Have you come across ticker tape quilts before? These are made using scraps of fabric sewn rough edged on to a white background. You can use any shapes and they are intended to be irregular so you can let your imagination run riot. It’s also sewn using quilt as you go, which makes it even more quick to make. The fabric scraps are not hemmed so that they can give a pleasing frayed effect with time.
I have used nine 12″ ticker tape quilt blocks in three rows of three. Five of them have a broadly circular design and the remaining four are more geometric. The quilt measures 36″ square. I have used 1.1/4 yards of white fabric, 1/2 yard of the fabric for the sashing and binding, 1.1/4 yards of backing fabric and nine 13.1/2″ squares of wadding. All the rest of the fabric comes from stash and can be anything you want to use up.
Cutting requirements for the ticker tape quilt
nine 12.1/2″ white squares
nine 13.1/2″ squares of both backing and wadding
lots of scraps that can be cut as you make each ticker tape quilt block
four 1″ strips of fabric for the sashing and four 2.1/2″ strips of the same fabric for the binding
You might like to see some of my quilt fabric
Making the ticker tape quilt blocks
Lay each backing fabric square with right side down. Place the wadding on top and then the white fabric with right side up. For the five blocks with circular designs draw a circle round a plate, cut a circle in the fabric and place it in the middle of a white square. Sew around the edge of the circle with a zigzag stitch. For this project I have used stitch length 1 and stitch width 3, although I have used a tighter zigzag in other ticker tape projects.
Using scraps of fabric, cut shapes with a slight curve along one edge. Place these about 1/4″ away from the circle and zigzag in place. Keep adding scraps around the circle. In one of the ticker tape quilt blocks I then added smaller scraps to fill in all the gaps, but I felt that made the block look too cluttered so I didn’t repeat that in the remaining blocks.
For the more geometric blocks I used scraps of differing widths and lengths, some with a slanted end and some with straight edges. Zigzag these in place. You will need five blocks with circles and four geometric blocks.
Sewing the ticker tape blocks together with quilt as you go
Place a circle and a geometric block with right sides together. Fold back the wadding and backing fabric from both blocks so that just the two white fabrics are placed together. Line up the edges and sew together with a 1/4″ seam. Sew together three blocks for each row – rows one and three have two circle blocks around one geometric block and row two has one circle block with a geometric block on each side.
Working on the back of the quilt blocks now, finger press the seam allowance to one side. Fold down one edge of wadding and trim so that the edge follows the line of the seam. Fold down the wadding from the other block and trim so that it just butts up to the first edge of wadding. If the two edges overlap you will have a bump in the quilt.
Fold down one side of the quilt backing over the wadding and smooth gently. Lay down the backing fabric from the other side and turn under a small hem so that the raw edge is hidden. Pin in place. Still working from the back, zigzag down the fold of the backing fabric. Start and finish about an inch from the end so that you have some fabric free for when you join the rows of blocks together.
Sewing the rows together using quilt as you go
The method of sewing the rows together is just the same as for sewing the individual ticker tape blocks together, just with longer seams: lay two rows with right sides together, fold back the wadding and backing and sew the two white top fabrics together. Turn to the back, trim the wadding edges so that they just butt up to each other, lay down one side of backing fabric and then lay the other backing fabric on top with a small hem folded under. Zigzag along the length of the row.
Sashing for the quilt as you go ticker tape quilt
I always find that using this method of quilt as you go I can end up with the zigzag seam from the back not quite following the seam line at the front. For this reason I have put sashing along the seam lines between the blocks – oh and because it’s part of the design, of course!
Cut four 1″ strips of fabric and sew one between each row and each column of ticker tape quilt blocks so that each block is surrounded by sashing. As this is such a small strip, use straight stitch rather than zigzag. Sew along each side of the sashing strips just in from the edge.
That completes the ticker tape quilt top. As it is a quilt as you go project, the only remaining step is the binding.
Examples of ticker tape quilts
I have made ticker tape quilt projects with the zigzag closed up so that it’s almost satin stitch. The amount of stitching around the edges of the fabric scraps will make a difference to how much fraying you get as the quilt is used and washed over a period of time. You can see a nicely frayed example of ticker tape quilting on the right.
Here’s the video:
I have written up an idea for sewing french seams in a cushion cover to give the inside a more professional look. If yoou would like to see it, click on french seam.
Many thanks to everyone who encouraged me to go to the Uttoxeter quilt show last week. I had a wonderful day and was so pleased that I had gone. This weekend there is a medieval show at nearby Hampton Court Castle and I am definitely going to visit that.