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Bat Tutorial – A Building Block

You will need exactly 5” of seven fabrics of your choice (I always ask the cutter to cut a little more because the fabric might not be straight). From the seven different 5” fabrics, you will cut two strips each measuring 2.5”. Now you’ll have two sets of seven fabrics.

STEP 1 – Layout the fabrics in a sequence you think will look nice, while using at least one black or dark gray fabric. I took a photo of this sequence on my phone so I could refer to it if I had any questions later on.

STEP 2 – When sewing the first set together, your starting point will be 2” after each salvage. 

Step 3 – This will give you a tapered look and will allow you to get more bats out of your set.

Step 4 – When sewing the second set together, your starting point will be 2” before each salvage. This will give you the exact opposite tapered look from your first set. The fabric sequence needs to be the same as set number one. Press all seams flat. You will have two sets that look exactly the same, except the starting angle will be different.

Step 5 – Lay both sets on top of each other, placing the right sides together.

Step 6 – Find the 45 degree angle on your cutting mat. Line your tapered edge to that angle. Leave the fabric sets in place, only moving them when you run out of mat. I like cutting two sets of bats at a time, but at some point you will have to cut one bat at a time since you will be cutting seven bats. I’ve included instructions on both.

Step 7 – Making a two set of wings: Using a 5” ruler, place it on the angle line, cut on both sides of the ruler so you have a 5” section. Then cut that section in half, making it into 2.5” strips, giving you a two set of wings (four 2.5” strips). Making one set of wings: Using a 5” ruler, place your ruler on the angle line. Cut. Then place your ruler so that the angle line is on the 2.5” line of the ruler. Cut. You will get one wing set. (two 2.5” strips).

Step 8 – Making a two set body: Place your ruler 3” into the fabric set, 2” of the ruler will be on the mat. Using the edge of your fabric as your line, cut a 3” section. Then cut this section in half, making them into 1.5” strips. You now have two sets of bat bodies (four 1.5” strips). Making one body set: Place 1.5” of your ruler into the fabric set, 3.5” of the ruler will be on the mat. Using the edge of your fabric as your line, cut a 1.5” strip. You now have one set of bat bodies (four 1.5” strips). When you run out of room on your mat, move your two fabric sets over. Line them up on top of each other RST. Leave a little fabric on the other side of your angle line so you can get a fresh angle. Repeat the Making Wing step. Repeat Making Body step.

NOTE: You can achieve many different looks by the way you sew your strips together, so really pay attention to the way you pin your strips together. With all of these pieces, you will be able to make two different bats with wings down and two different bats with wings up. A total of four different variations. I am going to show you how to make a bat with wings up.

Step 9 – First sew your body set together.

Step 11 – Pin the bat body to the bat wing leaving a 1.75″ gap between bat head and bat wing. Sew your right wing on. Press open.


Step 12 – Sew your left wing on. Press open. You now have a strip of bats.

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I will be showing off how I used this building block to make many different bat projects:

  • sewed three bat strips together to make a fun mini quilt (shown here).
  • I sewed borders around one bat to make another mini quilt.
  • I created a tote out a three strip section.
  • I sewed three bat strips together to make a tote bag.
  • I sewed three bat strips together to make a sewing bag.
  • I used bat strips, and modified that bat to make large bat blocks and create a quilt.

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The Comments

  • Bruno Bassanetti
    October 8, 2015

    This is a great bag. I like how you combine colors scheme and texture on your design. It’s fun to look at your work.