Start to finish can be done in a day.
- 1 Cuddle Cake from Shannon Fabrics. I used Seeing Spots, but any of their Cuddle Cake packs would work great, or you can make from yardage. If you're using yardage, you'd would need 4-10 10" cuts of cuddle fabric depending on how much variety you want. You need 20 10-in squares total.
- 1 1/4 yards Cuddle 3 fabric in Kiwi for backing and applique
- 1/3 yard Cuddle 3 fabric in Midnight Blue for the binding
- Scraps of coordinating cuddle fabric for head, feet, and spots of turtle. I used Cuddle 3 fabric in Olive.
- 1 package Nature-Fil™ Bamboo Blend Batting 36″ X 45″
- 1/2 Yard paper-backed fusible web
- Basting Spray (505 is my favorite brand, but other brands work too.)
- Coodinating Thread
- Sewing Machine
- Lots of Pins - My favorite are these Extra Long Pins from Dritz
- 12" Square Quilting ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter
- Walking Foot for your sewing machine (optional)
If you've never sewn with Cuddle Fabrics before, you may want to start by reviewing these Helpful Cuddle Sewing Tips from Shannon Fabrics.
Start by pairing up your Cuddle Cakes squares into contrasting pairs. Not only do you want the color to contrast, but you also want the design on the fabrics to be different. I tried to pair the large dots with a smaller print or solid.
Stack your pairs so they're lined up with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, with the pile (direction of the fuzz) going the same way. I had them all face toward me (down).
Draw a line down the center of the block.
Pin down the middle thoroughly BEFORE you move any of your pieces
Usually with Cuddle Fabrics we use a 1/2" seam allowance because it tends to slip so much, BUT since we're stitching through the middle of our square we're going to use a 1/4" seam allowance for JUST THIS STEP.
Do NOT sew down the line you drew. Instead sew 1/4 inch on each side of your center line.
Then cut down your line and you will have two blocks, each with two half-square-rectangles. (It's helpful to have a small hand-held vacuum on hand for immediately vacuuming up the fuzz.
These finished blocks are no longer square, so you'll need to use your quilting ruler, rotary cutter, and mat to trim them to 9 1/2" blocks.
Repeat for the rest of your blocks.
Once you've sewn and trimmed all your blocks, you're ready to lay them out. Alternate the direction of the rectangles and lay them out in a 4 x 5 block pattern. Make an effort for the blocks to "pet" the same direction (or same two directions) for a better finished result. If you're planning to do an applique, you'll also want to make sure you have a corner of the quilt that will contrast with your main applique color. In this case, I used the upper left corner for my applique because there is no kiwi-green in those blocks. (So this picture is upside down from how I oriented my final quilt.)
From here you're just sewing the blocks together. Be sure to use LOTS OF PINS and a walking foot on your machine to minimize fabric slipping and help your corners meet properly.
Once you've got the top sewn together, you may want to add a fun applique to liven up the quilt. You can find the free pattern for the Spotty the Turtle applique on the Fairfield World site here.
Finally you need to do the quilting. I LOVE using basting spray for any quilt, but it's especially helpful for Cuddle quilts. My favorite is 505 Brand Basting Spray but just about any brand will work. Be sure to protect your area from overspray.
It works best if you lay your batting out with your quilt top on top. Peel back half of the top, spray the batting and then smooth the quilt top back over it. My favorite batting is Nature-Fil™ Bamboo Blend Batting because I love the drape, but cotton or cotton/poly blend is also a nice choice. Then repeat for the other half. Trim batting. Flip your quilt over and repeat to add your quilt backing.
One thing I love is how well Cuddle fabric shows your quilting lines. You will hardly see the thread, but you'll see a pleasing little dip in the plush fabric everywhere you quilt. I tend to stick to easy straight lines and chose to make a big X through each block as well as quilting around the turtle. Free motion quilting or quilting "in-the-ditch" would also work great. And don't be afraid to quilt your project on your home machine. Cuddle fabric is very forgiving at hiding small mistakes.
For binding cut 2" strips of cuddle fabric. See this post for excellent instructions to bind your quilt.