The Present Quilt Tutorial

Present Quilt Thumbnail

Jenny Doan shows us how to make a lovely Present Quilt using charm packs (5 inch squares of precut fabrics). This quilt can also be made with layer cakes (10 inch squares of precut fabric). The finished quilt is 72×92 inches.

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Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi I’m Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You know as well as I do, it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas.  So let’s take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this adorable?  Now I’ve done this in Christmas, but this is a present quilt.  So really it could/would be a fun birthday quilt or baby shower quilt.  Anything you need a present for this would be a lot of fun.  So what I’m going to show you today is how to make these present blocks and they’re so easy and quick and cute.  

So to make this quilt what I used was one packet of 10 inch precuts or four 5 inch charm packs.  Which of course I went for the four, because it’s just easier and quicker and it eliminates a step, but either one will work.  Now the fabric I used for this quilt was/is called “Christmas Pure and Simple” and it’s by Nancy Halvorsen for Benartex.  Absolutely beautiful.  Just a really fun fabric. You can see it on the quilt behind me.  So the other things you’re going to need to make this quilt is you’re going to need 2, about 2 ½ yards of sashing fabric, you can also use 2 ½ inch strips.  You know a 2 ½ inch roll of strips.  I think you would have enough for that.  Also I bought ½ yards of four coordinating fabrics that are in the line, because I wanted to mix up my bows.  You know, I wanted them all to be different.  When I wrap presents, you know, you want them to look all different.  So I bought four ½ yards.  And this is actually the fabric I had left over when I made the quilt.  So you know you don’t use quite all the ½ yard, but you’re going to use more than a ¼ of a yard.  So just, you know just keep that in mind when purchasing some contrasting fabrics and it just goes together so cute.

So let me show you how to do this.  First what we’re going to do, is we are going to separate our charm pack and get four squares that are just the same.  Then we need to cut some 1 ½ inch strips from our contrasting fabric. And I have some here.  Ooh I have this gold one that’s really pretty.  So let’s put this gold one in the green.  Now we know our charms are 5 inches, so I’m going to go ahead and cut two 5 inch strips here that we are going to put in the middle here for this sashing.  So let me go ahead and cut those.  So here is one and then I got one more right here.  And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to put these right sides together on our two squares right here.  And just sew a ¼ of an inch right down.  So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that.

Alright, so a ¼ of an inch straight down the side and I’m just going to make sure that they’re lined up.  Zoom down here and then I’m going to put my other square right in here and just chain piece them on the way down. So I’ll both of those done at once.  Then I’m going to pull them out, cut them apart, and press them open.  So let’s head over here to the iron and I’m just going to roll these back.  There we go.  And then we’re going to sew these other pieces on, right onto this strip as well. So our 1 ½ inch strip now we’re just laying, we’re laying our second strip on here and it will open up and look like that.  So we’re going to take these over to the sewing machine and just chain piece them again, just like we just did.  So here we go. Let’s head over there again.  

Alright.  I like to make, I like to just take a few little anchoring stitches and then, and then make sure I’m lined up.  And then I can just sew straight down and I’ll do this same thing with this second piece right here.  So make sure we’re lined up here at the top and then we’re just going to go straight down.  Trim them apart just like before.  Clip our threads and then we’re going to press this open.  There we go.  Now all we have to do to make this look like a present and actually you know this is a really important thing to tell you.  Let me just, let me just share this little bit of information.  I really like to press from the top to make sure there’s no folds or anything in my seam.  And then I will flip this over and then I can make the seams go the way I want.  Once that I’ve made sure that there are no folds or you know tucks in the seam, you want to make sure this, you know that will change the size of your blocks.  So you want to make sure that those are pressed and open and nice and no little folds or tucks in here cause that will change the size of your block.  

So now what we have to do to make this look like a present is we’ve got to put our 1 ½ inch piece in here. So I’m going to measure this block right here and see how big it is.  So I have 10 ½, so I’m going to cut my little strip, my 1 ½ inch strip 10 ½, right here.  And then, we’re going to do the same thing as we did on the top with one exception. We now have to do something that isn’t my favorite thing to do and that’s line up a block seam to seam.  So I’m going to go ahead and sew this on one side right here.  Just sew this on one side and then we’re going to come back and connect it to the top and I’ll show you what, what we’re going to do, so.  

I’ll go ahead and sew this part down.  And then we’re going to iron this back.  Now it looks like my strip, strip I must have measured it a little bit long so I’m just going to trim this off.  Keep it the same size.  So just make sure you’re careful when you measure your block and you measure it to be the same size.  So now what we want to do right here, is we want to make sure this strip up here is lining up with this strip down here.  Because if it is off like this at all, not going to look like you did a good job wrapping your presents. So we want them to line up.  So what I like to do is I lay this back on here like this.  I’m actually going to lift this under here to make sure. You can see here that my seams are lined up right here and I’m going to check right here to make sure that they’re still lined up.  Lay this on here, you can put a pin in there if you want and I’m just going to carefully take this over to the sewing machine and we’re going to sew it down.

