Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Stitched Typography Quilt Tutorial : :

A Stitched Typography Quilt Tutorial

I created this quilt for my son Jacob and wrote the tutorial to first share on the Janome Project Center here, as a Janome Independent Designer. It's a Quilt-As-You-Go style quilt, made with log cabin style blocks, including a simple and fun applique, and stitched typography created using the built-in text stitches in the Horizon Memory Craft sewing machines! This is definitely my most favorite style of quilting!

Janome Supplies Required : :

Fabric and Materials Required : :
  • a variety of fabrics cut into fat quarters ( I used blacks, greys, and whites)
  • twin size cotton or another 100% natural fiber batting
  • black & white thread
  • typewriter fabric or another fabric for fussy cut applique
  • a light weight iron-on fusible interfacing (HeatnBond Lite)
  • fabrics for the quilt backing and binding
  • rotary cutter/mat/ruler set

* Notes * 
  • Synthetic batting is not suggested, I only use a natural batting. It is important to be able to press the batting with a hot iron and steam. 
  • Low-loft batting is preferred.
  • Quilt blocks can be made in any pattern and size..
  • Have fun with your quilting, this is the perfect time to experiment with new stitches or Free Motion Quilting!
  • This method does not include the quilt backing fabric. I like to add my quilt backing at the end, to avoid hand-sewing, which is really hard on my hands.

Black & Whites + Ruby Star Shining

Making a Log Cabin Style Block : :

1. For this quilt tutorial, I made off-centered log cabin style pieced quilt blocks. To make the blocks for the applique and stitched words, begin with a piece measuring a 7.5" square. Using fabric strips in widths varying from 2" to 4" add each new "log" working around that first square. I cut my strips (logs) longer as I went, trimming back after each piece has been added. Continue until you have a block measuring a 17" square

step 1
Step 2

Applique Block : :

2.  Prepare the applique pieces by following the light weight iron-on fusible interfacing directions

step 3

3. Remove the interface backing and position applique piece in the center of the block, then press with a hot iron to set  4. Baste the quilt block to a piece of batting measuring at least a 17.5" square  5. Sew just inside the raw edge of the applique piece, attaching it to the quilt block and batting layers 

Step 4

6. Add the quilting stitches, removing pins as you go, if you pin basted. For my blocks, I quilted with straight lines, using the edge of my presser foot as my spacing guide. If needed, you can mark where you want the quilting lines with a disappearing ink pen before hand. I like to be more improv and free with this type of quilting. I often change directions and make up the quilting pattern as I go

0 Quilting stitches

7. Using a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat, square up the quilted quilt block by trimming away the excess batting to measure a 16.5" square block

quilt batting trim

Stitched Typography Block : :

8. Make another log cabin block, this time beginning with a 7.5" square in a white fabric, building out until you have a 17" block. 9. Baste this block to a piece of batting measuring at least a 17.5" square

continue making blocks

9. Using the built-in letter stitches in the Block style, plan out your text. I used special little sayings and song lyrics that are meaningful to me and my family. Add the text, moving slowly across just that first white square, until it's filled in with the text

stitched typography

10. Continue making the log cabin style blocks, adding both the applique and text to the centers, as well as making several blocks with only a variety of solid and print fabrics. For a throw size quilt measuring 48" x 64", you'll need 12 - 16.5" blocks

continue making log cabin blocks

Joining the Quilted Blocks : :

11. Place two quilted quilt blocks right sides together, matching up all ends and pin in place. Sew together on one side using a 1/4" seam allowance

step 5

12. Using a very hot iron with steam, press the back seams open

press seams open

13. Continue sewing together the quilted quilt blocks, pressing all seams open as you go. Press the quilt top front as you go, as well

back side

B & W QAYG Quilt top

Quilt Backing, Basting, & Binding : :

