7.10.2009

Polka Dot Quilt Tutorial

I posted about the baby quilt I made some time ago and had so many people interested in how I made this polka dot quilt, I decided to share my pattern with you all. There are so many ways you could ad-lib with this basic pattern... I'm excited for you all to make your own. It's a little time consuming(those curves)but for those who aren't too fussy about it being perfect, it's an enjoyable quilt to work on. Each Square/Circle feels like a little accomplishment and before you know it, you have enough for a a whole quilt. Enjoy!

Below you'll find all the directions...
*please note... this is the way I made it and I'm no pro quilter- so if you can think of a better way to make your quilt, do so! I don't doubt there are countless ways this could be made "better"... but I'm just smitten with my version!



My 36" x 44" Quilt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Background color approximately 1 yard
31 6"x6" scraps of different fabrics
Backing Fabric 1.5 yard
Binding 1/3 yard

Click on the image above to pull up the full sized file, then just drag it to your desktop and print it at 100% on a piece on card stock.

For each circle/square you'll need four of each piece: "background" and "circle". I wanted a fairly simple quilt which would be calming but visually dynamic, so I choose the same "background" for all the pieces of my quilt.


When cutting, depending on the size of the fabric I'm using, I'll either draw out the pattern directly on the fabric (making sure to cut off most all the marks) or I just pin the pattern on layered fabric and cut around. This second method is obviously much faster but creates more wasted fabric and doesn't work if you only have a little bit to work with.



Once you have all 8 pieces for one circle/square cut, iron or finger press each piece in half.

To sew the pieces together, I find it easier to pin the "background" piece on top:
  1. Begin by lining up the press lines, and pin.
  2. line up edges and pin each side
  3. work the pieces together pinning until it seems to lay nicely
  4. sew with about 1/4" seam allowance (I use the width of my presser foot as my guide)

Iron flat with the "background" folding towards the "circle" piece.


I'm not much of a perfectionist as you can see, so my pieces aren't perfect squares nor are they free from puckering... This might drive some people absolutely crazy. If you'd be one of those people, you might want to work on the pattern a little to get it just right, or cut down each square to be perfectly "square" before you move onto the next step.


Pin the seams together first. I don't worry too much if one end is longer then the other. If it is slightly to big on one side, I just cut it down once it's stitched. The most important thing is to line up the arching seams so you have a nice continuous circle once all the pieces are sewn together- fudge the rest.


Press both of the pieces in the same direction. Once you put right sides together the seams will lay in opposite directions.


Sew the last two pieces together and press... Viola, you have your first circle! Now, only a few more to go.


My finished Quilt had 31 circles.
7 rows-
4 rows of 4 circles
3 rows of 5 circles
I finished the edges with about 4-5" of the background fabric... I choose another polka dot for the backing fabric and used a organic cotton batting. Once the 3 layers were pinned together, I tied the quilt in the middle of each of the circle and quilted a few by hand for good measure. I liked the combo of the little yard balls and hand quilting for a baby- I remember loving those little yarn balls as a kid.

Best of Luck on your project...
Fin

72 comments:

  1. Ooooh Thanks! It made such a darling quilt, I would like to try it myself. Your new little one will enjoy it very much I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't wait to try making this quilt! I have all kinds of idea's floating in my head on how to make my own quilt.
    would be nice if after we make our own that we could do a little show and tell. Going to look threw my stash and see if I have enough fabric or need to go shopping! :)
    Your little one has such a great Handmade things! Just love your creativity

    ReplyDelete
  3. Charming and glorious, as everything you make is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can't wait to see what you all make... be sure to send me images!
    JM

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I need to learn to sew beyond mending clothes!
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  6. love it! i just started a new crazy quilt for my sis's wee one, i might have to throw in some of these circles!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your directions.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so, so, so cute. Not being a sewer, I just marvel at the precision, skill and patience it takes to create something as lovely as this. Wonderful work!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, this is so, so beautiful! Just gorgeous. I'd love to link to this project if you didn't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this! After I finish the one I'm working on, this one is next.
    I'm enjoying your blog so much!
    I'm linking to yours from mine. Hope you don't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  11. lovely! i have a baby on the way - and i'm thinking this just might be my first big project i make for him! :) thanks for the pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  12. just as a suggestion, if you clip the curved seam after sewing, this will make for a flatter block. Not that yours aren't flat!!! This is just a suggestion and meant in a "motherly" sort of way. Love your quilt, love your color combinations!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful! But I am still so scared of sewing curves! ahh

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is BEAUTIFUL and fun!! I LOVE circle quilts!

    ReplyDelete
  16. such a beautiful little quilt. i am going to save your tutorial so i can make it for my baby someday

    ReplyDelete
  17. Barb says .....just darling. I will make it for my granddaughter Riley as soon as I can clean my sewing room. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is a beautiful quilt! I'm not able to sew, but that one induces me to learn!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love it! Thanks for sharing it and your technique.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this little quilt and I can't wait to meet the future owner!

    ReplyDelete
  21. this makes me happy just to look at it. It is so cheerful! thanks for the tute.

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's gorgeous! I've never quilted before and keep coming across these cute patterns to tempt me into giving it a go! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. for non-quilters, an easier version is to cut a whole circle, cut a whole entire square and center the circle on it and zigzag the circle edge to the square (you could insert a little batting and puff up the circles before closing it up), make as many as needed, then take the finished squares and sew those blocks together, and you can still have the same style as this cute quilt

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is so adorable! I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  25. that quilt pattern is so stunning, i had to blog about it. and your color choices are phenomenal. however do you make your decisions on how to lay out all the colors? they're fantastic. and where, if you don't mind sharing, do you find your fabric?? love it *

    ReplyDelete
  26. OH MY GOSH! This is why I love the internet!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I started this beautiful project on Wednesday night...it's easy to do the piecing by hand, which I prefer (can watch TV while I stitch that way). Cannot wait to get home and back to work!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is beautiful....thanks for sharing!!! xxxRobby

    ReplyDelete
  29. That is a lovely quilt pattern and a fantastic tutorial!
    Valerie
    http://valerieaheck.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nicely done, right down to the pinning images!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nice tutorial. This is really helpful for me and the visitors as well. Keep adding more and more information regarding this.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My hat's off to you! I don't "do" curves! I tried to make my mom and dad a double wedding ring quilt for their 20th anniversary...it was paper pieced, which I thought would solve all my problems...It came out OK but I barely survived it! ;0)

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a lot of trouble! Just applique the circles.

    ReplyDelete
  34. i don't think it's alot of trouble. it's not an appliqued quilt, it's a quilted quilt. i think it's gorgeous and i'd love to know what polka dot fabric you used for the background of the front!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks Brandi!
    The fabric is Alexander Henry's "pretty polka dots"... It's such a good one right?!

    ReplyDelete
  36. To the lady who is scared of sewing curves - DON'T. To make this quilt the easy way. Make a template for the whole circle BUT add 1/2" in both directions down the centre. This new 'circle' is sewn to the middle of a square. you can do this by hand OR machine. Then cut into quarters. Because of adding the extra seam allowance down the centres, when the resulting units are sewn together they will still be a complete circle. You can cut away the extra backing fabric before cutting into four. Now mix and match 'Drunkards path' units into any of the many pattersn.

    shirley.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am almost done with my 31 circles (doing all by hand). I have to get this done before a baby shower in early October, and I'm excited to send you a pic of the finished product! Thank you for posting this, I am LOVING this project!

    ReplyDelete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks to your tutorial I have finished my first ever quilt!

    http://www.tineke.net/2009/09/first-finished-quilt.html

    Thank you for the inspiration and guidance :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Applique is still a quilt. Like others have said, make it simple. Just cut circle and applique onto a square. There are several techniques for doing this, all simpler with better results than sewing curves.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love it.Thanks for sharing this nice and wonderful tutorial

    ReplyDelete
  42. Janet (soon-to-be Grandma)September 24, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    I'm starting mine for my new baby grandson in deep teal and dark brown prints on a white-on-white background. My daughter found this web site and I told her I'd love to make it. Now I can't wait to get started. I'll send a photo when it's completed! (I agree -- it's not "quilted" if it's appliqued -- even tho appliqued items are beautiful, too. ...just my opinion.)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks so much!! I am sooo going to make this soon! I'll send you a link when I'm finished (it might be a while. I'm working in fits and starts, mostly during naptimes!).

