*No Sewing Machine Quilt - Learn to Make a Quilt Without a Sewing Machine

I first coined that term back in 2001 and posted very primitive pictures of my then 10 year old son making a "No Sewing Machine" quilt as a gift for a cousin for Christmas.  Until I can get more sophisticated pictures made, these will do just fine.
It really doesn't matter how big a quilt top you buy even if you don't have a sewing machine - you can still turn it into a quilt.  So go ahead and buy that antique quilt top you have been drooling over.
Step one is basic: laying out your 3 layers: backing fabric, batting (your choice, but I always use Warm 'N Natural unless I am making a teeny tiny dollhouse quilt or sometimes framed stitcheries) and of course your quilt top (anything from a plain piece of fabric, to a cheater quilt top to an antique quilt top.
Make sure you leave a good amount of backing fabric  outside the edges of the quilt top (we'll call it a quilt top whatever you  use).  The larger the quilt, the more you should leave, just in case the quilt bunches when quilting or tying.  Below is a fat quarter piece of fabric; I allowed about 2 1/2 inches of backing fabric all around 4 sides.
****Note the "right" side (or the "pretty" side) of the fabric is face down on the table****
The "wrong" side (the "ugly" side) is facing upwards and will be hidden when we layer batting and quilt top.
As you can see I've done this a few times, so I was a little skimpy about how much batting I left around the edges in some places - don't you do that if this is your first time.  Quilts (even the smallest) bunch up when quilted or tied.
The missing step I have not pictured was basting the quilt through all 3 layers.  I generally like to baste my quilts in a cross-hatch pattern.  Some quilters use safety pins and don't baste.  I generally hand quilt without a hoop of any kind, so I like to baste my quilts thoroughly to keep them from sliding around as I quilt.
****A strong point in favor of Warm 'n Natural batting is that it helps to "grip" the backing fabric and quilt top.***

**I also forgot another step to picture!!!!!!  You have to actually quilt or tie your quilt through all 3 layers once you are done basting or pinning!  How much quilting or tying you do depends entirely on how much use the quilt is going to get.  If you plan to machine wash and sew the quilt, do make sure you quilt it in lines of approx. 2 to 3 inches apart (the Warm 'n Natural Company says 4", but a little closer to be safer).  If you are going to tie the quilt, I have found crochet cotton to be the best thread for tying a quilt - floss has a tendency to unravel even before it reaches the washing machine.  Crochet cotton if you double knot it tightly holds up very well.  Make sure you place your "ties" fairly closely if you plan to machine wash your quilt.  There is no shame in tying - in fact for a "One Yard" or "Fat Quarter" quilt meant for a short life span for a baby, it is an easy and fast method to complete a quilt that can still be machine washed and dried.**

So everything has been laid out, you have basted or pinned all the layers and now you are going to trim the batting even with the quilt top:
Trimming Complete:

The easiest and fastest way for the next step is to use one of the large clear rotary cutter rulers, a rotary cutter and trim the excess fabric.  Opinions differ on this.  My own opinion is - once cut off, you can't glue it back on.  As you can see, I trim to about 1 1/4".  There are alternate methods.
**However, if you are going to make a few quilts, break down, wait for the 50% of coupon and get yourself a ruler and if you have to, wait another week and use another 50% off coupon for a rotary cutter.**

You WILL be glad you did.

The alternative method - Two Ways:
Start by lining up your ruler (either a clear one assuming you don't have a rotary cutter) or an opaque ruler to the correct mark - in this case I recommend 1 3/8".  The pictures do show 1 1/4", but after thinking about it, there is a lot of room for error in this method and like I said, you can't glue it back on afterwards.
Marking the dots with an opaque ruler and pencil

Using one of the above 2 ruler methods, go around all 4 sides and mark your dots close together; when you have finished - connect the lines.  Obviously you will need to cut with scissors because if you had a rotary cutter the above method would be unnecessary.

The fun part is next - rolling over the edges of the backside quilt: the goal is that the backside of the quilt becomes the binding visible on the front side of the quilt - sort of like a frame.
Here are some steps from my son "rolling and hand sewing using a slip-stitch":

Corners are tricky and there is no "ez fix" - just practice over time; you are actually going to be manipulating folding over 2 different sides at the same time so the raw edges on both sides are tucked in.  Notice my son has stopped his slip-stitching pretty close to the edge of the quilt before he starts the rolls for his corner:
You almost need to be an Octopus - trying to roll, hold and stitch at the same time:
*****Notice he is slip-stitching the 2 open sides together - that allows for strength and durability of the quilt since this quilt was meant to be washed.*****
Corner Finished: continue slip-stitching around the quilt, treat each corner the same.
**The last corner is the trickiest; I would recommend you begin your initial slip-stitching somewhere in the middle of one of the sides - if you begin too close to that last corner, you will have a harder time folding in all the layers together - no wiggle room.

Please visit my shops for cheater fabric and quilt tops and please support my puppy fund.
Thanks you!!

The below picture is an example of a "No Sewing Machine Quilt" using one fat quarter of fabric.  It is displayed on a VERY large toddler size doll which is wearing a 12months/1T size dress.

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