14. Piece together fabrics for the quilt back to measure a large 49" x 65" piece, and baste to the quilted quilt front.  I love using 505 basting spray for this, however pin basting works just as well

step 6

15. Working your way down from the top of the quilt to the bottom, with a stitch length set at 3, simply sew about 1/4" to maybe 1/2" from the seam lines (when adding this stitching it IS recommended that you do use a Walking Foot). I continued this for both sides of each seam running from the top of my quilt to the bottom, as well as side to side. The photo on the right is an example of what these stitches will look like from the back side of the quilt

step 7

16. Finally, bind the quilt using your preferred method, and Voila! Your Typography Quilt is finished!!

Typography QAYG Quilt
Quilt back

If you've given this tutorial a go or plan to, be sure to share on my Facebook page or in my Maureen Cracknell Handmade Flickr group! I'd love to see it!!    Maureen 


  1. That typewriter is still one of my favorites! Great job:)

  2. This is an awesome quilt! Thanks!! =D

  3. I love the method of quilting and attaching the backing fabric that you show here. I'm a little confused on how many lines you sewed to attach the backing fabric to the quilt top though. Just one stitching line around the perimeter of the quilt or are there more lines. I can't tell from the photos. If you could help me out, I would really appreciate it. I don't sew quilts because I don't want to hand quilt that large of a project. Your method sounds like a great solution to me.
    Thanks so much and I also want to say that your quilts are amazing. Every one I see is a work of art!
    Have a great day!

    1. I explain that in step # 15. Working your way down from the top of the quilt to the bottom, with a stitch length set at 3, simply sew about 1/4" to maybe 1/2" from the seam lines (when adding this stitching it IS recommended that you do use a Walking Foot). I continued this for both sides of each seam running from the top of my quilt to the bottom, as well as side to side. The photo on the right is an example of what these stitches will look like from the back side of the quilt

      Thanks Christine!

  4. Great quilt! LOVE those typewriters!! I really need to try your quilt as you go method.

  5. I love the idea of "writing" on the quilt. I bought a Janome MC6600P a couple of months ago and have the ability to write on fabric. I've finished two quilt tops (for twin granddaughters) and wanted to add a special message to the quilt. This is such a great idea. Thanks.

    I am also attempting to make the back as interesting as the front so the quilts will be truly reversible.

    Great blog. I've been following (and lurking) for a while.


    1. Thanks Patti! I love your note idea, how special! I'm glad to see your Janome has the capabilities, I really should get a list of all the machines that can write and add that above.

      I've made one quilt so far that I would consider truly reversible and I ended up liking the back better than the original front! :)

      Thanks again!

  6. Gorgeous! I am in love with this quilt!

  7. Love the typing on the quilt! And, the pops of color with the appliques!

  8. Your QAYG technique is the best one I've every seen and I'll definitely be trying this one. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  9. I need to try this! Amazing quilt!

  10. This is such a fabulous quilt. Thank you for the thorough tutorial. It just gave me great inspiration for our youngest child's final preschool culmination quilt project this spring! Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

  11. Such a great tutorial. I love your quilt so much. I just recently made a quilt with log cabin. These are so addictive.

  12. I have a Janome Horizon 8900 and you can "write" with it, up to 9mm in width. I used it last week to make "gift tags" for my grandchildrens Christmas gifts. I wrapped their toys in pillowcases I made, and ran a fabric tie through a buttonhole on the gift tag. It was a good learning experience. I had to make sure I had stabalizer and backing behind my cotton fabric. I presume since you had the batting behind your white squares you had no trouble. I find the writing gets bunchy without stabalizer or some sort of backing. I would be tempted to do mine on the square BEFORE inserting into the block, just to be sure I can easily repair and replace if need be.

  13. Yay I have this machine, when I first read the supply list and it listed the machine I was thinking how specific but I was also jumping with glee since I have the machine and love it. What's a perfect tutorial for it. Thanks for sharing now all I need to do its figure out to do this.

  14. Very creative and fun! I haven't tried a quilt-as-you-go approach before, but will definitely try this in the future. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Such a fun and graphic quilt. I'm actually doing a second QAYG using your method - I love how well it's turning out so far. I'm using it on the Houndstooth quilt pattern from V & Co. Hopefully it gets done in time for Christmas!

  16. Hey, I love this quilt and want to give it a try! I'm not very good at quilting mathematics though. :-( how many fat quarters would I need for the quilt top this size? Thanks

  17. I really love what you do wonder how did I miss your blog

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