Tube Tutorial – How to Quilt


Hi, I’m Jenny, from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. We love our forums at the Missouri Star, and a lot of women get on there and talk about lots of different things. One of those women was Shellscraps. She had been over to Cozy Quilt Designs and seen a tutorial of something they called tube quilting. Well I went over there and watched that and was pretty excited about it, and wanted to try it myself. Her question was, could it be done with a regular ruler? So, here’s what we did.

So, the first thing we’re going to do on this project, is cut two strips of contrasting fabric 2 ½” wide. So, this would be a great project for a Jelly Roll as well. So, we’ve done that, and then we’re going to sew them together using a ¼” seam. OK, so we’re going to sew these two strips together using a ¼”, and we’ll sew all the way down. OK, so now we have your two strips all sewn together. You set your seam and then you press to the dark side, always to the dark side. Open that up and these are cut the width of the fabric by the way, 2 ½”, width of the fabric, sewn end to end. OK, so now that we have these ironed, and pressed, and open, we’re going to measure them and see how wide they are. They should come out to be 4 ½” if you’ve sewn a ¼” and these do! So, what we want to do now is we’re going to cut an additional strip of fabric that’s 4 ½” wide and this will also be the width of the fabric. It should be a lighter contrasting color, you can see that ours is beige, and it will pick up the red and green. So, when we put this together you’re just going to be amazed at what happens.

So, now we’re going to lay this on top of eachother and we are going to sew both sides of this ¼” seam and make a tube. OK, so we place these right sides together and we’re going to sew a ¼” seam all the way down to enclose it. I know this sounds kind of strange but we are doing is we’re making a tube. When you sew long seams like this you want to be sure to change directions often so that your fabric doesn’t bow. This is only two seams so it won’t be bad at all, but if you sewed all your seams going in one direction it would create a bow in the pattern. So, we’re just going to turn these around and sew back down the other direction, with our sides matched up, ¼”. So, here we are at the end of our tube, let’s just finish this up. There we go, all done. Now over to the cutting table. So, you can see that this is a tube and we’ll lay it out here. We’re going to use this Omnigrid ruler which is a 9 ½” square I imagine you could do anyone that has the fourty-five degree line on it, and that’s the line that will give us our angles. So, you lay that line on your ¼” seam, so, that we can make a cut here that will give us the top point of our first cut. Now I’m left handed, so, I’m doing this left handed and we will bring Natalie in to show you how to make a right handed cut, a little bit down. So, the next thing we want to do is we want to slide this down here and put it on the bottom seam line. See how easy that was? It makes a point and we make a cut. We’re going to slide it up, we’ll move this out of here, see this is the block that you get. Put it right along the seam line and we make another cut. This is going to be so amazing when you see what happens when we open these up. We’ll finish cutting these and really all we need is four for our demonstration. So, this will be the last one we’ll cut, before the magic begins! Alright, now we have four of these blocks and you can get four more out of this tube. When you open them up this is what you get a little piece of magic! Look at that. Now, what’s fun about this is because of the way they’re cut the entire center will be opposites and so what you’re making is a double hourglass, set on point! How cool is that! Let’s go over and iron these so you can get an even better look. So, we set our seams and then we’ll lift them up, and press them over to make this lay flat. I think if you had three of these blocks it would make the most darling table runner.

OK, so here we are back at the cutting table with our nice pressed block, and we lay them out, and you can see once again that this is a double hour glass, set on point. Three of these blocks with a little 3” sashing around them would make the most darling table runner ever. Now we’re going to have Natalie show how to cut it from the right handed side, because it’s basically the same idea it just takes a little bit different angle. So, we’ll have her come over and show that.

Alright, the only difference between a left-handed and a right-handed cut is which side you start on. So we’re going to do this from this side. Just the same as she did this before. Lining the fourty-five degree angle line up with your seam, and making your cuts.

