Tumbler Tutorial

Good Morning! It has been a while since I have done a tutorial on the blog and this seemed like a good project. Tumblers are not difficult to work with  but the shape can be a bit intimidating.

Remember these leftover tumblers? I was in need of a baby boy quilt and these were perfect.


This is the die I used to cut the tumblers.


I also had a bunch of white tumblers cut so the first thing was to lay them all out on the design wall.


To begin sewing, I start on the left and pick up each tumbler in order so that the left most tumbler is on the top of my stack and the right most tumbler is on the bottom. It is easy to get mixed up if you don’t choose a method and stick to it.


I take the top two tumblers and lay them out as they appear in the row.


Take the right one and lay it on top of the left tumbler, right sides together. Looks pretty strange, doesn’t it?


My die cutter nips the corners off in such a way that if these are lined up, your pieces should stitch out perfectly.


This is how it looks when I fold back the corner of the top tumbler.


Then I just chain stitch through the machine in pairs.


The first two sets clipped from my string will now go together so they are set side by side and opened up.



I lay the right hand piece on top of the left, right sides together and line up the notches again. Note: I do not press anything until the whole row is done.


Time to feed these through!


The next picture shows the entire first row pieced.  See how much smaller it is after sewing?


Here is my pile for the second row.


Same process except it looks a little different. That is because for the first row, I started with an upside down tumbler and for this row, the first one is right side up. Take the top two and lay them side by side.


Now place them right sides together and you are ready to sew!


Another chain is formed with row two parts.


Here are my first two rows sewn together. I want to show you how easily the rows fit together if you have pressed the seam allowances correctly. Here they are pressed.


Here, I have turned them over so you can see that I have pressed the seams for each row in opposite directions. This is very important.


When I put the rows together, all the seam allowances will nest together as you can, hopefully, see here.


See how nicely they come together?IMG_1683IMG_1684

You can see here that I ran out of this fabric and needed one more tumbler to complete the pattern. No matter, I just pieced my scraps and cut another.


I decided that I didn’t want to cut my print tumblers in order to straighten the edge of my quilt top. So I took some of the leftover white tumblers and cut them in half like this.


I had to do a bit of unsewing to add these to the ends of the rows I had already sewn together. but this is what it looked like after adding the half tumblers and sewing the rows.



I added a 2 inch strip to the top and bottom and then added 5 inch borders al the way around. I don’t like skimpy baby quilts!


This was a quick and easy baby quilt top and I love that I was able to stretch these leftovers into a whole baby quilt by adding the white and the border fabric.

I hope this was helpful. The process is the same no matter what size tumblers you use. If you do not have a template or die with the nipped corners for alignment, you can still make this! There is just one slight difference in aligning your pieces when sewing your tumblers together.

I will try to add a few pictures showing this  difference in the piecing if there is interest.

Tomorrow, I will show you pictures of the quilting in progress.

About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing adult kids, and a former librarian. I love making everything from traditional quilts to art quilts. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
This entry was posted in Accuquilt Studio Cutter, Baby Quilts, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Tumbler Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday ~ Tumbers | KatyQuilts

  2. Maureen says:

    Thanks so much for writing such a great tutorial. I’ve thought about making a tumbler quilt but wasn’t sure how to start.

  3. I love tumblers, especially for kids quilts 🙂

  4. sandra elizabeth rodriguez madariaga says:

    Hola Katy!
    Quiero decirte que este año aprendí mucho de tus proyectos y tu entusiasmo. Me gusta la dedicación y cariño que día a día muestras con tus trabajos.
    Deseo que el siguiente año esté lleno de salud, amor, unión familiar y prosperidad, para ti y tus seres queridos.
    Respetuosamente y con cariño.
    Sandra Rodríguez
    México, D.F.

    Enviado desde mi iPhone

    > El 31/12/2014, a las 03:06, “KatyQuilts” escribió:

  5. Lu Ann says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post this! Happy New Year!!

  6. Lois says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial, Katy! I have the tumbler die and I have yet to use it. I hadn’t given much thought to the construction of the rows and likely would have had a time figuring it out! This was very helpful.

    Happy New Year!!

  7. knitnkwilt says:

    Thanks. I’m up for trying this–and I would like to see your tips for when one doesn’t have the dye with the nips out. I’m not planning to buy any version of Accucut unless I can’t apply the pressure to use the rotary cutter at some point.

  8. Judy says:

    This is a great tutorial! I am so glad that I am not the only one that will sew pieces of fabric together to make that last block!! 🙂 Your top looks great and I can’t wait to see it all quilted up!

  9. Sandi says:

    Thank you for sharing this tutorial with us. I would like to try this out too! Happy New Year! Hugs,

  10. Cécile says:

    Thank you so much for this tuto !
    I project to make a table runner with this block and, thanks to you, I’m sure I will succeed ! 😉

  11. Kathy says:

    I like how you finished each row with a half tumbler of the white … a tumbler quilt is on my list, and I’ll remember that. I can’t wait to see your quilt finished.

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