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How to make a giant cheater quilt

Posted by Lisa Leleu on

Who doesn't like to snuggle up on the sofa, with a nice, soft (and warm!) blanket during the colder days? And who doesn't like a blanket, featuring your favourite colours, animals or even food?

I sure do! That's why I made this giant cheater quilt, that measures 300 x 270 cm! 


First of all: what is a cheater quilt?

A cheater quilt is a quilt, made from a pre-printed patchwork design, which means you will not have to sew all the small pieces of fabric together.

To make this cheater quilt, I used Spoonflowers Fill-a-Yard fabric, with, of course, KMLeon designs! You can find those designs here:

Spoonflowers process to create Fill-a-Yard fabric can be found here:

I do recommend you create a collection first, with all of your favourite designs. Go to your account -> 'Collections' -> Click on the big '+' and give your new collection a name. Then, go to the search bar on the top, and search for 'KMLeon', the results will show all available KMLeon designs. You can add a design to your new collection by clicking the '+' button on the top right side of every design. 


Why did I use a fleece backing?

I used a minky fleece backing for this quilt, purely for the warmth and the cuddly factor it would give the blanket.


What do you need to make this awesome quilt?

First of all some basics:

-fabric scissors (or very sharp scissors)

-measuring tape

-sewing thread (I used white, as I used a lot of different colours in the quilt and because the fleece backing is white). Pro tip: make sure to make fill up a lot of bobbins before you start. I filled about 6 beforehand.

-sharp pins


Other essentials:

-sewing machine

-6 Fill-a-Yard pieces of fabric (all of them were 1 yard/90 cm). Make sure these are washed and ironed before use!

-3 m of minky fleece fabric (I ordered this one from Le Chien Vert:

This fleece it is 220 cm in width, which means you will not have to sew pieces of fleece together, but use one big piece.

-strong coffee




 Now on to the real work!

1. Pin the pieces of fabric together, 2 by 2, so that you get 3 pieces of 3 m in width and 90 cm in height. Make sure you line up the designs as perfectly as possible, because you will sew them together on the border of the design and the white border, where the design stops.

Pro tip: the fabric is a bit transparent, which will help you to line the pieces of fabric up, especially if you hold them up to the light.

Make sure that directional designs are facing the same direction. You will pin them right sides together, but make sure to check the direction first!

2. Sew those 3 pieces together, exactly on the line between the fabric and the white border. 

3. If you have a serger, you can serge the pieces you have sewn together. If you don't and you want to finish your seams neatly, you can use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

4. Iron all of the seams you made to one side, so that they are nice and flat and do not add too much bulk to the quilt.

5. Pin the 3 pieces you created right sides together, the same way you did before and make sure to look at the correct direction of the fabric.

6. Sew them together, again, on the line between the fabric and the white border. 

7. Serge or zigzag the seams.

8. Iron the seams nice and flat to one side. You now have one large piece of fabric. 

 9. Lay out the fleece fabric and put the fabric on top (wrong sides together: fabric with the designs up and fleece with the good side down). Make sure everything is nice and flat and without wrinkles. Put the fabric on the fleece, so that you have 15 cm of fleece left on the top and the bottom and 5 cm on both sides.

10. Pin one side of the length and one side of the width together.

11. Sew the fabric to the fleece, exactly on the line between the fabric and the white border. 

12. Once you have secured one length and one width, you can start sewing the individual squares. The easiest way of doing this is doing all horizontal lines first and then doing all of the vertical lines. To make sure the fabric is lined up perfectly with the fleece, I pinned every row of fabric on the the fleece.

Pro tip: as you get closer to the middle of the quilt, you will have a lot of fabric that has to pass under your sewing machine. Not all machines have a lot of room on the right of the needle, so rolling up the right side of the quilt will make your life much easier!

13. Now that the fabric is fully attached to the fleece backing, you can finish the edges of the fleece. To do so, firstly, cut off 10 cm of the fleece fabric from the top and the bottom, so that there is 5 cm of fleece left all around the main fabric. I serged those raw edges of the fleece, but you can also use a zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine. Next, fold over the fleece onto the right side of the fabric, overlapping the print by a couple of mm's. Fold the unprinted (white) part of the fabric inside the fleece, because that will give the border some reinforcement. Pin the border in place. Start by doing this on two opposite sides and leave the other two unpinned for now.

14. Sew the fleece border onto the fabric and make sure to sew as close to the edge as possible. 

15. Fold the open edges in the same way as you did in the previous step and fold the corner on top of the edge that you already sewed. Pin everything together to secure.

16. That is it! Make sure to check for stray pins, because you will have used quite a lot of them and you really don't want to leave any behind!

Now enjoy your blanket!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you will be able to make your own cheater quilt! 

What kind of designs would you use? Which colours do you prefer? Let me know below!


Any questions about the process or the fabric, let me know!


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