It should be pretty easy cause really you just have this one seam, but you just want to make sure and so I kind of check it as I’m going along.  Make sure it’s still in the right spot. Then you just kind of cross your fingers and hope it works, hahaha.  I try, actually this is one of my least favorite things to do.  I try to do a lot of sashings that don’t have to line up.  You know where you don’t have to line them up because it’s always a little off and it just kind of drives me crazy.  Hey that one looks pretty good. I like how that looks.  So let’s iron this open and I’m going to lift this up and just iron it back like this and then I’m going to flip this over and make my seam go to the middle.  I want it to go to the middle, I think it will lay down better, and when your seams are pressed down to the middle on this block it’s kind of going to make that ribbon pop out.  So I like that.  

So now that your presents done, what you need to do is add the bow on the top.  And the bow on the top is actually going to make the top sashing for the present.  So to do that you’re going to take your background fabric and you’re going to cut one 4 ½ inch piece and two 3 ½ inch pieces.  Then you’re going to have to add your square of color that’s going to make the bow.  The squares of color are 2 ½ inch squares and it’s from the same color that you made your middle sashing with.  So I have taken a strip here and cut it 2 ½ and then I’m going to cut two squares out of it for the corners of my bow right here.  Then what I’m going to do is I’m going to take two of these and I’m press a sew line.  So we’re just going to fold these diagonally and make our little sew line on here.  And then what we’re going to do is we have to add these one at a time cause they’re going to overlap on the top.  So we want to put them, so the sew line comes from the outside into the middle, right here.  And we’re going to sew that and trim that off, and then we’ll add the other side.  So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that.

Basically what I’m doing by teaching you how to make this little present sashing is I’m tricking you into making a flying geese.  That’s all this is, is a flying geese.  So we’re sewing one down.  We’re going to trim this edge off right here.  Then we’re going to fold this back just like this and we’re and we’re going to press it back right now.  Then what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our other square, put it right sides together and again it’s going to go from the outside corner into the middle.  And these two are going to cross.  So we’re going to take that to the sewing machine and sew down our press line right there.

Everybody always gets really nervous if you tell them they’re making a flying geese. So I’m like this is this is cracking me up, because it’s going to be a flying geese, but I’m not really telling you, right?  You’ve got nothing to be afraid of, hahaha.  Alright here we go.  Alright so then what we’re going to do is were going to trim this side off and iron this side back.  Just like that. So now what we’ve made really is a flying geese and it just goes together so easily.   And then we’re going to sew these two side pieces on like this, we’re going to whip this around like this, we’re going to sew it to the top of this block and it’s going to be our bow.

So now we have this block done.  The darling little present block with its bow.  And the bow makes the top sashing.  So now we have a cool way to sash it so let me talk to you about that.  Because these block are going to be laid together in rows and we’ve already done the sashing on the top all we have to do is do the sashing on the side and the bottom and then put our rows together.  And then when we finish all of our rows we’re going to add one more row on the side and that’s going to do all our sashing.  And so it’s going to be done all at once.  So we’re going to sash these blocks.  So we’re going to start by measuring the height of our block and these two measurements should turn out the same.  Mine turned out to be 12 ¼, but that could change depending upon your seam allowance and so make sure you measure that.  So what we’re going to do is we’re going to put these right sides together.  We’re going to head over to the sewing machine and we’re going to sew these down over at the sewing machine.  

¼ of an inch along the side. And then, and then we’ll put that sashing piece across the bottom.  This is a really cool way to do sashing cause its super quick when you’re putting a quilt together.  And by the time were busy doing Christmas things we need every bit of speedy help we can get.  So we’re going to press this back now and then we’re going to add our sashing along the bottom.  So let’s go ahead and put that piece there.  Remember I said they should end up the same size, mine did.  And I’m just going to sew this one right sides together, ¼ of an inch right across the bottom.  

There we go. And I’m going to iron this back right here. And so this right here is the block you’re going for.  You’re going to sash your blockings your, I mean you’re going to sash all your blocks on these three sides and just put them together in rows.  So the way this quilt ends up measuring, it’s 72x 92.  Little bit longer, I got some tall boys in my family who need long quilts.  And I did five presents across and six presents down.  So let me show you how this block fits in here.  So it’s going to come in here just like this, see.  And you’re going to just put them, put rows of these, you’ll sew the next present you’ll have sashed and you’ll sew it right to this one and it will already have its sashing on here.

So I just love how this quilt turned out.  You get all your rows together, all your sashing is done and you just have to add one more strip on the side and your entire quilt is sashed. This just makes a great quick project.  So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the “Present Quilt” from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.


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  • BlueViolets

    I didn’t make a quilt but I made “single packages” as wall hangings. I usually give the ladies and the children an ornament at Thanksgiving to add to their Christmas tree decorations but last year I thought the ladies would like these better. This gave them something to add to the wall for decoration in a spot they may not have been able to decorate before. I also made one for the lovely lady who got me interested in quilting who just happens to be my daughter-in-law’s mother.

  • Lesley Morris

    I’ve got my ‘Holiday Flourish” charms from Robert Kaufman, can’t wait to make this Present Quilt for my daughter! Thanks Jenny!

  • Shannon Young

    I bought the Oh Fudge layer cake when it was the daily special and made this quilt with it. Love how it turned out!!