Thursday, February 9, 2023

Puff Quilt - Trevor

Welcome to the first Island Batik challenge and blog hop of the year 2023. 

The first challenge of the year is to make a cozy, squishy Puff (Bubble) quilt using the fabric from your assigned Fall’22 collection 0.5 yard bundle!! 

I received Exuberance collection. This is an original collection by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Designs.

Like most of the ambassadors, I had the same question - what is a puff quilt and how do I make it? I watched about half a dozen videos on the YouTube and made a list.

A list of all the things I disliked about making a Puff Quilt. Here they are:

1. Do not like the pleated squares.  Quilters and tucks don't go together. Generally, we hate them and painstakingly unravel stitches to smoothen them.  Accepting those tucks was a departure for a quilter's soul. It was also extra work - work I wanted to avoid. 

2. Do not wish to buy polyfill when I am rolling in batting. Although I had a small bag of polyfill left over from Gertie the Gecko, the puff quilt would need more. But I have plenty of batting which could be used directly (or cut up in bits), to make the puffy squares.

3. Do not like the idea that I will need a separate backing, in addition to the top and bottom fabric of the squares. This just seemed like extra work and extra fabric for no good reason. There has to be a better way to make this puff quilt.  At least, a different way.

4. The puff quilt would be too thick to machine quilt and must be hand-tied.  Tying the quilt would be slower and less secure than machine quilting.  It might also require special needle and wool.

Paul: You did not get any cheese?
Me: Cheese? You are allergic to cheese.
Paul: Yes, but you need a lot of cheese to go with all that whine (wine).
Me (eye rolling): Everything about this Puff Quilt is a challenge. 
Paul: When do you shy away from a challenge?
Me: I am going to try and come up with a way to make a Puff Quilt that eliminates these issues. 
Paul: Go, Preeti, Go!

Concept - Make the quilt top. Place batting behind each square and secure it in place. Add backing and stitch over the seams, in the channels between batting mounds. 

Making the Puffs

Trial/Audition Puff Quilt

I chose 16 fabrics from the collection to make 16 four-patch blocks.  Arranged so that the lightest and darkest fabrics crossed diagonally in the middle.  I used Schmetz Microtex (80/20) needle for piecing and quilting. I used Aurifil Thread for both piecing and quilting.

Quilt Top

I cut the batting squares 4.5". This would allow some room for the foot to move between the two puffed squares, thereby allowing me to machine quilt.

I used three layers of batting for each square. At a loft of about 1.5", it would provide a decent amount of puffiness.

3 Layers of Batting - About 1.5" high

Adding batting, one row at a time

I placed and pinned batting stack for one row at a time. Took it to the machine and stitched one/two Asterisk marks in the middle of each square in that row. Repeat for the next row.

Two done, six to go

Puffiness in Progress

Although this was a time-consuming process, it went smoothly.  Bollywood music was a big help :-)

All Puffed up

Layered on top of Backing

Since the flimsy was 44.5" wide, I could not use a regular (44" wide) fabric for backing.  I also had to account for added width to accommodate the puffiness. 

I quilted on my machine, using the regular foot. Technically speaking, quilting is stitching three layers (top, batting and backing) together.  Honestly speaking, quilting is a loose term here because I was stitching the backing to the flimsy, moving in the channels between the puff mounds.  I used the regular foot because it is not as wide as the walking foot. 

Quilting in process

Channel Quilted

Quilting was complete. No, I would not need to tie this quilt. PHEW!!!  
The last challenge was binding. 

Several of the YouTube Puff Quilts were turned inside out and then hand-tied. This eliminated the need for binding. But since mine was done differently, it needed a binding. Also, binding gives a neat finish :-) What do you think?

Ready to Bind

To make binding easier, I needed enough room (non-puffy flat surface) along the edge of the quilt.  To achieve this, I moved my needle as far left as possible and quilted/stitched down the edges.  Still, it would be impossible to completely machine stitch the binding. I machine-stitched the binding to the front, folded it to the back and hand-stitched it. 


Although this method eliminated each of my peeves (tucks, need for polyfill, separate backing, and hand-tying), it is not as puffy or biscuit-y as those YouTube quilts. 

I like the understated puffiness. It is similar to a goose down comforter in puffiness.

Paul: This is finished!
Me: Yup.
Paul: What about all those challenges you were whining about?
Me: Killed each one of them.
Paul: Impressive! Did you name it?
Me: Yes. Trevor.
Paul: Trevor? Like Trevor Noah?
Me: Yes, because it is has dimples and it is cute :-D

Cloudy Day - Bright Quilt

Trevor by the Lake


Bye Bob, till next quilt.

