Last week the super sweet Stay Gold & Spark Panel fabric by Melody Miller for Ruby Star Society arrived in the shop.
I loved this fabric as soon as my fabric rep showed it to me, even though I normally detest any and all panel fabrics!
I’ve been a bit of a fan girl of the Ruby Star Society girls since they were designing as Cotton + Steel. Their flare for bright and modern art without crossing the line into gaudy designs that quickly age and go out of fashion, really caught my attention. The colour palettes and tones they choose are on trend and easily match with not only their own complementary ranges, but also a lot of other fabric ranges on the market too.
Melody has chosen to feature 40 of her favourite designs on 40, 8.5 inch blocks from her 10 years of fabric designs. If you look closely, you’ll notice Melody’s notes along the edge of each block, explaining why that particular design sits close to her heart.
The panel itself measures 44″ x 72″ (183 x 115cm) and is 100% quilting weight cotton.
I’ve seen the panels cut out and displayed in gorgeous frames, fussy cut for appliqué and also included in more complicated quilting patterns. I however, loved the simplicity and idea behind just sewing it together as a whole cloth panel quilt. There’s almost no cutting, and you can whip it up in a weekend!
STAY GOLD & SPARK PANEL QUILT TUTORIAL
– The Stay Gold & Spark Panel
– 190cm Backing Fabric – We used Meadow Mandala Slumber
– 50cm Binding Fabric- We used Grid Dot – Rose
– 183cm x 115cm Bamboo-Cotton Wadding/Batting (you’ll want to make sure to use a good quality bonded wadding. Some waddings will require your quilting lines to be closer together, and as the quilting lines are around 8 inches apart on this quilt, a quality, bonded wadding will hold together better as the quilt ages and goes through several washes!)
– 1 Ball of Wonderfil Eleganza Perle 8 Thread – We used #2109 – Poppy
– Quilting Needle – You’ll want to use a needle with a sharp point and a wide eye for the Perle 8 thread to fit through. We used a Size 20 Chenille needle.
- To start, you’ll need to cut the selvage edges off the sides of the panel fabric, and the backing fabric. Don’t cut back too far, as this will decrease the width of your quilt and eat into the square blocks along the edge of the panel.
- Now you’re going to make your ‘Quilt Sandwich’. Take your backing fabric and lay it right side down. Take your wadding and lay it over the top of your backing fabric. Finish by adding your quilt panel to the top, right side up.
- Making sure that all of your edges align, you now need to keep all three layers of your quilt sandwich together by “Basting” your quilt. You can do this by pinning your layers together at regular intervals with safety pins; or you may choose to stitch large tacking stitches through your layers, working several lines both vertically and horizontally across the quilt. The main thing to remember is that your layers should NOT move!!!
- You can now enjoy a nice cuppa while you sit back and hand quilt along the lines between the blocks. We used the beautiful Wonderfil Eleganza Perle 8 Thread with a Size 20 Chenille Needle. We love the look of the hand quilting using a thicker thread, but you may also choose to machine quilt yours!
- Trim all of your quilt edges so that they are straight and line up evenly.
- You now need to make your binding. Take your binding fabric and cut into 2.5″ strips. You’ll need 7 strips in total. Remove the selvage edge from any strips. Sew all of these strips together at the short ends, to form one long strip. You can sew these together as a straight edge, or as 45 degree angle join. Do not press these seams open, but rather to one side. Now iron your long strip of binding in half, all the way along, to form a 1.25″ strip.
- Take the end of the binding and open it up and fold approximately 2″-3″ inwards and then fold closed again on the ironed fold, creating what looks like a casing for the end of the binding to slip into when you come back around at the end.
Start sewing the binding in the middle of one side, aligning raw edges of binding to the raw edges of the quilt. Leave approximately 2″ of the casing end that you’ve just made unstitched. Stitch your binding through all layers of the quilt, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.
To create a mitred corner of bias on your quilt, stop sewing approximately 1/4″ before you get to the corner; Backstitch a few stitches and remove the quilt from your sewing machine. Fold the binding upwards so that the folded back binding creates a 45 degree angle fold. (Image A) Hold this fold in place and bring the binding back down on top of the fold in line with the quilt edge and start stitching at the top of the fold, continuing to sew the binding to the quilt. (Image B)
When you get to the end, pause sewing approximately 1″ before the end. Cut the binding with enough length for approximately 1″ of the binding to be encased in the binding at the start. Cut the binding and continue sewing the binding to the end.
Once all of the binding has been stitched on, fold the folded edge over to the back of the quilt, mitre the corners and hand stitch the binding in place.
And that’s it, it’s as easy as that!
You might choose to add a quilt label to the bottom corner at the back of your quilt before gifting it to a loved one, or you might just cuddle up underneath it yourself! Either way, it’s time to stand back and admire your stitch-y handiwork!