fabric manipulation fabric scraps project quilting tutorial

Block 3: Double controlled pleats – Textured quilt sampler tutorial


Block type: log cabin

Block size: 11 inches

Colour scheme: reds and neutrals

Texture/fabric manipulation: double controlled pleats

Quilt size: The finished quilt is 52 ½ x 52 ½.


  • one 6 in x 15 in rectangle in red tones for the textured centre square
  • two 5 in x 3 1/2 in rectangles and two 11 in x 3 1/2 in rectangles for the border
Making the pleats

Mark the fabric at 1 and 1 1/2 inch intervals. Do this on both sides, top and bottom.

Now pick up the scissors and make a small cut on each mark like below. Do this on both sides, top and bottom.

The 1 1/2 inch intervals is the fold, the 1 inch interval is the distance between folds.

To make the pleats take the first cut, fold the fabric making the first cut coincide with the second cut.

Pin the fold obtained.

Now move the fold into the next cut and make the fold coincide with the next cut.

Continue like so until you finish all the marks.

Now start from the opposite side and do the same as you did earlier. It will be easier to find the fold as you can use the folded side as a guide too.

Do not press, just flatten the pleats with your hands. You can also apply some steam with your iron at a short distance from the fabric if desired.

Stitch along the side leaving one inch seam allowance. This will allow you to trim the square to 5 inches square when finished sewing the pleats.

Sew the second side with a 1/4 seam allowance. Trim to 5 inch square.

Cut two 5 in x 3 1/2 in rectangles and two 11 in x 3 1/2 in rectangles for the border.

Add the border to the centre square.

Textured blocks tutorials

This is the 3rd block in a series of 25 exploring texture in fabric.

Each block is made out of a centre 5 inch square featuring some fabric texture such as pin tucks, smocking, shirring and the like. Then a 3 1/2 wide border encloses each centre square.

The colour scheme is red and white/cream alternating reds and white/cream for the centre square and border.

Some of the textures show better on plain colours than on heavily patterned fabric.

See all Textured quilt sampler tutorials for this quilt.

Share your pictures

Are you making this quilt? Share your pictures on Flickr’s TeresaDownUnder group.


  1. Sweet detail. Other variations that might be fun would be to press the folds on one side the opposite direction. This would of course create quite a bit more texture. I also like the idea of possibly random sized folds.


  2. Martha, stay tuned, 22 more blocks to go. Next week the block is pleats with a ripple effect as you describe.


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