How to Make a Round Quilt

Many people ask me about making round quilts, and there are a few tips and tricks to make your round quilts turn out beautifully. I’ll share some tips below with a project I recently made. I found this pattern called “Kisses from Heaven” and fell in love with the adorable snowman. I bought the pattern, and after making it, wanted to share a few ideas with you.

Snowman.Finished

The pattern has you start out with a square piece of fabric for your background, 44” square. Then they show you how to draw a round circle on that square. The next instruction is to cut out that circle. Here is where I made some changes.

Snowman.edge

Instead of cutting out the circle at this time, instead I went ahead and ironed on all the pieces for the snowman, scarves, and snowflakes. I used a blanket stitch around all the appliqué pieces. After I was finished with the blanket stitching, I quilted the project.

Snowman.edge2

The reason I did not cut the circle to begin with was because I knew that when I got ready to quilt, it would be easier to quilt a square piece of fabric (rather than a circular one). After I quilted the project, then I cut my circle and got ready to finish it with binding.

Snowman.uncut

Tips for Making Your Own Binding

Anytime you bind a project (like a quilt, blanket, wall hanging, etc.) that is a square or rectangle, you can cut your binding straight across your fabric—from selvage to selvage.

But anytime you have a curve to bind, you have to cut your binding on the bias. In the fabric kit, after you cut your square for this project, you should have about ¾ yard left of that fabric to use for binding.

Snowman.Bias

You can make your own bias binding. I start by folding one side over at a 45 degree angle. I cut this fabric into 2 pieces by cutting on the fold.

Snowman.Bias2

Take one of those pieces and measure 2 ¼”  from the cut edge. With a rotary cutter, cut several 2 ¼” wide strips. Sew your pieces together to make one long length of binding.

Snowman.Bias3

How Do You Know How Much Binding to Cut?

Good question, and perfect timing since I’m posting this on Pi Day . When you need to know the edge measurement (perimeter) around a circle, this is how you figure it. You take the diameter and take it times 3.14 (the mathematical number for pi). That will tell you how much binding it will take to go around your snowman circle. You will need a little extra for overlap when you sew the beginning to the end of your binding.

One thing I love about this project is that you could cut a hole in the middle and make it into a tree skirt. What an adorable idea for a snowman-themed Christmas tree! Or a fun excuse to keep your Christmas tree up through the winter.

I loved how my fabric colors all turned out, so I decided to put some complete quilt kits together for you as well! You can find the complete fabric kits and patterns in my eBay store. Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

How to Make Fleece and Minky Cuddle Quilts with Satin Binding

Throughout the winter, many people ask me to quilt minky and fleece blankets for them. Sometimes people ask me how to add fleece or minky fabric to the back of a cotton quilt, and sometimes people ask me to make quilts with two pieces of fleece or minky fabric sewn together. These blankets are so soft and cuddly—perfect for baby showers and Christmas gifts.

HowtoMakeMinkyQuilts

With the long winter we’ve been having this year, I’ve been getting lots more questions about how to make minky quilts! So I’ve compiled a Q&A list here, along with a step-by-step guide for how to add satin binding to a quilt. I hope the answers help you create your own beautiful blankets—and I hope your finished projects help make the long winter a little more colorful, snuggly, and warm.

Sewing with minky, fleece, and cuddle fabrics

Is minky fabric hard to sew?

It is not hard to sew on minky fabric with a sewing machine. Hand sewing with minky fabric is more difficult, but a thimble helps.

What kind of sewing needle do I use for minky?

You don’t need a special sewing machine needle for sewing with minky or fleece fabrics. However, minky and fleece fabrics will dull your needle, so I usually put in a new needle when I am done sewing fleece or minky.

Washing and preparing minky, fleece, and cuddle fabrics

Does minky fabric need to be prewashed?

Minky and fleece are both polyester fabrics and will not shrink, so you do not have to pre-wash them.

Does cuddle fabric fray? Can minky fabric go in the dryer?

Minky and cuddle fabrics wash, dry, and wear beautifully.This is why so many people like to make baby quilts with minky and cuddle fabrics. They are so soft and so easy to wash.

Can minky fabric be ironed?

Minky fabric can be ironed, but there usually is no reason to iron it because it never wrinkles. If you need to iron your minky or fleece fabric, use a polyester setting.

MinkyQuilt.Cookies

 

Making minky, fleece, and cuddle quilts

What is a minky quilt?

A minky quilt is two pieces of polyester knit fabric (like minky, cuddle, or fleece fabrics) sewn together. Some people like to add soft, satin binding to the edges (see my tutorial below).

Can you put fleece on the back of a quilt?

Yes, you can make a cotton fabric top (pieced or quilted) and add minky or fleece on the back. Many people like to use minky or fleece for quilt backs because those fabrics give such a soft and snuggly feel to the finished quilt.

How do you measure a quilt back?

When I measure cotton fabric for a quilt back, I add 3 extra inches on all sides to the measurement of the quilt top. So if the quilt top is 90” x 100,” the back would be 96” x 106”. With a knit fabric like fleece or minky, I add even more fabric—about 4 to 5 extra inches on all sides.So if the quilt top is 90” x 100,” a minky quilt back would be 100” x 110”.

Do you need extra minky fabric for backing?