    ReplyDelete
  44. This is such an adorable quilt and I cant wait to make it:) Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. It would be nice if there was a flickr group started so we could see everyones quilt:)

    ReplyDelete
  45. OHHH¡¡ I love this quilt

    congrats¡¡¡¡¡
    xxoo
    maria

    ReplyDelete
  46. Here is an image of my finished product. I made it for a dear friend's new baby and it was a major hit! All pieced by hand, tied with wool yarn and then hand quilted. Next time I will use the machine to piece, as it took me 3 months to make by hand!

    http://www.flickr.com/d3ng0/4091388729/

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love it Jenny- it turned out so well!

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Love this quilt and your color choices. It's such a happy quilt. Thank you for such an easy tutorial also.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for sharing, I'm pregnant myself and so far have been making things for my friends babies because I hadn't seen anything I wanted to make for my baby. This is it!!! I can't wait to start making this quilt. And by the way, I love your attitude for not caring too much for things being perfect. That is my MO for life. :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Love it! It makes want to have a baby. Oops, I mean make a quilt. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Made me giggle:)
      Love the quilt! This may very well be my first quilt as well.

      Delete
  52. Thanks for sharing this with the world!! I am also loving your attitude on perfection, I think this quilt is pretty perfect! Anyway I know that it may have already been asked but I could not find it. What fabric did you use for the backing? I love the green and would like to use something similar to the back of mine but have been unable to find something I LOVE to use. Thanks in advance!@

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello Sara-
    I used two different Amy Butler prints for the back and binding along with a plan pale green (I can't remember where I got that)- Have fun picking out fabric! Planning a quilt may be my fav. part.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Gracias. Es un hermoso proyecto.
    Luz Marina

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love this quilt--and I made one for my adult daughter in Brooklyn. If you want, I can send you to her Flickr photos. It is wonderful... a lot bigger than yours of course. Thanks for such great inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'd love to see the photos! send me the link!
    JM

    ReplyDelete
  57. i love the quilt. I have to make it my summer project. Can i ask where you got your fabrics. I just love them

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks! I purchased the fabric from a number of sources- but a lot came from Superbuzzy- they're a great online fabric source!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Ok this may sound silly but what are yard balls and where can you get them? Or do you make them?? Also how in the world do you attach them to the quilt?? I know I am a beginner and I am not much on quliting, but love this idea.....Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hello Anonymous-
    Thanks for your note... you pointed out one of my many typos on this blog! HA! That's Yarn (which I corrected) not Yard.. so you just string some wool yarn through the layers of the quilt and tie it. Once you run it through the wash, the yarn will felt and bind to itself making a little ball and holding the batting and layers of fabric all in place.

    ReplyDelete
  61. wow!!!! what a amazing design,Thanks for sharing
    web desing

    ReplyDelete
  62. You're genius!

    For those of you afraid of sewing curves, relax!! Since you're only sewing 1/4 of the circle at a time, it's actually not bad at all. The template makes them fit together so nicely.

    I LOVE this quilt. I'm going to make a full-size one this summer, but for now I'm using it in my X's and O's wall hanging for Valentines day! Here's a (poor quality) photo of my blocks so far: http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/3931/quiltpieces.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  63. HI Jennifer, I've been looking for a special quilt to make for my daughters first little baby daughter.(my granddaughter-hehe,i'm giddy with excitement). Anyway ,I'm getting started right away, but i'm not sure how to make the little yarn balls. could you explain that? Thanks bunches!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hello! Here's a link to more info about how you tie (make those cute yarn balls!) a quilt... enjoy!
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2136288_tie-quilt-quilting-finishing-technique.html

    ReplyDelete
  65. Greetings, I love the polka dot quilt and would like to make it for my grandson. Is it possible to purchase the pattern? Thanks so much. You can e-mail me at silverthistle@rocketmail.com or messsage me on facebook Cynthia Wallace

    Thanks again.
    PS I do not understand what the profile is all about, thus I chose anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  66. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  67. like the way you made your polka dot quilt...will do one for my dggs due in june. thank you for sharing. much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Try clipping your seams after you have done the curve. It will make things lie flatter. Sometimes I clip the background piece before putting them together. Becareful, don't clip too deep.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I dunno how this quilt could be made any better it's already very pretty.

    ReplyDelete