Happy Wednesday! As someone who scoured the internet looking for a baby quilt tutorial when I was new to sewing I thought I would share an easy pattern for a new quilter to follow. The first step in quilt making is fabric selection, which is one of my favorite parts. When making a quilt for a new baby I try to go along with the theme or colors they are doing in the nursery. For the quilt in this sample this was not the case – I know the Mom to be well enough so I wanted to do something a little more fun and different for her!
I always start by choosing a main fabric with multiple colors I can tie into the project. For this project I wanted to do something with mint, there are so many fun prints out right now I wanted to take advantage of and I don’t think I have done a quilt with that color before. Along with mint I went with pink (its a girl), and gray. This fabric has a great combination of mint, pink and gray in a pattern that I liked instantly and wanted to use.
For a patchwork quilt I try to choose about 6 different complementing fabrics. The ones above all vary a little in pattern style which I think looks better on the complete project!
As far as cuts this is what you need for this project:
- 1.5 yards of fabric backing, some of this will be used for blocks on the front as well
- 1/4 yard of (5) other fabric
- 1/2 yard for binding
- Basting Pins
- Flat Sewing Pins
- Binder Clips
- Cutting Mat & Ruler
- Rotary Cutter
Check out my other post on On My Favorite Sewing Tools for Beginners here! You’ll end up with a little bit extra, but its better to have too much than too little!
After I’ve purchased my fabric I pre-wash everything on warm with a two rinse cycle. I highly recommend Shout Color Catchers so none of the fabrics get ruined if one of them bleeds. After everything is washed I recommend a quick iron and then you can get to cutting!
Next cut all of the 6 fabrics into 7 6.5″ block squares. Once you are complete you should have 42 blocks total. The fun part is laying out your quilt! I try to not let any of the same fabric patterns be next to each other and rotate fabrics that are printed to give it a little variety.
Once your pieces are laid out sew across each row to form strips. The easiest way to do this is piecing the first two together front to front and sew a 1/4″ seam along the right hand side. Follow this process down all 6 of your blocks! I recommend taking a picture of the quilt at this point to use for reference to make sure all of the fabrics are facing the right direction before I sew everything together.
Once your rows are complete I suggest pressing each seam. This only take a few minutes, by ‘press’ you just hold a hot iron on each seam for a few seconds without moving the iron. Next match up row to row (start with rows 1 & 2) using your seam lines as a guide, pin and sew together with another 1/4″ seam. Continue this through the rest of the rows and press again at the end!
in this example I chose to not have a border – so up next is putting your quilt together! I work down in my basement so I have a good grip rug that helps during this step. Lay your quilt backing down first wrong side up and then layer your batting – be sure to make sure everything is flat! If you are working on hard wood floor you can tape down the edges to keep the fabric from moving. I have used painters tape to do this. Once the back side and batting are down layer your quilt top down right side facing up. At this point you’ll notice your batting and quilt back are larger than the top but don’t worry, we’ll trim it later.
Next you will want to pin all three layers together. I usually kneel on the quilt and work my way down so nothing can move, I typically pin in each square and do more around the edges if I have extra. Think about how you are going to want to quilt it while laying out your pins – nothing is more annoying than having to stop and move them while you are quilting. Once everything is pinned together you can trim the sides of the extra backing and batting, I typically leave 1/2″ here just to be safe.
I recently started using this tool to help lay out sewing lines, it added a little time to draw the lines but I think it made a difference! You can find these at your local craft store or on Amazon!
For this quilt I went with a chevron quilting pattern to add a little variety. I use a standard sewing foot while quilting but change my machine to the ‘quilting stitch’. I typically quilt the center line first and work my way out in case there are is any extra fabric anywhere. Once your quilting is done I suggest to a 1/8″ seam around the entire edge to hold everything together. At this point you can trim any excess.
Next up cut 2.5″ binding strips. I use the longest length of my 1/2 yard cut and cut 5 pieces just to be safe. Piece them together as shown below, stitching the right sides together at each right corner! At this point fold your binding in half length wise and press – it will make it easier when it comes to binding.
Next match the rough edge of the binding to the edge of your quilt and pin – this is where I use binding clips (best things ever!). Fold the edge into one another to cover – I usually fold it so hide the rough edge. Sew a 1/4″ seam around the entire edge of the binding.
Now fold the binding over the back side of quilt and re-pin everything. For the last step (woohoo!) I use the quilting stitch again and a 1/4″ seam. Make sure you are getting both sides of the binding so you may need to adjust your seam as you work you way around.
Now you have yourself a complete handmade baby quilt! I like to throw mine into the wash again to make sure everything holds together. Hopefully this baby quilt tutorial helps you as much as the tutorials I have found in the past, happy quilting!