You should allow a little extra fabric for backing, because when you put the minky blanket in the quilting machine and roll it up, it can stretch a little one way which will shorten it the opposite way.  When you are quilting two pieces of fleece that are exactly the same size, you will probably need to trim off some of itwhen you are done quilting, which will make your finished project a little smaller.

Do you need to use batting with a fleece or minky quilt?

I always recommend using batting. Because fleece and minky are naturally warm fabrics, I choose the lightest weight poly batting for fleece and minky quilts. The batting makes the finished product much more polished and professional-looking. 

MinkyQuilt.Cubs

Quilting with minky, fleece, and cuddle fabrics

I have my own quilting machine. How do I attach the fleece?

When you place the quilt in your quilting machine, you want to make sure that you attach the sides of the fabric that the store clerk cut to the top and bottom rollers on your machine. You do not want to attach the selvage edges. There is more stretch from selvage to selvage, so if you were to pin those edges to your rollers and roll the fleece, you would be stretching out the fabric. When you took the quilt off your machine, it would bounce back to its unstretched shape and your quilt would not lay flat.

Do you recommend any special quilting patterns for fleece or minky fabrics?

I normally use larger, simpler patterns on fleece.

Picture1.Simple stitch

Quilting on Minky Fabric

How do you make the binding and finish the edges on a fleece quilt?

If you have a cotton pieced top, you can add your normal binding, as with any quilt. However, hand-stitching through the fleece is a little harder than on cotton fabric. One helpful trick I recommend is to machine-stitch the binding to the back of the quilt. Then fold the fabric to the front of the quilt and hand-stitch the binding to the top (front) of the quilt.

When I quilt two pieces of fleece together, I like to add baby satin binding to the edge. It is quick to sew and adds a beautiful finished look. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you add satin binding to your quilts.

How to Add Satin Binding to a Two-Sided Fleece Baby Blanket (a Step-by-Step Guide)

You will need two pieces of fleece and thin poly batting. Quilt the blanket with a simple stitch or have a professional longarm quilter do the quilting. I used a stippling stitch on my Winnie the Pooh blanket.

Fleece Quilt Winnie the Pooh

Notice how one side of the binding is narrower. I put that side to the back of the blanket. Picture4.SatinBinding

Sew the binding on the back of the quilt first, using a straight stitch. I increase my stitch length to 3.0. Notice how I don’t put the fold of the binding right up against the edge of blanket. You want to leave some space. I leave about ¼-inch space.

Picture5.SatinBinding

Continue to sew the binding to the very corner edge of the blanket.

Picture6.SatinBinding

Remove the blanket from the machine and fold the binding back at a 45-degree angle. Pin.

How to Add Satin Binding to a Fleece Quilt

Put the blanket back in the machine and continue sewing. Make sure not to catch any of the binding on the front side of the blanket. Continue until you get all around the blanket.

Now turn the blanket over to the top side. You will be able to see the stitching line from the back.

How to Add Satin Binding to a Fleece Quilt

Place the top edge of the binding right at the edge of the stitching line you see from the back. Sew the edge down with a zig zag stitch. I set my machine at 3.5 stitch length and 3.5 stitch width.

When you come to the corner, fold the binding at a 45-degree angle.

How to Add Satin Binding to a Fleece Quilt

If you tug a little at the very corner of the binding, it will line up the fold on the back with the fold on the top.

Picture11.SatinBinding

Pivot your blanket to zig-zag stitch almost to the corner. Then pivot the blanket again and sew back down to where you started sewing at the corner. Continue on around the rest of the blanket.

Picture12.SatinBinding

I hope these questions, answers, and tutorials help inspire you to create soft and snuggly blankets for loved ones, for gifts, or for fun projects to finish up the long winter. Be sure to keep in touch and share your quilts! I love to see the creative projects you make.

MinkyQuilt.Pooh

Don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter to be the first to know about new tutorials, quilt retreats, special discounts, and more. Happy Sewing!

❤️ Sheila

 

 

How to Use Your Fabric Stash to Make Scrappy Quilts

As a quilter, I love working with new fabrics, and I love designing new quilts for our Spring and Fall Quilt Retreats. But each winter, when the holidays are over and we begin to hibernate inside, I like using up scraps from my fabric stash.

How to Make Scrappy Quilts

This year, I repurposed fabric from several scrap bins into three queen-size quilts. In previous posts, I shared tips for:

Now we’re ready for the big reveal. Are you ready to see the final quilts?

20190208_145117

And here is a photo that shows how I used fabric scraps for the backs of the quilts. I like how the different designs turned out!

20190208_144327

Here are a few close-ups of the quilt pattern on the fronts:

And a few close-ups of the quilt patterns on the backs:

Our Winter Scrap Fabric Challenge is done…does that mean that winter is done as well? Well, not quite. But at least we have a few more finished quilts to keep warm!

Now that I have emptied some of my shoe boxes of fabric scraps, I thought I would repurpose the shoe boxes. So here’s a quick survey. Help me decide what I should fill the boxes with:

High heels?

20190113_120934

Sneakers?

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Or more fabric scraps?

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I like the way you think. More fabric scraps it is!

Thank you for joining us for this blog series on quilting with scraps. What ideas would you like to see next? Share your ideas–and your own scrappy quilts!–in the comments.

😀 Happy Quilting!