In my continued effort to manage my stash, I am offering two prizes - scrap packs of batiks from my pre-ambassador days. As these are mystery prizes I won't be showing pictures of the scraps. However, if you are the winner, I will reach out to you to ask for your favorite colors, before creating the scrap pack just for you.

To enter the giveaway, please visit the Island Batik blog, and leave me a comment letting me know which collection is your favorite. If you show up as Anonymous (or a no-reply-blogger), make sure that you provide your email.

I will announce the winners on Saturday, 2/18/23. 

The blog hop continues. See full list below.


February 6

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

Sarah Pitcher, Pitcher’s Boutique

February 7

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

February 8

Elita Sharpe, Busy Needle Quilting

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts

February 9

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts (You are here)

February 10

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway

February 11

Special St Valentine’s Day Post

Renee Atkinson, Pink Tulip Quilting


February 13

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

February 14

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

February 15

Susan Deshensky, Lady Blue Quilts

Randi Jones, Randi’s Roost

February 16

Special Island Batik Designers Feature

February 17

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway


February 20

Brittany Fisher, Bobbin with Brittany

Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

February 21

Victoria Johnson, Forever Quilting for You

Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

February 22

Lana Russel, Lana Quilts

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts

February 23

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

February 24

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

February 27

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

February 28

End of Blog Hop + Final Round Up


  1. Trevor looks great! Congratulations on overcoming all of those challenges to come up with your own technique for this puff quilt. Island Batik has so many amazing lines, but I'm currently loving the colors in Double Dutch.

  2. Good for you figuring a way around all the problems. I, too, have an aversion to puff quilts, so I can completely understand your struggle. (Thankfully no one is asking me to make one, so I'm one up on you there!) The finished quilt does remind me of a fluffy down comforter and who knows...maybe you'll start a new trend? Please keep my name out of the drawing - I, too, am swimming in scraps and don't need any extras!

  3. I like Trevor. I admit, I would have read your blog anyway, but wondering about Trevor's name origin had me intensely curious! I love the way you solved all the challenges about making a puff quilt and did it your way. Have a great day!

  4. Great quilt and great post, Preeti! Trevor is as cute as a button!! Love your banter with Paul!

  5. I have never had an interest in Puff quilts, never made one and never will!

  6. I like them all! Broken Glass may be the winner though. I have always avoided puff quilts but this blog tour is making me want to try- maybe a small one for Project Linus???? Love your method!

  7. I just commented on the Island Batik blog, but wanted to let you know how much I like your method of making a puff quilt. I've never wanted to take on that challenge, but this is method I would like to try. It would look great in Princess Rose. Thank you for sharing all of your lovely quilts, and your conversations with Paul. They always make me smile.

  8. Interesting method of making your toddler size quilt. Pick a favorite, I like fabrics from all the collections.

  9. Puff quilts are quite popular in my area among the conservative Mennonites. When I asked my daughter if she wanted one, she said NO! I was glad to hear that because I didn't want to make one. Your quilt turned out nice though. Happy stitching!

  10. River Walk is the collection that most appeals to me today. I am not good at picking favorites! I love your determination in making a puff quilt in a way that works for you. You are an inspiration. And the quilt looks great.

  11. Well, what a challenge, but you did it! You're always so good at coming up with a better, more efficient way to make a quilt or quilt block. Your quilt turned out beautifully, Preeti! I usually love all the Island Batik lines that the ambassadors share, but this time my favorite is Broken Glass.

  12. I loved the way you went about getting your quilt made, I have to admit that I laughed a good bit this morning, but a girl has to do what she needs to do.You accomplished what you set out to do and it is very beautiful! Well done. I love a lot of the collections but I think my favorite is Bits and Pieces. Thanks for a chance at your giveaway.

  13. I have never made a puff quilt, for all the reasons you listed. You are a brave woman! Thank you for the give away. My favourite collection is Exuberance.

  14. I like Double Dutch. Your puff quilt is amazing....and the cheese comment had me snort coffee!

  15. I am so glad to learn that you dislike all the things about the puff quilt that I dislike. Go Preeti Go! Thanks for showing what is possible (and please pick someone else if I am randomly selected).

  16. The Double Dutch collection is my favorite. I've never made a puff quilt, but my adult daughter is hinting that she wants one.

