It's the final week of the Royal Baby Sew Along! I hope that you're excited to finish up. By this point, you should have your quilt top assembled and have the batting of your choice ready to go.
We'll start this week with the last detail of the quilt top: the crown! The crown is done with bias tape edging over a background fabric, and the points of the crown are done with the shiny scraps of Plymouth's Gold Rush yarn. To get started, you'll need to download and print out the pdf of the crown outline. You can find the pdf at the following link:
One of the circle tops is cut off in our pdf, but don't worry: you don't really need the outline for that part!
Once you have the pdf printed, you'll need to cut it out. You can either cut out the circles at the top of each point of the crown or just lop them off after the crown point; it doesn't matter since that part won't be done with the template anyhow. You don't need to worry about cutting out the insides of the template right now.
Take the outline of the crown that you just cut out and lay it on top of the fabric for the crown background. If you bought a kit from us, the background fabric is a fat quarter of the Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Sunshine, a nice bright yellow fit for a crown! If you didn't purchase a kit from us, you'll need a fat quarter of the fabric of your choosing. Trace the edges of the crown outline onto the background fabric. Then, cut it out, but you'll want to leave a 1/4” around the line that you traced when you cut it out. Don't worry too much about making sure that's its a perfect 1/4” around the edge in all places. Just don't leave less than ¼”, but as long as you have room to sew, it will be fine!
Now you have a piece of background fabric in the shape of the crown, but slightly bigger than the outline you printed. That's because we're going to sew it and flip it inside out so that the edge isn't raw; that extra 1/4” you left around the outside edge will end up as the seam allowance.
You can do the this next part with either a see through fabric like a muslin or white cotton or with fusible interfacing. We prefer the fusible interfacing method because we think it's easier, but it's up to you. If you have scrap transparent fabric handy, go for it! First lay the crown-shaped background fabric on your work surface, with the right side facing you. Then lay your transparent fabric or fusible interfacing on top. If you're using fusible interfacing, you'll want the sticky side facing down. If you're using plain old fabric, it doesn't really matter if it's right side facing or not since you won't see it anyway!
The reason we're using transparent fabric or fusible interfacing is that you should still be able to see the line of the crown shape that you traced earlier through the fabric that's on top. If you can't see it, take the time to trace it darker and then put your layers back together. Now sew the transparent fabric/fusible interfacing and the crown background together along that traced line. Trim the excess transparent fabric/fusible interfacing away from the sewn edge, still leaving about 1/4” of fabric.
Next, we're going to cut a slit into the transparent fabric/fusible interfacing ONLY so that you can flip the crown right side out. Make sure that you only cut into the fusible/fabric. You can pinch it to pull it up from the background fabric if you need before making the slit. Then, turn the crown right-side out. You might use an awl or crease turner to get all the edges turned out.
If you used scrap, transparent fabric, you'll need to position the crown so that it's centered over the point where all Block D blocks come together, pin it down and then top stitch around the edge just like you would do for a raw edge applique.
If you used fusible interfacing, all you need to do is position the crown as above, iron it down, and then top stitch around the edge. We like the fusible option because it doesn't require us to pin it in place. Your fabric will stick where you iron it!
Ok, we've got the background in place so it's time to move on to the bias tape edging! I know that you are all pros by now at making bias tape through your preferred method after last week's fun with bias tape. This week, though, it really does matter that your tape is true 'bias tape,' meaning that the strips were cut on the bias and not with with the grain of your fabric. The reason for needing the strips to be cut on the bias is that when they're cut on the bias, they're more stretchy, which will help with laying them out to follow the curvy shape of the crown.
If you purchased a kit from us, you'll find a 1/3 yd piece of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Curry (the same color you used for the stripes for Block D). If you didn't buy a kit from us, you'll need 1/3 of a yard to get enough bias strips. Cut 1” wide strips on a 45 degree angle.
We'll take you through cutting on a 45 degree angle since it can throw people off at first. You'll first want to find the line on your cutting grid that is marked 45 degrees. We're demonstrating on our 6.5” by 24.5” Creative Grid ruler because it's handy, but almost every cutting grid and mat has a marked 45 degree angle. Have you found yours? Excellent!
Now line up the raw edge of your fabric along that black line that marks a 45 degree angle. This makes the straight edge of your ruler lined up to cut a 45 degree angle.
Then, cut along that straight edge.
