Okay, I worked on this blanket all day yesterday and still did not get the binding on! But other than that I am done, so we will call it successful.
The first thing I did after having finished the quilt top was smooth out the back I chose on the floor or other large surface.
Now it is time to add the batting. Here is the batting I chose. I also chose to use two layers of batting so that it wouldn't "feel" like there were 6 pounds of beads in there, but this also makes for an even hotter blanket, so I don't know if I will do that for my second blanket or not.
Spreading the batting out over the backing is the next step. It is very hard because you match the corners up and then you have to try and keep the backing from wrinkling up under the backing. It can be very annoying.
You then lay your top out over the other two layers (much easier) and pin it down everywhere. You sew three of the four sides, then sew lines up quilt on the seams vertically so that you have 10 long lines going up where your squares were.
Next you measure out your beads. I had 6 pounds or 96 ounces and I had 130 squares in my quilt. This means I need to divide 96 ounces by 130. This gave me about .74 ounces per square. I have a kitchen scale and I just alternated between .7 and .8 ounces in my squares since it doesn't go that precise, using a cup to pour in. I also shoved a broom handle down the holes so it would open them up a bit more.
Once you have beads in all 13 holes you shake them down to the bottom and I would like to suggest using straight pins to try to keep the beads where they belong. You need to sew a line along the entire row, horizontally, where your squares ended on your quilt top. The beads will try to move up on you and I will be honest. I broke 6 sewing machine needles making this quilt, and also my floor is covered in stray ones that kept flying out. It was frustrating.
After you have sewed the horizontal line, pull the pins out, and then repeat filling the next 13 squares, and sewing the horizontal lines, until the entire quilt is full of beads. This will take much longer then you might imagine. I think the pins holding the beads in place will help though. I didn't think to do that until my last row. So much for brain power. The last step is the binding, which I have not done yet because the beads were secure enough and Alex couldn't wait to sleep with his. On the bright side, he took no melatonin last night and was asleep in less than 10 minutes for the first time in several months!
Even his sister thought it was comfy!!