Hi I'm Skyler, and I'm into crafts, sewing, baking, and other domestic intrigue!

New and Improved Tutorial: Bubble Quilt Method #2

Here it is, an alternative method for making your bubble quilt (aka biscuit quilt)! This method is a lot easier, but more time consuming (at least for me) because it requires hand stitching. If you want to see the original method I posted, you can check it out here. If you want to see some example of other biscuit quilts I’ve made and others have made you can see some here and here.

This blanket is a 28″x28″ square not including the ruffle (7 puffs by 7 puffs), but you can use the method to make any size blanket you want.

Materials:
1 1/4 yard worth of cotton fabrics for the top (you can do as many or as few different fabrics as you want)
1 yard fabric for the backing (I like minky which is just soft fuzzy fabric)
1 1/4 yard silky fabric for the ruffle
1 bag fiberfill stuffing (I use Poly-Fil)

Step 1:  You’re going to need two sets of squares: the top squares that make your bubbles, and the bottom squares that you won’t be able to see. The top squares should be 6″x6″ and the base squares should be 4.5″x4.5″. Reminder: the base squares can be out of any old fabric you have lying around because it doesn’t matter what they look like because you won’t be able to see them. You need 49 of each. Note: If you want to cut the slits in the backs (the small squares) now, it’s a good idea, or you can do it later on in the process.

Step 2: Now we’re going to do some pinning. Take one square from each stack. Line up the corners of one of the small squares to the wrong side of the big square and pin it in place.

 

 Continue pinning each of the four corners together.

 

Step 3: Now we’re going to make the pleats. Take the pinned square like so and pinch up the excess top fabric along one side. Pinch the fabric up just a little bit off center.

 Then fold it down so that you have and s shaped pleat centered between the two pins. Pin it in place.
 Repeat on all four sides.

 Step 4: Using a 1/8″ seam, sew all the way around the whole square. Don’t leave any openings.

 Continue until you have all 49 of the squares finished. Lay them out in the design you want your blanket to be.

 Step 5: We’re now going to assemble the top of the quilt. This part is a breeze in this version and a bear in the other. Enjoy it! Take two squares and lay them right sides together. Using a 1/4″ sew them together along one edge.

 Assemble your top just like you would any quilt top, piece by piece. Make sure to keep them in the order you want!
 When you get to sewing bigger strips of them together, put in pins at the seams to help keep things in place and to give yourself a nice even top.
 Continue until your entire top is pieced together.
 All your pieces should be flat and deflated.

 Step 6: This next step needs to be done VERY CAREFULLY! Turn your quilt top wrong side up and pinch up the bottom square fabric, be careful not to pinch up any of the top bubble fabric with it! If you already cut your slits, hooray for you, move on to the next step.

Now cut a slit about 2″ long in the bottom square fabric.
You want your slits to be cut diagonally along the fabric to prevent fraying.

Step 7a: There are a couple different things you can do to finish your quilt.You can attach the back (and ruffle, if you’re doing one) at this point before you stuff any of the puffs. No bulk from the polyfil yet, so it’s super easy to attach. Then you just stuff and hand sew all of the bubbles once the back is sewn on but before you turn it right side out.

Step 7b: This second option is the one that I prefer. Stuff the inner bubbles, so that there’s a ring of unfilled bubbles all the way around. Then you can hand sew all of those stuffed bubbles closed.

Then you can sew on the backing. The outer ring of bubbles won’t be stuffed, so it’s super easy to attach. There is some bulk because of the other stuffed puffs, but it doesn’t interfere with putting the backing on at all. Then once the backing is on, you can stuff the outer squares and sew them up before you turn it right side out.

Step 7c: Last method, you can tuff all of the puffs up. This method totally works, but I recommend a or b now that I’ve made them several different ways.

Once all the bubbles are stuffed, you’re going to have to hand stitch up each one of those slits. Arg! I know! Just pop in a movie and power through, it’s so much easier than the first method even if it does take longer. I double thread my needle for extra strength.

Step 8: Cut out your backing for your blanket, it needs to be 28″x28″.

Cut out and make your ruffle. See my tutorial here to learn how to make one. Take your ruffle and place it on the backing (which is right side up). Line up the raw edges of the ruffle with the edge of the backing and pin in place all around the square.
Sew the ruffle in place with a 1/4″ seam.

Step 9: Take your completed bubble top and lay it out right side up.

Place the backing with ruffle right side down on top of the bubbles. Tuck the ruffle inside so you can’t see any of it.
Pin everything together and then sew around. Be very careful not to snag the ruffle in the seam during this process. Just go slow and stick you hand in between the pins to straighten the ruffle as you go (see tip below). Leave a fairly large opening for turning the blanket right side out, mine was about 7″ wide.
I find it useful to use a zipper foot for this part of the project. Also, when I get to a corner, I pull the fabric like so and stop at the corner
and then shove the ruffle back inside out of the way when I turn the corner. You can watch the video here for a better explanation. The pertinent part starts at about 17 minutes.
Once you go all the way around you can turn the blanket right side out and then last but not least, hand stitch up the opening.
You’re all done! Enjoy your amazing new bubble blanket!!!
Bubble Blanket - Biscuit Quilt - Ombre Dots - Turquoise and White Bubble Baby Blanket with Dark Teal Ruffle and Grey Backing - Ready to Ship

173 Comments

  1. this so amazing…am having my baby in october and am gonna start right away on making one..

  2. Do you think I could fill the bubbles with polystyrene balls (just like for beanbags)?

    • I think so. The only thing I’d be worried about is washing it because I’m not sure how long the puffs would hold up with the relatively heavy little poly pellets. Maybe a mixture of poly fil and the pellets would work well. Let me know what you try and how it turns out!

  3. I have mine sewn and stuffed and am in the process of stitching up the slits in the back. BUT I made mine bigger than yours and it is so heavy the only thing I think it would be safe for a child to use it for is to lay it down and play on top, If I don’t stuff it as much the puffs look a little wimpy. Any suggestions on how much stuffing is best.

    I love the method – I do think it is easier.

    • Sandra, I did the same thing with my first one. I made the puffs really big, they look great, but it really can’t be used as a blanket, it’s better as a play mat on the floor. I know it’s tempting to stuff them really full, but for a soft snugly blanket, you really don’t want to put in too much or it’ll be too heavy and less comfortable. Hope that helps!

      • As I read about how overstuffing makes it too heavy for a blanket , I was thrilled. I have autistic grandchildren and one in particular could sure use a ” weighted blanket”. They are quite expensive and not nearly as pretty or tactile as a bubble quilt would be. The best part is the weight would be uniform and it can be made however you want with fabric and colors for an individual childs likes and needs. Thank you so much for bringing this “problem” up. For me it turned out to be a great solution. Now the trick is to get it made . also would make a great shoulder weight or lap weight in smaller sizes and this is so adaptable. Thank you again both Sandra for asking and Skyler for great directions.

        • That would be a great use for them, let me know how your grand kids like them!

  4. Perfectly Adorable!!! I sooo Wish I could actually sew! I have a brand new sewing machine and I want to learn…..hmmmm. Wear is a teacher when I need them. Anyway It’s soooo sweet!

  5. I am so glad I found your site, I made one of these beautiful quilts for my daughter (who is now 23) and now want to make one for my grandchild due in February, I no longer had the pattern, so am pleased to have your tutorial to follow, I don’t think the sewing machine has been out in all those years, lets just hope it still works !

  6. I LOVE this quilt! I made mine bigger so it could be used as an actual blanket. I did the same as the others and over stuffed it and had to go back and unstuff! Got all my material cut out and ready to ruffle today! Thank you so much for this adorable pattern!

  7. Would it be possible to glue pieces of scrap fabric over the cuts as you don’t see the back anyway?

    • Rosalyn, I’m not sure about the glue. I would be afraid of it not being machine washable. Maybe if I found some that was ok to use in the washing machine I’d definitely give it a try!

      • Why not use a piece of Heat n Bond slightly bigger than the cut? You’d have to fuse it to the cut with an iron, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Then remove the paper. It’s totally washable.

        • Honestly, I’ve never used heat and bond, so I’m wary of it. I don’t know why, but I guess I’m stuck in my ways :) if you try it, please let me know how it turns out!

      • I’m a hand quilter and thought of this also, I used fusible web and a tiny scrap piece of fabric. It is laundry proof and does last.

  8. I love your quilts and want to make the rainbow one that is 11×11 puffs. Can you tell me how much fabric to buy?

    • Sue, that depends on how many colors or different fabrics you’re wanting for your blanket. If you want an 11×11 puff blanket, the only thing I can tell you is that the blanket will be approximately 44″x44″, so that’s how big the backing will need to be. If you let me know some more details I can hopefully be a bit more helpful!

      • If I have 17 Blue squares, 18 Green, 19 yellow, 20 orange, 19 Red, 18 dark purple, 16 pink squares. I know they are 6×6 in squares. So can you give me the amount per color I would need please. I am new at this and not sure how to do the math on this.

