Here it is, after months of hiccups, finally, I have completed the Road Runner Quilt using the Trapunto method. So glad that I also finally able to put the pattern & tutorial together and share them here!!!! I must also thank my son, a big fan of cars and vehicles, for his persistent “kind reminders” to pull me back to quilt his long waited quilt blanket.
This is the second quilt project I have done after my daughter’s Secret Garden Trapunto Quilt published in May last year. Most of the method is the same except the piecing of the backing. I pieced the backing fabric completely before attaching it to the front piece of the Secret Garden quilt, I find it a little trouble to manage the 2 huge pieces for a good alignment by flipping them back-and-forth to check. I did a little improvised method here and it is so much easier than before.
The Road Runner Quilt blanket has stretched a long journey since March 2013, that was when I started the project during the finishing phase of my new house renovation. Apart from my daily busy life, juggle in between family, kids, works, and craft, I need to visit the new house to check on the progress and coordinate with my interior designer on the design. Time diminishes when we get involved in too many tasks, I have to pause the quilt in between and concentrate on those in top priority. Pick up again when I am allowed to continue. Glad that we finally settle in our new house (click to view our home design) in June and that’s where my son started his kind reminder again.
I would say that quilting and any crafts need momentum and stamina to carry on. Once you have paused in the middle of the progress, you will need more courage and motivation to go back on track. That is the reason why you see that I keep on updating my craft pattern and tutorial here now and then. The longer I stop, the harder it is for me to come back again. I love sharing my pattern and tutorial in Craft Passion, as the name tells, it is my passion and my baby, I do not want it to perish without a valid reason.
My son can’t wait for his Road Runner Quilt to be washed, he wants it immediately after I declared that the quilt is completed!!! Oh, pity this cooperative young boy that he still has to wait for me to wash and take photos before he can use it. On that night while I tucked him in the bed with his long waited quilt blanket, he told me: “Mommy, next time if you have any project for us, please do it for me first, ok?”, I was instantly put on a guilt trip, I hugged him and promised that he won’t have to wait that long anymore.
Road Runner Quilt Pattern
Difficulties: Advance / Avid Intermediate
Pattern: Download quilt patterns, piecing layout, fabric cutting layout, applique templates (total 22 pages) here.
Tools & Materials
1. Applique fusible web (I used Steam-A-Seam), qty = 32 sheets
2. Sewing Machine that is able to do free motion quilting, ie. with feed dog down or covered (I used Bernina B550 Quilter’s Edition)
3. Darning foot (or Bernina Stitch Regulator, BSR), walking foot, 1/4″ foot
4. Cotton blend batting (at least 64″ x 86″)
5. Polyester high loft batting (approximately 3/4 of the blanket size)
6. Quilting cotton thread, #50, white, coordinate colors and contrast colors of your choice
7. Quilter Safety pins and/or basting thread
8. Fabric chalk or pencil and ruler
9. Cutting mat
10. Rotary cutter
13. Printer and papers (letter size, qty= 37)
1. White cotton 44″ wide, 4 1/2 yards, pre-wash
2. Backing fabric, light blue map print, 44″ wide 4 yards, pre-wash
3. Black cotton 44″ wide, 1 1/2 yard, pre-wash to make sure that it is colorfast
4. Red cotton 44″ wide, 1 yard, pre-wash to make sure that it is colorfast
5. Edge binder, 2.5″, 9 yard
6. Applique and square patchwork:
Brand: Moda Fabrics
Fabric Designer: Malka Dubrawsky
Theme: A Stitch In Color, Pre-cuts 5″ Charm Pack
Usage: 4 charm packs
Finished Dimension: approximately 62″ x 84″ (to suit Super Single Bed).
If you want to quilt for single bed, the quilt size is 56″ x 86″ and the center part include the inner boxed border is 36″ wide. Adjust the appliques and the rest of the component accordingly either by resizing them or omit some of them.
Download the road runner quilt pattern and print the required pages from the pattern and applique template. Note: some pages need to print multiple copies, otherwise, just print 1 copy.
Cut fabric pieces according to the quilt pattern downloaded from the above link.
The fabric pieces layout in the quilt pattern is 1″ bigger on each side than the actual size. Use fabric chalk or pencil lightly mark the actual size of all of the panels (on the right side), you may use erasable fabric marker but I find the lines faded away before I piecing up the quilt.
In order to get the absolutely straight grain lines, snip a small cut at the edge of the fabric and tear along the way is always better than cutting by using scissor or rotary cutter.
Plan your colors and fabrics carefully for the applique, I used 5″ charm pack for most of the applique components except solid white, solid red, and solid black. If the 5″ charm pack is not big enough to cover an applique component, join 2 pieces or 3 pieces to make up the size.
