Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ruffle Quilts

Recently I was asked about putting ruffles on quilts.  I found a quilt block called New Home (amongst many other names, as so often with quilt blocks) and decided to combine the two ideas to make a ruffle quilt for a friend who is moving house.




The New Home quilt block is a very simple nine patch block as shown on the right. For the ruffle quilt I used 12 quilt blocks in four rows of three blocks.  For each block you will need five brown 4.1/2" squares and two each of blue and yellow 4.7/8" squares.




In total you will need:
Blue fabric:  (about 1 yard total)
24 squares 4.7/8"
4 strips 2" wide across the width of fabric for ruffles
5 strips 2.1/2" wide for the binding

Brown fabric:  (about 1 yard total)
60 squares 4.1/2"

Yellow fabric:  (about 3 yards total)
24 squares 4.7/8"
10 strips 2" wide across the width of fabric for sashing
2 yards approx for backing fabric

Wadding:  46" by 60"

 As ever, the easiest way to make the squares is to cut strips across the width of the fabric and then cut those strips into squares.





Place a yellow square and blue square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a seam 1/4" either side of the marked line and cut down the line.  This gives you two squares each made up of a triangle of blue and a triangle of yellow.  Repeat with 23 more blue and yellow squares to make 48 combined squares.

Place five brown squares and four combined squares as shown, sew together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the block.  Your ruffle quilt block should measure 12.1/2" square.



Cut the 2" yellow sashing strips into nine 12.1/2" lengths, four 52.1/2" lengths (you'll have to join pieces to get that) and two 39" lengths.

With right sides together and using a 1/4" seam, sew a 12.1/2" strip of sashing across the bottom of 9 of the squares.  Sew these together in columns of three quilt blocks.


Add a fourth quilt block to the bottom of each column so that in each column you have four quilt blocks with sashing between all of them but not at the top and the bottom of each column.

Sew a 52.1/2" strip of sashing to the right hand side of all four columns and a strip of sashing to the left hand side of the first column only.  Sew the second column to the right hand side of the first column and continue adding all the columns.




You now have a quilt panel with sashing everywhere except top and bottom, so add the 39" strips of sashing to top and bottom.  that's the ruffle quilt top complete for the moment.





Lay the backing fabric right side down.  Smooth gently and lay the wadding on top.  Smooth gently and lay the ruffle quilt top with right side up.  Pin, baste and quilt.  I meander quilted everywhere except the blue triangles and sashing to make the blue triangles stand out.  Baste the edge of the ruffle quilt top and trim the excess wadding and back fabric.



Take two of the 2" ruffle strips and sew together across the short edge.  Press the seam open.  Zigzag along both edges.  Sewing a small hem would be an option but would take a lot longer.  With your machine set to its longest straight stitch, sew a line of stitching along the centre of the strip.  Don't snip the ends of the threads.  Repeat with the second pair of ruffle strips.  With a quilting pin or safety pin mark the centre of the length to help make sure the gathering is even.

The idea is to gather the ruffle strip and then sew it to the sashing running up and down between the quilt blocks(rather than across).

A good rule of thumb for gathering is to have your strip about 1.1/2 times the final length required.  In this case I have gone for two lengths (about 84") to give a final required length of about 56".

Holding the strip with right side up in your left hand, gently pull the top thread from the central line of stitching with your right hand.  Ease the fabric along the thread and keep easing it further back as you pull the thread.  When you have reached the middle of the ruffle strip (that's why the safety pin), even out the gathers over the half of the strip until the gathered half of the strip is about 28" long.


Tie the ends of the thread to stop the gathering coming undone and repeat the gathering from the other end of the strip.
Now do the same with the second ruffle strip.





Place one ruffle strip end on the edge of the ruffle quilt top in line with the sashing going down between two columns of quilt blocks.  Pin the strip in place down the middle of the sashing strip all the way down.  Adjust the gathering if necessary so that the ruffle strip finishes at the bottom of the quilt.  Sew in place down the centre of the ruffle strip.  Don't forget to put your stitch length back to normal before you begin sewing.  Use your fingers to flatten the ruffle as you sew to avoid the sewing machine foot getting caught in the gathering.

Sew the other ruffle strip down the other sashing strip between the columns and bind the quilt.  That's quite a pretty ruffle quilt.  Hope you like it.

Thanks for visiting my blog.
You'll find more ideas for quilts at Ludlow Quilt and Sew.
Rose
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