It’s a common scenario: Wednesday night at church, you find out there is a baby shower on Saturday. First you had heard about it! You want to give a handmade gift, but time is short. I put together this baby quilt pretty quickly over the course of two days, and I thought I’d share the pattern with you.
Your quilt does not have to be so loud as my fabric choices, which were actually recycled lining from a garment and scraps from another. You could just as easily choose a pastel solid and a coordinating print, and have a more traditional looking baby quilt.
What should you buy?
3/4 yard each of a flannel print and matching solid
1 yard for backing (this could be the same solid, or a different one. The backing will become the binding, and show on the edge of the front.
WASH FABRIC & DRY IN DRYER – this is very important, so that your quilt doesn’t shrink the first time they wash it (ask me how I know!)
Hopefully you have a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and a cutting mat–but if not, you could mark the strips with pencil and cut with scissors.
What do I cut?
Fold your dried fabric with selvedges together, and cut selvedges off. Then cut strips width-wise that are 2 1/2 inches wide. You should be able to get 9 strips each from the print and the solid. Set the backing piece aside for now.
What do I sew?
Sew one print and one solid strip together, right sides together. Repeat with the other strips. Open the sewn strips and press the seam allowance with your fingers towards the darker fabric, then press gently with the iron, taking care not to distort the shape of the strips.
How do I make blocks?
Cut the strips into 4 1/2 inch blocks, always checking to make sure your cuts are square with the length of the strips. If it becomes crooked, trim it to be square again before cutting the next block. You should have 81 blocks, but you will only need 80.
How do I assemble the quilt?
Make two stacks of 20 blocks to look like the diagram, right sides up. Pick up the right hand block, and lay it on top of the left hand block, wrong sides together. Sew together. Repeat with all the rest of the blocks in your stacks.
Sew your 2-block units together so that you have a row of 8 blocks. Make 5 rows. Make sure your blocks are following the pattern–the solid should look like the letter “L” lying on its back.
Now take the other 40 blocks, make 2 stacks of 20 as in this second diagram,
and sew them together to make 5 other rows.
Lay your 10 rows out on a bed, alternating between first diagram and second diagram rows. They should look like the photo above, with zig zags going diagonally across the quilt.
Press the rows so that the seam allowances of first diagram rows goes one direction, and second diagram rows going the other direction. Then as you sew them together, they will nest next to each other and be less bulky.
How do I put the backing on?
Remove the selvedges from your backing fabric, then press well. Lay it on a flat hard surface wrong side up, and center your pressed quilt on top. Trim as needed so that you have one inch of backing fabric beyond the edges of the quilt on all sides. Fold the extra backing towards the quilt so that the raw edges touch, then fold again to cover the raw edge at least 1/4 inch. Pin in place. You should have a border of backing all around the quilt about 1/2 inch wide. Stitch the border in place on all sides of the quilt.
How should I quilt it?
Two options here: you could use embroidery floss to tie the quilt in the corners of the blocks (or every other block). Or you can quilt it on your machine. I chose to quilt down the middle of the white print sections of my quilt, making a large zigzag pattern on the back. Before quilting or tieing, baste the two layers with safety pins 6 inches apart to prevent shifting of the layers.
I hope this pattern proves useful to you–and enables you to make a handmade gift in a hurry!