today i made a throw blanket (60"x45")!! out of chevron fabric of course because i'm sure i'll never get tired of it...it was actually easier than i anticipated, until i got to the binding anyway. definitely need to work on binding... but it turned out pretty well for the first time i've ever tried binding a 'quilt'. putting it together was pretty quick too-it only took me a couple hours.
-fabric for the front and back (roughly 3 1/2 yards total)
-fabric for the binding
cut your fabric down to the same size as your batting-my fabric was 54" wide but if your fabric isn't wide enough you can trim the batting down or just double up. you will want 1 piece for the front and 1 for the back (i used the same fabric for both). then lay you pieces out-bottom up:
back fabric-right side down
front fabric-right side up
pin all three layers together-it helps if you have a non-carpeted area to pin on otherwise you might end up pinning your blanket to the floor... now check the info on your batting-mine said i could sew up to 10" apart but this may differ depending on the type and quality of your batting. i ended up sewing about 6" apart (or along every 3 zigzags) so that's where i put my safety pins. (quilting pins are basically the same as safety pins but they have a slight curve to them that makes this process somewhat easier-but regular safety pins work too.)
with all three layers pinned together it should already look pretty much like your blanket-now for the actual 'quilting' part. again i decided to sew along the zigzags so they were pretty easy to follow-but you can pretty much make it up as you go-you can use a more loopy pattern or even actual shapes. now that i'm thinking about it, it could be cool to make a solid pink one with a heart design sewn in it. anyway, i don't have a quilting machine i used just a regular sewing machine and it turned out fine.
next, the binding-so halfway through cutting the strips i realized that i was actually doing it wrong...it's better to have your binding cut diagonally through your fabric rather than perpendicular/parallel to the fibers. you can find a really good post about why this matters and how to make your own binding here. next time i think i'll try the continuous binding method... also i wanted my binding to be 1" thick so i cut the strips to be 3".
now to iron the millions of feet of binding you just made...i ended up cutting a strip of card stock about 1"x3" and folded it half and then folded each side in 1" so that it would mimic how i wanted my binding to be. i pressed all the binding fabric in half then wrapped card stock around the fabric strips and used it as a guide-the folds will help pull the fabric in place. you have to stop and adjust occasionally but it's still faster than pressing one side up 1" then pressing the other.
instead of sewing the back in place and hand stitching the front, i just sandwiched the blanket material inside of the binding and sewed all around the quilt. this way you only have to do it once but you have to be really careful your binding is properly pressed and lined up as you sew. when i came to the corners, i would sew all the way to the end, back stitch 1" (or the width of your binding), lift the foot, and miter the corners. once you pull the binding along the next side the fabric should pucker up on the corner, just pull it over (toward the side you've already sewn) and it should form a neat fold. now you can put the foot back down and continue sewing.
and that's it!! who knew a throw blanket could be so easy...?