  17. I'd say that is a genius method for making one of those puffy quilts. It may not be as puffy as some others, so maybe it's a cookie quilt instead of a biscuit quilt. A little flatter, with more sugar, and much sweeter!

  18. Wow! I am fascinated with all the variety of puff quilts you all are turning out! My favorite collection is either Double Dutch or Fruits and Veggies.

  19. Hi Pretti, I really like how you attacked each challenge. Way to go to make it easier and still great!

  20. That was definitely a creative way to avoid the challenges associated with a puff quilt. I have never made a puff quilt before but I can see why you wanted to try a new way. I love how yours turned out. My favorite collection is Royal Crown.

  21. The collections are so different but I do like the look of River Walk! Great work on the puff quilt and doing it in your own way - I have never made one!

  22. Great job on your own technique. The puff quilt is not my favorite but you may have found a way to make it more appealing for me to make. The prints in this are gorgeous.

  23. Wow great job ya YouTube is my friend too..

  24. Your technique forthis challenge is interesting and does sound easier. You did great! Ithink myfavorite collection is Broken Glass.

  25. A puff quilt was my first attempt at a quilt, many years ago. It also put me off quilting for many years after that! I do like yours very much, though and your method is a great idea.

  26. It's hard to decide - I think my favorite is either Exuberance or Princess Rose. I like your problem solving approach to finding an easier way to make these quilts!

  27. I think your quilt turned out great! My favorite color way is the Broken Glass. And Google wouldn’t cooperate today. —-Sara

  28. Lots of challenges making Trevor. Glad you found a way to make it a bit easier. Well done, it's pretty! Puff quilts are not my favorite, never been and never will. Love the Double Dutch.

  29. Double Dutch, lovely colours, and Trevor, you are a real beauty

    1. I have had trouble commenting with my Google account, but am Jean McKinstry. Blog is All Points of the Compass

  30. Trevor is one comfy and beautiful looking quilt. I love the Double Dutch and Royal Crown, however each of the collections looks wonderful. I love your posts and this one is delightful. You and Paul crack me up!! Thanks for sharing the fun with us all. (-: Elana

  31. Love your way of making Trevor, your instructions are easy to follow and makes me want to make an almost puffy quilt. So far my favorite colorway is Broken Glass, I like bright colors.

  32. can't choose between river walk and exuberance, good for you not to give in to unpleasant! your quilt is wonderful

  33. I don't know if I would ever want to fiddle with a puff quilt, but I do enjoy seeing all of the ones made for the blog hop. I'm wondering if your technique will hold up to lots of washing or if the batting will shift...For the fabric, I like the bits and pieces line, but they are all nice.

  34. I think my overall favorite will be Juicy Mosaics, although I often change my mind as I see each new project. (Exuberance is my favorite today, seeing today's beauties.) Thanks for sharing your honest feelings about puff quilts; I had the same response when I heard the challenge. You rose to meet it and you came out victorious!

  35. Have enjoyed seeing your version of a puff quilt. I really like Sunshine Garden

  36. That Blue Double Dutch is calling me. Your quilt turned out wonderful.

  37. Love your take on a puff quilt. Have zero desire to make one but you did a great job of making it doable! and not too puffy!!!!!

  38. You did a great job thinking through each one of the challenges and coming up with a workable solution. Nicely done (oh and the quilt is cute too!)

  39. I’ve never been attracted to the Puff Quilt. I almost didn’t read the blog post! But I’m a fan of your quilts, and I, too, was wondering about the name. You hit it out of the park! Great solution to all the things you hated about making a puff quilt. And I agree, “Trevor” is cute! And so is Trevor Noah! And the dimples? Too cute!

  40. You came up with a good compromise. Well done! The colors and prints of Bits & Pieces seems to appeal to me. I’m not a fan of huge pictorial batik prints; I prefer patterned or textured prints.

  41. I prefer the Exerburance fabric pack like you used in the Trevor Puff Quilt. Good for you for making a not-so-favorite technique your own way!

  42. I like the Broken Glass collection. It has great texture and colors.

  43. You always make me smile! Amen to all the "no" reasons for a puff quilt. I made one long ago and even with my bad memory I remember NEVER AGAIN! And here you go with the perfect solution! I have enough batting pieces for several of these! Thanks!

  44. Love the bits and pieces collection

  45. I love all batiks.... I am a batik addict!!! I love all colors ... but lean more towards blues and greens.... no .... golds and browns... no ...
    Reds and blacks...
    See I can't pick 🤣😉🤣😉🤣

  46. I love what you did with this crazy idea of a quilt! And to name it Trevor…😍 Preeti, you make me feel so happy! I wish we lived in the same part of the USA!

