Turkey Trot Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Turkey Trot Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 58½" x 68"
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a festive Thanksgiving quilt using Heat n Bond Lite, the Missouri Star Mini Dresden Template, and 5 inch squares of precut fabric (charm squares). For this project, she used Acorn Harvest by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabric. This pretty harvest quilt combines applique dresden turkey blocks with a variation of Irish Chain that we call Irish Change. It's quick, easy, and "sew" fun to make!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. And I’ve got a fun project for you today. Guess what’s coming? Thanksgiving Day is coming and isn’t this cute? Won’t this be an awesome little project to make? It’s easy and it’s quick so you can actually have this done by Thanksgiving and I think it’s a fun little quilt. So to make the Turkey Trot quilt you’re going to need two packages of five inch squares and we have used Acorn Harvest by Renee Nanaman for Andover fabrics. You’re going to need 2 ¼ yards of background fabric. You’re going to need ½ yard of accent fabric. For your border fabric you’re going to need 1 ¼ yards. And for your backing you’re going to need 3 ¾ yards. You will also need some Heat N Bond light and our Missouri Star mini Dresden template.

So this quilt is made of two different blocks. One is our turkey block right here. And the other block right here is our Irish Change block and I love how it chains in between the other blocks and it just really makes them pop. So the first thing we’re going to do is make that turkey block. Now the turkey block is made with the dresden which is this right here. The dresden template and you can use this one or you can use this tiny one which is the actual size of the feather. But it’s only this bottom part right here so if you have a big dresden, this big dresden will work just fine for this. But if you need one of these little ones you can get that as well. Now if you’ve never made a dresden, you’ve got to try it because it’s super, super easy. So we’re working with charm packs here and so when I do my turkey, the turkey is going to be set on a ten inch square. And I have one right here. We’re going to press it so it’s nice and flat. And you need to go through your pack and you need to pick out the pieces to make the turkey. So we have the small turkey head and body here. We have his legs over here. We have a beak and then this round circle right here for the turkey body. And this is a free printable so you’ll be able to print this out. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to trace these pieces onto Heat N Bond. And I have already done that right here. And you’ll want to pull out the pieces you want for your circles. The pieces you want for your body. Now you can get three bodies out of a charm square. And so I have several that are the same. Like these two are the same and you know, just remember, you know, you just need some for the body, one for the circles. The little feet you can fit almost anywhere. The beak, you truly can fit anywhere. Alright, so also I want to point out here that my legs right here, they are closer together than the legs on the pattern over here. So when you trace them, you want to trace one leg and then kind of move this over and then trace the other one closer, you know, so you can save your Heat N Bond and get as much use out of that you can. This is the block we’re talking about right here. And this is the body, the circle and these are the legs. And you can see on my legs in the background, I gave them a little bit of personality. Some of them, you know, they have a kick out leg, they have, we just had some fun with our legs here just to give it a little, you know, a little bit of sass, a little bit of turkey sass.

Alright, so what we’re going to do first is we’re going to decide on what we want for our body. And I’m going to use this green right here for my body. And so what I’m going to do is I’m going to take my Heat N Bond that I’ve traced on and it’s Heat N Bond light. And I’m just going to rough cut it. I’m not cutting it nicely until I get it ironed on and then I’ll cut it out. So I’m going to put this bumpy, sticky side to the wrong side of the fabric back here. And we are just going to press this like this. It takes a few seconds. And then we are going to put our body on there. And I just going to, again, rough cut this and put it right on the edge. You can see right here. You know, if I did like this, you know, you could get one, two, three over here out of the same one. And so I’m just going to put it right on the edge so I can use it for more turkeys later. And then my little feet, I’m going to put them on here and I’m going to make my stripes go across the legs because I just think that will be cute. And so we’re going to put those on here like this. And I’m going to trim off this extra like this so that I don’t have too much sticky stuff but again I’m not cutting them out perfectly until I need to cut them out for real. And I don’t know why that matters to me but what matters, it makes it easier to cut when you’re cutting on the paper for some reason. And so we’re just going to go around here like this. And the one thing you want to make sure of is you want to make sure that your circle is big enough to cover the arc of the dresdens when we get those done. So I’m going to go ahead and peel this off. So there’s our little body. I’ll cut our legs out. And you’ll notice my drawings aren’t perfect. I just kind of clean those up as I cut them out. My little turkey toes right there. There’s one, I’ll go ahead and peel it so it’s ready to go when we are. And I like the little stripey legs. I think those look cute. Alright so now I have my other leg done and peeled and we’ll set on there. And now we’ll just trim out the body like this. Alright, so here’s our little body right here. And then this little piece right here, I didn’t even trace the beaks because seriously it’s just a little V. So I’m just going to cut it like this and I’m going to cut it like this, back this way. And I’ll cut a little tiny beak right here. And it’s just out of the scraps. It’s such a teeny little piece. Oop, there we go. And we’ll just put him right there. 

