Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New and Improved Tutorial: Bubble Quilt Method #2

Here it is, an alternative method for making your bubble quilt (aka biscuit quilt)! This method is a lot easier, but more time consuming (at least for me) because it requires hand stitching. If you want to see the original method I posted, you can check it out here. If you want to see some example of other biscuit quilts I've made and others have made you can see some here and here.
This blanket is a 28"x28" square not including the ruffle (7 puffs by 7 puffs), but you can use the method to make any size blanket you want.
1 1/4 yard worth of cotton fabrics for the top (you can do as many or as few different fabrics as you want)
1 yard fabric for the backing (I like minky which is just soft fuzzy fabric)
1 1/4 yard silky fabric for the ruffle
1 bag fiberfill stuffing (I use Poly-Fil)

Step 1:  You're going to need two sets of squares: the top squares that make your bubbles, and the bottom squares that you won't be able to see. The top squares should be 6"x6" and the base squares should be 4.5"x4.5". Reminder: the base squares can be out of any old fabric you have lying around because it doesn't matter what they look like because you won't be able to see them. You need 49 of each.
 Step 2: Now we're going to do some pinning. Take one square from each stack. Line up the corners of one of the small squares to the wrong side of the big square and pin it in place.

 Continue pinning each of the four corners together.

 Step 3: Now we're going to make the pleats. Take the pinned square like so and pinch up the excess top fabric along one side. Pinch the fabric up just a little bit off center.
 Then fold it down so that you have and s shaped pleat centered between the two pins. Pin it in place.
 Repeat on all four sides.
 Step 4: Using a 1/8" seam, sew all the way around the whole square. Don't leave any openings.
 Continue until you have all 49 of the squares finished. Lay them out in the design you want your blanket to be.
 Step 5: We're now going to assemble the top of the quilt. This part is a breeze in this version and a bear in the other. Enjoy it! Take two squares and lay them right sides together. Using a 1/4" sew them together along one edge.
 Assemble your top just like you would any quilt top, piece by piece. Make sure to keep them in the order you want!
 When you get to sewing bigger strips of them together, put in pins at the seams to help keep things in place and to give yourself a nice even top.
 Continue until your entire top is pieced together.
 All your pieces should be flat and deflated.
 Step 6: This next step needs to be done VERY CAREFULLY! Turn your quilt top wrong side up and pinch up the bottom square fabric, be careful not to pinch up any of the top bubble fabric with it!
Now cut a slit about 2" long in the bottom square fabric.
You want your slits to be cut diagonally along the fabric to prevent fraying.
Step 7: Stuff all of the puffs up with stuffing. With this method, you can pretty much fill them up as full as you want, so stuff away!
Once all the bubbles are stuffed, you're going to have to hand stitch up each one of those slits. Arg! I know! Just pop in a movie and power through, it's so much easier than the first method even if it does take longer. I double thread my needle for extra strength.
Step 8: Cut out your backing for your blanket, it needs to be 28"x28".
Cut out and make your ruffle. See my tutorial here to learn how to make one. Take your ruffle and place it on the backing (which is right side up). Line up the raw edges of the ruffle with the edge of the backing and pin in place all around the square.
Sew the ruffle in place with a 1/4" seam.
Step 9: Take your completed bubble top and lay it out right side up.
Place the backing with ruffle right side down on top of the bubbles. Tuck the ruffle inside so you can't see any of it.
Pin everything together and then sew around. Be very careful not to snag the ruffle in the seam during this process. Just go slow and stick you hand in between the pins to straighten the ruffle as you go (see tip below). Leave a fairly large opening for turning the blanket right side out, mine was about 7" wide.
I find it useful to use a zipper foot for this part of the project. Also, when I get to a corner, I pull the fabric like so and stop at the corner
and then shove the ruffle back inside out of the way when I turn the corner. You can watch the video here for a better explanation. The pertinent part starts at about 17 minutes.
Once you go all the way around you can turn the blanket right side out and then last but not least, hand stitch up the opening.
You're all done! Enjoy your amazing new bubble blanket!!!
Bubble Blanket - Biscuit Quilt - Ombre Dots - Turquoise and White Bubble Baby Blanket with Dark Teal Ruffle and Grey Backing - Ready to Ship


  1. Love this way! I double pleated all my bubbles! Hand stitching should still work right!?

  2. I'm glad I found this new method before I started. Thank you so much for your detailed instructions. Off I go to cut my bottom squares.

  3. Love this method but need a bit of help...after I slit and stuff I'm having trouble stitching the opening shut. The fabric around the slit gets a bit frayed while I'm stuffing and it makes it very hard to stitch shut. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance!!

    1. Did you cut your slits on the diagonal of the square backing? The ones I cut straight up and down frayed a lot, but when I figured out to cut them diagonal I had hardly any fraying at all. If you continue having issues, I would suggest trying to cut the slit with pinking shears (the zigzag scissors) since they're designed to cut fabric with no fraying. The slits would then be a little weird to sew, but better than a big frayed mess! I hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I did cut them diagonally, it may be that the fabric I'm using is quite old (probably from the 80's!). I will try some better fabric and see how that works. I thought that some sort of "hem tape" or iron-on interfacing might do the trick to seal the slits but that didn't work. I will keep trying! Thanks!

  4. I just completed mine using your old method - I WISH I'd seen this earlier haha Thankyou!

  5. So glad that I found your tutorial a while back, it's now the ONLY way that I make my biscuit quilts now. Yes, it takes longer, but I'd rather take more time, than try wrestling puffs under my sewing machine lol. Thank you!!