Monday, June 8, 2015

Play Ball! A Quilt Tutorial

I spent part of last week working with the fun "Play Ball" fabric line from Riley Blake.  I love taking a straightforward quilt pattern and adding in some personality with a bit of applique.  For this quilt I take inspiration from the fabric and add a basketball and some stars along with the phrase "Play ball" - but you could also swap in a child's name there to personalize it!

Play Ball quilt tutorial
Finished quilt measures 60" x 65"

Supplies Needed:
1/3 yard each of 8 Playball prints:  Playball Main Navy, Playball Uniform Orange, Playball Ticket Aqua, Playball Ticket Navy, Playball Stripe Multi, Playball Star Navy, Playball Geo Aqua, Playball Geo Orange
1/2 yard Heat n Bond Lite
1/6 yard solid blue for stars (or use scraps)
1/4 yard solid orange for ball and letters
1/2 yard binding (Multi Stripe)
1-1/2 yards of solid white
3-3/4 yards of backing fabric
Batting (68" x 73")
Play Ball applique templates

Play ball fabric

Cutting Instructions:
From each of the 8 main prints, cut:
2 @ 5.5” x WOF.  Subcut into 12 @ 5.5” square (need 96 total)

From the solid white cut:
8 @ 3” x WOF
2 @ 3” x WOF.  Subcut 1 @ 3” x 30” and 1 @ 3” x 30.5”
2 @ 10.5” x WOF.  Subcut 1 @ 10.5” x 30 and 1 @ 10.5” x 30.5”

Play Ball quilt tutorial

We’ll make the large applique blocks first.  Print the applique templates for the ball, letters and stars.

Play Ball quilt tutorial

Using a pencil, trace each shape on to the Heat n Bond Lite.  Be sure to trace enough of the letters to spell “play ball.”  Trace as many stars as you want – I did three.  Number the ball segments to help with placement later. 

Play Ball quilt tutorial

Cut around each shape, leaving about 1/4” around each shape.  The ball segments maybe kept together for this step.

Play Ball quilt tutorial

Following the instructions on the package, iron the applique pieces to the wrong side of the solid orange and navy fabrics.  Cut out each shape directly on the lines.  Set aside for a later step. 

Play Ball quilt tutorial

Choose 12 of the 5.5” squares, using a variety of prints.  Sew 5 of them end to end.  Cut one square in half and sew to each end of the strip.  Press seams.  Sew this row to the long side of the 10.5” x 30” solid white.  Press seam.  Sew a 3” x 30” white strip to the other side of the pieced strip.  This makes the right side applique block.

  Play Ball quilt tutorial

For the left applique block, sew 6 (5.5”) squares end to end.  Press seams.  Sew this pieced strip to one long side of the 10.5” x 30.5” white rectangle.  Press seams.  To the other side of the pieced strip sew a 3” x 30.5” white strip. 

Play Ball quilt tutorial

Peel the paper backing from the ball segments and stars.  Place them as shown in the photo with the pieced strip UNDERNEATH the ball and stars and making sure that all pieces are at least 1” from the edges.  Press in place.

Play Ball quilt tutorial

Repeat for the “play ball” this time making sure the pieced strip is ABOVE the lettering.  I used a ruler to make sure the  letters were aligned.  Press letters in place.   

Play Ball quilt tutorial
Using a coordinating thread and a straight or zigzag stitch, stitch around each applique shape.  I find it’s SO much easier to do this step now, while the block is smaller rather than waiting until the whole quilt is pieced.  It’s a hassle to wrestle with an enormous quilt top as you’re trying to stitch around a tiny letter!
Play Ball quilt tutorial
Sew the two applique blocks together, using a 1/4” seam.  Press.  You now should have a section that looks like the photo above.  We’ll call this the applique section. 

Next we’ll make the long, pieced rows.  Sort the remaining 5.5” squares into 7 groups of 12 squares each.  Each group will become one row, so make sure each group has a variety of prints.  Play Ball quilt tutorial
Four of the rows will be offset rows.  To create an offset row, sew 11 squares together end to end.  Cut the remaining 5.5” square in half and sew to each end of the row.  Press seams.  Repeat to make 4 total offset rows.

For the other three rows, sew 12 (5.5”) squares end to end to make a long, pieced strip.  Press seams. Trim 1/4” from each end of the non-offset rows.  All of the rows as well as the applique section should measure 60".

Now for the white strips between rows.  Remove the selvages from the 3” x WOF white strips.  Sew all of the white strips together end to end to make one very long strip.  From this long strip cut 5 that are 60” long.

Starting with one offset pieced row, start sewing rows together with long white strips between.  Follow the layout diagram, and add in the applique section where shown.

  Play Ball Layout Diagram

Your quilt top is done!    I used the Play Ball Multi Stripe print for the binding – you know I can’t resist a great striped binding, and it adds such a fun finishing touch!

  Play Ball quilt tutorial

Thanks for stopping by!  If you’d like to see more of my tutorials (quilts, quilt blocks and other crafty stuff) you can find them all listed under the “Tutorial” tab at the top of my blog. On the sidebar on the right you'll find a spot to enter your email.  Subscribe by email and you'll receive each blog post here at A Bright Corner right in your inbox so you won't miss a thing!  Happy quilting!


  1. Thanks! Andy. Great quilt! especially since we are a basketball playing family! :)

  2. Great tutorial Andy and super cute quilt!

  3. Thank you so much for this quilt. What a great quilt. I have a grandson that might like something like this.

  4. This is stinkin' cute, and the basketball appliqué is genius. What a great quilt!

  5. The quilt is absolutely adorable! You are wonderful to share your tutorials. Thank you.

  6. This is such a fun playful quilt, Sure to bring a smile to any sports fan!

  7. That's so simple and effective - I love it. Will definitely need to get my quilting hat back on and make a few. Can you imagine a double bed sized one?

    Gretta Hewson
    Why not see Olympia Landscaping visit site


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