Alright now we’ve got to do our tail feathers. And the tail feathers are all made from the dresden and it’s just super easy to make them. Let me show you how I did that. So what I did was I took a charm pack square and I cut it directly in half like this. Now you can do this with a jelly roll strip because it’s going to make a 2 ½ inch strip. And then I stack them on top of each other like this and I have a bunch of them cut here. So I’m just going to stack them up here. And I’m going to stack so I think I have about six on there, you know, do what you feel comfortable with. Four or six is usually what I go for. You’re going to lay your template on here. Now remember if you’re using the big dresden you’re just going to lay it on here like this. So it’s just going to go, you’re just going to use the bottom 2 ½ inches of that. This one makes it really handy because it fits right on there. And what we’re going to do is we’re just going to do this right here. And I’m going to flip our template and we’re going to cut this way. And flip again. And out of each half you’ll get three. And so out of an entire, both sides of your charm square you’re going to get six feathers. And so I’m just going to flip this around and lay this back on here and cut this other side like that. And then you need to make your dresden blades. Now this is super super easy. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to take one just like this and you’re going to fold it right in half. So we’re just folding it in half like that. You’re going to sew right across the top and that makes your blade. It’s just that easy. 

But let me take some of these over here, get my chair set up over here. And we are just going to fold these in half and sew right down. Now because we’re dealing with this much room you want to shorten up your stitch because you don’t want that to come out. And with a bigger stitch it will come out really fast so I’m actually ready right here to stick another one under because I know that it’s going to come really fast. And so then I’m just going to put another one here. And it takes 14 of these to make a plate or not a plate but a tail fin, feather, or wheel, tail wheel. Feather wheel, I don’t know. The arc of the feathers. His turkey tail. That’s it, his turkey tail. And I have some already made. But what I do is I just sew, I mean I will sew a ton of these together so I have this nice, long little garland. And you’ll have a bunch of these together just like this. And then we’re going to come over here and we’re going to trim off this thread and just clip them apart like this. And then what I like to do, to turn these, what you’re going to do is you’re going to put your finger in here like this and you’re going to push this fold over to the side and then you’re just going to flip this. Now if you want, I have one of these little pressing tools, you can just push the little point out like this so it makes a nice point. And we’ll do that to a few of these here. I don’t trim anything. If you find that your point isn’t really pointing you could trim that little corner off. I don’t seem to have that problem. Maybe it once I fold this over and push it out with my finger and just slide that in there. And then we’re going to press them down. And that’s how easy it is to make a dresden. You literally fold it in half and sew across the top. Alright so let’s press these. Now what we’re going to do here is we actually want to make sure that this little seam right here, I’ll show you right here. So when we go to press this down we’re going to make sure that this seam right here is pretty much in the middle of the blade. It doesn’t have to be perfect but you want it to be pretty close and that your sides, you know, are pretty even because the sides are going to sew together. So we’re going to press all these down and press this. And I just kind of eyeball it. I have made a lot of dresdens in my day. Once I learned how easy they were to make, I was hooked. Literally I just couldn’t, I just did bunches of them, all kinds of things. And then we’re going to stitch these together.

So what I like to do is I like to stitch them together in groups of two. And so I’m going to sew two, two, two, then four, four, four. And again it takes 14 to make a plate. Now right here at the beginning I just take a little bit of a tiny backstitch right there down the side. I’m going to add two more here. I made sure that mine were mixed up but this is very, this is a very fun scrappy little turkey. Alright, so then I have two and I’ll sew a whole bunch of mine into two. And then I’m just going to kind of finger press them open like that. And I use my fingernail it makes that terrible sound. And then we’re going to sew these together. And it will be a group of four. Alright, so now let’s press this down. And you can see how cute this is going to be. Look at that. Isn’t that cute? So we need ten more and let’s see how many I have here, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten plus four is 14. So we’re going to go ahead and sew these two together and that will make our whole turkey tail. Alright. So now let’s press this down. So how cute is that?

