Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Striped Circus Quilt Tutorial

(This tutorial was originally shared on Family Ever After)
I am not going to give a supply list because there are so many ways you could make this... Here is what I did.

I wanted to make this a baby sized quilt for my friend who is having her third boy in about a week and a half. 
I fell in love with this Michael Miller Circus fabric and thought it would be perfect for her quilt. I love the old fashioned look of it. So cute!
So I got a few of the coordinating fabrics and just cut up a bunch of varying sizes of strips that were 44 inches wide (width of fabric). The smallest I cut was 2 1/2 inches (the width of a jelly roll) and the biggest was the middle panel which was about 12 inches. 

I put the strips right sides together two at a time and pieced my quilt top. By the time I was finished it was approximately 36x44. 
(if you wanted to make a size that was wider than 44 inches then you would just piece your strips together to make them as wide as you need. ex: cut two strips that are 5x44 inches wide and then put them right sides together and sew up one of the ends. Once you opened it up and pressed the seam open you would have an extra long strip that was approx 5x88 inches. Make sense?)

When you quilt top is all pieced together you will need to iron and press open the seams so everything lays flat. 

Now you can make your quilt sandwich- your quilt top, batting and backing. For my backing, I used one yard of fabric. I laid it out flat and used t-pins to pin the fabric into the carpet to hold it in place. Next I laid the batting on top of that and smoothed it out. Then I placed the ironed quilt top on top of the two layers. Be sure to smooth things out very well so that everything is laying flat. 

Now that everything is smoothed out and held in place with t-pins, you can baste (hold) the layers together with safety pins. I like to use these curved safety pins. You just need to place a safety pin every few inches to hold the 3 layers together while you quilt it. 

Now it is time to quilt it. I just did some very basic quilting and sewed 1/4 inch from the seam on the top side of each of the stripes.

For the large panel in the middle, I wanted to give it a little more personalized look so I hand quilted around each of the animals. Here is a great tutorial for hand quilting if you have never tried it. I have to warn you though, it is so addicting... I love hand quilting- by far- more than machine quilting. It is so relaxing to sit on the couch and let your fingers and needle get to working over the fabric. It takes a lot longer than machine quilting, but I just like it so much better! Call me weird! ha ha

I wanted to "hide" her baby's name somewhere on the quilt so I chose to stitch "Paxton" along the giraffe's neck... I love the way it turned out.  

Once you are all done with your quilting, it is time to bind the quilt. Here is a great tutorial if you don't know how to do this step!

That's it! 


  1. That is absolutely adorable! I love how you handstitched around the animals and hid her name! And I agree - that Michael Miller fabric is so cute.

  2. These is too too cute Ashley! You seriously have me addicted to quilting ; ) I love the hand stitching around the animals!

  3. cute! I like how you hand-quilted around the animals.

  4. I bet your friend was so excited to receive such a cute new quilt for her 3rd boy! I love that this would be a fairly simple quilt to make, and it is just so adorable. Thanks for sharing!
    Amy @ The Happy Scraps

  5. Wow simply adorable!! The handstiching detail really makes that section pop!

  6. Ashley this is so cute and your hand quilting on the center panel with his name is just perfect!

  7. How long did it take you to become so good at hand quilting? I have been working on it, but my stitches aren't nearly as neat as yours.

  8. Love it! Thanks again my sweet friend! This baby Paxton is going to LOVE it too!!

  9. So sweet.I love that fabric. Your hand stitches are fabulous. :) I've got to find some time to follow your quilt along steps soon and just make a quilt. I know I'd love it! Need more hours in the day, though. :)

  10. Hello from your newest follower. Love the blog!

  11. oh my, Ashley. This is adorable!! I'd love to have you link this up to Tasty Thursdays on The Mandatory Mooch. It's my new linky party starting today. Hope to see you there. Thanks, Nichi

  12. Wow...I really, really, really LOVE this!

  13. A gorgeous quilt, Ashley. Love the fabrics you've used and a great idea to 'hide' the baby's name on the giraffe's neck.


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Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley