Monday, 10 September 2012

No Sew Quilted Ball - Christmas Tutorial No 3

I have noticed recently that when I post up tutorials, people post that although they like it, they cannot sew, knit or crochet... so this week, you have no excuse all you need to do is pin  and push.  I need to thank the ladies of the Quilting Board in the US for pointing me in the direction of this technique... I had seen these balls before but thought that they looked really complicated but they are not, but when you make them and are asked how, just nod knowingly and say it is all down to technique when you make an eight point star Christmas ball!
You will need:
Three toning fabrics
Pins... lots of pins as these are our secret weapon
Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
3" polystyrene ball
Cut your fabric into 3" squares, 8 squares for the top of your ball and then two lots of 16 for the second and third row. Split into two piles of four top squares and eight each of the other fabrics.
Now I believe  you did not know that you could press fabric with your fingers?  Well that is what we are going to do next, we need to find the centre point of the square, you can do this by just folding the fabric in half along each side or if you are feeling flash across the diagonal.
Determine where the top of your ball is, put a pin in the centre of the wrong side of your fabric and stab it into the top of your ball.  
Fold it into a triangle (your pin will be in the centre of its longest side), pin the top of the triangle down
Now fold over the left point and then the right into centre and pin it down to create a diamond shape, pin the each of the sides into the ball.
Repeat it three more times to create a square.
For the next layer, pin the first triangle 5/8" down and in between your diamonds... 
I used the end of a tape measure to place the pin, repeat the folds as you did for the first layer for four diamonds.  Now if you are frugal like me, you will notice that often diamonds overlap so capture two sides with one pin.
Now, we are going to in fill between these diamonds by putting the pin in between the fold of the first row of diamonds and working the diamonds as you did before... if your fingers are feeling a bit sore then use a thimble to help you press the pins home, especially when you are working through so many layers of fabric.
On the third layer, I decided that rather than make each layer the same size, I would use the second row, just to outline a star. For the third row, you repeat what you did for the second row but instead of coming down 5/8" just come down 1/4".

When you have completed the top half, turn the ball over and repeat the steps above, to make sure that the halves match, align your first quarter fold with the folds of the completed half.
Trim the excess fabric from around the centre of the ball.  I realise it looks rather grim at this point but we are going to hide it all under a ribbon.
I used two lots of ribbon, a satin ribbon to cover the exposed edges and some Jane Means grosgrain ribbon to accent my decoration.  (BTW, Jane has recently started her own blog, which is well worth a peek) Start by creating a loop from which you will hang your dec.  Take your satin ribbon, pin it into the ball run the ribbon around the ball.
Do not pin the end of the satin ribbon down yet, instead take the loop from which you will hang the ball and pin it across the satin ribbon.  Next place the end of the satin ribbon to cover the base of the loop, fold the end underneath to give you a neat finish and pin the end in place with four pins at each corner to make sure that the loop is held securely in place and will not bounce off your tree :) 
Next tie a bow... and now I admit it, I lied to you, you are going to need to stitch the bow onto the loop, but if you are really stitch phobic, you can use a glue gun to stick it onto the loop.
And there you have it, your very own quilted Christmas star... that was soooo technically difficult to make!

So I am actually posting this on a Monday morning, ready for Wendy's Handmade Monday... so in between watching our wonderful Olympic athletes parade through London do take a look and see what everyone has been up to over the past week.


Highland Monkey's said...

That does look complicated but I'm so suprised that it's so easy to do with hardly any sewing. Thanks for taking the time to do this great tutorial.

myturquoisequeen said...

Lovely tutorial. I'm off to craft some stars...


It looks lovely - I can imagine how nice it would look with red and green Christmas colours. Hope you have a good week.

Free Spirit Designs said...

this is such a cute Christmas decoration :)

i'm really surprised there is no sewing involved! x

Wendy said...

That's fabulous, and even reading slowly (!) still seemed a little complicated to my small brain. I'm not good at following instructions - but maybe with some patience I could master it. It's amazing to see it come together!

Mrs A. said...

Great tutorial and the finished ball is lovely. Certainly one I will be making. Hugs Mrs A.

Ali said...

Wow the quilted ball looks amazing. They'd look beautiful on a tree. Thanks for sharing.
Ali x
PS I'm going to try n give it a go, if I can sew I must be able to fold, hee hee.

Ginx Craft said...

That looks so great, I want to have a go. Will have to go and buy some balls first.

Handbags by Helen said...

Nice idea and so simple too.

Ally said...

What a fabulous make! Love it

Sarah - The Lilac Dragonfly said...

I love it!...Even I could do this :)
Thanks Ros xx

Fiddly Fingers said...

I often wondered how these were done! Now I know. A brilliant tutorial.

Lyn said...

That's amazing - it's hard to believe that there's no stitching involved when you look at it!
Lovely clear tutorial.

Little Harriet said...

That's a fab tutorial, I recon even I could get the hang of that (after lots of practice!)

knitnrun4sanity said...

Looks really great. Thanks for sharing the tutorial. I may well be having a go at this.

Made in Suisse said...

You make it look sooo easy! Must go and get myself some polysterene balls (and lots of pins!) and give it a try!

Picto said...

It looks really pretty and a great way to use up bits and bobs of left over materials.

Jan x

ButtonMad said...

Really lovely

kniterly said...

This is gorgeous. I'm going to do my whole tree in it!

Kathryn Wright said...


I'm one of the editors at and I just wanted to reach out to you, as I've noticed that one of our editors is interested in featuring your projects on our site. I think they're great projects that our readers will just love to make. This will easily bring traffic to your site and allow others to see what's new on your site.

We would love to add more of your projects to our site, so feel free to let us know as you add or create projects. We are always looking for Christmas projects so if you have any of these please feel free to send them my way or let us know if you prefer we not link to you. We also feature projects from our website on our blogs, eBooks and e-mail newsletters.

Your projects are great and we know our readers will enjoy them. With that said, can we have permission to link to any project on your site as well as use the image? We will credit you, of course.


Kathryn (you can contact me at

Grandma Sue said...

The very first instruction which says U need pins, should specify craft pins. I did not know they existed until I was in my late 40's. For the newbies: They are shorter than regular straight pins and heftier. Almost like REALLY skinny nails. Very easy to use. They don't bend going thru several layers of fabric.

Grandma Sue said...

I am glad I clicked on this. I have seen variations of this and always wanted to know how it's done. I can imagine red and green as Christmas Pie Crafts said, but also gold, white, silver; Rose, blue, cream. My imagination can't keep up with my time to do projects. Thanks again.

June K said...

Looks like I am one year late in seeing your beautiful ornament. I can't wait to try with some holiday fabrics. TFS.

Anonymous said...

I have seen these quilted ornaments before and always wanted to try and make them, thanks for your splendid tutorial, I have now
made about 50 of them and they just have to be decorated a bit, thanks for sharing, all the best to you, from Michelle.