Now it’s time to adhere it all to our square. And you’ll have noticed that when you cut these pieces out here you have scraps leftover. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to take the scraps and I’m just going to randomly put them on the back of this piece and then when I put it down it will hold it down and it will stay. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to hang on until we top stitch it down. And so I’m just going to sew on, just going to iron on a couple of these pieces right here. And these are just the leftover scraps from the pieces you’ve cut off of the turkey parts. And then we’re just going to peel this paper off and then we are ready to assemble our turkey. And so what I like to do on this, it’s sticking to my hand. What I like to do is I like to look at my turkey and I want to make sure he’s fairly centered. And so I look side to side to make sure that I have about the same distance and top to bottom. And I may scoot this down a little bit when I start getting things on here. Here’s our circle and it covers all the edges and then here’s our little body. And then I’m going to put the feet in here. I’m going to look and see how closely my feet come to the bottom of the square. And so like that. And I have a little bit of room so I’m going to slide this just a little bit down. It looks pretty even on the sides here and we’re going to give him, we’re going to turn his beak right. We’re going to give him a kicky leg just like that. And we’re going to carefully press him down. And those little pieces on the back of your blades should hold the tail feathers down until you get to the sewing machine. So make all your turkey blocks. And you’re going to need one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 of those. And then what I did was I went and I did a little of an applique stitch and I just stitched down all the way around the outside edge of here. I stitched down the circle. I came back and around the body and then stitched down the legs as well. And so on the little toes, some of those I just went right straight across the toes instead of going around each toe. This one I went around, this one I went across, you know, it’s not really going show up, it’s not going to matter. But it just makes a really cute little turkey. It almost looks like he has one little winking eye right there so that’s really fun. 

Alright so then we also need to do our Irish change blocks. And we need 15 of those. And so the only difference between this Irish change and the normal Irish change is that in the center of this Irish change block, usually we make a strip set with one solid piece of fabric. But I used a charm square in every single one, a different charm square. I thought it would give it more scrap and be more fun. And so here’s one, here’s the block we’re talking about right here. Also these corner pieces here out here, these are a piece I stole from the backing. And so it’s little two inch strips. So what we’re going to do first is we’re going to take these squares here, some of these squares, 15 of them. And we’ll cut those down into four inches. And so I’m just going to take my ruler here and I’m going to make sure these are lined up exactly because I have two stacked. And I’m going to cut this like this and this like this. And just so you know, these little pieces we’re cutting off, you can get a leg on each one of those. I mean, you can really take this to the end with the scrappiness. Alright so then we need some of our background fabric and that’s this right here. We used this little white fabric. And we’re going to cut two four inch by two inch pieces to put on either side of this. And we’re going to sew these to the sides of this block right here. And I’m going to make sure I don’t sew two together. I have done that a few times. Alright let’s just sew a quarter of an inch and then we’re going to flip it and do the other side. Alright, then we’ll press this back and usually like on the Irish change this is a strip set and so it goes together very quickly but I love the idea of that scrappy middle. Alright so then we’re also going to take a four inch background piece and we’re going to sew two, two inch pieces of our little accent fabric right here. We’re going to sew those to either side. Now what we’re going to do is we’re just going to cut this again at two inches. And you’ll have this big strip set where you can get a bunch of blocks out of one strip set. And these now will go on the corners of this. See that. Ok so now let’s sew these on here. Alright now when you’re sewing these on you want to make sure that whatever way you pressed your seam the first time that these other seams go the opposite direction. There we go and then this side over here. Alright now we’re going to make sure this one comes in because the top one goes out. This one the same. Alright now let’s press this back. And then we’re going to add one more round to it. Let’s turn it over and make sure our seams are going the way we want them to. We’re looking for a nice flat block.

Alright so now this measures seven inches square and we’re going to sew a seven inch piece on either side. Alright so now we’re sewing this seven inch piece to the side of this. And then on this side as well, opposite sides. Line it up real nice, sew a quarter of an inch down the side. And then for this outer piece we’ve also made another strip set. So then our strip set here is a seven inch piece which is the same as these but then it has the two inches on either side right here. And that will form the last for our blocks. So let me scoot this stuff over. And then we’re going to come here. We’re going to cut two here, two inches again and one more. Alright and then these go on the outside edges of the block to finish up our Irish change block and it’s just so simple and makes such a stunning look. Alright one more here. Alrighty so now let’s press this back. And just like that we get our Irish change block. 

Let’s look at how they go together in this quilt. We’ve staggered them. So first our turkey block, we start up here with the turkey and we alternated them so we have a turkey and Irish change, turkey and Irish change, turkey and Irish change. By staggering this the next row is starting with the Irish change block and then going to the turkey, it allows it to chain throughout the whole quilt. It just makes this beautiful, fun pattern. So once you get 15 of your turkey blocks done and 15 of your Irish change blocks done you can put these together. We have five across here by six down so 30 blocks, 15 of each. We put a nice big six inch border on here. You see we didn’t use an inner border. There we plenty going on this quilt. So nice big six inch border. And I love the border. I love that they’ve thrown this blue in here. It’s just really fun and six inches on that. And this is our backing here. Our quilting pattern we used is called Old Oaky and it is little acorns and the oaks on it. Just a really fun fall leaves pattern. And it makes a quilt that is 58 by 68. So it’s just kind of a fun size. It would be a great lap quilt, a great one to hang up on your porch or on your stairwell like I do. I always hang something cute like this for whatever season it is. So this is really an easy quilt to make. It goes together really quickly. And I think you’ll have plenty of time in the month that’s coming up to make this quilt. To celebrate Thanksgiving. Always try to be thankful and grateful everyday. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Turkey Trot quilt from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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