Group Quilting, Sew News Style – Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!

There might be something in the water in our offices. We recently had 4 pregnant staff members (2 on our team and 2 on other teams) running about the building. On our team Associate Editor, Nicole LaFoille was expecting her first and Editor-in-Chief Ellen is pregnant with twin girls. We decided we wanted to make a quilt for Nicole’s little lady baby and set out to do so.

It was quite the interesting experience. Many team members had never quilted prior, others had varying degrees of experience. It was quite the fun experience teaching new quilters a few tricks and learning from each other as we went.

Picking Out the Fabric

Many secret emails were exchanged as we tried to keep the quilt project a secret from Nicole. Everyone voted on their preferred fabric and soon enough it arrived, allowing us to begin planning layout and construction.

We were very lucky to receive fabric donations from Monaluna fabrics and the Quilted Castle. Mona Luna sent us the Fox Hollow collection to use of the blocks. The Quitled Castle was kind enough to send over the backing and sashing fabric (Northcott Feathered Friends Grey Tonal Flowers). We cannot thank Monaluna and the Quilted Castle enough! Without them, our quilt would not have come together.

Designing the Top

We weren’t brave enough to draft our own pattern for the top. Instead we turned to the vast array of inspiration available online. Rae of provided an excellent pattern titled “Storytime Squares”. It seemed the perfect pattern to show off the cute fabrics we’d chosen.

Thanks to the step by step details provided we were quickly on our way to quilt top success. It was amazing to have all the sewing minds on the team in one room trading advice from projects past. Plus, as we began cutting the fabrics Ellen informed us that she’s expecting twins!

IMAG1905 300x169 Group Quilting, Sew News Style   Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!

Piecing the top.

Stitching was great fun, some members of the art team have limited sewing knowledge, but we made sure to include them. In fact, we put them to work stitching the top together. We all had fantastic plans for how to quilt the top, but ultimately decided that a quick stitch-in-the-ditch would have to do, by now we were running out of time.

We soon realized we needed to bind the quilt and we only had one week until the baby shower. Fortunately, Ellen had an easy binding technique to share with us!


To use this easy binding technique, cut the backing fabric at least 2″ wider than the top on all sides as you prepare to quilt the top. This method wraps the backing fabric from the quilt back to the quilt front to create binding.

Once the quilting is complete, trim the batting flush with the quilt top edge and trim the backing to a uniform 1″ border around the top.

Fold the backing fabric 1/2″ toward the wrongside, press and allow to cool. Fold over another 1/2″ (this 1/2″ should fold the backing fabric over the top’s edge), press and allow to cool. Pin the edges, leaving the corners unpinned.

photo 21 e1399327652804 225x300 Group Quilting, Sew News Style   Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!Unfold one corner. Fold the corner into the innermost fold line on the quilt top, finger press. Refold the edges to see how much corner shows when the edges are folded along the press lines.

photo 31 e1399327708210 225x300 Group Quilting, Sew News Style   Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!Trim the excess corner fabric away leaving only a diagonal fabric edge to hide under the binding.

photo 41 e1399327761724 225x300 Group Quilting, Sew News Style   Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!Refold the backing edges along the press lines, creating a lovely mitered corner, pin. Hand stitch the backing to the quilt front using a slipstitch.

The Baby Shower

IMAG2116 169x300 Group Quilting, Sew News Style   Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!The quilt was finished just in time! We added a label digitized by Courtney, our resident digitizing expert, to the back and called it a day.

IMAG2119 1024x579 Group Quilting, Sew News Style   Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!

The baby shower was delightful! We colored onesies for Nicole and enjoyed a bit of cake. Presenting the quilt was easily the best part. Nicole was surprised and seemed to truly enjoy the quilt. We had the shower just in time too! Nicole delivered her daughter two weeks early, just one and a half weeks after the shower.

Mom and baby are resting happily at home. Everyone in the office is anxiously awaiting their promised visit. All in all, making the quilt as a team was a rewarding experience and we soon repeated the experience to make 2 quilts for Ellen!

This entry was posted in Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Group Quilting, Sew News Style – Plus a Cheater Binding Tutorial!

  1. Great way to do the binding. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>