Introduction: Quilted Mad Tea Party Set

About: Always making something....
This tea set is made with quilting done in a dimensional way.  It's a set of 4 teacups, 4 saucers and a teapot.  This version is made with a striped fabric so that each teacup has a different design, perfect for a mad tea party.  The set is entirely hand sewn, so it's a super project for keeping your hands busy in front of the tv.

Step 1: Supplies and Equipment

Fabric - a yard will get the job done, I used three different fabrics.  One was a bubbly print that I used inside the cups and pot, one was an all over that I used for the saucers and one was a stripe that I used for the outsides of the cups and pot.  A variety of florals or more simple stripes would have given a more traditional look.

Thread - match your fabric, mine is ordinary white sewing thread.

Sewing basics - needles, scissors, etc.

Fray Check - use this when you intentionally or unintentionally cut a seam allowance smaller than you like.  It will help stabilize the edge of the fabric so it doesn't fray out when you need it.

Iron and ironing board - iron on interfacing with this, and the more often you press things in place as you work them nicer your finished pieces will be.

You will need to choose to either use an iron-on interfacing OR use freezer paper and batting.

Fusible interfacing - 2-3 yards, relatively lightweight if this is for display, heavier weight if some dolls will be making regular use of it.


Freezer paper - you'll need several feet - cut the interfacing shapes on the pattern, iron it in place, and pull the paper before sewing things closed.

Batting - cut pieces to match the interfacing patterns, put the batting in before sewing things closed.

I used the interfacing for a smoother, simpler look (and the directions focus on this method), but feel free to switch it up and use the paper piecing and batting method for a softer, cuddlier tea set.

Step 2: Pattern

I've included my pattern pieces here, it makes a smaller than life tea set.  I developed it by looking at a lot of pictures of tea sets and making models.  If you would like to try patterning something different I would recommend designing it, printing/tracing it onto paper and taping together a mock-up before committing to sewing it.

The numbers on the pattern are the number of pieces that should be cut from interfacing.

Each piece has a number of pieces to cut, in the handles and the teapot you may want to layer two thicknesses of fusible interfacing to give the pieces a bit more strength.  Iron one piece onto the fabric, then stack on the next piece and iron that.

Step 3: Fusing

Fuse your interfacing onto the fabric, leaving a solid 1/4" seam allowance around everything (more if you're nervous, you can trim it down after you sew things together.)  Cut the pieces out loosely around the interfacing, stack them up by category.

Step 4: Sewing Tips

Backstitch is a super choice for this project.  Running stitch can gather the fabric a bit if you're not careful.  Lots and lots of tiny stitches will give you your best finish.  Use the interfacing as a guide, sew along the edges as neatly as possible.

When you're sewing a circle into a round opening it's a good idea to put pins in at 1/4th or 1/6th marks on each piece.  Matching these pins as you sew around will help make sure everything lays smoothly and evenly.

Step 5: Sew the Saucers

These are the easiest, so start with them.

Sew the seam at the side of each "c" shaped saucer piece.  Press the seams open.

Sew the circles into the round openings.  Trim any extra bulk.

Match pairs of these pieces, sew most of the way around, turn them and then sew it closed the rest of the way.  Bury your knots in the seam.

Press them so that they "cup" and the edges are smooth.

Step 6: Sew the Teacups

Sew pairs of handle pieces together - sew a short side, a long side, then a short side. Trim an extra bulk. Turn it, and sew the remaining side closed.

Sew in the darts on all of the cup pieces.

Sew each lining to an outer at the "rim."  Press this seam open.

Sew up the side seams.

Sew the bottom into the lining side of the teacup.

Turn the outer over the lining.

Sew the handle onto the sides of the outer teacups.  This is tricky, but you can kind of push the lining up and out of the way a bit.

Sew the bottom of the outer onto the teacups.

Step 7: Sew the Top of the Teapot

Sew the two topper handle pieces together, turn and press.

Sew the pie shaped wedges together in groups of three.  Press the seam allowances open.

Sew the two halves of the dome together with the handle between them.

Sew the two long strips together along one edge, and then into a loop.  Turn and press.

Sew this to the smaller circle.

Sew this circle to the larger circle.

Sew the top dome to the larger circle.

Step 8: Sew the Teapot

Sew five of the six vertical seams of the outer teapot together, press seams open.  Do the same for the lining.

Sew the four pieces of the spout together on the long sides, both outside and lining.

Sew the ends of the nozzles together.  Trim any excess seam allowance.  Turn it right sides out.

Sew the outer and lining together along the end of the spout that attaches to the teapot.

Sew the handle pieces together in the same way the teacup handles were constructed.  Sew the handles onto one panel of the outer teapot.

Sew the spout onto the outer of the teapot.

Sew the inside and outside of the teapot together along the rim edge.

Sew the teapot together along the one remaining vertical seam.

Sew the bottom of the lining in place.

Turn the teapot right side out.

Sew the bottom of the teapot outer in place.

Step 9: Quilting and Finishing

I had originally intended to do this set in a floral or solid, and quilt patterns into the side.  If you've added batting you can easily add quilting stitches to any of the pieces.  If you're expecting these to see a lot of play you might want to embed washers into the bottoms of the teacups, with handles they're slightly off balance so they might be a bit tippy.  
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