We had a great holiday yesterday. A few years ago they invented “Family Day” and decided to give us an extra day off in February – not complaining about that! Our family enjoyed a busy day at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Lots of fun to be had by all! The new project? Honestly,”Quilted Classroom Mat” is not the catchiest name. But my daughter uses it in her class for their daily Yoga-time, Snack-time, Reading-time and Story-time, we tried “The Quilted Y-S-R-S-time Mat” – not so good!

I bought a single bed size Vyssa Tulta quilted mattress pad from Ikea about 8 months ago because it was on sale for $5. I figured I would eventually find something I could sew with it. When my daughter’s teacher asked that everyone bring in a mat to use in class, I knew what it was for. It makes a perfect mat, thin enough to roll easily and thick enough to be comfortable.

Of course it was very important to my daughter that the mat to be made in some kind of rainbow-related fashion, so I pulled out my longer scraps and the only 3 purple fabrics available in my stash and thankfully they worked out well! I also happened to have about 1/2 a fat quarter of  rainbow fabric to make the binding from, which apparently is very exciting also – remember, she’s in grade 1! She also picked the ladybug flannel for the back. I had this one stored in my fabric shelf waiting to make some pj’s. I think I picked it up at Fabricland for about $3 in the ends bin.

I used the quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) method to put together the quilt top. And a bias tape folded binding for the edges. I think it is quite possible that this might actually count as a quilt finish?? (Maybe? Yippee!?) And it used up large scraps of about 5 of my fabrics too – bonus! I really love QAYG, it’s quick and simple to understand. Since it turned out so cute I thought you might want to make one too? It would also make a quick cute little baby playmat!

You will need:

  • 36″ x 18″ piece from a mattress pad or similar thickness
  • 13 fabric strips – 3.25″x 20″
  • 145″ (about 4 yards) of 1/2″ double fold bias tape
  • backing fabric – aprox. 22″ x 40″ (I used flannel)
  • strap fabric – 1 piece 6″x12″
  • velcro
  • your regular sewing supplies

Here we go:

Step 1: (a) Cut your mattress pad down to 36″x18″. Mine was crib size, so I still have lots left over to play with again sometime! (b) Trace a round object to create rounded corners on the mat and cut them out.

Step 2: Arrange your 13 fabric strips so you are happy with their placement on the mat. If you have a digital camera/phone around, take a photo so you remember the order they go in. Either way, stack them in order so that the left-most pieces are on the bottom of the stack. (You will notice I had 14 fabric strips in the photos. I found my measurements were off and I couldn’t fit the last strip on as I finished the mat. Don’t worry, I fixed up the measurements for this tutorial!)

Step 3: (a) Place your first fabric strip on the end of your mattress pad. Place the next strip on top, right sides together. Pin the inside edge. (b) Roll up the other end of the mattress pad and secure with clips or clothespins to make it easier to handle when sewing.

Step 4: (a) Stitch along the inside edge of your fabrics with a 1/4″ seam. (b) Open up your fabrics at the seam and smooth them down. (c) Place the next fabric strip on top of the one you just stitched, right sides together. Pin and then stitch the inner most edge with a 1/4″ seam.

Step 5: (a) Continue to place, pin and stitch each strip until you have sewn on all 13. (b) Baste the outside edges of the beginning and ending strips to the ends of the mattress pad.

Step 6: (a) Smooth out your backing fabric and place it right side down on a large flat surface. Place the quilted mattress pad in the centre, right side up. (b) Draw a line down the centre of each strip with a water soluble marker (blue in the photo). Pin the mattress pad securely to the backing fabric. I pinned down the centre of each strip. (This is where I wished I had bent safety pins instead of quilting pins – ouch!)

Step 7: Stitch down each marked line. I used my regular sewing foot with a slightly longer (basting-style) stitch. Be careful to avoid pins. Check that you have not created any tucks in the backing fabric.

Step 8: (a) Make/Unwrap your bias tape. (b) Pin the bias tape around the edge of your mat. Begin and end in a straight section and leave a 3″ tail on each end. Note: Let 1/8″ of your bias tape hang over the edge of the mat when you are pinning. This will help everything to fit when you finish the edge.

Step 9: (a) Stitch the bias tape on by sewing along the fold line closest to the edge of the mat. (b) Begin and end 3″ apart, leaving the extra bias tape at each end. (c) Match the bias tape ends neatly as per this Sew Essential tutorial – but do not fold/stitch it over the edge of the mat just yet.

Step 10: I followed this Cluck Cluck Sew tutorial to attach my bias tape. This mat, however, has rounded corners and needs a bias cut binding so it is a bit different. (a) Fold the bias tape all around the edge of the mat and pin as per Allison’s directions. I pinned horizontally and vertically to the fabric edge depending on where I was pinning. (b) Stitch around the binding as she instructs, ignoring the directions for the mitered corners.

Step 11: (a) Fold/Iron under 1/4″ on the short ends of each strap piece. Hold it down with pins or a glue stick. (b) Fold the piece lengthwise in half and then fold the edges into the centre. (c) Fold the entire strap in half again along the centre line. (d) Stitch around all edges of the strap close to the edge.

Step 12: (a) Cut the strap in half so you have two equal lengths. (b) Attach 2 pieces of Velcro 2″ long on each end side-by side. I like to make an X to hold it in place better. One strap will have 2 pieces of hook-side Velcro, the other will have 2 pieces of soft-side Velcro. (c) Stitch the soft-side Velcro strap along the first quilting seam. Leave 1/2″ of the strap on the side closest to the end of the mat, as per the photo. (d) Fold the strap over itself (hiding the raw end) and stitch it to the mat. Again, an X shape will secure it well.

Step 13: (a) Attach the hook-side Velcro strap to the soft side. Roll the mat up so you can mark the placement of the strap. (b) Roll the strap around the rolled mat to find where it needs to be attached. Pin as per the photo – marking edges and 1/2″ up from the end of the strap.

Step 14: (a) Unroll the mat and place the hook-side Velcro strap within your pinned markings. The end should be 1/2″ past the pin marking the end placement. (b) Stitch the end of the strap with a 1/2″ seam. (c) Fold the strap back on itself (hiding the raw end) and stitch it to the mat using an X shape.

All finished! Go and get your yoga (or reading, or story, or snack) on!

I hope your favorite little person likes their new mat! You can share your projects on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #alongforthreadride, or post them on the Thread Riding Hood Facebook page. And, of course, if you have any questions please be sure to contact me on any of the above or email sherri@threadridinghood.com. I’d love to hear from you! (And, as usual – this tutorial is for personal use only! Thanks.)