How to Make a Whole Cloth Quilt

By Kate Lee
Make a soft flannel raggedy quilt for a child.

When most people think of quilts, they think of sewing together pieces of fabric as patchwork or appliqué. Actually, what makes a quilt is the layers of fabric that are stitched together. You can make a quilt by using two pieces of whole cloth with a layer of batting in between. The stitching you use to sew a whole cloth quilt together is what makes the quilt decorative and unique. The quilting can be as simple or as complex as you like. The stitching will show a lot more if you use plain, light colored fabrics than if you use printed fabric, but both styles can be beautiful. You can do the stitching with matching thread, or thread that contrasts with the fabric to make the quilting stand out even more.

Make a Whole Cloth Quilt

Wash, dry and iron the fabric before using it.

Cut the fabric into two pieces, both the same size and slightly larger than you want the finished quilt. Cut the batting the same size as one of the fabric pieces.

Spread out one layer of fabric right side down on large, flat work surface such as a table or the floor (you may want to use a cardboard cutting mat if you have one). Lay the batting on top of the fabric, then place the other piece of fabric right side up on top of the batting.

Smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric and pin the layers together.

Decide how you want to stitch the layers of the whole cloth quilt together. For a simple quilt, such as a baby blanket, you may want to use a cute shape, such as a heart, as a stitching pattern. Draw a heart on a piece of paper, cut it out and pin it to the fabric, then stitch around the edges of the paper. Unpin the heart, move it to another spot on the quilt, and stitch around it again, repeating this as needed. Make sure that the stitched areas are close enough together to hold the batting in place.

Trim off any excess batting around the edges of the quilt, then finish the edges with a quilt binding.

Tip

If you want to make a large quilt, such as one for a queen-sized bed, you’ll need to sew several pieces together. Cut one of the pieces in half, and sew one half to each side of the uncut piece. This will let you avoid having a seam down the middle of the quilt and make it look more balanced.

You may want to use quilting pins to hold the layers of fabric together. You can find extra-long straight pins or curved safety pins made especially for quilting at many fabric stores.

Warning

Use caution when working with irons, scissors, pins and sewing machines.