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A Complete Tutorial for the Baseball Stitch

Hey there, team!


With baseball and softball seasons underway, I'm here to share with you a fun handmade

detail you can add to your Fastball Quilt (or any project!)...The Baseball Stitch.


The custom label used in this tutorial is included in your purchase of the Fastball Quilt PDF download. In the PDF download, I also walk you through how to customize the label in an exclusive YouTube tutorial. Still need to grab your copy of the Fastball Quilt? Get it here.


Before we get too far, do you prefer a video tutorial? I've got you covered. Check out the video below.







 

BEFORE STARTING:


In this tutorial I reference attaching your label to the back of your quilt using a hidden slip stitch first, and then adding the baseball stitch. To see a full tutorial on how to add your label using a hidden slip stitch, visit this blog post or you can watch this YouTube tutorial.

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • Your custom Fastball Quilt label secured to the back of your quilt using a hidden slip

stitch.

  • Size 8 or Size 5 Pearl Cotton (I'm using Size 8 in this tutorial, Size 5 is slightly thicker thread)

  • A Size 5 hand embroidery needle

  • A ruler with 1/4" and 1/8" markings

  • A marking pen (air or water soluble)

  • Scissors

  • Thimble or Needle puller

 

LET'S GET STARTED


To begin, thread your needle with enough pearl cotton thread to stitch around your entire label. I suggest using about 30-40 inches of thread which will give you plenty of wiggle room. Tie a knot at one end of your thread.




Starting on the bottom right hand corner of the label, mark the edge of your quilt label using the below guide:



You'll mark both sides of the label as shown below. (I find with disappearing ink, it's best to mark only one side of the label at a time.)


Place your needle on the inside of the quilt sandwich and come up through the backing fabric at the closest marked point. You can begin on either the inside(on the label itself) or outside marking (on the backing fabric), I prefer to begin on the inside marking first. Pull the thread all the way out through this first marking.


Next bring your needle back down to the very bottom edge of your quilt label and push the needle through the edge of the label and under the backing fabric in the direction of the first marking on the opposite side (in this case, since I started on the inside marking, this time I will go to the outside). Be careful not to push your needle all the way through to the front of your quilt, only under the backing fabric.




Pull the thread all the way out through the second marking and come back down to the bottom of the label and back through the same point you came through in the last step.



Push your needle through the quilt sandwich under the backing and the label and come out the next marked point on the label. Pull the thread all the way through.



Bring your needle back down parallel to the top of your first stitch and at the edge of the label. Push the needle through the edge of the label and up towards the marking parallel with the point at which you made your last stitch. Pull the thread all the way through.




Bring your needle back down to the same point at which you were parallel with the top of the first stitch and push your needle underneath the backing fabric and label to your next marked point on the label.



Continue this process until you get close to the first corner of your label. Once you're approximately two stitch lengths away from the corner, make sure to take a look at the remaining space along this edge to evenly distribute the final stitches.


For the final stitch on this edge, proceed as you have been but instead of coming out the marked point, you'll bring your needle out the top of your label, parallel with the 1/8" width of the stitches below it.



Bring your needle back down to the side edge of the label parallel with the top of the stitch below. Push your needle through this point and out to the point parallel to the top of the label, 1/8" away from the edge of the label.


At this point, if you haven't already marked the top edge of your quilt, go ahead and mark your 1/4" points, 1/8" from both edges of the label.


Next, bring your needle back down to the bottom point of the corner stitch, and out the first marking on the backing fabric side (outside) of the top edge of the label.



Bring your needle back down as you would a normal stitch into the very corner of the label, then out the first marked point on the label.


**Before pulling this stitch all the way through, be sure to check the corner of your label and if it's pulling under, give it a gentle tug using your needle underneath the label to flatten out the corner.



Bring your needle back down again to the edge of the label to complete the stitch and at this point you can bring your needle back out the second marked point on the label to continue your baseball stitches across the top as you did along the first side.



Again, once you're approximately two stitch lengths away from the second corner, make sure to take a look at the remaining space along this edge to evenly distribute the final stitches.


Finish this corner in the same manner as your first corner and continue finishing the stitches down the remaining side of the label.



Once you get to the final edge of your quilt and label, for your last stitch you will bring your needle out the middle of the quilt sandwich and tie a knot to tie off your thread. This edge will be covered by your stitched on binding, so the last stitches do not need to be perfect.



And you're all done! Add your binding to your quilt using a 1/4" seam allowance using your preferred method.


*I prefer to stitch my binding on the front of my quilt first, and then fold the binding to the back, using a slip stitch to attach the binding to the back of the quilt.


*Note: the trimming allowances for this label as shown in this tutorial, are based on a 2.5" binding. You may consider a narrower trimming allowance on your label if you plan on using a less than 2.5" binding.


Need to see these steps in action? You can watch this same tutorial step-by-step in this YouTube video.


 

Don't forget to tag me @jessicasteeledesign in your Fastball Quilt photos on Instagram and use the hashtag #fastballquilt! I can't wait to see them!

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