Non-Quilted Bedspreads


Biscuit quilts, yo-yo quilts and cathedral window quilts are non-quilted bedspreads that use cotton fabric but are not quilted. They are bedspreads made with cotton scraps, mainly. They are decorative, and in both the yo-yo quilt and cathedral window spread cases, portable projects that can be easily made with leftover fabric from quilted projects.

Yo-Yo Pattern

The yo-yo or Suffolk puff quilts are made with circular pieces. They are called Suffolk puffs because they might have yoyoquiltoriginated in Britain, as far back as the seventeenth century as a way to make bedspreads out of recycled fabrics. There is no set size for the circles, nor the positioning of the circles within the spread. To make a yo-yo, make a template from cardboard or template plastic whichever size would work better with the leftover scraps you might have. A three to three and a half-inch diameter circle works well. If you have a size for the finished yo-yo in mind, double the desired size’s number and add half inch seam allowance. Use the template to draw circles on the wrong side of your fabric and cut them. Thread your needle with a double strand of strong thread, and tie a knot. Fold the edge of the fabric circle a little less than a quarter inch, with the wrong side facing up. Stitch a small running stitch all around the circle, on the narrow fold. When the running stitch is done all the way around, draw the thread to close the circle and create a yo-yo shape. Flatten and shape and tie the ends of the thread with a surgeon’s knot (right over left tail and left over right tail. Snip the tails. Sew yo-yos together by whip-stitching on four sides (north, south, east, west).
Yo-yos can be used to decorate other quilted projects, to embellish crazy quilts, or to make fabric jewelry.

Biscuit Pattern

Biscuit quilts require scraps of fabric, and backing fabric just like a quilt. You will have to draft two square templates or biscuituse the rotary cutter and ruler to cut strips and then subcut the strips into squares. The top fabric square for the puff needs to be smaller than the bottom square. They also require fiberfill stuffing.
Cut your top square of fabric one inch smaller than the bottom one. Place them wrong sides together and pin so the corners match and there is a pleat in the center of the square. Stitch either by hand or machine using a half-inch seam allowance on three sides of the square, easing the extra inch of fabric as you go. Stuff the biscuit with fiberfill, so that it is puffy, but not overstuffed. Stitch the opening shut after filling. Once you have enough biscuits for a row of your quilt, pin two together with the upper squares together (so that the seam will face the back of the quilt. Sew them together using a half inch allowance again. Sew rows together in the same manner. When the top is finished, prepare your backing fabric as you would for a traditional quilt, place the biscuit top over the backing and tie with cotton yarn in each intersection. The spread will also require a binding to cover the raw edges all around it.

Cathedral Windows Pattern

Cathedral window quilts do not require batting or stuffing. They are normally made with leftover scraps of cotton and a cathedral quiltmuslin background, or any other cotton fabric background, provided it is of good quality and can handle a hot iron and hold a crease well. Because of the large amount of background fabric used, they can be heavy (the background fabric will be folded three times). They are constructed by folding the background fabric like origami, then stitching the folded background squares together and adding the “window” of scrap material.
You will have to cut strips and subcut it into squares. If you start with a nine and a half-inch square of fabric, make a cardboard template nine inches square. Use it, centered on the wrong side of the background fabric to miter the edges and fold the seam allowances by ironing them flat. Remove the cardboard, fold in half and iron, with the wrong sides together. Once again, fold in half in the other direction and iron with wrong sides together. This pressing creates fold lines that will divide the square into four quarters. Now, with the wrong side facing up, bring the corners to the center + as neat as possible and press. It will look like a square envelope once it is done. And once again, bring the corners towards the center and press. Now the piece is ready. Repeat as many times as you need to create the background.cathedral windows
Then, take two of the folded background pieces, pin together lining up the triangles created by the last fold and sew either by hand or machine on the crease at the base of the triangles. The piece of scrap fabric will be placed right over that area. Cut it about three inches square, pin it in place, centering it. Finger press the edges of the base background folded square over the printed fabric square to create rounded edges and stitch down using an invisible stitch, like the hem-stitch. This process needs to be repeated in rows, then the rows need to be sewn together.


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