Friday, June 22, 2012

{Ruffle-Top Quilt Along} Piecing the Quilt Top

***Update***
If you are here from Pinterest or anywhere else, welcome!
Ok, so this is embarrassing. This quilt is THE most pinned thing from my blog, and it is still not finished! AH! I am humiliated! All I can say is that as soon as it is finished, I will combine every tutorial into one post, and I'll update this post as well. I am so sorry to anyone who has stopped by to see the finished tutorial, and its not up yet! I hope you get the gist of it from what I've posted so far.

A word about the fabric... sometimes at the end of a project, I am so sick of looking at my fabric. Have you ever felt that too? In this case, the opposite couldn't be more true. I am even more in love with my fabric choice now than before I started. The way the colors came together just makes me so happy. I used Verona by Riley Blake. What fabrics are you using?

Let's get started. If you're just joining in, here's my tutorial for cutting your fabric.

So I have 42 squares total. They measure 9 inches by 9 inches. I took a picture of my size 7 foot next to one of my squares so you can get a feel for the size, (kinda random, hehe).

There are 2 ways that you can do the ruffles. I will show you how to do them both. The first is with a ruffle foot, and the second by basting stitches.

STEP 1
Method 1: Ruffle Foot
Here's how I ruffled all my fabric rectangles to morph them into squares with a ruffle foot.
I set my ruffle foot to ruffle every stitch (as opposed to every 6 or 12).

Here's a view of it all threaded in the machine. I bought mine at my local Bernina store, but it is a universal ruffle foot. It was only $20, and I highly recommend it. I know you can easily find them on Amazon.

It's time to ruffle your rectangles to create them into squares! You'll ruffle 2 sides, the long sides. To begin, I just feed the fabric into the ruffle foot and start sewing, trying to follow along the right edge of the foot. I don't backstitch.

Instead of cutting the thread after sewing a square, I pulled about 3 inches of thread, and then fed my next square and kept going. I sewed one edge of each square in this manner, about 10 at a time. This saves a lot of time, and thread.

You'll be creating a chain of sorts. It's ok to sort of scrunch up your fabric to keep it out of your way. The ruffles won't fall out.

Once you're done with one side, flip the row around, and sew all the edges on the opposite side. When you're don't with all your squares, you'll just snip the thread in the middle to separate the squares.

Method 2: Basting
If you don't have a ruffle foot, no sweat. This process is a little more time consuming, but very doable. You'll baste 2 rows along each long side of the rectangle. Set your stitch length to it's longest setting. Do not backstitch on either side. Leave a 3 inch tail of thread on each ends.


Now you'll grab the threads from each end and hold them tight, while pushing the fabric to the middle. You'll gather the fabric until the long side equals the same length as any edge of the muslin square. *Make sure that when you grab the threads, you get either the top threads or the bottom threads (it doesn't matter which, but be consistent), and then pull to gather inward.



Once you're created your ruffles, you're ready to pin them to the muslin square. Line everything up and pin well!


Step 2
Ok, the ruffling wasn't too painful. This next step, the pinning the fabric to the muslin, is what took me forever! (If you did method 2, basting, you've already done the pinning in step 2).

I started by lining up the corners and pinning them together.

Then I pulled the fabric out, until it was flush with the 9 inch muslin side. You just kind of tweak it until the ruffles are even, and pin every few inches. Then you'll repeat this for the opposite side. You'll want to try and keep the ruffles somewhat straight across the fabric, so they're not lined up diagonally.

Once everything is pinned, you're ready to sew down the sides. Replace the ruffle foot with your regular foot, and follow the edge of it at 1/4 inch.

Now you get to pin the straight edges and sew them down, also at 1/4 inch. Eventually, I got smart and only pinned the sides with the ruffles, skipping the pins on the straight side. I pivoted at each corner and just held the unpinned sides taut. This enabled me to sew an entire square without taking it out of the machine.

The final step is to gently press the ruffles. I was careful not to crease them, but a quick swipe of the iron gave it just enough shape. I did the ironing after all my squares were complete. Here is the front.



Here is the back.


Whew, that was a big job!

Step 3
Now the FUN part! You get to lay out all your squares and decide on your layout design. I changed mine about 10 different times until I was satisfied. I am a very symmetric person, I prefer patterns over randomness when it comes to piecing a quilt top, so I made each row the same, but opposite. I had two squares of each pattern, so I worked from the outside in.

 Once you've figured out where you want each square, then you need to lay them out with the ruffles alternating directions. Can you see how mine are lengthwise and crosswise, every other square?

Step 4
Time to sew our rows together! This part went by fairly quick. Focus on one row at a time, place adjacent squares right sides together, and sew at 1/4 inch. I didn't bother with pins on this step.

After I sewed each square together, I zigzagged the seam to edge finish it. You totally don't need to do this, but for some crazy reason, I did. Here's the progress of my sewn rows. This is when I started to fall in love with my quilt. I LOVE IT!!!


Step 5
Once all of your rows are complete, you get so sew them together. Place 2 rows right sides together, and pin.

When pinning them together, take great caution with the seams. You want them to line up perfectly. (Not every single one of mine did. I got a little anal and unpicked a few of my rows and realigned them, but they're still not 100% perfect. This might present a small issue when quilting the quilt)...
To try and get it perfect, I stuck a pin right in the seam. You could even double or triple pin if you're really ambitious (on each side of the seam).


Once it's all sewed up, go press your seams open! Either that, or you can edge finish them. I decided it wasn't worth my time, so the long rows are not edge finished. But since it's a quilt, its not entirely necessary.

