Quilted Fabric Tray

on May 14 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 10 Comments

Giveaway Day (Week!) runs through Friday so don’t miss your chance to enter to win hundreds of different fabric, pattern and handmade item giveaways.

Sherri from Thread Riding Hood designed this Quilted Fabric Tray that can be used for serving or as a decorative organizer for any room in your home. The tray has a hard base that works for food and drinks, making it perfect for outdoor entertaining. The trays would also make a great hostess gift!

Sherri has instructions for a bonus 6″ x 6″ version of the fabric tray at Thread Riding Hood, where you can also enter to win a fat quarter bundle of Petite Plume by Camelot Fabrics, provided by Warp & Weft. Learn more about Sherri in her introduction, and don’t miss her Scalloped Edge Basket tutorial from earlier this year.


This fabric tray is a great scrap-buster; you need less than a fat quarter and some fabric scraps to finish your project! The tray has a hardboard base so it can be picked up and moved around without fear of spilling whatever it might be holding.

Your fabric tray is the perfect spot for keys at the door. You can use your favourite scraps to create a beautiful jewellery tray for your dressing table, or a pretty place to keep your sewing things handy!

The fabric for these trays came from Warp & Weft, a Canadian online fabric shop. Both collections are manufactured in Canada by Camelot Fabrics, and since I am a Canadian blogger I was excited to work on this project– a Canadian fabric trifecta!

The colourful floral Beyond the Backyard collection has bumble bees hiding throughout. And Petite Plume’s citrusy-bright hues are a perfect match for the fun peacocks featured on it. I was happy to find that both fabrics are super-soft, great quality fabrics; they are so nice to work with! I used one set of five fat quarters from each collection to generously finish a tray in each size, with plenty of scraps left over for something new.

This tutorial shows you how to create a 10” x 6” tray with a rectangular log cabin quilted base. As a little bonus, I have made a tutorial for the square 6” x 6” version, available on Thread Riding Hood.

Materials:

  • Quilting Cotton Inner – Fabric Scraps (sizes indicated in Prep + Cutting below)
  • Quilting Cotton Outer – one piece 15”x11”
  • Quilting Cotton Handle – one piece 9”x5”
  • Batting – one piece 15”x11”
  • Canvas – one piece 15”x11”
  • Medium Weight Fusible Interfacing – one piece 15”x11”, one piece 9”x5”
  • Hardboard (for base) – one piece 9.75” x 5.75”
  • School Glue Stick OR Basting Spray OR Pins
  • Embroidery Floss + Needle
  • Ruler, Removable Fabric/Hera Marker, Your other usual sewing supplies
  • Zipper foot and/or Walking Foot are helpful but not necessary
  • Fabric Tray Pattern Pieces

Printing the Pattern Pieces:
Print the two page pattern pieces PDF on letter size or A4 paper. Important: Make sure scaling is set to ”None” or “Actual Size” when printing. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size. Cut out the four pieces along their outer lines. Tape/glue the pattern pieces together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles. You will now have one tray pattern piece and one handle pattern piece.

Prep + Cutting:
Prewash your fabric if desired and press well.

Fuse the 15”x11” interfacing to the Outer Tray Fabric and the 9”x5” interfacing to the Handle fabric.

Lay the interfaced Outer Tray fabric wrong side up and trace the Fabric Tray pattern piece onto it using your removable fabric marker. Also mark the back of the fabric with all dots and clipping lines. Cut out the Outer tray. Do not clip yet.

Fold the 9”x5” interfaced handle fabric in half so the short ends meet. Trace 2 handles using the pattern piece, being sure to line it up at the fold. Cut out both handles.

Cut fabric scraps for the inner tray as indicated in the illustration below. The 2.75” pieces indicated below will be the inner sides of your tray. The other pieces will make the quilted rectangular log cabin base.

Prepare the Quilted Tray Base:
Lay your inner tray pieces in their correct placement, as indicated in the cutting photo above.

Piece the base together with ¼” seam in order of numbers in the drawing below, press all seams away from centre rectangle. Your pieced fabric should be approximately 15”x11” when finished.

Create a quilt sandwich with the 15”x11” canvas on the bottom, batting in the middle and quilted inner tray on top. Use pins/glue stick or basting spray to secure everything together.

Use a removable fabric marker or Hera marker to mark a line 2” up from the inner log cabin portion of the pieced fabric. Mark each edge. Quilt pieced inner tray as desired. DO NOT quilt outside the 2” markings. These edges need to stay free of quilting. (A walking foot is helpful when quilting the base.)