        • Sue, it’s no problem, it can be confusing! Luckily, yours is pretty easy. As long as your fabric is a standard 42″ width (it’ll say on the top of the bolt near the price) then you’ll need 1/2 yd of each of the colors you want. 1/2 yd is 18″, so you’ll be able to get three strips of 6″ width (18/6=3) and then you can get 7 squares out of each strip (42/6=7). So you’ll get 21 squares in each color, which is a bit more than you need, but that’s ok. Hope that helps! Have fun!

  9. Okay. I’ve done everything according to the directions and am ready to sew the minky backing with ruffle on. I don’t know if I stuffed it too much, but there’s no way that I can get it all together to sew! It’s just all too thick! The only thing I can think to do is to unsew my hand stitching and unstuff the outside squares, sew it all together and then re-stuff the outside squares and hand stitch them closed again. Does this make sense? Or, is there an easier way for me to go about this?
    Thanks, Diana

    • Diana, try smoothing the filling to the opposite side that you need to sew and use a zipper foot. If the puffs are just too full to do this with, you can either hand sew the backing to the puff front, or you can do what you suggested and unstuff the outer squares and then re stuff them once the layers are sewn together. I’ve actually done that a few times and need to post about it because it seems to work pretty well. Sorry you ran into some difficulties, I know how frustrating that can be! Good luck!

  10. Hi, i’m from Italy but i can’t translate yard and ” in centimeters…can you help me please? :( Thank you!

  11. Hi there! Thank you so much for the tutorial (including the ruffle) made an awesome gift! I will post my pic on my blog with a link back to yours for instructions :)
    http://annettiev.wordpress.com/

  12. HI Skyler, Thanks so much for this tutorial….I want to try my hand at this for a friend for her baby shower. I want her to be able to use it as a blanket (and not only a playmate) so I was thinking I wouldn’t stuff them so full so it wouldn’t be so heavy. I’ve read through the comments though, and don’t want the puffs to look to wimpy, as someone said. LOL
    In your opinion, could I cut the the top squares a bit smaller so as to accommodate less fill and therefore be less heavy? If so, how much smaller do you think I could go so as to just be a small puff?
    Thanks in advance!
    Denise

    • Denise, I think you could definitely cut the top square to be smaller, that’s a great idea. I would cut the top to be 5.5″ as opposed to 6″ with the 4.5″ base square. However, I would recommend that you make a trial bubble out of scrap fabric to see if it’s the size that you want. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Do you sell then or know where I can find one.

  14. Regular binding can be used as well, if ruffles are a problem. I tacked down the backing to the top every 4 puffs or so, then bound it. I made the backing a wee bit larger to accommate the tacking stitches.

  15. I was thinking of putting it all together before stuffing. No bulk yet and then you only finish off opening whle it is stuffed?? What do you think?

    • Ellen, you can definitely do that, it works and is easy, I just haven’t gotten around to posting about it. Have fun!

  16. I made my top blocks an inch bigger than the bottom. I tie all of them and then bind them. I chain sew about 20 down the first side; then down the second side; then the third side; I slip a wad of stuffing in before I sew the final side. That way, I have a string of 20 finished blocks. I made a large queen size for my daughter and son-in-law who were moving to Europe. They love it. It is heavy. I think we all appreciate your posting this and then we can take what you do and do our own thing. Thank you so much for posting this for us. I may have to do another one. (Smile)

  17. I’ve not done anything like this before, but am going to try it with the help of a friend. I know I shouldn’t even be trying this quilt if I have to start with this question… ha. So, do you wash the fabric before you cut the squares? Sorry, but I’m laughing as I type and wondering what I’m getting into. I just simply have to make this for my new little niece (my brother’s 8th child).

    • Linda, it’s not a silly question. I’ve been sewing nearly my whole life and I still don’t have a solid understanding of it. My mom never washes the fabric and neither do I, but my sister always does. The cotton fabric you use for the squares most likely will shrink a bit. It’s never been noticeable to me, so I never do it because I don’t want to mess with it, but I know lots of people swear by washing the fabric first. I guess it’s just a preference thing. Have fun sewing! Your new little niece will love it and make all her 7 siblings jealous! :)

      • I always wash mine too. For a newborn, I would DEFINITELY wash it. We have no idea what chemicals are used as sizing.

        • That’s a really good point. If you’re not going to wash it before you make it, definitely wash it after it’s made before giving it to a baby!

      • I always wash all of mine because I have Asthma and I cannot tolerate the chemicals.

  18. So happy I found this post – I can’t wait to make one! How cute!

  19. I’m wanting to make one of these for my baby girl due in May. I’m using 4 different fabrics equally but I’m having a hard time figuring out how much to buy and the dimensions to make it. I want it to be big enough to be used as the actual comforter for a toddler bed. What are your recommendations for all the fabric to buy and how many bubbles should I make?

