How to Make Quilts With Show Ribbons

award ribbons on hangers image by Clarence Alford from

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Muslin the size of your quilt
  • Digital camera
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine with zig-zag or embroidery stitch capabilities
  • Quilt batting
  • Quilt backing
  • Scissors
  • Satin binding
  • Needle and thread

If you compete in horse shows, gymnastics, dance or other competitions where winners are awarded ribbons, you may quickly amass a large collection of brightly colored satiny streamers. While you can tack them to bulletin boards and walls, you may soon run out of room for your collection. A more permanent and decorative way to display your trophies is to make them into a quilt to use as a wall hanging. Though such quilts might also be used as bedding, the polyester material used to make most show ribbons doesn't stand up to hard use, so they're better saved for display pieces.

Iron each ribbon on low heat to smooth any wrinkles. Iron the muslin also. Sort the ribbons by color.

Spread the muslin on a large table, bed or floor. Lay your ribbons onto the muslin in the design of your choice. You can make simple stripes, stars, pinwheels or a fan design. Rearrange your ribbons until you're satisfied with how they look. Take a photo of the design to use as a reference.

Pin each ribbon in place with straight pins. You can also baste them into place with needle and thread.

Move the pinned quilt top to the sewing machine. Sew along the edges of each ribbon with a zigzag stitch. Set your stitch width as wide as it will go. Alternately, you can use a decorative embroidery stitch.

Layer the quilt backing, batting and quilt top to form a sandwich. Baste or pin all three layers together.

Quilt the quilt in the method of your choice. You can follow the outline of your design, use a random quilting pattern all over the quilt, or tack the quilt together with stitches every few inches.

Trim the edges of the quilt even. With right sides together, sew one long edge of the satin binding to the quilt. Fold the binding over and hand stitch in place to finish the quilt.


  • Look through quilting books for ideas of simple quilting patterns you could use to make your quilt.

    Use different colored thread and a variety of embroidery stitches to give your quilt a crazy quilt look.

    Use very thin quilt batting to make the layers easier to sew through. For a wall hanging you might choose to use no batting at all.