Learn how to make ruffles as we make this fun ruffled quilt block. Ruffles are a great addition to a little girl’s outfit or accessories – who doesn’t love a ruffled baby bum or ruffles on a toddler’s frock! You can also use ruffles when sewing for boys. A striped ruffle at the edge of a baby blanket adds texture, and vertical ruffles on a bib look like a ruffled tuxedo shirt!
For this block, here are the fabrics you need to cut:
Background: 12.5″x12.5″ square
Ruffles: 3 strips, each 5″ x 20″
Start by folding one strip in half, right sides together (RST), so it measures 2.5″ x 20″. Sew along the long side, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn the tube right side out, and press, with the seam going down the middle of one side.
There are several ways you can make a ruffle here is the easiest. Tuck one end of the strip under your presser foot. Slowly stitch, pushing extra fabric under the presser foot to create a ruffle. As you gain experience, you’ll get an even ruffle without a lot of work.
A more traditional way to make a ruffle is to increase the stitch length on your sewing machine, then stitch large stitches down the middle of the strip, all the way to the end. Leave long thread tails on either end. Carefully pull one string on one end of the stitching, causing the fabric to pucker. Carefully pull, and gently ease the puckers down the length of the stitching to form the ruffle. Be careful that your thread doesn’t break!
Another more traditional way to create a ruffle is to use a large zig-zag stitch and a piece of string. Lay the string on top of the fabric to be ruffled. Zig-zag over the string, being careful to keep it in the middle of the stitching, and never pierce it with the needle. Once you have stitched the length of the fabric, carefully adjust the fabric along the zig-zag to create the ruffles.
A final way to create a ruffle is to use a ruffler foot. These are available for almost every sewing machine, but can be expensive. However, a ruffler foot creates a perfectly pleated and beautiful ruffle with ease. If you plan on making a lot of ruffles, a ruffler foot is worth the expense!
Once you’ve made your ruffle, trim the length down to 12.5″. Repeat the steps to make the ruffles, completing three.
Pin the three ruffles to your 12.5″ background square. The top ruffle should be 1.75″ from the top of block, the bottom should be 1.75″ from the bottom of the block, and the middle ruffle should be centered between the top and bottom ruffles. This would leave 1.5″ of background showing between each of the ruffles.
Stitch into place, right on top of the ruffle stitching, through the ruffle and the background.
Just like that, your ruffle block is complete!