  47. Way to succeed with the challenge!

  48. Your post made me laugh. I love the story of this quilt's creation and your conversations with Paul. And it turned out beautiful! Thanks for sharing this post! All the fabric collections are beautiful River Walk is my favorite.

  49. Glad you found a way to make the challenge work for you! But maybe you should have added more wine - without the h ;) Though I personally would also have picked music over it. xo

  50. Love the Broken glass colors. Your quilt turned out beautifully, now my granddaughter wants one!!

  51. I appreciated the details in your explanation for how you created this quilt -- could practically see the wheels turning in your head! I like the collected called Fruit & Veggies best :)

  52. Beautiful collection you were given and your photographs truly show how they brighten up a gray day! I loved your pictures and tutorial. Not sure I want to slay my own puff quilt just yet but you have inspired.

  53. Hi Preeti! Love this backstory! The conversations between you and Paul are always so interesting, haha. Could I ask what sz square did you start with? 6"? Thank you so much for your always educating blog posts

    1. I did not mean to be anoymous- Shelly in PEI

  54. Oh, those Puff Quilts were popular back in the '70s. I made a piece by hand and stuffed each square with old nylon stockings. I did not like making it so when I had a big enough piece I turned it into a long pillow. My youngest son was about 6 at the time and asked if he could have it. He used that thing until it was worn out. Gosh, it was ugly. Thanks for the memories. Oh, and good for you to figure out a different method of Puff Quilt making.

  55. Oh my goodness, you crack me up — naming the quilt after Trevor Noah because it’s cute and has dimples!!! LOL, my friend, LITERALLY LOL. I share your disdain for the traditional puff quilt making, since it leaves out most of my favorite parts of making a quilt and adds in tucks and high loft poly batting and other things I don’t ever want to see in my studio. Your version is much more palatable and yes, it totally reminds me of a goose down comforter with baffling channels to prevent the down from shifting out of place and clumping. Mmm, now you know what would be REALLY scrumptious, would be if we made a PreetiPuffer Quilt out of silk dupioni with squares of lofty wool batting inside…. Does Island Batik do any silk batiks, I wonder, or only cotton?

  56. Beautiful! My son loves how you posed it with Bob! It’s very hard to choose a favorite there are a couple top contenders, my mood right now is picking Exuberance. Thank you for the chance! Google hates me right now.

  57. You are a motivated women. Even when puff quilts were "the" thing in the 80s, I had no desire to make one! Your puff quilt is beautiful.--TerryK@OnGoingProjects

    1. I love Trevor too Preeti, haha..and Thanks for figuring out a way that I would actually TRY to make a puff quilt.

  58. Great variation of a puff quilt! I am torn between Double Dutch (because I AM Dutch!) and Bits and Pieces!
    Darlene B (

  59. Thanks for your give away chance! I never met a batik I didn't like and your quilt, which addressed some of the same issues that have kept me from ever making one of these, is so pretty. I liked Exuberance and the Sunshine Garden collections the best, but none of them would ever make me unhappy.

  60. Love your solution to a puffy quilt! I'm not a big fan of overly puffy quilts and yours is a nice comfortable puffiness. And easier too! Definitely the way I would go if I made one. Thanks for sharing on my weekly show and tell, Wednesday Wait Loss.

  61. Way to go - and nailing each challenge!!!!

  62. That was a lot of work! Congrats on your pretty Preeti treasure.

  63. Well, I think you did a great job with a horrible project! I can feel you gritting your teeth as you accomplished this finish. I like some quilting fads that come back to haunt us …. And puff quilts are not one of them. Well done. You deserve a medal.

  64. Wow, your quilt is bright and beautiful! It looks like it wasn't an easy quilting project to make ;)) But you mastered it, and it looks wonderful!
    Thank you for sharing this challenge, and linking up!

  65. Lovely job, Preeti! I too have not understood the appeal of puff quilts, until I saw Jessica Dayon (of “Precut Parade” and “A Year in Solids” fame) make a scrappy Christmas themed one. She explained step-by-step how to make it, & I admit, I was hooked. Yours is not as puffy & tacked down in the middle, as you say. Which means you’ve created an entirely new quilt: I’d call it the “Tufted Quilt”, because it reminds me of a tufted headboard on a bed, or tufted footstool or chesterfield backrest section. Beautiful and unique!! ~Diana K.