Step 6
Ok, time for the borders.
*I sewed all my borders at 1/2 inch, not 1/4 inch. Since there are already 2 existing rows of sewing on your squares, I wanted to be sure to enclose them, so they weren't popping out on the quilt front.

Originally I told you to cut 6 rows 2.5x44 inches. That will work great. I actually changed my mind, and hopefully you have enough fabric if you want to change your mind too. (I had you get 1 yard for this step, so you should have extra. Make sure you save some for the binding too, if you're using this same fabric). I changed my measurements to 4x44 inches. Since I'm sewing at 1/2 inch here, it reduced my border to only be 1.5 inches wide, and to me that looked too thin. So with a 4 inch wide border, after its sewn it will be 3 inches wide, which looks perfect to me.

Alright, take 2 of your long rows, and sew them right sides together, then press open. You will then place these right side down, onto your fabric. Make sure the seams are opposite each other. It will make the seams less obvious if they aren't both at the top or both at the bottom.

Now trim the excess fabric, and save for your next borders. Pin and sew at 1/2 inch.

Press your seams open.

Repeat for the other sides, and ignore my dirty carpet! We just had it cleaned today :)

Alright folks, this is where I stop. You will actually repeat this process once more for the outer larger border. You can make it whatever width you want. I plan to make mine 7 inches. The reason I don't have it pictured, is because I changed my mind on the fabric I want to use. I had a pinkish/blue fabric for the outer border, but I want it to be less girly so I just ordered the same print in the green turquoise. As soon as it comes in the mail, I'll get to work. It's adding more time to the completion of this project, but since I've already spent so much time on this, I might as well use all the right fabrics to get it just how I want it to look!

So I hope you have enough to work on for the next few days :)
Best of luck! I really hope I receive my fabric soon so I can get to work and *hopefully* have the quilting and binding tutorials ready for you by next Wednesday. If I'm not ready by then, keep checking in! I'll get them posted asap! I really apologize that this quilt-along hasn't gone exactly as scheduled!!!

A HUGE thank you to the fabulous Riley Blake for sponsoring this event!
*A super awesome giveaway will be here next week!*
Hint: it involves large squares from a brand new line :)
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21 comments:

Debbie said...

Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for showing how to use the ruffle foot. I've had my for ages and I've been afraid of it. Now I think I can do it and I want to make a ruffle top lap quilt. How beautiful. Your's is fantastic!

Thanks so much for sharing.

Debbie

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

wowza, I can't wait to see it all done!!

Danielle Wagasky said...

Oh my heck lady! I hope you all get better. What the heck a cracked rib. Oww! Let me know if you need anything. I could get you a guest post if that helps:>

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

I think this is one of my favorite quilts ever! So incredibly creative!!

Cherished Bliss said...

Ok, so I mean this in the nicest way possible... I'm SOOO glad you are behind : ) I am too... I haven't even started! I got a terrible toothache and have to get a root canal.. I have a migraine non stop! So yay.. I don't feel bad now! Good thing I'm making a baby doll sized one, hopefully I catch up in time for the party : ) I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it's looking! I can't wait to see it finished! Hope you are having a good start to the weekend!

Christine said...

What an adorable quilt! I love it and thank you for pasting how to make it. Going to give it a try! Thanks

Allyson Butler said...

This looks incredible! This whole quilt along is really making me want to try my hand at quilting!

inspired by family said...

wow, i am in awe! i don't have the patience but it's so beautiful it makes me want to try. enjoy!
mari

aimee said...

this is great i love the texture xxxx

Navy Wifey Peters said...

Nice quilt! I love the fabric in the first pic.

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

this is just gorgeous - the work that has gone into it so far. I am blown away. lovely!

Jill Elaine said...

That is way cool! I bookmarked this and I want to make one for my girls bed. I've been putting off their room makeover - one reason was I just didn't know what to do for a bedspread. Now I know!

Rachel said...

This is amazing! I absolutely love it. It looks like a lot of work, but the outcome was totally worth it. Pinned!
I'd love for you to share this {and anything else you'd like} at my link party. http://adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com/2012/06/terrific-tuesdays-21.html
Rachel

Winnie said...

Gorgeous quilt!!
I'll be honest - I'm not into sewing (My Mom was!), but I just admire your work

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - - you were featured today!!
Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

Erin K said...

Great tutorial! Love the texture the ruffling gives the quilt top!

Cherie said...

LOVE THIS!!! I am a new follower, and I will be pinning this. I want to start quilting, and I want a modern looking quilt, this might be perfect!! I can't wait to look around your blog! :)

http://oneheartscrapper.blogspot.com

Jess Brophy said...

Hi there! I am a new quilter and I am just starting to make this...I love the ruffles!!! One thing I'm confused about is the backing... Are you piecing multiple pieces together to create the back? I bought 4 yards at 56" wide, so I think I might be out of luck on that! Any advice for backing fabric?

Kalina said...

Thank you! This is the idea that I want to use for t-shirt quilt. Right now I am starting to sew my quilt. I don't use interface and this method is the best way to avoid the stretching the fabric.

Sharon Wilkerson said...

I have made quilts from scraps before but, never got the bulk I wanted with out adding more fabrics via appilque or batting. This technique has hit the mark for me. I am so trying this. Thank you for sharing.

Harris said...

I just competed this ruffle quilt top. Ave you posted a tutorial on finishing it?? Darling quilt.