Wednesday, 23 November 2011

'Flying High' - tutorial

After playing about with the Accuquilt Go! baby this is what I've made.
'Flying High' - finished size 44" x 55".
I've never been in a hot air balloon, and I'm really not great with heights!
After making this mug rug, I wanted to make something else using a hot air balloon theme.
The Go! Circle die was super quick and the Rick Rack die made it very easy to cut the border.

Here's the tutorial:
1. Cut out white background fabric 28" x 39".
2. Pick various fabric scraps to cut out balloons. I had some fabrics left over from another project, some of it was cut into narrow strips. I was able to use these to make some of the balloons.
I stitched strips together ( they need to be at least 6 1/2" long - this is the width of the die), pressed the seams open and pressed a piece of bondaweb on the back.
3. Place the piece of fabric on top of the circle die, and place a cutting mat on top.
4. Roll the die through the cutter. (my 9 year old daughter loved doing this!)
5. Voila - perfect circles - or balloons! Cut out 6 small, 6 medium and 6 large circles using various colours of fabrics.
6. For the baskets, cut out 6 1" squares, 6 1 1/2" squares and 6 2 1/2" squares.
7. Place the balloons and baskets on the background fabric. Place the smallest ones at the top, medium ones in the middle and larger ones at the bottom. Press in place.
8. Using a water soluble marker and a ruler draw on the ropes between the basket and the balloon.
9. Using black thread sew around the balloons, down the ropes and around the basket.
I sewed several lines on the ropes to make them look a little thicker.
10. To make border, cut out 6 8 1/2" x width of fabric strips. Attach borders making sure to mitre corners.
11. To make the rick rack border, sew strips of fabric together as in step 2. This time you need to make a long piece of sewn strips. Two pieces measuring 54" x 6 1/2" and two pieces measuring 65" x 6 1/2".
12. Press the seams open.
12. Press bondaweb on the back of the strips.
13. Using a permanent pen, mark the edges of the die on the foam - this just makes it easier to see the end when you're placing the fabric on top. (The Rick Rack die is open ended, which allows you to fold long strips of fabric and the die will cut in a continuous piece.)
14.Place the strip of fabric on the die, folding over the fabric where the die is marked.
15. Place the cutting mat on top and roll through the baby!
16. Perfect rick rack!
17. Place the rick rack border on the quilt top with ends overlapping, matching the edge of the rick rack with the edge of the quilt top.
18. Using a ruler and water soluble pen, draw a line on the rick rack in line with the mitred corner and where the rick rack overlaps.
19. Fold back the top rick rack and repeat on the other rick rack.
20. Cut along each of the drawn lines one at a time.
21. These should meet perfectly. Pin the rick rack in place and repeat for all four corners.
22. Press the rick rack in place.
23. Start at the mitred corners and applique the rick rack in place.
24. Applique both sides of the rick rack in place.
25. Layer backing, wadding and quilt top - quilt as desired. I free machine quilted some loopy circles. I used Wonderfil Silco white thread for the background and black thread for the border.
26. Buy or make 1 1/2" single fold continuous bias binding. (There's a great tutorial here)
It really is necessary to use bias binding to get around all those curves.
Sew on the binding.
27. Trim back the excess fabric and wadding following the edge of the rick rack.
28. Carefully snip the curves.
29. Carefully fold the binding over, pin and sew in place.
There you have it - Flying High made with the help of the Accuquilt Go! baby!
Here's the back I pieced together:
I just have to make my quilt label now for the back and it will be complete.
As always I'd love to see your photos if you make 'Flying High', flickr group is here.


  1. This is an "oudda this world" super-duper tute of a super-duper quilt! I LUV the colors! This is a great quilt for just ANYone...not just boy, not just girl, not just kid.

    I find it really hard to find quilts that are flowers or definitely feminine. I LIKE the flowers/fem. But, not always would someone like to recieve that kind.

    Your quilt would be fun for all occasions! Thanks for taking the time (LOTS of time) to share all the wonderful photos/instructions. =)

    annie m.

  2. Up, up and away! What a gorgeous quilt... especially love the wavy border!!!

  3. Karen what a beauty and a great way to use up pieces. I have a GO and have used it to cut 2 and 1/2 inch strips. I think I will have to ask Santa for the circle and for the ric rac dies now.

  4. I loved the mug rug, but this is exceptionally pretty... I have a friend who adores hot air balloons, but I think all she can hope for from me is the mug rug... :)... thanks for sharing the concept...

  5. What a great idea! Clever you.

  6. Up, up, and away! What a cute quilt. Great tutorial too!


  7. Super, duper use of the Go and your imagination, what a combination!

  8. Awesome tutorial! I love the ricrac!

  9. I love the quilt and the tutorial. I've been on the fence about buying the Rickrack die and your design has definitely convinced me that I need it.