Refer to this method for a fast and easy way to make a huge amount of fabric applique.
Sort out all the applique templates. Please refer to page 9 of the applique template to see how the car components are put together.
Peel off the paper backing of the fusible web, stick the applique on the base fabric. Check and confirm that it is correct before permanently fused it with warm iron at a medium heat setting.
Cut the high loft batting slightly bigger than the applique, pin it or use washable glue to temporarily stick it on the wrong side of the white fabric where the applique was fused on. Quilt the applique patchworks with the trapunto method.
The picture shows the wrong side of the trapunto quilt.
A complete car appliques assembly at the center piece of the quilt.
The 3D effect of the alphabet is done by adding a black background to the text applique. Note: The applique template in grey shading is the black base.
Repeat the applique assembly and trapunto process.
This is the traffic light. I used a lighter shade of red, yellow and green fabrics to mimic the illuminating light.
For quick assembly of safety cone, refer to the applique template and line strips of black-red-white-red-white-red-black fabric on your table with red overlapping on black and white. Check the width of strip required by comparing them to the applique template, i.e, with red being the exact size, black and white slightly larger. You may use a tiny dot of fabric glue to keep the strips connect to each other.
The applique template is designed for the quick method, but if you don’t like it, you may cut out pieces of applique components separately and assemble them next to each other, allow the white and black fabrics a little larger at the join.
Completed Side panels with Traffic Light, Safety Cones and Speed Limit Sign.
To assemble the traffic lane, cut a strip of black and white according to E, F and G measurement as shown in the fabric cutting page.
Piecing E (white) in between 2 strips of F (black), press seam with the seam allowance on black fabric side.
Cut the black-white-black strip to 3 1/2″ long, 42 pieces. Cut G strips to 2 1/2″ long, 42 pieces.
Piece them up alternatively into a long strip that assembles a traffic lane.
Quilt the white part with batting.
The corners of the traffic lane are a little tricky to assemble, please take note.
Cut the white lanes in 45º at the middle of the piece according to the number shown in the picture. You should have 4 strips of slanted end traffic lanes after cutting, each strip with both ends slanted in reverse direction as shown in the “Piecing – Front” page of the pattern. Arrange them to form a rectangle as shown in the pattern page.
Sew the paired ends together along the gradient cutting line, measure 1″ from the seam line at the horizontal middle of the white lane. Note: the seam allowance is more than 1/4″. Align the pieces accurately to make a perfect corner.
Repeat to all 4 corners to form a rectangle frame of a traffic lane.
A set of side panels, top banner, and traffic lanes, waiting to join up with the center piece and backing piece. Piecing of 5″ charm pack not shown in the picture.
Join up all the front pieces together with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Take note on the safety cones’ and speed limit signs’ orientation.
Turn the front quilt piece facing down, smooth out the fabric. Best if you have a large working table, otherwise, put it on the floor and tape the corner down so that it won’t move.
Lay the batting on top of the wrong side of the front piece.
Lay the center of the backing piece with the wrong side facing down. Align it with the traffic lanes. Baste it.
Place the sides of the backing piece with right side facing down, align them with the side of the center baking piece. Baste.
Turn the quilt to the right side and stitch in the ditch along the outer edge of the traffic lanes all the way from top to bottom of the white piece.
You may use walking foot to stitch.
Remove the basting stitches and flip the 2 backing pieces to the side of the quilt.
Join 2 rows of charm pack patchwork to the top edge of the text banner piece.
With right side facing down, align them to the top of the back piece, allowing 1/4″ seam allowance. This join is coordinated between the border of the white and the charm pack patchwork on the front. You must be very precise on the alignment for good workmanship. Baste or pin.
Turn the quilt to the front and stitch in the ditch. Remove basting stitches.
This is how it turns out after stitching.
Take note on the text orientation. The text is upside down on the back but when it is flipped over to the front, it becomes right side up.
Smooth out all the fabric pieces, check the alignment, baste the side pieces together and transfer the quilt to the quilting station for the next process – free motion quilting.
There are altogether 4 types of quilting design I used for this Road Runner quilt, namely:
1. Pebbling on the traffic lanes.
2. City Scape on the centerpiece.
3. H2O on the side panels, bottom panel, and banner panel.
4. Simple circular round on the speed limit sign.
If you want to try other quilting designs, you may grab a book called 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs to check out.
Trim the quilt to 62″ x 84″ after you have finished with the free motion quilting.
Bind the edges with a fabric binder strip. I made a biased strip from 1-yard fabric because I chose to use checks print. You may use a straight grain line binder strip too.
Watch more detailed instructions on how to bind the edges in my Secret Garden Quilt tutorial (scroll down till almost the end of the tutorial).
The completed bound borders with mitered corners.
Wash the quilt before using if you have been working on it for a long time.