Thursday, 22 May 2014

A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt

A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt by Cicely Ingleside

One of my good friends recently had a baby boy. I wanted to make her something, and I settled on a quilt. Even though quilts may not be useful for beds when babies are younger, since babies sleep in sleep sacks, they are great to play on or for tummy time. And I find that blankets and quilts are one of the things that my kids still use today, especially for play. They can become doll blankets, invisibility capes, royal robes and pretend camping blankets. 

I have only ever made a quilt once before. Last year, I made this quilt for a friend who had a baby girl:
A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt by Cicely Ingleside

My post about this quilt can be found here. Like last time, I had wanted to use multiple coordinating fabrics, but I didn't want the quilt to be too busy, so I thought I would replicate what I did last time, with big squares separated by bars of white.  I seriously could not remember exactly how I had laid things out last time and sewed it together. So, now I figure, if I write it down, I'll have a record for next time.  And maybe someone else will be interested too.

Before I give you the tutorial, here is the low-down on the fabrics I used this time, most of which are scraps and leftovers:

A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt by Cicely Ingleside

The black fabric is Constellations by Lizzy House. The houses fabric is from IKEA, a few years ago. The funky geometric fabric is a really nice cotton sateen I purchased locally from the store FiberLilly, here in St. John's, Newfoundland. Finally, the chevrons are from Riley Blake Designs.

As for the red binding, it is made from bedsheets! I came across an inexpensive cotton bedsheet set in a gorgeous red, and it has proved to be extremely useful and inexpensive as fabric. 

The back of this quilt is also red - made with pre-made quilted batting (don't know what it's properly called, but it is fabric with quilt batting inside, already quilted, which can be used instead of a batting layer plus a fabric backing layer).

So here is the tutorial:

Final measurements: This will make a quilt measuring approximately 50 x 50 inches.
Seam allowances of 1/4 inches are included in my measurements below.

Now, I am not an expert quilter, so for the technical aspects of quilt assembly,
 I relied on this great tutorial series by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter.  I would recommend checking that out for tips if you are a beginner too.

Also, I have other quilting tutorials posted on my Quilts Pinterest Board, as well as inspiration photos.

Here is a map for assembling the quilt. I thought about trying to prepare this using Illustrator. Then I decided I wanted to post this this year. So you are subjected to my hand drawing.

A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt by Cicely Ingleside

Step 1: Cut your fabric

Referencing the drawing above, the fabric pieces you will need are:

- Patterned fabric cut to measure 10.5 inches x 10.5 inches:
  • 6 pieces of fabric #1
  • 6 pieces of fabric #2
  • 4 pieces of fabric #3

(Note: This pattern matches what I did with the first, girl's quilt. For the black and white quilt, I replaced two of the fabric #1 pieces - the ones in the upper-right and bottom-left hand corners - with a 4th patterned fabric. This was because I did not have enough pieces of fabric #1! Here is a picture of the girl's quilt again, so you can see what it looks like when the patterns are laid out as in my diagram.)

A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt by Cicely Ingleside

-You will also need white fabric (or the fabric the colour of your choice) in these measurements:
  • 20 pieces cut to measure 2.5" x 10.5" (These are "A" in the diagram.)
  • 5 pieces cut to measure 2.5" x 50.5(These are "B" in the diagram.)
Finally, you will need fabric to make the binding around the sides, and a fabric for the back, as well as quilt batting for the middle. We'll get back to that.

Step 2: Make a nice pile of fabric


Lay out your patterned fabrics on the ground in the order of the diagram above. Make sure you like how it looks. If you don't, then move the pieces around until you get your desired effect.

Now, pick up the fabric pieces in order and make a pile. Do this in the order you would use to write a book: left to right for the first row, then move back to the left to pick up the second row from left to right, etc.

In the end, the top of your pile should be the fabric in the top-left hand corner. The bottom of your pile should be the fabric in the bottom right-hand corner.

You can also make a separate pile of your small white pieces - the 20 pieces labelled A in the diagram.

Step 3: Assemble your quilt top

(Another quick note: On the black and white quilt, you can see red squares, which I added on at the end. I don't recommend adding them on at the end. If you want to make these squares, piece them in to the white B pieces at the locations you want them. The squares measure 2" x 2" when finished. So, with a seam allowance, you would cut them to be 2.5" x 2.5".)

Now back to the standard instructions:

Start by sewing together the first row of your quilt. This part of Amy Smart's tutorial shows how to assemble and press the rows for best results.

For the first row, you will pick up one A piece, then the top piece on your pile of patterned fabrics. Then another A piece, then the next patterned fabric. In summary, the first row will be composed of A-1-A-2-A-3-A-1-A

When your row is all together, sew a long white B piece to the top of the row, and another B piece to the bottom of the row.

Then start your second row, as per the diagram above. (A-2-A-1-A-2-A-3-A) Once that row is sewed together, sew the top of this second row to the bottom of your piece B which was attached to the bottom of row 1.

Then sew another piece B on the bottom of the second row.

Continue like this until you have sewn together all 4 rows, with a B piece below each of them.  You are done assembling your quilt top!

Steps 4 and 5: Assemble your Quilt and Bind It

Now, sew your quilt top, the batting layer, and the backing fabric layer all together. (Here's Amy Smart's tutorial on how to do this.) For these quilts, I chose to "stitch in the ditch" - basically sew all of the layers together by stitching in the same places I had stitched to sew the top together.

Once that's done, cut and sew together your bias binding. I used bias strips of about 4 inches wide for my quilts. (If you are unfamiliar with making bias binding, check out the quilting tutorial series I mentioned above, or one of the other tutorials for making bias binding on my Sewing Techniques Pinterest Board. )  You will need about a length of about 200 inches to bind around the quilt, and I would suggest making a bit more than that.

Bind your quilt and you are done!

Happy sewing.
A Design and Tutorial for a Simple Baby Quilt by Cicely Ingleside

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