Long Arm Quilting

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Best Quilted Bucket Tutorial

Hello hello hello!!!! Long time no see right? I probably say that every time I try to post to my blog, I hear there is a resurgence in blogs. Hopefully, that is true, I remember the great days of the blogs and how much fun it was to read about everyone's crafty lives. Well, here we go. I have been making buckets! I hope you want to make some too!

I have been teaching Quilt As You Go both on the longarm and on the domestic machine and I find myself with a bunch of fun little quilted slabs, but I really don't need a lot of quilted slabs unless I turn them into placemats for the table, which is fun, but again I don't need that many. I do however need little containers to put stuff in. This is where my little quilted buckets come in. They are quite simple to make, especially if you have taken one of my classes (please take one of my classes so I can feel justified in filming more). 

I think these little buckets are really cute disguising a nursery pot for a new plant, or on the desk filled with pens. I use mine by my sewing machine and put my favorite machine feet in it. I also have one near my longarm so I can collect all the thread clippings from quilting and removing basting thread. It is fun to see in accumulating in this little bucket instead of on my studio floor or wrapped around the vacuum beater bar. Not only are these little buckets incredibly cute and useful but they are so incredibly fun to make. After you make your first,  I dare you to try to resist making many more. I like to use my Quilt As You Go slabs, but they are so great made out of some of my quilting samples after I have tried some new designs or even my tension tests. Really you can't go wrong.

  • Sewing machine in good working order with a variety of different feet
  • A quilted thing that is at least 9.5x14 inches
  • piece of lining fabric 9.5x14 inches
  • a strip of fabric to bind the bucket 2.5x18.5 inches
  • Fabric marking pen or pencil
  • Rotary cutter and self-healing mat
  • Quilting Ruler
  • Fabric scissors
*All seams are quarter-inch unless otherwise stated.

Step 1)  Cut your pieces

You need to cut your pieces for your bucket

Cut out a 9.5x14 inch rectangle of both the quilted slab and the lining fabric (a lining is not 100% necessary, but I like to add one to disguise the raw seams). 

Step 2)  Mark and Cut out your bottom gusset

Fold your quilted piece in half so the short sides are at the top. Mark a 2 inch square in both bottom corners. Flip it over and do the same thing on the other side. I recommend you use a fabric marker, I used a sharpie so it would show up in these pictures for you.

If done correctly you will have a 4x2 inch rectangle to cut out from both sides. Go ahead and cut them out. 

Step 3) ZigZag Stitch Around Your Quilted Piece

I think it is important to do some sort of Stay Stitch around your quilted piece. This prevents the quilting from coming unraveled at the edges. I use a simple Zig Zag stitch or the stitch that looks like a serger stretch stitch. On my Bernina it is #13

Step 4) Sew Up the Sides and Gussets

After you have stay stitched the quilted piece you can sew up the sides then the gusset bottom of both the quilted piece and the lining. I use my walking foot when sewing up the quilted portion of the bucket. You can see your little bucket coming together now. 

Step 5) Place the Lining inside the Quilted Bucket

Leave your lining inside out, but you will need to turn your quilted part Right Side Out at this point. Stuff your lining inside the quilted bucket. It is helpful to nest up your side seams and either pin or use wonder clips to keep the parts in place. 

Step 6) Sew Lining Inside Quilted Body of Bucket. 

This part is easiest done with the free arm of the sewing machine exposed. I almost always have an extension plate on my sewing machine, but when I have to put in linings I remove it so I can get this part done easily. Sew the lining inside the bucket. Sewing the lining in before adding the binding makes the binding part easier and Easy is good. I use my walking foot for this step and I use a scant quarter-inch seam so it will be hidden when I finish my binding. 

Step 7) Make and Add Binding to Bucket

I failed to take a picture of making the binding. I am sorry. I never like binding for some reason, so I blast through it. You will need a 2.5x18.5 inch piece of binding. I love a black and white stripe for my bindings, but use whatever you like. Press the binding in half down the length. Open the binding up and sew the short ends together with a quarter-inch seam. Finger press this open and fold the binding back in half along the pressed edges. At this point, if my words make sense, you will have a pretty ring of binding. Hooray!

Turn your bucket inside out and slide the binding onto the bucket with the raw edges together. Pin or wonder clip the binding in place paying attention to where the seams line up. I don't like all the seams to wind up in the same place. The bulk makes me crazy. Now use your walking foot and sew the binding to the bucket with a quarter-inch seam.

Step 8) Finish Binding your Bucket

You are so close to finished! Yay! Now you just need to flip your bucket right side out, fold your binding down over the edge and stitch it down. This is a great time to get creative if you feel like it. Slide some rickrack or Prairie points up under the fold and make an exciting binding, or hand stitch the binding down with fat embroidery thread, maybe add some wool felt to park your hand needles so it can become a sewing bucket. You are really only limited by your imagination. Go for it! Make heaps and give them to your friends and family! If you do make some and post them on IG please use the hashtag #tiacurtisquilts so I can see your fine work. Below are some that I have made and remembered to get a picture of before sending them off to their new homes.

Here are some that normally hold baby plants. 

One holds my binder clips the others will hold baby plants

This one is from a test quilting piece and holds my wonder clips

This was a QAYG piece and holds my thread clippings. That's a lot of thread folks.

This is my applique bucket. It normally lives by my seat on the sofa or in the car. I added some felt so I could park my needles

This one lives by my Sewing machine. It holds all my favorite notions. I would be lost without it.

OK, go forth and make buckets for yourself and all the folks you love. The world needs more quilted buckets! Also, leave a comment. Let me know you are here!


  1. Very cute, will put this on my "bucket" list!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. HI Barb! How great to hear from you. Did I bring some of these buckets to Lincoln when I came up to teach? They are so fun to make and a great way to use up practice quilt pieces. xoxo

  2. Yay, loving seeing you post again! I like your construction method that hides all raw edges.

    1. Thank you so much Cherie! Sometimes I leave the raw edges in zipper pouches, but I like things nice and tidy in a wide open bucket. It is really easy to add a lining, so what the heck?

  3. It is great to read your blogs again! Your conversational style of writing is so much fun to read. I am intrigued by your quilted bucket design and love the idea of inserting a needle minder of felt under the binding fold. I also like the idea of inserting rickrack. This tutorial is just in time for Christmas gift sewing. Thanks!

    1. Aby! Thanks for being here! I am so happy you like the little bucket. I like to have all my little things organized and making a bucket just for hand work made sense. The Needle minder is a lifesaver (not quite that dramatic, but I was pleased with it for sure!). I would love to see what you make. Tag me!

  4. Love your clever ideas Tia! I can’t tell you how many market bags I’ve made using your directions. Now I have to make buckets!

    1. I am so very happy that you like the market bags! They are so easy and useful. My mom carries the one I made her as her purse even though I have made her much more complicated bags. Its funny. I hope you have heaps of success with the quilted buckets too!


Thanks for commenting! I read each one. I will either respond via email or here in the comments. xo - Tia