What is it that’s so appealing about hanging quilts? There’s something about a blanket hanging on the wall that really warms up a room. This is my second attempt at quilting, first attempt at designing a quilt from scratch and while many of you serious quilters will laugh (Pati!), I’m pretty happy with the way it came out.
We were so lucky to get a beautiful quilt from the ever-talented, Leah (I say “we” but it really was a present for Jackson) but the Baby Boy would not leave it alone while I was trying to change him! I finally had to take it down and let him lay on it while he plays. I was really sad about taking it down. I know the beautiful Paper Airplane blanket is fulfilling it’s original purpose but I love it so much! What if he poos all over it?!
So, now there was a big ol’ blank space above Jack’s changing table that desperately needed to be filled and even though I had a million other really important things to do (including everyday personal hygiene stuff), I decided to design a quilt for him.
The quilt itself is super easy. It’s just basically a series of bars sewn together to eventually make up Zak the Robot (the name came to me while listening to Ben Folds.) And the back may go down as the easiest (read: lazy ass) quilting ever, you’ll see what I mean when you get to that part of the instructions.
Feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions with my extremely juvenile attempt at a quilting tutorial!
Zak the Robot Quilt
– 1 yard white soft flannel (should be more then enough)
– 1/2 yard grey fabric (more then enough)
– 1/2 yard various other fabrics (used for detail and back)
– small bit of black fabric (for eye iris and fuel gauge)
– quilt batting (of your liking, I used an organic cotton one)
– black double-fold bias tape (1/4 in. wide)
– red double-fold bias tape (1 in. wide)
– black embroidery floss
– heavy interfacing (optional)
Instructions for Front:
1. Cut out all the pieces of fabric according to the chart shown here. The blue lines are hand embroidered after the front is put together.
2. Assemble the bottom row by first sewing together the white and grey boxes to make the arm segments. Attach the arms to the body and white fabric boxes, following the order on the chart. Press seams as you go.
3. Move onto the next strip and attach the small grey box to the larger white portions. Press seams.
4. Just as you did with the arm segments, sew together the wite and grey strips of fabric to make the ears. Attach ears to the rest of the fabric boxes. Press seams.
5. Spread out all the assembled and cut strips to check that the edges line up.
6. Sew strips together by lining up the top edge of the first strip with the bottom edge of the second (right sides should be facing.) Press seam.
7. Continue upward until the entire front is assembled.
Instructions for Front Detail:
1. Iron back the edges of the white rectangles (eyes) 1/4 inch. Pin and sew in place on the face.
2. Iron back the edges of the black squares (irises) 1/4 inch. Pin and sew in place.
3. Cut out 6 squares of accent fabrics (1.25″) and assemble the mini-quilt.
4. Cut a 2.75×4 in. rectangle from your heavy interfacing, trim mini-quilt to fit and sew together. (optional – but it makes it a ton easier to sew the bias tape to the mini-quilt)
5. Sew bias tape around edge of mini-quilt, folding end under before finishing. Attach to body.
6. Cut a 3.75 in. circle out of the white flannel and black fabric.
7. Cut the black fabric in half, place 1/4″ below the middle line of the white circle and sew in place. Flip right side out and iron seam down.
8. Cut a 3.75 in. circle from your heavy interfacing, trim fabric circle to fit and sew together (optional – once again this is optional but don’t say I didn’t warn you how much easier the interfacing makes it!)
9. Sew bias tape around edge of fuel gauge, folding end under before finishing. Attach to body.
10. Embroider the antanee, mouth and fuel gauge detail with black floss.
(You’ll really have to excuse the instructions for the back! I pretty much just cut out a bunch of strips of fabric, shuffled them until I liked the pattern and then sewed. It’s not perfect but it’ll work!)
Instructions for Back:
1. Cut out two 20×4 in” strips from six different types of fabric.
2. Sew strips together to make up 8 rows.
3. Sew rows together to make up entire back.
4. Embroider a sweet little message into the corner (see below.)
Instructions for Final Assembly:
1. Pin the front, batting and back together. Use all your pins if you have to. When in doubt, pin some more!
2. Sew around the outer edge of the robot.
3. Sew along all the horizontal lines (meeting but not crossing the lines you just sewed around the robot.)
4. Remove pins. Cuss loudly when one pricks your finger.
5. Sew bias tape around edges. Now, the proper method would be to first sew down the front part of the bias tape then sew around the edges again (wonderfully explained by the Angry Chicken) but I was in a hurry (finished this the day of his Naming Ceremony!) and just sewed it all down at once. Very quick and easy but you have to make sure you’re catching both sides of the tape at the same time! I added another row of stitching for decorative purposes.
6. All done! Now give it to your favorite little boy or girl and hope that they don’t poo all over it immediately!