Map Quest Quilt
- Explore America fabric panel
- 1-1/2 yards solid brown (backing, binding)
- 32x42" 80/20 quilt batting, such as Fairfield Soft N Crafty Cotton Quilter's 80/20 Batting
- Embroidery floss and buttons (optional--see the bottom of the story for ideas to embellish your quilt)
Finished size: 24x34"
From solid brown, cut:
- 1--32x42" backing rectangle
- 4--2-1/2x42" binding strips
Assemble the Quilt
1. Trim the Explore America panel to 1/2" outside of the brown frame lines to make a 24x34" map panel.
2. Working on a flat surface, layer solid brown backing, batting, and trimmed map panel. Smooth fabrics flat.
3. Pin layers together every four inches starting at the center and moving out toward edges. Make sure the layers stay smooth.
4. Stitch or quilt map unit as desired to make map quilt top, removing pins as you come to them. Our map features vertical stitches on the state lines and outline stitches around the country, compass shapes, and Alaska and Hawaii shapes. Make sure your stitching lines are no more than 4" apart to help support the weight of the quilt when you hang it.
5. Trim the excess batting and backing fabric, so the quilted piece measures 24x32".
6. Join solid brown binding strips to make one long binding piece. Fold and press binding in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) to make 1-1/4"-wide double-fold binding strip. Using a 1/4"-seam, sew cut edges of binding strip to outer edges of quilt top, mitering binding at corners. Hand-stitch binding to back of quilt to complete Map Quest Quilt wall hanging.
Embellish Your Quilt
1. Embellish the printed map with colorful stitches and embellishments as a visual reminder of a special trip or important cities. As travels expand across the country, add embroidery stitches to the map to keep the quilted journal up to date.
Note: It's easiest to embellish your quilt before you layer the map panel on the batting and backing fabric (before Step 2, above). Use an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric taut while stitching.
2. Use two strands of embroidery floss for all stitches. The corn, depicting the state of Iowa, is stitched with yellow French knots and green stem stitches. Stack tiny star and two-hole buttons atop state capitols and stitch in place.
3. The hockey sticks, representing all-things Minnesota, are made up of brown, red, and blue split stitches; the hockey puck is from just a few black satin stitches. Use a water-soluble marker to draw the routes traveled between cities or special landmarks. Use white No. 5 perle cotton to make running stitches atop the marked lines. When stitches are complete, remove markings as recommended by marker manufacturer.