A puffed-up little quilt

A little tale about using two layers of wadding in one little quilt.


Deja-vu has been happening here. I accepted a request to make a length of bunting suitable for a little boy. The Makower pirate fabric was still at the top of my just-been-used, needs-to-be-sorted pile so it seemed logical to grab it back and go with a nautical theme. A quick trip to my local Hobbycraft, a little thrill of pleasure as I managed to extricate a suitable fat quarter bundle from the bottom of the tottering piles of Christmas fabric bundles and I was stepping back in time to the accidental quilt incident of 2015.

Completed bunting and quilt blocks on the design wall

The same bundle of fabrics, the same decision: to first make the bunting then use the remaining fabrics to make a baby quilt. Cutting 4½” squares proved to be the best way to use as much of the fabric as possible. Having arranged the squares on the design wall (still so happy to have this 🙂 ) I found the red star fabric in my stash and auditioned it either as the first of a series of borders or as a border in it’s own right. I decided not to complicate a simple quilt with multiple borders, and concluded the star fabric, whilst quite busy, wouldn’t be too overpowering if combined with a plain blue binding.

Once pieced, I began to contemplate possible quilt patterns. I liked the idea of just quilting in the ditch around each square and had a picture in my mind of the squares being puffy, almost bouncy looking and very clearly defined. Do you remember the days before duvets when bedding consisted of sheets, blankets, eiderdowns and bedspreads? I think memories of an eiderdown, maybe in my Grandmother’s house, was influencing my thoughts re. the puffy squares. To get the look I had in mind I decided to try using two layers of polyester wadding in the quilt sandwich. It was quite an effort to pin through such a thick layer, so I was very glad this quilt measured just 28″ square.

To quilt in the ditch, I used an open toe applique foot with the dual feed system (integrated walking foot) and reduced the presser foot pressure to it’s minimum setting – despite this you can imagine how the thick, bouncy sandwich had to be squeezed under the foot.The layers did creep a little so a few puckers occurred where the lines of quilting stitches crossed but on the whole I was pleased with how well the unusual sandwich quilted. The squares appeared clearly defined and as puffy looking as I had hoped.

The wrinkly, ‘frilly’ edge

The next challenge was to tame the outside edge of the quilt – the pins squished the layers together and caused the edges to look almost like a frill! Stitching the binding strip to this unruly perimeter would be tricky, of that I had no doubt. So I opted to add a line of stay stitches just an 1/8th of an inch in from the edge.

Stay stitches holding down the edge and a less than perfect corner

These successfully flattened the edge before I trimmed off the excess wadding and backing. I hesitate to say ‘I squared off the quilt before adding the binding’ as the corners were not anywhere near perfect 90° angles (thankfully once the binding was attached and all the pins removed the quilt seemed to heave a sigh of relief, puff out it’s chest and pull it’s corners in to reasonable approximations of 90° angles!).


The finished quilt looks and feels very squishy; although the quilting lines are 4″ apart it is surprisingly stiff – wanting to fold only on the quilting lines and not across the centres of the blocks. These characteristics, to my mind, make it a perfect baby playmat. And my tips for using more than one layer of polyester wadding would be: if you are using a domestic sewing machine keep to a small quilt; use lots of pins to baste the sandwich; reduce the pressure foot pressure to minimum; before adding the binding take time to stay stitch the edges of the quilt; be relaxed about the corners or use bias binding and create curved corners.

I’m linking with Yvonne, Quilting Jetgirl, for the freshly re-launched (ho!ho!, see what I did there?) Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

There are already several very helpful  blogposts linked to Yvonne’s and there are a few days remaining to add your own post of quilting tips or a tutorial. The quilting community is so good at sharing 🙂

Also linking with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday.


3 thoughts on “A puffed-up little quilt

  1. Such a sweet quilt – and the red stars are perfect. You’ve got me thinking of my Dad this morning. He was the only person I have known to use the word “eiderdown”.


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