Place the pattern piece on top of your quilted inner tray, centering it on your pieced fabric and aligning the inside-corner dots with the log cabin portion of the fabric. Cut out the inner tray; there is no need to transfer the dots/clipping marks to the inner tray.

Fold back the edges of the quilting cotton and carefully trim the canvas and batting by about 3/8” to reduce bulk. Trim all four sides but do not trim your quilting cotton.

Prepare the Handles:
Pin handle pieces right sides together (RST). Stitch both long sides with a ¼” seam. Use a safety pin to turn the handle. Iron flat. Cut in half to create two handles. Topstitch each handle side 1/8” away from the edge.

Stitch Tray Outer to Quilted Inner Tray:
Place the Quilted Inner Tray and Outer Tray right sides together. Pin and stitch between marks with a ¼” seam allowance as per the blue lines in the photo below. Pivot at each corner. Leave open areas unstitched.

Trim corners to reduce bulk. Clip each clipping line up to your seamline, be careful not to cut your stitches!

Fold each unstitched tray edge to the wrong side, ¼” under on both the outer tray and quilted inner tray. Press well.

Fold each unstitched edge at the handle end to the wrong side. This is between the corner and the clipping mark, as per the photo. This should also be folded under by ¼”. Press well.

Finishing the Tray:
Turn the tray right side out. Push out all corners carefully. Make sure all pressed edges from the last step are still folded to the inside of the tray.

Stitch around three sides of the log cabin inner quilted portion, through all layers of the tray. This creates a pocket for the hardboard base. (See blue stitching line below.)

Place the hardboard into the pocket. If needed, trim slightly to fit.

Stitch the fourth side of the inner quilted portion of the tray, directly beside the hardboard. This closes the pocket. A zipper foot is helpful but not necessary. Move your needle to the left-most position on your machine to ensure the stitching is as close as possible to the hardboard.

Insert the handle ends into the two openings left between the inner and outer trays. Center and pin. Also match and pin each long edge. These edges should still be folded under from the previous steps. Be certain the pinned tray edges are all folded under, so there are no raw edges showing.

Topstitch around the entire tray close to the edge. Be sure the handles have been caught in the stitching.

Thread your embroidery needle with a full strand of floss. Make a small knot on one inside corner of the tray. Move to the outside and match up the edges, stitching as desired to finish the corners of the tray. Once finished, knot on the inside corner of the tray by turning it inside out. Turn tray right side out and repeat for each of the other three corners.

Congratulations, you are finished! Enjoy your new tray.


This post is sponsored by Warp & Weft, a Canadian-based company featuring exquisite 100% woven cotton fabrics; they are passionate about textile and design. Warp & Weft goes to great lengths to find prints that are not only of exceptional beauty and quality but that have a compelling story to tell.

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10 Responses to Quilted Fabric Tray

  1. Janet Schwartz says:

    Thank you for this great tray. It will become very handy once I get it made!! Hopefully soon!

  2. I got my hardboard at the hardware store 24″x24″ for about $2.00 – you could also cut up a clipboard base for the bottom as well. Unfortunately the hardboard is not removable. I tried a few things to make this possible. But the tutorial was much more complex, so I simplified it to this version. If you are adventurous you could modify the pattern pieces to create an overlap (similar to how you would make a pillow backing) near one edge so the hardboard could slide in and out there.

  3. Vicki H says:

    Great tutorial. I love that it has a hard bottom.

  4. Jessie Hansen says:

    This is a great idea for keeping on the chest freezer to keep it from being used as a catch all. Can’t make it now, but I’m totally going to someday. Let’s pin it for now… (danger! pinning is dangerous!)

  5. Linda Hiles says:

    Love your tray. Is the hardboard; wood and where would you buy it? Could you remove it for washing and drying? Love the idea for carrying drinks and food.

  6. sigrid says:

    This is such a great idea!! And super cute!!! I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!!! :-)

  7. april says:

    SO ADORABLE.

  8. Cal says:

    This tray looks so nice, and with the hardbottom it appears functional too. Love the pattern, and hope I can try one of these days to make one. Thanks for the original tutorial.

  9. Rebeca says:

    Que bacana! Adorei, muito obrigada!!!!

  10. Joen says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! This will make a great Christmas Gift for my daughters and my niece and I think I’ll start with one for me too!

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