(In our photo, I'm drawing a line with highlighter on paper, but you'd be cutting with your rotary cutter on the fabric)
Then, slide your ruler over so that the 1” line is along the cut you just made, and cut along the straight edge of the ruler again.
Keep moving your ruler over 1 inch to cut multiple strips until you run out of fabric.
We you run out of fabric on one side, turn it over and keep cutting strips from the other side until your fabric is all 1 inch strips.
Since you cut at a 45 degree angle, the bottom of your strips will be angled. Go ahead and square those up.
Here you have a choice for how to proceed. You can sew all your strips together and make one long piece of bias tape and cut it again where you need it when you're placing it on the crown. Or, you can make smaller pieces of bias tape and use the small pieces on the small portions and sew a bigger piece only when you need to. It's up to you! Either way, make some bias tape with your preferred method. If you need a review, check out last week's instructions on how to make bias tape.
Once you have all the bias tape made, it's time to start laying it out on the crown detail. You're going to want to start with the inside details of the crown. We're starting here so that the raw edges of those strips will get covered when we go around the outside of the crown. That way, the raw edges aren't exposed. As for how to lay out the details on the inside of the crown, Gus winged it. So, feel free to wing yours, too! If you want to make yours exactly like Gus's, you can cut out the inside of the crown template that you cut out earlier. Then, trace the lines on your fabric with an erasable pen or pencil, and lay out your bias strips according to those lines.
If you are using fusible bias tape, you can iron after placing each group of pieces and then sew the whole group down. If you are using traditional bias tape, you'll need to pin and sew each piece individually before moving on to the next one. Because Gus is extraordinary, he wanted his stitches on the top of the crown to match exactly so he used a double needle. If you choose to follow in his footsteps and have a double needle handy, you'll need to thread both needles from a different spool and go on either side of your tension gauge (the two different strands can't both go through it). Then, thread through both needles. Note that your double needle must match the sewing plate on your machine or it won't work—you'll break the needles! If you're plain Jane, like me, or you just aren't all that concerned about perfection, you can just sew down the edges of your bias strip however you like, knowing that the stitches likely won't match. Don't simply sew down the middle of the bias strip or the bias edges will come loose in time.
Once you have the curved inside pieces of the crown done in bias tape (and sewn in place), it's time to do the curved line that runs through the center of the crown. Again, pin and sew if you are using traditional bias tape or iron and sew if using fusible.
Now for the fun part, you're going to need a pretty long piece of bias tape to go around the outside of the crown. So, if you didn't sew your smaller strips together before, you'll probably need to now. Starting in the top left corner of the crown, place bias tape all around the crown. Pin or iron it down as you go to keep the bias tape in place. As you come to the bottom left and bottom right corners, you'll want to fold the edges as you change direction to keep the edges smooth. Then, continue up to the top right of the crown. If you have enough bias tape left on your long strip, you can keep going back to the top left, where you started. If you don't have quite enough to make it all the way back across the stop, you can cut your bias tape at the top right and use a new piece to do the top of the crown. Basically, you'll only want raw edges at the top corners of the crown and you'll want folded corners at the bottom. That is because the tops ones will be covered by the yarn so you won't see the raw edges, but the bottom ones won't be covered so you want them to be smooth.
So now that you've got the bias tape on the crown outline, all that is left to do for the crown is add the yarn baubles to the top of the points. You'll find some Plymouth Gold Rush in your kit if you got it from us to make the baubles with. If you didn't get a kit from us, you'll want to find some sparkle-tastic yarn to really make the crown pop. You can make the baubles as big as you want. Eyeball how big you'd like them to be and then take the end of the yarn and pin it in the center of the circle you're envisioning. Then coil the yarn around until it covers the raw edge of your applique for the crown. Cut the yarn and pin the other end in place. Then sew over the circles with invisible thread. Remove your pins and make sure that then ends are securely sewn in place so that the bauble doesn't unravel. Repeat for the other baubles on the crown.
Your quilt top is officially done! How does it feel? Pretty good, right? Go ahead and bask in its glory for a moment. All that's left to be done is quilt as desired and bind the quilt. We're pretty sure that you already know how to do that, but if not, here are some great blogs that we've found really helpful to get you on the right track:
Sew 4 Home:
Diary of a Quilter:
Sew 4 Home:
Sew Mama Sew:
Jenn & Guss