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Red White and Blue Bandana Quilt Tutorial

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Learn how to make a super quick and easy picnic quilt from bandanas!  This Bandana quilt pattern is double-sided, has no binding, and makes the perfect quilt for summer picnics and patriotic holidays.

Bonus: you can have this quilt completely put together in just a few short hours!

bandana quilt

First Things First… Is it Bandana or Bandanna?

Ok, so I googled the answer and still am unclear. Spell check keeps trying to correct the spelling to bandanna, but almost everywhere on the web, it is spelled bandana. If you look the words up in the dictionary or thesaurus, the definitions are the same and the other spelling is listed as a synonym for each.

What do you think? Is it a bandanna or a bandana?

Red, White, and Blue Bandana Quilt.

Every Fourth of July, our family heads down to the little festival and firework display put on by our city.  In the past, I’ve always brought along an old comforter for everyone to sit on while hanging out and waiting for the fireworks.  

This year, I decided to get a little fancy and make a special picnic quilt out of red, white, and blue bandanas. (Plus it’s only June 24th, how ahead of the game and I, the procrastinator extraordinaire?)

Easy Bandana Quilt patterns

Why this Bandana Quilt Method is So Great!

One of the reasons this is such a great quilt to make is that it is just so darn easy!

You are basically sewing together Nine bandanas for the font of the quilt and Nine bandanas for the back.

There is just a bit of straight-line quilting. And you then use a “cheater” no-binding method to finish the edges of the quilt.

Since no binding is needed on this easy bandana quilt pattern, it has a very casual look and comes together in just a few hours! (It’s a bit different from the other cheater quilt method I showed off on this quilt.)

bandana quilt

I do wish I had thought a little bit more ahead when planning the colors of the quilt.  It is double-sided, so I could have done the back side in different color bandanas so that the quilt could be used for other occasions.  (Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 right?)

The photo below is the quilt after seven years… It still looks great, doesn’t it?

how to make a bandana quilt


A few of the questions I often get is,

Where is the best place to purchase bandanas?

Hobby lobby has a wide selection of bandana colors. You can find variety packs of red, white, and blue on Amazon as well.

Do the bananas bleed in the wash?

I recommend using Shout Color Catchers when washing bandanas. I did not have any for the first wash. (It did not even occur to me that I would need them.) The red bandana did bleed just a bit onto the white the first time I washed the quilt, but it’s not super noticeable.

I used the Shout Color Catchers in all subsequent washings and had no trouble with bleeding.

My bandanas are all different sizes, what do I do?

Don’t stress too much about lining the bandanas up perfectly or matching up corners, because this will not happen! Bandanas are never cut straight!

You have a couple of options: Just deal with it, that is just part of sewing with bandanas. You can make small adjustments when sewing to help keep them straight.

Another option would be to press the bandanas, stack them together, use a rotary cutter and mat, and cut them into perfect squares.

easy bandana quilt

Other Fun Bandana Project Ideas:

I actually love doing projects with bandanas. Since their edges are already finished, it makes the projects come together so much quicker!

How to Make a Bandana Quilt (in just a few hours.)

To make this Quick and Easy Bandana quilt, you will need:

Materials Needed:

  • 18 Bandanas (9 per side make a great picnic quilt) Amazing bandana variety pack here.
  • Quilt Batting
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors, ruler, Basic sewing supplies

Red White and Blue Bandana Quilt Sewing Instructions:

1.  Start by laying out your bandanas into a pleasing pattern.

Red White and Blue Picnic Quilt. How to Make a Quilt from Bandanas in just a few hours. (No binding method.)

2. Line up the bandanas right sides together and sew along the edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Sew all the bandanas together in a row and then sew the rows together.

Don’t stress too much about lining the bandanas up perfectly or matching up corners, because this will not happen!  Bandanas are never cut straight!

3.  Repeat the steps above for the other quilt side.

4.  Iron all the seams flat.  (You really could just stop here and have an adorable tablecloth to use for your family celebrations.  Like my bandana tablecloths here.)

