Scrappy String Crayons Quilt Pattern Tutorial



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Scrappy String Crayons Quilt Pattern Tutorial

Finished Size: 12" x 12"

This design is quite flexible.
I made mine into a pyjama pillowcase, for my grandsons to keep their jammies tucked in, which fills it up into a pillow.
Of course it also could be a pillow, with a pillow form added.
If you take the single small blocks, with the 3 small crayons and sew them in a row - all in the same direction, you could also make a long, skinny wall hanging or pillow, or sew a long row of them to the top edge of a plain set of sheets.
It would also make a fun lap quilt by adding rows of crayons, or extend the length of each crayon (using the same template pattern, without the angled parts) to be as tall as the quilt.


To see the Scrappy String Crayons Picture Gallery, click here.


*For a tip about printing this page, click here.
Be sure to print this web page & request the template file.


Tiny scraps of fabric in different colours
3" wide strip for the Background Fabric
14" x 14" Backing Fabric
14" x 14" thin cotton batting
2 ~ 13" x 10" Fabric for the Pillow Back
1½ strips for the Binding (2½" wide)

Tip: In quilting a 'strip' is the width of the fabric (WOF) cut from selvage to selvage.
Two fat quarter (FQ) strips would equal one WOF strip.

Any instructions with [brackets], refers you to the Technique Page in the Library of this site for printable free how-tos.


~Making the Crayon Units~

1. Print 4 copies of the crayon template page*.
Cut, with paper scissors, around each template, leaving about 1/8
" of paper beyond the outer cutting line.
The side with the printing is your sewing side, and the backside is where you place the fabric.

Request the Crayon Template here

*Note: I chose paper templates for this small project, which is easy to remove the paper.
If you are making a larger quilt consider tracing the template on thin scrap fabric or interfacing, to use as a permanent foundation for the crayons.

2. Centre the first string fabric patch, right-side up, along the bottom edge of the crayon, on the plain side of the pattern, and pin it in place on the printed side.
Hold it up to the light to be sure it's covering across the template.
Align the edge of a second string patch, right-side down, over the first patch, and re-pin through all the layers, being careful not to shift it.
Note: You only need to pin patches before the first seam is stitched.
Fold the paper about ¼" below the aligned edges, and use this fold as your stitching line.

3. Turn the unit to the sewing/printed side, with the fabric underneath.
Sew across the folded line of the paper.

4. Remove the unit from the sewing machine.
Press [Pressing] patch #2 open with a dry iron.

5. Repeat with the next string patches until the crayon shape in the center is covered.

Backside showing stitching lines.

Front side showing stitching lines.

6. Align the ¼" line of the ruler along one of the angle lines at the top of the crayon and fold the paper back at the edge of the ruler.
Trim any excess fabric beyond the fold, being careful not to cut the paper.

Repeat along the second angle line.

7. Align the short edge of the 3" strip of background fabric, along one of the trimmed edges, right-side down.
Turn the unit over and stitch along the angled sewing line.

Press the patch open, and trim the strip even with the edge of the paper.
Repeat adding the background fabric to the other angle.

Your crayon is then complete.

8. Using the rotary cutter and grid ruler, place the unit sewing side up and trim the excess fabric and paper pattern along the dash line on the pattern.
Press [Pressing·#1].

Leave the rest of the paper in place until all the edges are joined to the other units.
Use the solid line on the paper as your sewing line.

You need to make 12 crayons for the pillow.


~Sewing the Units Together~

1. To sew the crayons into small blocks, lay them out in an order that pleases you.
Place two crayon units you want to sew together, right-sides together.
Place a pin (mine are the flat green flower pins) in each corner, and a third where the angle patch meets the sewing line, on the edge you are joining.
Don't anchor them.
To anchor them hold the pin perpendicular (90*) with your first two fingers (underneath) and your thumb on top. Then place an anchor pin (going in at an angle) beside it.
Remove the perpendicular pin after you've anchored it.
Do the same for the other pins along the edge.
Repeat with a few other pins, in the spaces between.
This pinning method keeps the seams from shifting out of place.

2. Stitch along the solid sewing line, from edge to edge.

3. Fold the paper along the stitching lines an tear away the seam allowance paper, along the perforated sewing line.
Tip: Tweezers can be helpful.

4. When you have 3 crayon units stitched together, press the seams open.
The unfinished size of these small crayon blocks is 6½" x 6½" square.

5. Lay out 4 small crayon blocks as shown below, or in another order you prefer.
Using the same pinning method, sew them together into pairs.
Then sew the pairs together, matching the center seam.

6. Now you remove all of the paper from the back of the units, with the same folding - tearing method you used for the seams.


~How to Prepare & Quilt the Top~

1. Press [Pressing] the backing fabric and the quilt top, one last time.
Make sure the seams are flat and clip any loose threads.

2. On a large flat clean surface, place the backing fabric down, with the wrong-side of the fabric facing up.
Note: For a larger quilt I suggest securing around the edges with painters tape.
Do not pull too taut.

