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How to Create a Basketball "Hoop" for your Fastbreak Quilt

Now that you've finished piecing your

Fastbreak Quilt, here are some ideas for finishing the "hoop" area to give your quilt a personalized touch. If you don't have the pattern yet, get it

(for FREE!) here.

The Fastbreak Quilt is the perfect wall hanging for the basketball fan. The design simulates the basketball angled in at the hoop for a perfect "swish" but how do you make the hoop come to life since it is not pieced into the quilt top? Here are three ideas to give your Fastbreak Quilt the perfect finishing touch.

  1. Machine quilt 1/4" lines in a diamond cross-hatch design

  2. Machine quilt 1/4" lines in a cross-hatch design PLUS add big stitch hand quilting within the 1/4" lines.

  3. My personal favorite: use Chenille-It to give it an unmistakable 3D effect!


Want to give one of these methods a try? Here is how I finished the Fastbreak Quilt with all three finishing techniques:

  1. Machine quilt 1/4" lines in a diamond cross-hatch design.

For this method, I simply lined up the 60 degree angle of my 24" ruler with the bottom of the pieced "rim" and marked along the edge of the ruler to the edge of the quilt. I use the Dritz Disappearing Ink

Marking Pen which shows the markings long enough for me to quilt a small space like this but disappears without having to wash the quilt (it is both air and water soluble).

I spaced out each marked line by 2 inches and marked all of the lines directly on the quilt top. If I'm doing straight line quilting on my domestic machine, I usually use my walking foot guide bar to save time but in this case, the area is so small I decided to mark all of the lines.

Once I completed marking the lines going one direction, I turned the ruler to use the other marked 60 degree angle and followed the same process to create the diamond cross-hatch design.

After the marking was complete, I began stitching 1/8" away from one side of all of the lines using my walking foot (yikes! Add clean my walking foot to the list of to-dos!).

Here you can see all of the marked lines with the 1/8" stitched quilting lines on one side.

To finish, I used the stitched lines as a guide and aligned my 1/4" marked guide of my walking foot along the stitched lines and stitched the second set of lines 1/4" away from the first.

*Note: on the outermost lines, at the point where the lines intersect the rim, I stitched along the bottom of the rim before turning back down the other side so there is not a true "point" at the top.

Here you can see the finished 1/4" diamond cross-hatch pattern with a hint of the disappearing ink left.

2. Machine quilt 1/4" lines in a cross-hatch design PLUS add big stitch hand quilting within the 1/4" lines.

For this option, I followed the same process as option 1, but after completing the machine quilting portion, I added one row of big stitch hand quilting in the center of the 1/4" lines.

You can either add the big stitch hand quilting before or after attaching the binding but it is easier to hide the thread tails if you complete the hand quilting before the binding.

3. Using Chenille-It for an unmistakable 3D effect!

I had seen Chenille-It around the block on other projects, but this option didn't "click" until I had a meeting with my monthly small group that gets together from my Quilt Pattern Writing Course days. Shout out to Marija of @maraquiltdesigns for her suggestion of using this technique to truly showcase the hoop on this quilt.

This was my first time using Chenille-It and let me tell you, it was so easy to do AND it was fun! I used the 3/8" size of the white color for this project.

To use Chenille-It to make your "hoop", simply line up the Chenille-It on the marked lines of your quilt top.

Then stitch down the center of the strip with a straight stitch to secure it.

Next, either wash your quilt on cold and dry on a warm cycle OR you can do what I did and spray with water and rub a stiff brush to fray the threads, then dry with a hair dryer. THAT'S. IT.

I tried this method using both toothbrush and a fingernail brush and filtered water. I simply dipped the brush in the water, tapped the excess off and rubbed the strip with the bristles of the toothbrush to fray it.

To finish, I used my hair dryer to "fluff" it up.


In addition to these three techniques, some other suggested ideas to create a "hoop" are:

  1. Hand embroidery stitches like a chain stitch with a perle cotton thread or

  2. Couching stitch

While I'm no expert on either of those techniques, I'm hoping to give them a try and see how they look!

What other techniques would you try to give your Fastbreak Quilt a unique look?

Don't forget to share your finished quilt by tagging me @jessicasteeledesign and using the hashtag #FastbreakQuilt on Instagram! I can't wait to see how you decide to finish your quilt!

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