    • Mercy, in general toddler blankets are about 46″x70″. So to make a bubble quilt for that size you could do a 12×18 puff blanket and it would turn out to be 48″x72″ not including a ruffle or anything. On a larger blanket I don’t usually recommend a ruffle because they end up being really hard, but that’s up to you. If you don’t do a ruffle you can just do a regular quilt binding or turn it inside out like a pillowcase, or a mitered quilt edging (see my side page about bubble quilts for more info on these if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

      Ok, so back to your question. If you make the 12×18 puff quilt, then you will have a total of 216 bubbles. If you want 4 fabrics, that will be 56 puffs in each color so you’ll need to buy 48″ of fabric in each color (assuming that your fabric is 44″ wide, and most are). For the backing squares, you’ll need 108″ of a fabric to make all of the 216 small back squares. Note: this is for 6″ top squares and 4.5″ backing squares. Hope that helps and makes sense!
      Skyler

  20. Hi, it’s Linda again. I didn’t wash the material, but will probably wash it after it’s done. Thanks!

    So, I have made my top bubble quilt piece. Very fun and I think looks pretty good for a person who doesn’t sew. :) Well, I’ve hit the ruffle and want to quit… I bought my ruffle material, measured it, cut it, sewed the ends together, folded it, changed to my longest stitch, changed the color in my bobbin to easily tell top and bottom apart, tied my top threads and started pulling the bottom one around and making my ruffle. My strips are roughly 60″ and I have 6 of them. My quilt is 36″ x 40″ (9 x 10 bubbles). It appeared that you doubled the length of your ruffle material, so that’s what I did. That could be wrong. Well, when I tied my 2 top strings together, I think the knot ended up at the edge of one of the ends and thus I couldn’t pull the bottom thread there. So I thought I’d mess with that later and just start pulling the other side and did fairly well for a little while. It was very slow going and after only pulling 1 and 1/2 strips, my string is somehow stuck on this side too and now won’t pull through. The other problem I’m having is fraying. By the time I pull all the way around, this first section is going to frayed right down to nothing. I’m pretty sure I could put nail polish or something like that all the way around to prevent it anymore, but with already having part of it ruffled, there’s no way that would work. Maybe there’s a better solution for that.

    I think I’m going to pull 100% of the thread off of all this material and start over. When I start over, I thought I would pull and ruffle one strip at a time and then sew my 6 strips end to end and into a circle. Before I actually do this, I thought I should write and see what your thoughts are. Plus, I’m finding tons of articles about how hard minky is to work with,.and I have a beautiful piece of it that is starting to scare me more than this ruffle. :) Help with the ruffle?

    • Linda,
      Sorry to hear that you’re having so much troule with the ruffle! They can be a big pain, especially if you’re new to sewing. I’ve been sewing for probably close to 20 years now and I think doing the ruffle is pretty awful. That being said, I ended up buying a ruffler foot to help with them. I got mine for like $10 or $15 from joanns. It was just a general one style fits all brands ruffler foot. Or you can buy one online, just google ruffler foot. There are also lots of blogs that show you how to use them. If you don’t want to do that, I’d suggest pulling out the thread and starting again with the gather. Before you sew the long stitch in again, trim off all the weird frayed edges and make sure to trim them as you go too. You can also try sewing a couple long stitches that you gather and tie separately. So instead of sewing one long one that you have to gather, sew one, stop and cut your threads, sew again, cut your thread, etc so that you have a few shorter sections to gather instead of one long one. That way the thread is less likely to get stuck. Does that make sense? As for the minky, it can be tricky if you’ve never done it before, but not nearly as tricky as the ruffle :) I would suggest to use lots of pins, and sew slowly. Minky can pull funny because it’s stretchy, but if you go slow and are patient, it’s not too bad. Also, if you have a walking foot for your machine, it’s a god send for use with minky, not at all neccessary, but still nice. I hope that helps! Good luck! :)

      • This helps. I have borrowed a walker foot from a friend who does quilts, she’s just never done ruffles. Just my luck. :) I didn’t even know what a walker foot was, but she insisted it would help me, and it has.

        I might break down and get the ruffler foot. If I decide to try again, I might just try keeping the sections sewed together like you said and stop and start a new pull thread at each section. I didn’t think about being able to do that.