OK, so now that you’ve seen the left-handed and the right-handed way. Let’s see what else we can do with these blocks besides the double hour glass. So, we figure we can put them together, and make the double square. We could do something wild and crazy, and line them up so they make a kind of chevron thing. We just never, I guess we can do all kinds of things! So this is really a fun technique, and it’s something you’ll enjoy that’s quick! So, out of three strips of fabric we’ve been able to make two and a half blocks. And it takes very little fabric to make this, and you’ll have a table runner in no time with this tube technique. We hope you’ve enjoyed this from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Happy sewing!

posted: All, Common Quilting Techniques, Front Page Featured Tutorials, Intermediate Quilting Tutorials, Jelly Rolls, Quilt Projects, Quilts and Quilt Blocks | tagged: , ,
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  • Silvana

    Dove posso comprare la squadra. Grazie

  • eemaw

    Very nice. Thanks for the video!

  • Sarah

    So glad you enjoyed it!  Have a great day!

  • Annie

    How cool!  How inventive!  Love it, thanks!

  • Georgette

    Love this!  Thanks so much.

  • great tutorial!

  • Pat

    I love this technique.  Thank you so much Jenny!  I love Missouri Quilt Comany tutorials very much. I am new to quilting and anxious to try many of your projects.

  • Noramontgomery

    Jennie, I watched your Tube tutorial and right after that one, you showed a different version where you added some stripes.  As I remember, you sewed some stripes, then sewed them to the tube and after sewing / cutting, it made a really nice quilt.  I cannot find that video again.  Would you please send me the link or tell me how to find it?  I cannot tell you how much I love your videos and have shared them with all 3 of my sisters and many, many quilting friends.  We have Guild Tuesday and I will tell the ladies there about you.  I ordered the Scallop Ruler…have not tried it yet but am anxious to get to it.  Thanks much, Nora Montgomery

  • Denmck55

    As a new quilter, you and the others at the quilt company have provided such great ideas!  And the techniques are so clear and easy to understand!  Thank you so much for making these tutorials.

    • Sarah

      Thanks for saying so!  We LOVE sharing our love of quilting.  Good luck in your quilting adventures!!

  • Brenda Sichenzia

    Absolutely, fantastic!  A friend introduced me to this website and, for me, it is the first time that someone actually gave easy, clear instructions for patterns that look complicated [for a beginner] and used to take  much longer to produce without accurate cuts.  I can’t wait to try all the projects on this turtorial.   Thank you for making this available. 

    • Sarah

      Brenda, you are too kind!!  Thanks so much for your sweet comment!  Hope you have great success with your next project!  Have a wonderful day!

  • Jumpkits-6

    Love this tutorial.  Thank you so much…wonderful idea for table runner…..

  • Carolannbejtlich

    Super tutorial. I printed out the transcript and I’m going to try it tonight!
    Thanks for the information. You are great:)
    Carol Ann

  • Lynbarrett

    Just LOVE it! Thanks to Marcia from Quilterscache for Leading me down this path, and thanks for the great tutorial…………

  • Carol

    Great tutorial! Did a sample right away. Nice to see something done left handed.


  • Sewmama

    This is pretty nifty. Read the tutorial before I watched the video and it made it very easy to understand when I watched the video.  “Thank you” for showing us all something that looks complicated can be quite easy!  : )

  • Marguertie

    Thank you for this! Definitely going to try this out!

  • Dani

    Can’t wait to try this! I bought Jelly Rolls to do the one on the series I bought on Craftsy but I think I’m going to whip out a Christmas Table Runner after seeing this video. Can’t wait until you’re as big as El Burns, Jenny! I enjoy watching you very much 🙂

  • Irwinshirl

    I enjoye3d your demo and amheaded to the sewing room to play.

  • Bobobin

    I love watching your videos and getting ideas to make nice easy quilts that are beautiful as well.  I donate lots of quilts and like being able to make more using your techniques.
    Thank you and keep up the great work.

  • Donna Schweitzer

    This was great.  I have really enjoyed watching your videos!

  • Lamloftin

    how much fun is this!  Can’t wait to try it with some Christmas fabric!

  • Gebz66

    This is so cool. thanks so much for the tutorial. Definitely going to have to try this soon.

  • Davidson Sandra

    Neat , really enjoyed and something I will try one day.