Center the batting over the backing fabric and smooth out.

Then center the quilt top, with the right-side up, on top of the batting and backing fabric.
Remember the top is smaller.
Make sure this 'sandwich' is all smooth and flat, and is not being pulled.

3. Baste each crayon with a 1" rustproof safety pin.
Choose a spot you will not be quilting.
Check that the backing fabric is still smooth.

4. Choose the threads you will be quilting with.
For this project I chose to use threads that match each of the crayons.

To begin machine quilting I put my needle down in the top left side of the crayon, as shown below, using my presser foot as a guide along the edge of the crayon.
Pull up the bottom thread.
Holding the threads, take a few stitches forward and then backward to tack the them securely.

Quilt down the left side, stopping ¼" before the end.
With the needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot the top to align the edge of the presser foot along the bottom edge of the crayon.
Put the presser foot back down and continue stitching until you're ¼" before the next side.
Keep going until you're back at the beginning.
Then make a few tack stitches again to secure the threads, and remove the quilt from the machine.
Tip: When stitching along a raw edge, like the tip of the crayon or along the outer edges, stop and stitch
½" from the raw edge, to keep the seam allowance in mind.

5. Trim the batting ¼" beyond the top, making sure the corners are square.


~Preparing the Envelope Pillow Back~

1. Cut the two backing pieces and the binding.

2. Prepare the pillow back pieces by turning under the raw edge ½", along one long side of the Backing Fabric patches. Press.
Turn under
½" again, press and machine stitch across it to hold.

3. Lay the quilted block face down on a flat surface.
Place one pillow back piece right side facing up on the quilted block, aligning the raw edges on the left and the stitched edge across the center.
Place the remaining pillow back piece, right side facing up, aligning the raw edges on the right side, and the stitched edge across the center, overlapping the left side backing piece.
Pin in place on all sides.


~Quilt Binding Finish~

1. Join the two binding strips end to end as follows:
-Place the two strips, right-sides together, at right angles, with ¼" extending beyond the other strip (see arrow).
-With a mechanical pencil and grid ruler, draw a digonal line, corner to corner.

2. Stitch along this diagonal line.
Trim the extra fabric down to a ¼" seam allowance, beyond the stitched line.
Press the seam open.
Fold the binding in half, wrong-sides together along the whole length and press.

3. Align the raw edge of the binding with the edge of the crayon block, beginning away from a corner.
Tip: Loosely run your binding around the edge of the whole quilt, making sure the join seam is away from any corner.
Adjust where you begin, if this does happen.

Pin in place along one side, until you reach the corner.

Begin stitching the binding 3" from the end, with a few back stitches, using a ¼" seam allowance.

Sew the binding in place, until you are exactly ¼" away from the corner of the top.
Back-stitch and remove the quilt from the machine. Cut the threads.

4. To mitre the corner, fold the binding back to create a diagonal fold to the corner.

Then fold the binding back down to align the edge with the next side of the quilt.
The second fold of the binding aligns with the side just stitched.
Pin the binding in place down the side of the quilt.

Begin stitching at the second fold, back-stitching to begin, and continue to the next corner, as before.
Sew the binding around all the edges of the quilt, mitring every corner, as before, until you are just past the last corner.
Backstitch and remove the quilt from the machine. Cut the threads.

5. Angle the first end of the binding, trimming the extra fabric beyond the size of a seam allowance.
Trim any extra binding, leaving enough to overlap past the furthest part of the diagonal end.
Tuck the trimmed end inside the diagonal end (see arrow) until it lays flat against the quilt top.
Pin in place.

Stitch this remaining binding to the quilt, back-stitching both at the beginning and the end.

6. Using a blind-stitch [Stitches·#1], stitch the diagonal fold of the binding end closed, starting on the backside of the fold, where the binding ends meet.
Be careful to stitch through one layer of fabric only, so it won't show on the front.

Continue on the front of the same diagonal fold.

Then push your needle back to the back of your quilt (see arrow below), coming out beside the binding stitching line.

7. Fold the binding to the back-side of the quilt, using a few pins to hold in place, and begin stitching the binding to the back of the quilt, just above the stitching line.
Tip: Instead of pinning the binding all the way around, use only 3-4 pins where you are about to sew.
Move the pins, as you sew up to them, to past the last pin.
This secures the binding in place, as you sew along.

When you get to a corner take a few stitches into the seam.

Fold the binding on the next side up, folding the corner on the back to angle it nicely.
Stitch this fold down and then continue stitching across to the next corner.

This is the front view of a mitred corner.

This is the finished view of the back of a mitred corner.


The completed back of the envelope back pillow.


Here's the finished pillow, stuffed with pyjamas!

Here's the second pillow I made, using polka dots for the background and red binding, so the two pyjama pillows weren't exactly the same.


~Sew Fun~

Please send me pictures of any quilt projects you make with my String Crayons design!



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