5. Lay one side of the quilt flat on the ground with the wrong side up and top with the quilt batting.  If you need to trim the quilt batting to fit, be sure to leave 3 to 4 inches around the entire quilt in case the bandanas or batting shift when quilting.

6.  Use safety pins and pin the quilt batting in place.  Sew a couple of quilting lines down the quilt to hold the batting in place.  Remove all the pins.

7.  Make your quilt “sandwich” by laying the quilt back out on the floor with the batting side down and and place the 2nd quilt side on top with the  wrong side facing up.

8.  Sew along the edges, leaving a 10 inch opening so you can flip the quilt right side out.

Red White and Blue Picnic Quilt. How to Make a Quilt from Bandanas in just a few hours. (No binding method.)

9.  Trim the edges to a scant 1/4 inch.

10.  Flip the quilt right side out.

11.  Hand or machine sew the opening closed.  You could iron the edges flat and topstitch around the edges, though I chose not to do this for time sake.

12 Add a couple more lines of quilting to hold the quilt front and back in place.  You can really do as much or as little quilting as you want.

You are done!

Patriotic Picnic Quilt from bandanas

My “assistant” could not wait to give the quilt a test run…

Red White and Blue Picnic Quilt. How to Make a Quilt from Bandanas in just a few hours. (No binding method.)

Want more easy quilt patterns?  be sure to check these out:

More Simple Quilt Patterns

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  1. I made this as a tablecloth for our 4th of July celebration. I needed a few extra inches so I added a two inch cotton lace in between… I really like the way it turned out. THANK YOU for your great ideas!!!

  2. Angie Jerrell says:

    Thank YOU! This a perfect project! I am so excited about it. EASY instructions! LOVE IT

  3. Louise Stensland says:

    How many bandana’s do we need for a full size quilt?

    1. not sure, you would just have to do a little math.

  4. I’d love to do this with a water resistant backing…Hmm, wonder if I could sew through oilcloth?

    1. I am sure you could with the correct needle…

    2. Yes you can, however you should use a DENIM – size 16 sewing machine needle for its weight and sharpness.

  5. Have you tried rinsing the bandanas in vinegar? I remember doing that when we tie dyed shirts to set the colors. Just wondered if it would work here.

  6. This is so cute.. I have never made a quilt, but have been wanting to learn. I think this will be
    a great one to start learning! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. ella ruth says:

    I have a habit of collecting bandanas. This would be a good project to start with. Thanks so much for sharing. : )

  8. USS Crafty says:

    I love this bandana quilt!!

  9. Jerusha T. says:

    This is the best idea ever! I'm totally swiping this idea… 🙂

  10. Ginx Craft says:

    What a great idea.

  11. This is so cute! It's perfect for sitting under the fireworks on the 4th of July.
    ~Bonnie @ Behind the Seams Sewing

  12. Kristi Wolff says:

    Thank you thank you! I have some random bandanas at my house that I have been trying to put to use. This would be a great project for me & my daughter to work on!

  13. This is plain old amazing! Thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d}, it's featured this week!

  14. Kimberly Lewis says:

    This is adorable! Pinned. Hugs! Lou Lou Girls

  15. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books says:

    I love your quilt! =) Its so pretty and festive. I'm a new bloglovin follower from "Party on the Porch"!

  16. Burlap and Babies says:

    Lovely quilt! Would love it if you shared it at our Motivational Monday link party on Burlap and Babies!

  17. Mel {MamaBuzz} says:

    This is so pretty! And so festive. Thanks so much for sharing with Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week's issue.

  18. Amanda Corbet says:

    This is so fun a beautiful! What a great use for bandannas! You did a great job! We would love it if you linked up with our party this week!

  19. Your quilt is so colorful and turned out gorgeous! Perfect for the 4th. Thanks for sharing your great idea!

  20. Cheri, the Quilting Nanny says:

    Cool idea. I see these bandanas in unique colors and designs all the time and think "what can I do with that?" I haven't thought of anything…until now! I will start collecting! This would be great for a male/boy theme. I found you on INspire Me Wednesday!