Please welcome my fellow Air Force wife, friend, and former neighbor and running parter, Alicia, who is sharing an awesome quilting tutorial today! Learning to quilt has been on my to-do list a long time and with something this size, it seems more manageable doesn’t it? Read on to learn how to make this quilted taggy.
My name is Alicia and I am a craft addict, Air Force wife, fitness buff, and mommy! I have two beautiful boys and with all the testosterone floating around I have to take my need to make girly things out on blog-land with my blog at Two Kids and a Blog.
One of my passions is quilting. It can be super intimidating and so I have come up with this small project so that you can get your quilting toes wet! This project uses all the techniques you would use in a full size quilt but it is a small and so hopefully much easier.
So let’s go ahead and get started. What you will need for this project is a small amount of several fabrics. I used brown, yellow, and red.
- Three red strips that measure 2″ x 6″
- A brown square that is 3″ x 2″
- Four yellow 2″ squares
- A handful of yellow strips 2″ wide and 6-8″ long
- A 14″ square for the back
- A 2.5″ x 60″ strip for binding
- Several pieces of coordinating ribbon
Once you have your strips cut you will start by making the center of the square. Take your two balloon pieces, I used red for my balloon, and line the yellow squares up on the edges as pictured below. You can pin them in place, or if you are lazy like I am you can simply press them down. I would recommend that you use pins throughout this project if you are new to sewing or if you aren’t confident in your ability to keep everything lined up as you sew. Throughout the tutorial you will always want to use a scant 1/4″ seam.
Once you have lined them up and pinned or pressed the square in place you will want to put your ruler over the top of each yellow square and draw a diagonal line. This is the line you will be sewing on so make sure that it is lined up nicely with each corner of the yellow square.
The lines should point down towards the outer right on one strip and towards the outer left on the other strip (below).
Sew along your pencil mark on all four squares. Trim the excess off leaving a 1/4″ seam and press the seam to the dark side of the fabric. Don’t skip these steps. Pressing is one of the most important parts of quilting!!
Next we will add our first taggy ribbons to the piece. Take two strips of ribbon and fold each side in making an arrowhead shape as pictured below.
Pin this ribbon facedown on to the top inside edge of each red/yellow balloon piece.
We will work with one side at a time, pin the remaining red strip right side down over top of the ribbon.
Sew these two pieces together using a 1/4″ seam. Press the seam to one side.
Now pin the other side right sides together to complete the balloon. Sew and press.
Once you have pressed the piece flat you will need to trim it up. You will constantly be squaring up the piece in order to keep it crisp and clean. I put my ruler along the seam I just made and use that as a straight edge to trim the outer edges. The piece will not necessarily be a square you just want it to be straight all the way around. This also gets rid of the excess threads.
Now we are going to start adding strips to the edges. Each strip should be 2″ wide and go the entire length of the side you are adding it to. If you don’t have a strip that is long enough just sew two together (you will trim any excess off when you square the piece up again.) You can see below that I had some excess which is not a problem.
Once you have added one strip around the entire balloon you will want to make the basket portion that goes underneath the balloon.
I used a 2″ x 3″ brown strip and sewed a yellow strip onto either side.
Pin this right side down to the strip below the balloon. Line up the brown piece with the center strip of the balloon so that it is straight. Again there will be some excess yellow on either side that you can trim off once it is sewn in place. We are also going to add our next piece of ribbon. I used a 1″ piece of velour ribbon. Fold it in half and place the raw edges along the seam that you are going to sew.
Sew, press, and trim.
Now we will do one more round of yellow strips around the entire piece. Make sure that you do the sides and then trim and then the top and bottom (or you can do the top and bottom and trim and then the sides.) This way you will always be sewing straight lines and not having to join corners. I added some white ribbon to random places on my square. I used the same method as above folding the ribbon in half and placing the raw edges in line with the edge you are about to sew. I made them big loops and then tacked it down in the middle to make two loops. You can add ribbon anywhere you want on the piece now that you see how easy it is to add them in. Square up the edges and the top is complete!
Now you will line the top piece up on top of the bottom piece wrong sides together and pin them. Make sure that the bottom piece is about 1 inch bigger all the way around than the top piece. I don’t like the stiffness batting gives a taggy blanket so I have opted not to use it. If you want to add batting you would simply cut it to the same size as the back piece and pin it in between the top and bottom pieces. This is entirely a personal preference.
Next, you will quilt the two pieces together. I have made a video to show you how simple this is! You will need to put the quilting plate on the feed dogs of your sewing machine as well as switch out the foot and replace it with the quilting foot if you have one. I am demonstrating a stippling technique. It is basically like doodling with the sewing machine by drawing a squiggly line all around. You will want to start in the middle and work your way out. Make sure that you avoid the pins as well as the ribbons. Just pull the pins as you go. Move your piece around keeping the top flat. When you start you will want to pull the bottom thread through with your first stitch and then stitch in place to create a knot. You can trim these two threads before you actually start sewing to avoid having to move the long ends out of the way (as I had to do in this video!) You don’t have to use this stippling method. A small piece like this is a great place to try out different quilting techniques.
Quilt all the way around. You can overlap a little onto the excess bottom piece to make sure that the top is secure all the way around. Use a rotary or scissors to cut the excess backing off leaving the front and back flush with each other.
The last step is to add the binding. Sew your 2.5 inch strips together until the whole piece measures 60 inches. Press the entire strip in half wrong sides together. Line up the raw edges with the raw edges on the back of your piece.
You will not pin all the way around just place one pin several inches from the beginning of the binding. Do not start near a corner, start in the middle of one side. When you start sewing, sew 1/4″ from the outside of the binding and start several inches in (where you placed the pin.)
Sew almost all the way to the corner. Stop sewing 1/4″ from the bottom and back stitch to hold. Cut the thread and fold the binding away from the piece to form a triangle.
While holding the triangle in place fold the binding back over itself and line the raw edge up with the next side of your backing.
Begin sewing again at the very top edge of piece.
Sew the rest of the way around forming each corner in the same manner. When you have formed the last corner you will want to trim any excess binding leaving just enough to tuck into the few inches of binding you left un-sewn at the beginning. Sew the rest of the way around.
Now that the back of the binding is sewn you will turn the piece over and fold the binding over covering the raw edge. If you want you could add more ribbon at this stage depending on how many tags you want on your piece, I elected not to add more. Pin in place. The corners should make a nice miter if you have sewn them correctly on the other side. Many people like to hand sew the front of the binding in place. My personal preference is to simply machine stitch it in place on the top as well. I am way too excited at this point to pull out my needle and thread and spend hours finishing!
Sew all the way around either by hand or with the machine, trim any excess threads and you are finished!
I hope this sparks your quilting interest and gives you a good introduction into all the different steps that go into a quilt. Enjoy!
Thanks so much Alicia for such an awesome post!
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