ‘design’ for each block.
Here are the four sets of block designs made using this method (20 blocks in total for this quilt). Just by angling the ruler you can create a range of different design blocks.
TRIM the block to your chosen size – 8½ inch or 9 inch depending on the accuracy of your original block. Because I didn’t flip one set of blocks by 90 degrees I had to cut mine to 8½ inch!
‘PLAN’ your quilt top design.
Lay each piece, alternating between the stacks of blocks. Flip some of the blocks sideways or upside down to vary the overall finished quilt top. Try not to place similar colours/designs together.
TIP: One of my ‘Our Quilty Pleasures’ friends suggested that it’s best to take a photo of what you ‘think’ your final design looks like then look at it again as a photograph. If it doesn’t look right or shows where you have put two of the same or similar colours/patterns together you can change it. Photograph it again and take another look (don’t do it too many times though …)
When your satisfied that you have your final ‘design’ SEW the blocks together across each row using a ¼ inch seam. Don’t worry about any matching – it’s not necessary as the design won’t match up on the seams anyway!
Now SEW the rows together – again using a ¼ inch seam – this is where the ‘quilters’ obsession of matching points kicks in! I just had to make sure that the points where the ‘8½ inch squares’ meet were accurate …. and they were!!
ADD a BORDER– I’ve added an inner border by cutting a 3 inch strip of a contrasting pale blue fabric for the length of the perimeter of the quilt top plus overlap for mitring/joining seams. SEW the strip around the sides and top/bottom using a ¼ inch seam. I’m feeling rather proud of my mitred corners too – first time I’ve made these!
To FINISH – Add the WADDING and BACKING FABRIC. You could add a wider outer border too if desired! QUILT as desired then bind.
I was really surprised by the overall size of the quilt top from what seemed so little fabric! The inner panel measured approx. 32½ inch x 40½ inch, with the inner border of 3 inch at each side it now measures approx. 38 inch x 46 inch (I’ll finish it off at a later date).
Now my head is buzzing with what else can be done with this design … If you’re feeling adventurous try 7 ‘layers’ in a stash … and 3 cuts instead of 2 … smaller ‘squares’ of fabric, a mish mash of long and thin blocks mixed with square blocks – the ideas are endless … and it’s so easy to adjust the size by adding more rows.
I hope you have lots of fun making one yourself – one for the IMPROV selection of quilts too perhaps? Why not show off your own version to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – we Bloggers love to see your creations.
So finally … once again a huge thank you to MakowerUK for supplying this wonderful fabric. It really does sew and handle beautifully. A big thank you to UKQU.co.uk too for giving me this opportunity to review the Makower WOODLAND fabric range.
Happy sewing everyone.