Instructions for making a quilted bedspread

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A quilted bedspread not only keeps you warm on a cold night, but also adds a decorative cover to your bed. The idea of making a quilted bedspread is daunting to many people who have never quilted before. However, using a few simple techniques, even an inexperienced quilter can turn a few pieces of fabric into a successful quilted bedspread.

Measure the top and sides of the mattress where you'll be placing the bedspread. Take into account how low you want the finished product to hang off the edges of the bed. Add 5 cm (2 inches) to each measurement to allow for the seam and for extra fabric to work with.

Choose a panel fabric that matches your room's theme. For example, if you are using daisies to decorate your bedroom, look for a daisy panel. If you are decorating your room in animal prints, look for a panel in zebra or leopard print. Panels are pieces of fabric with a set image on them. The panel is the centre of the bedspread.

Cut four strips of fabric to attach to the centre panel. These will be the border for the quilt. Depending on the size of the centre panel, the amount of fabric you need to add borders varies. Determine how much fabric you need on all four sides of the panel to reach the measurements. Choose fabrics that match the centre panel in either patterned or solid colour.

Turn your panel fabric face down on your work surface. Place the border pieces of fabric on the four sides of the panel. Use straight pins to attach the panel fabric and the border fabric together with a 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance.

Use your sewing machine to attach the panel fabric and border fabric together. Remove the straight pins. This is the front of your quilt.

Make your quilt back by cutting squares of fabric in your chosen fabric colour scheme. You need enough squares that when assembled they equal the size of the front of your quilt. A good square size is 20 cm (8 inches). Place the squares together in the desired pattern and attach them using straight pins with a 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance. Attach the squares together using a sewing machine. Remove the straight pins.

Cut a piece of cotton batting to go between the front and back. The size needs to be 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) smaller than the front and back pieces. Place the cotton batting on top of the front of the quilt, while the quilt is lying face down. Place the quilt back on top of the batting, right side up. Centre the three pieces.

Baste stitch to attach the three pieces together. This holds the batting in place while you finish the quilting.

Use your preferred quilting method to quilt the three pieces together. Either use a sewing machine or hand stitch. Stitch across lengthwise and in the direction of height in the pattern of your choosing. For example, random lines, stars or squares are viable stitching patterns. Remove the straight pins. Also remove the basting stitches at this time.

Cut the binding into four pieces that equal the length and width of the quilt, plus an additional 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) each to for seam allowance. Fold the binding edges in 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) and put them around the edge of the quilted bedspread. Secure the binding while you work, using straight pins.

Sew the binding to the quilted bedspread using a sewing machine. At the corners, fold the binding under and sew over the folded area to secure it.

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