Monday, March 20, 2017

Carrot Tutorial: Bounding Bunny

Here is the bounding bunny quilt top. I didn't realize that I had not taken a final photo of this top. It is a bit large and does not fit on my design wall. Also, the outer border, made from extra bunny tails, is a bit unruly. The carrots growing down the middle are square blocks that finish at 6 inches (unfinished 6.5 inches square).

The carrot block is made in two parts: traditional piecing for the carrot top and paper piecing for the bottom carrot part.

The easiest part is carrot top greenery that is a partial log cabin block. I used a 1.25 inch strip of the background fabric and the green fabric. Sew two 1.25 inch squares of the green and background together. Then sew a length of background fabric across the top and trim. Next sew a length of green along the side and trim. Finally, add a length of green along the bottom and trim. You should now have a 2.75 inch block (unfinished).

Next, cut a 3.5 inch square of background fabric and cut the square in half diagonally to make two triangles. Sew these background triangles to the green sides of the carrot top. The triangles will be too large...this is better than being too small.

The bottom part of the carrot block uses paper piecing. For this, you will need to draw out the foundation and piecing lines. I suggest drawing it on quarter-inch grid graph paper. I use deli paper as my paper piecing foundation, but feel free to use whatever you like.

Draw lines for the final finished block...that is, draw a square that is six inches on each side. Along the top, mark the line 1.5 inches (6 squares) from the left. Then along the bottom, mark the line 1.5 inches (6 squares) from the right. Next, connect the marks with a diagonal line.

Then, make a horizontal line starting 1.5 inches (6 squares) down from the top left corner. The line should extend from the left to the diagonal line. Then move back down the line .75 inches (3 squares) and make a mark. Then draw another diagonal line from that mark to the lower left corner of the square. This is one side of the carrot.

Then make a vertical line starting 1.5 inches across from the bottom right corner. The line should extend from the bottom to the diagonal line. Then move back down the line .75 inches (3 squares) and make a mark. Then draw a diagonal line from that mark to the lower left corner of the square. This is the other side of the carrot.

These markings are the final seam lines, so don't forget to add the extra quarter inch seam allowance around this 6 inch block. Your final plan should be 6.5 inches square, the same size as the unfinished block.

Trace your paper piecing plan onto the foundation paper of your choice. Then start with a hunk of carrot fabric and a hunk of background. The orange fabric needs to be large enough to cover the carrot section with an added quarter inch seam allowance surrounding that section. The background should cover the side wedge plus the seam allowance.

Place the orange and background fabric right sides together with the orange fabric on the top. Make sure their sides are aligned. Lay the paper foundation on top. You will be sewing along the side of the carrot, so you want the seam line to be laid about a quarter inch from the edge of the fabrics. Sew along that line.

After sewing the seam, press open.

Next, you will want to trim the excess fabric using your foundation as a guideline. To do this, I use a scrap piece of template plastic. I align the plastic edge against the next seam line and fold the foundation paper over the plastic to keep it out of the way while I trim the fabric.

I use my rulers quarter inch marking to trim the fabric a quarter inch away from the paper foundation seam line.

Next, add another chunk of background to the other side of the carrot, placing the right sides of the fabric together and aligning the background hunk along the newly trimmed edge of the carrot.
Turn this over and sew along the paper foundation seam line.

Press open.

Again, use the plastic and fold the paper foundation back against the plastic along the next seam line. Use your ruler to trim a quarter inch from that seam line.

Add another section of background fabric, right side down and aligned with the newly trimmed edge. Then follow the usual process: press open, trim. Sew a hunk of background fabric to the other side.

Here is the carrot ready for its final trim to a 6.5 inch square. Make sure that you include the quarter inch seam allowance across the top of the carrot.

And here is the bottom part of the carrot fully trimmed...ready for the carrot top.

It's your choice to continue with paper piecing. I removed all the paper and trimmed the carrot top to have a quarter inch seam from the bottom of the carrot top. I then aligned the carrot top and the carrot so that the corner of the log cabin carrot top meets the center of the top of the carrot.

And now you have carrots to feed your bounding bunnies. And the carrot is symmetric so it can point left or right.


  1. The row of carrots are perfect for that quilt. Adorable. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Cute design, and I love the quilt. Does Mollie like carrots? ....Anyhow, if you are going to be doing a great deal of paper piecing, it might be worth buying some newsprint type paper -- they sell it at U-Haul and similar places as dish wrap. It tears out VERY easily!!! And (though you probably already know this), if you're sewing multiples of the same block, instead of tracing all those lines, stack up 5-6 block-size layers of paper, put your pattern on top, and sew along all the stitching lines with NO THREAD in your machine. Gives you a perfect outline to follow for sewing, and has the added advantage of making the paper even easier to pull out!

    I learn so much from your blog; just thought I'd share something I knew.

  3. You make the most WONDERFUL QUILTS! Colorful and FUN. I LOVE them!

  4. These are the bestest bunnies! I love seeing them racing for the carrots!
    (Did Alternate Jane have carrots in her universe?)