        I really am excited about this quilt. I think it’s beautiful and can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I wish I could add a picture on here just to show you. As far as the minky, I have a couple of tutorials that have walked me through on how to work with it. I will pin every inch and sew slowly. I promise. Can’t wait for this to be completed! Thanks for the help and encouragement. I can totally do this! :D

        • Linda, you definitely can do it! If you get frustrated or stuck, walk away and come back to it later. I can’t tell you how mad I got at my first bubble quilt I tried to make, but eventually I finished it and it is my most favorite thing I’ve ever made. I’d love to see pictures if you want to email me at skyler@awaitingada.com Let me know if you have any more questions!

          • Hi, it’s me. I’m back… Well, my ruffle is attached to my top quilt. Stepped away quite a few times, but it looks awesome. :) I am now preparing to attach my backing. It’s minky. So I’ve read lots of warnings, but I’ve come this far, I can do this. My question is regarding the bubble quilt and attaching this backing. When the quilt is done and turned right-side-out, the backing will be flat and the same size as the edges of the quilt. But right now, I have my minky face to face with my bubbles that stick up and a ruffle that’s adding bulk too. So how do I take into account the extra bulk from the bubbles? If I just sew it as is, it will be too big when it’s turned around. Any thoughts on this, or am I just making a problem that’s not really there? I can’t wait till this is done to see it done. It’s just turned out so cute. I will try to send some pics. Thanks! Linda

          • Don’t worry about the bulk that the bubbles and ruffle add, just take it slowly one side at a time and you can adjust the minky as you go. It’ll be weird until you turn it right side out and then everything will lay correctly. I hope that makes sense. If I didn’t answer your question you can alway email me with pictures too and I can try to help more. Good luck, you’re almost done!!!

      • Skyler, I have not looked at your instructions for making ruffles yet. When I am gathering my ruffles, I baste around my ruffle in two rows ~1/8th to 1/4th inches apart which helps make the gathering easier. There is less thread breakage and fraying while gathering when I use this method. You may address this in your instructions already, if so please ignore this reply. I love your bubble quilts. You are such a generous person to take the time to share with others on how to sew beautiful things. I can tell you sew from the heart from just listening to my daughter (Jennifer Graham) talk about you. So thanks Skyler for all that you do.

        • Barbara, I agree, the two rows of stitches make for easier gathering. In my tutorial I don’t mention that because I just recently learned about it. Thanks for sharing your tip with the other readers, hopefully I’ll get around to changing the tutorial to add that!

        • Oh, and also, thanks for being so sweet! Your nice comment made my day!!!

          • You are welcome! Also that should be Jennifer Ditton not Graham. First time I have slipped in a long time since Jenn and Hank got married. Also thanks for the tips about a ruffler. I had never heard of a ruffle foot before. I am a proud owner of one now. I hope I can figure it out when I get ready to use it. Another tip I have found helpful with fraying is to cut the edges of my ruffle with pinking shears. Have a wonderful day!

          • Haha, yeah I haven’t thought about her as Graham for a long time! We got to meet for brunch when I was visiting CO, and she showed me a bunch of her recent sewing projects! As for the ruffler foot, practice on some scraps for a while and you’ll be an expert in no time. I’ll have to try the pinking shears on my ruffle edge, I don’t know why I never thought of doing that before!

  21. I don’t have time to sit and make one so I was wondering do you make them to sale? And how much?

  22. So I was looking at these for my baby but I wanted it more as a fun play mat, is it possible to fill some of the puff with crunchy stuff so that it will make moice when she moves?

    • You can fill them with lots of different things, however, it may not be machine washable if you do that. Some people have suggested having a velcro opening so you could slip the crunchy stuff out when you need to wash the blanket.

  23. I have just spent the last few moments reading over this thread and I have to applaude you! Rarely do you see someone so caring and responsive to the questions posted. You are an amazing lady. One of the rare few.
    Thank you for being you.
    Tami

    • Wow Tami, thanks for being so nice! What a sweet thing to say. Thanks for being you too!

  24. When I learned to do ruffles the teacher taught us to zig zag over dental floss. Then tie one end to a safety pin and pull the other end. And pin in place and sew. Be care not to sew the floss. When done the floss can be removed.

    • Another great idea. Much less chance for thread breakage!!

  25. The top of my quilt is ready to be cut and stuffed but I really need to “square it up” – did yours come out perfectly and you didn’t need to do that? Do I just shape it and then Resew the borders?

    • No, mine don’t always come out perfectly square, but they’re usually close enough that I don’t trim off anything, I just make adjustments as I go. My mom will cringe if she reads that though. I’m not much of a quilting perfectionist, if it looks pretty good, that’s good enough for me. :) If you want yours squared up, by all means go for it! Just make sure to resew the edges when you’re finished like you said so that you can stuff them without everything falling out! let me know how it goes!

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