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.
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.
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!
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?
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!!!
Once all of your rows are complete, you get so sew them together. Place 2 rows right sides together, and pin.
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.
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 2.5×44 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 4×44 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 super awesome giveaway will be here next week!*
Hint: it involves large squares from a brand new line 🙂
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