An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


Quilting the Retro Rubies // Retro Rubies QAL

This week I was able to finish piecing my Retro Rubies quilt top. I decided to add a wider sashing between each flower unit to make the quilt slightly bigger and wider. The quilt top finished at 66" x 68" which is a great throw size quilt. I was in such a hurry to baste the quilt I didn't even take a picture of the quilt top, but I suppose it will be a nice surprise!

The Backing


For the backing on the original Retro Rubies I made one inverted flower block and pieced it into the bottom right hand corner.

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For my second version I decided to make one JUMBO flower block which is twice the size. I used a 6" curves template from my recent Modern BOM 2 block here. This template wasn't made to work like the Retro Rubies templates so I had to use a 5/8" seam allowance when piecing the print fabric around the block. The JUMBO flower finished at 26" x 39" and I pieced it into the center of the backing. After I finished the backing I was thinking how cool it would be to have a quilt with just one flower maybe even bigger, someday.

Basting the Quilt

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I don't think I can express how much I dislike basting a quilt. Usually I use blue painters tape to tape the backing taut to the floor, spray baste the layers, and add a few pins for good measure. When I was basting my new Retro Rubies quilt that method was not working. The tape would not stay stuck to the floor and I had puckers and wrinkles all over the quilt.

By 11:00 p.m. I had enough, so I decided to try Sharons Schambers basting technique, which I have been wanting to try for months. You can watch her video tutorial on using boards to baste here. In the video she teaches you how to use basic trim boards (from Home Depot) and thread to baste a quilt. I used the trim boards, but still decided to pin the quilt. Next time I think I will try using thread just as she teaches in the video. This method was 100 times better then using tape! I felt like I had full control over all three layers and was able to achieve a smooth finish. Sharon advocates that this method gets you up off the floor, but if you are doing a larger quilt you would need two card tables setup to lay the quilt on which I don't have so I still had to sit on the floor. If you are making a smaller quilt than you should be able to do this on your kitchen table, while sitting.

Quilting The Quilt


Before you begin quilting you should always have a game plan. That game plan may change while your quilting, but you need to at least have some direction as to what and where you will quilt. The first step I always take when quilting is getting inspired. I have a Pinterest board for machine quilting where I pin inspiring quilting designs. Next I doodle, I printed off the Retro Rubies Coloring page and played with a few different ideas.


Once you know what you want to quilt than you can begin marking if needed. I marked 1/2" around each petal with a water soluble pen.

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I plan to use my walking foot to echo the petals, and then I will switch over to my FMQ foot to quilt the rest. Make sure to choose a thread that will blend well. I am using a off-white Aurifil thread which should blend nicely.

Featured Sponsors

Christa is the perfect sponsor for todays post! Christa has been a domestic machine quilter for many years. Christa has very helpful free motion and machine quilting tips on her blog and has a great selection of her favorite quilting notions most of which I also use in her shop. I use the Supreme Slider, Machingers Gloves, and Water Soluble pen on just about every quilting project!

Aurifil 50wt and 40wt Mako Cotton thread are my go to thread for piecing and machine quilting. I gave a detailed review on Aurifil threads a while back which you may find helpful. I often get asked where I purchase my Aurifil thread, because it can be pretty hard to find locally. I order all my thread from Follow That Thread. Donna has a huge selection of Aurifil in every color, weight and cotton, wool, monofilament and kits. I also love that you receive free shipping on orders over $30 in the US!

Giveaway Prizes!


Christa at Christa Quilts is giving away one pair of Machinger's Gloves to one lucky Pile O' Fabric Reader!


Aurifil Threads is giving away one 12 spool Tula Pink Premium Collection of  thread to one lucky Pile O' Fabric Reader. The collection case includes 12 colors of 50 wt thread in large spools containing 1422 yards each.

Giveaway Winners!

Alice-Christina has won a pair of  Machingers Gloves from Christa Quilts! Laura Baker has won the 12 pack of Aurifil Threads! I am looking forward to seeing how you will quilt your Retro Rubies! I will be quilting all week long and will share my progress on Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram.


Creator of Pile O' Fabric