Sunday, October 20, 2013


I wasn’t in a hurry to get my Sudoku lap quilt made, but I didn’t know it would take me quite this long, either.  I do have to remember that I took a vacation for almost 2 weeks as a disruption.  But I finally finished it this past weekend. Yea!!!!!

To bring you up to date ….

In part 1 of my tutorial, I cut the squares, gave each pattern a different number, and then laid the quilt top out using a Sudoku puzzle that I had fun completing.  Sewing the squares together into the quilt top didn’t take too long.

In part 2, I went over to the church and used the room that Blankets of Hope uses because I could put two big tables together to layer the quilt top, the batting, and the backing and make sure all the layers were straight.  Pinning them together, I brought it home to start the machine quilting. 

In deciding how I wanted to machine quilt it, I knew I wanted to enhance the idea of the Sudoku puzzle ... and 9 sets of the 9 different prints.  When I machine quilt, I usually "stitch-in-the-ditch" and sew diagonal.  That is what I decided to do with this one.

I first "stitched-in-the-ditch" (stitching along the seam line on top as closely as possible) along the dark lines dividing the top into 9 quadrants.  (I didn't stitch on the outside edge.)

For a guide to sew the diagonals, I used scotch tape.

and stitched.

After I finished the machine quilting, I still hadn’t decided what I was going to use for  the binding.  I really liked the 105 – inch wide batik that I found to use for the backing.  (I didn’t need that much…actually only half that much , but I decided I would just cut it in half and make a “fat half” and then I could use the other half for another project.)  I considered piecing scraps from the 9 prints I used for the top to make binding, but I didn’t want any competition from the binding with the quilt top.  

Janice suggested using the backing but if I used any of the other “half” that would mess me up using it for another lap quilt.  Then one day I was looking at it and realized that I had left more than enough around the edges to just bring the backing over to the front and use it for the binding. (Sometimes things come to me slowly.)  So that is what I did.

The first thing to do was to trim the batting.  I could have simply cut it using my scissors but I wanted to make sure it was “square”.  To do that, I would need to use my rotary cutter and ruler.

I pulled the backing back as far as I could and taped it. Since I would be trimming away the batting from the front side, I wanted to make sure the backing wouldn’t get cut.  (I had machine quilted to the edge of the quilt top.)

After that was done, I cut the backing ¾ inches wider than the quilt top.

At my ironing board, I folded the raw edges back to the quilt top and pressed.

Pulling the folded “binding” over the quilt top, I pinned the binding down and hand stitched it down with a blind stitch.

How to make a hem using a blind stitch:

Thread a smaller needle and knot only one end to have a single thread.  Run the needle through the hem about ¼ inch as closely to the edge (fold) as you can.

Insert the needle in the “quilt” under the “hem” area slightly behind where the thread comes out and bring the needle up just past the thread and pull taut.
Insert the needle as close to where the thread came out and run the needle through the hem about ¼ inch as before.
Just keep repeating working as close to the fold edge as you can.

What to do when you come to the corners when wrapping the backing  around to use as the binding:

(Side 1 will be the side you are coming from with the hem.  Side 2 will be the side “around the corner”.)

Lay your work on a flat work surface.  Open out the “binding” on Side 2 while keeping the binding on Side 1 folded and laying against the quilt.

Finding the edge of the quilt under the binding, fold the excess binding along the edge of the quilt on Side 2 forming a diagonal with the binding.

Refold the raw edges of the binding on Side 2 along the press line.

Fold again the binding down so that the binding on Side 2 makes a perfect miter with Side 1.

After I finished the hem, I stitched “in the ditch” as closely to my hem as I could so that it would look finished on the back.  It also made the binding "pop" which gave some dimension to the binding.

Clipping all my threads (mainly on the back from the machine quilting), my Sudoku lap quilt was finished.

Here are the 9 prints in one of the quadrants.

The view from the back...


  1. Love the colors of this quilt! Love the backing material! You have inspired me to get started on a quilted wall hanging...we just moved into a rented house with tons of white walls begging for color. :)

  2. I love your easy tutorials for me a beginner!

    1. Thank you so much L RH. I love doing them. I am especially glad they are helpful to you as a beginner. Beginners like you are usually my target audience when I write them. Thanks for letting me know. If you ever have a question, please ask.

  3. I've used this technique on many projects and have never been disappointed. Great project and tutorial!

    1. Thanks Bonita. It certainly help me not stress out so much when making a simple quilt with just squares.