  • Niclund88

    Awesome! I love the fact you showed it for left-handed. I’m a leftie and it is nice to see a tutorial for lefties! I can’t wait to try it.

  • Thank you so much! Another winner, ladies 🙂

  • Betty

    What a wonderful idea, I think the table runner is a great idea for a last minute Christmas gift

    • Sarah

      Thank you!

  • Sarah

    I’m trying to use this method to make a chevron quilt, but when I sew the squares together, my seams don’t match up. Is there a method using this technique that would make a chevron with matching seams?

  • Wendy Calderwood

    This is a fantastic block for your first time, I found it so easy.   Thank you Jenny, you’ve made me a fan of Missouri Star Quilt Compan.

  • Jingle

    A dear quilting friend sent me this tutorial…wow!  So easy and such fun!   love it.

    • Sarah

      What a sweet friend!!  Glad you found us.  Hope you enjoy the tutorial!

  • Judy

    Love this tuturial….thanks so much for sharing your knowledge…blessings

  • Spolley5

    I have a basicgrey/curio jellyroll.  What would be a good solid for this technique?????

    • Natalie

      I would recommend Moda Snow sku 9900-11 as a cream colored coordinate. 

  • ginbart1954

    Hi Jenny, I just love you.  lol  I am left handed also so it’s nice seeing you cut that way.  I’m going with some members of my quilted guild on a weekend get away and I’m going to be making these blocks for a quilt for one of my grandchildren.  Thank you so much for all your tuturials I just love them and you make them so easy. 

  • Mary Grace McNamara

    Super cool!  I’m sharing this with my readers!  

    • Sarah

      Awesome!  Thank you!

  • Mthespinner

    Best tutorial I have seen yet-am bookmarking for my mother.

    • Natalie

      Thanks and we hope she enjoys it!

  • Wow! thats is amazing. What a clever way to piece. Im going to try that. I really dontlike piecing much but this way just might make it a whole lot more pleasant. Thank you.

  • Margaret

    Thanks for showing a “leftie” how to! I’m a beginner and it made it so easy for me.

    • JackieMSQC

      You are very welcome! Glad we could help!!

  • A great idea!

  • Catiius

    My all time favourite site. Love it!

    • JackieMSQC

      Aww, thank you!!!

  • Dawn

    This looks like an easy block but when you sew the blocks together, won’t you loose the points because of the quarter inch seam? I’m a beginner and would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks

    • JenM

      Thanks for asking, Dawn. When working with half square triangles (and stretchy bias edges) it can help to square up each block so they are consistent in size and square (be sure to line the diagonal line of your ruler up with the diagonal line on the square when squaring up.) And, keep a nice consistent 1/4 seam.

  • LagunaLady

    I know this is probably a dumb question, but if I want a 12 1/2 ” square, wouldn’t I have to make each side of the triangles 12 1/2″ also? My tube would have to be rather large, right?

  • Pat Williams

    I love your tutorials. You make it so easy to understand. I can’t tell you how often I have looked at a quilt and wondered how they did it. BUt then I see your tutorial and the light comes on! This is is perfect. You can change the design in so many way. Thanks and keep them coming!

    • JenniferMSQC

      Thanks for watching, Pat! We’re thrilled that we can help!

  • Pat Hill

    Thanks for this tutorial! I am starting a black and white quilt for my oldest Grandson using this method.

    • JenniferMSQC

      Fantastic! Can’t wait to see yours @disqus_5CoT66zYrq:disqus!

  • Alma Oralia Brown-Alvarado

    Real cool idea. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Savannah Rogers

    I finished the quilt I made using this tutorial! I started and stopped and finally finished it. I had a few blocks left over so I put one on a pillow case and made a ‘set’ as a gift for a little girl who is graduating to a ‘big girl’ bed. The quilt is roughly a full size. I used 4 block across and 5 down each with a 3 inch border.

    To save time and expense since this is a gift, I hand tied it. I just thought I would share it with everyone. It was my first bed sized quilt ever. I have nicknamed it Pink and Purple Explosion.