I had originally set out just to make one baby quilt for my new little cousin, but while waiting for the clerk to cut my fabric, I notice 3/4-yard of this gray chenille fabric in the remnant pile (which means it was an additional 50 percent off). That’s not a deal I can just pass over.
Typically, when I make a quilt, I start with a design for the front in mind and an approximate size and make everything fit to that. This time, I had the fabric for the backs and was going to make the fronts to fit.
One quilt will be about 32 inches by 40 inches when complete – and look more like a traditional quilt. The other will be made with the chenille (about 27 inches by 30 inches) and I’m calling it a summer blankie.
Both blankets have similar quilt tops, so I’m going to explain them together and the materials list is together. If you’d rather just make one or the other, you can either figure out the math yourself or send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll help you out.
Also, I bought fabric’s with my cousin’s nursery in mind as far as colors and patterns. However, this quilt easily lends itself to helping clear out your scrap pile.
1/2 yard each of six coordinating cotton fabrics (both blankets front)
About 27 inch by 30 inch chenille dot minky fleece (for summer blanket back)
1 yard plus 1/4 yard cotton fabric (for baby quilt back and edging)
1/4 – 1/2 yard cotton fabric (for baby quilt binding)
Quilt batting (1 yard by 42 inches, at least)
1. For the each blanket, you’ll cut 49 squares (seven of each pattern if you’re going with six fabrics, like mine). For the summer blanket, squares should be 4.5 inches. For the baby quilt, 6 inches.
2. Arrange the squares for each quilt six columns across and seven rows down. I went with a random, but balanced set up that I laid out with the summer blanket, and then copied it for baby quilt.
3. Sew together the blocks, right sides together, in each column so that you have six strips. Iron the seams flat.
4. Pair up the rows, carefully lining up the corners and pinning in place. Iron the seams. Repeat until you have a complete quilt top for each. (To complete the baby quilt, also sew along each side a 2-inch wide strip cut from the same material as your backing.)
Here the instructions deviate for the blankets.
For the summer blanket:
5. For the summer blanket, line up the completed quilt top with the chenille fabric, right sides together. Sew around the perimeter, leaving a 3.5-inch opening.
6 Flip the summer blanket inside out. Fold in the edge and pin the opening closed. Then I made sure my quilt top was flat to the back and pinned here and there to hold the layers together because it’s time to quilt the top. Start from the middle, I sewed 1/4-inch away from either side of the seams. (I iron my seams open, so it’s not a good idea to “stitch in the ditch”). I don’t have a long-arm machine, so quilting like this is something manageable, and I also like that it holds everything together without distracting from the fabrics I choose, since that’s what I wanted to shine in this blanket.
7 (summer). Lastly, I topstitched around the perimeter of the blanket, carefully going over where I pinned the opening closed. And the little summer blanket is done.
For the baby quilt:
5. Lay out the baby quilt backing face down on your work surface and make sure there are no wrinkles. Then, lay the quilt batting on top. Lastly, lay on the quilt topper and smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles. Pin together. I call this, the quilt sandwich. The batting and backing fabric should be larger than the quilt topper – you want it to be like that.
6. Like the summer blanket, I quilted on either side of the seams for all the rows and columns. Since this quilt is bigger, you may find you need to roll or fold sides and pin them out of the way to fit through your machine. I also quilted around the perimeter of the patchwork portion of the quilt, but not the outermost edge (we’ll save that for binding.) Trim the excess batting and backing material to the size of the quilt top.
7. The baby quilt will be finished with binding, unlike the summer blanket. I’ve shown you how to make continues binding on the bias, but for this one, I went with a simpler process. To make the straight binding, I cut four 3-inch wide strips from a fabric different than the backing and edging. To join the strips together, put the ends perpendicular and pin (A). Sew along the diagonal and trim (B) so that the strip unfolds to be straight (C). Press the seams, then on one side of the strips, iron 1/2-inch folded in.
8. Starting from the center of the bottom of the quilt, pin the raw edge (unfolded side) of the binding to the back of the quilt. At the corners, fold like you did in step two of the continuous binding tutorial, so you’ll get a 45-degree pleat. Sew to the backing and remove the pins.
9. On the top face of the quilt, use chalk and a ruler to mark 1 inch around the border strips from the patchwork center. Take the folded edge of the binding and pin along that line.
10. Top stitch 1/4-inch away from the folded/ironed edge of the binding. You can use a running stitch or one of your machine’s decorative stitches. Then the baby quilt is done, too.