Quilt Pati Tutorial

I have been promising a peak at my grandmother’s flower garden quilt that I’ve been working on for Silje. Today you will get more than you bargained for. I’m contributing a tutorial for sewmamasew.com on good uses for scraps.

My quilt is mostly in pinks with touches of green, purple, and browns. Favor is given to fabrics with roses in them. I’m trying to stay in the “shabby chic” look.

When you spend this much time on an heirloom quilt, it’s important to put some heirloom elements in it. For instance, the bunny fabric here is leftover scraps from my baby blanket that “well loved” to the point where I didn’t feel bad cutting into it.

The brown here is scraps from a flower girl dress I made for Silje.

The outer ring on this one was generously given to me from Silje’s great-grandmother who is an avid quilter, and let me go through her scraps to find something for Silje’s quilt.

And lastly, this green is scrap from the bedding I made for Silje’s cradle.

But there are so many more to choose from. This will truly be a good “scrappy” quilt!

I’m using quilt patis to make this quilt, and at the risk of sounding like a commercial, I’ll show you how to use them. I couldn’t find a good tutorial on these. I wanted to make this quilt the traditional hand sewn way, but I was into sewing…not cutting a bazillion pieces of paper or cardboard. I happened to see these on a quilting t.v. show, and found them on eBay for cheap.

There’s about 50 of these in a bag. They’re plastic, and my size is the 1″ size. I do have the 1.5″ size too, because they came with the package I got, but I decided to use these for tedious sake.

They’re very thin.

They’re very flexible, so that you can take them out easily once you’re done sewing.

So I cut my fabric to give a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the quilt pati. You need one for the center, 6 for the inner ring and 12 for the outer ring. (edit: I have learned since, thanks to my husband’s sweet cousins, that you can cut a square too, which can be a time saver, and just wrap the edges around the quilt pati.)

Pin the quilt pati to your cut fabric, and secure in the middle with a pin.

Fold a corner down tightly, and hold with your fingers.

You want to make a stitch where the needle hits both cheeks, but not coming out the fold. You are not sewing the plastic template, just the fold sitting on top of it.

Do the same stitch you just did in the same spot to create a loop. This will secure it.

Then move onto the next fold.

Loop it around again before moving on to the next corner.

Finish all corners, and knot up when you get back to the beginning. You can now remove the pin.

Once you have at least 2, you can sew them together. Although, when I’m doing this not for the tutorial, I usually get all 19 of the patis ready for 1 flower, and then sew them together in a more continuous fashion, so I don’t have to stop and make knots so often.

With right sides together, line them up and sew. I’m not sure what this stitch is called. Perhaps the whip stitch, or mattress stitch, or as I like to call it “putting it together anyway you know how” stitch. You should be sewing together just the fabric, not the plastic pati. It’s really hard to sew through the plastic, so you won’t do it by accident.

Voila! The purpose of all of this is to make sure all the sides are even and no pieces in the quilt are crooked. I have done some of the flowers in this quilt without the patis, but I have to iron every single seam then, and I can avoid the ironing with this method. You can ask Knut. I will do just about anything to avoid ironing. To me, sewing them on the patis is not tedious. Ironing 42 seams per flower is.

Once all sides of the hexagon have something attached to them, just pop the quilt pati out. All the quilt patis will be removed when the quilt is together. Of course this quilt will be hand quilted once the top is done. I’m crossing my fingers for a quilting frame for Christmas.

Repeat. I’m aiming for a full sized quilt, for those wondering.

What I love about this project is it’s so portable. I can sew these on a road trip, or while watching a movie, or while sitting in my boys room making them…um…I mean waiting for them to fall asleep. Although I do intend to piece together some quilts on the machine, those quilts aren’t portable, so you need to set aside a chunk of time to work on them. Most of what I have gotten done has been the result of keeping my hands busy while I wait, or sit and chat with a friend, and adds no more time to my day.

On a side note, surprisingly, many Sears stores have a decent little sewing supplies section. Check it out and possibly save with this Sears coupon.

So go ahead and try it. I dare you not to get addicted.


  1. says

    I had that same bunny fabric as my blanket when I was little!
    I would love to do a project like this but I’m not sure I have the patience. I do have a partially done GFG with larger hexagons from my aunt that looks like it’s made of old men’s shirts. We’ll see if I can finish it.

  2. says

    I’ve just started learning about these hexagon pieces. I do love cutting them out, but I agree that cutting the paper pieces and the ironing is no fun. The patis are a great solution, I suppose you could just make your own too?

  3. says

    ooh, you have certainly whet my appetite! I want to try this now! I really like that the project is portable…always on the go here with two little ones. I am very new to quilting, and I never thought that I’d be interested, but SouleMama got me interested with her recent log-cabin style quilt. I saw a short video tutorial for this sort of quilt, although she doing this as an applique on ThreadBanger. But I like that you instructed how to make a quilt top. Thank you for the tutorial. I know if I tried, I’d be hooked! Thanks, came over from Sew Mama Sew. Abbie

  4. says

    Beautiful! This is my favorite quilt design. So much work, but this will be cherished. Thanks for sharing about the quilt patis. I’ve done paper piecing, but these look more convenient.

  5. says

    I have a red and white flower garden quilt that I have been working on, on and off, for many years, at least 10, maybe more. I would love to finish it someday. Yours is going to be gorgeous!

  6. says

    Great tutorial. I bought the patis years ago after seeing them on a TV show. Now I have have no idea where I put them.
    I love the colors you are using. The quilt is going to be so cozy and shabby chic!

  7. says

    This is awesome. That will be an amazing looking quilt when you are done and it looks like tons of fun to make too. Thanks for such a great tut.

  8. says

    Let me get this…you are doing this by hand??? If so you are my hero! I love to sew, used to quilt but now just do my sweet daughter’s clothing, and doll clothing too of course! Great tutorial, Kim

  9. Heidi says

    Absolutely beautiful! I’ve always wondered how this style of quilt was pieced. You are amazing! Thanks to your tutorial, maybe I can be amazing someday, too! Thank you! Heidi

  10. says

    your fabrics are so pretty. love the bunnies. awww…

    ugh, i’m trying very hard to not start a project like this, very hard. but why can’t i stop searching for them via internet?

  11. says

    I just discovered your blog doing a google search on GFG. I have started one that I am calling Granny’s Posies because I am just doing little flowers and joining them into a row. I am so addicted to this technique. I print my hexies on card stock, but the plastic ones do look good.

    I enjoyed meeting your beautiful family through your posts and your pictures of the GFG techique are great. I signed up as a follower so you will be seeing me around. Merry Christmas!

  12. Anonymous says

    I too have the exact same, almost 32yr old, bunny baby blanket! I was like “hey,there’s my bunnies!” when I saw this post. LOVE the quilt!

  13. says

    That was a wonderful tute! I have been checking out methods to use in advance of teaching myself to do GFG and this seems by far the easiest and least fussy. Thanks so much!
    Your quilt is very beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

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