In the following tutorial you will learn how to make a baby quilt. It includes all the help and advice that you’ll need; the design, use of borders and how to put it all together. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a beautiful handcrafted patchwork quilt that’s perfect for any baby.
In general, a quilt consists of the following basics:
- choice of fabric and design
- sandwiching the front and back together
- the binding and border
The fabric you use and the pattern is the fun part. A baby quilt can be relatively small, though it’s advisable that you consider what the quilt will be used for – the crib, a bassinet or a stroller. More often than not, a crib sized quilt is the popular choice, and that’s what we’re working with today.
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Baby Quilt Patterns
Both the baby quilt patterns and the fabric are a personal choice. The easiest method is to stick with a standard patchwork design, which consists of a collection of fabric squares. Color wise you can choose from a wide range of shades, though the general theme is pastels. As an example, pinks and lilacs working beautifully for girls, blues and greens for boys. For a gender neutral design, use lemons and whites, or a combination of all of them for a really interesting finished result.
The quilt fabric needs to be soft and breathable, cotton and flannel being the most favored choice. You can also use fleece, as this tends to give a super-soft finish and feel, and of course it’s a warming fabric in it’s own right. Remember to bear in mind the batting, as this is the part of the quilt that provides the comfort and warmth. Fleece and batting together will make for a super-warm quilt.
Baby Quilting Kits
This is the stage that you may also choose to use any one of a number of baby quilting kits. If you’re a novice quilter, they’re a great way to take your first steps, and usually an easier method of quilting all-round. They usually consist of the front, back and binding, and on occasion the thread. They start at around the $20 mark and can be a relatively inexpensive way to produce your first quilting project.
There are plenty available, both online and in local crafting stores, the hardest part being the decision as to which one. For a first time project, you’re better to go with something a little cheaper, as mistakes can and do happen when you’re learning something new and knowing that you’ve not overspent in the first place can feel a little kinder!
Baby Quilt Ideas
As previously mention, many of the baby quilt ideas are often based upon a patchwork design. This consists of a number of fabric squares, each sewn together, with a border and binding making up the rest of the front piece. The quilting aspect is what makes each one unique. Some quilters prefer to machine stitch, and those that prefer this method will use wither a regular sewing machine or a longarm machine built for this purpose..
Others will quilt by hand, as this is often the most desirable method of producing a truly unique handcrafted comforter. This particular type is often employed with keepsake and heirloom quilts, as it provides a far more personal end result. Over and above the patchwork design, you can produce a quilt that resembles a picture, say a nursery design, or one that fits with a specific nursery theme.
This is what makes quilting so special; you’re the designer. You can take an idea and turn it into a beautiful piece of bedding that’s distinct, handcrafted and in essence becomes the ultimate gift.
Make Your Own Baby Bedding
So, now we have all the basic elements covered, let’s make a start on how to make your own baby bedding, using the basic patchwork design. Bearing in mind that at this stage you should have the quilt fabric to hand, and you’ll have decided on whether you’re making a baby boy quilt or a baby girl quilt. In the event that you’re making one for a baby that hasn’t yet been born, you can always opt to use gender neutral fabrics, such as lemons and greens.
To recap on what you will need:
- enough fabric squares to complete the quilt front
- two different fabrics for the borders
- the *batting – this is the inner quilt fabric
- the fabric for the *quilt back
- a large enough flat work space
- a sewing machine
*make sure that both are larger than the desired size of your front piece.
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To start, lay out your fabric squares. Using a large, flat area, coordinate your pieces so that they have both an aesthetic appeal and one that matches the size and shape that you’re aiming for. For a crib sized baby quilt, five across and six down is plenty. Once you’ve got the pieces arranged, take all the pieces on the outer right (going down) and flip them over onto the next row along.
Next, working up the the ‘doubled up’ row, stack each of the fabric pieces onto the one above, leaving a slight overlap so that you can easily see which two pieces are paired together. Next, stitch all the pieces along the right edge, using a chain stitch. This allows you to keep the pieces together, which helps coordinate as you move through the quilt making process.
What you should be left with is a row of fabric squares, all (now) with a seam down the right side, and connected by a short piece of thread to the next pair in the row. In effect, you should have something that resembles a row of square ‘flags’. The next step is to set the stitches, before you continue on. Lay the pieces onto an ironing board and, using a hot iron, press along the stitches. Next you need to open out each piece and press once again, along the outer edge.
Now you can return to your work area, and snip the connecting thread between each piece. Re-lay each of the paired fabric pieces back into their original position. Now that you’ve complete one set, continue chain stitching the remaining rows. The next stage involves repeating the process along the rows, though there is no need to use the chain piecing method of stitching. Simply stitch each fabric row to the next, until all three pairs in every row have been sewn together.
Again, as you sew, remember to press the back of each seam before moving on. Once completed, return once again to the work area and lay all the pieces back into position. Having stitched each individual fabric square to the one above, the one at each side and so on, you’re now left with the completed front piece. The next stage is the border.
Now’s the time to measure along both edges of your completed front piece. This is to ensure that you correctly measure the front prior to cutting the border fabric for your baby quilt. Using the measurements (which should hopefully match), cut the four border pieces – a 2 1/2” border is plenty.
Now that you have your border pieces, you need to sew them into place. Always sew with the border on top of the front piece, and stitch a 1/4” seam, the same as you did with the fabric squares. Once again, set the stitches with a hot iron. You now have a front piece that has the border in place, and you’re ready for the the final outer border. Generally, a wider border in either a contrasting or complimentary fabric is the more popular choice.
Repeating the steps for the first border will leave you with a fully finished front piece, and now you’re ready to put it the quilt together.
How To Sandwich The Quilt Together
Learning how to sandwich the quilt together is a lot less complicated than learning the earlier stages of how to make a baby quilt! First of all you will need to ‘center’ your backing piece of fabric. To do this, simply quarter the fabric, then hold onto the center point and lay it flat upon your work space. Use a marker beneath, something that you can feel through the fabric, such as taping a piece small piece of chalk onto the work space.
Once you’ve centered and laid out your back piece, lay the batting layer on top, making sure that it matches the center spot, completing the layout with the front piece. Now you need to pin the layers together, in order to keep them in place for the quilting process. It’s this stage that you need to decide on whether to quilt by hand or, if you own a big enough sewing machine, you can use that for the stitching.
Alternatively, you can send your unfinished quilt to a professional quilting company if you lack a machine of your own, but for many of our viewers, hand-quilting is a highly satisfying process which they learn from our video library.
Binding A Baby Quilt
The final aspect of the whole process is binding the baby quilt. The binding is the process of adding the finishing touch, the ‘edge’ to a quilt. You will need enough fabric to run around the outer edge, and you can either purchase ready-made binding or make your own. Once you’re ready for this stage, you need to measure and cut the desired length, leaving enough spare to finish with.
If you’re using binding that you’ve had to cut and join (stitch together), you will need to press it in half. Once it’s ready and prepared, stitch it to the front edges of the quilt all thee way around, matching raw edges. To make need corners watch our mitering video (I can help you find this, or it could be a show that goes into binding). When you come back to the beginning, overlap the ends of the binding and stitch it down.
Now all you need to do is fold the binding to the back of the quilt and hand sew it in place. Use a matching thread and a whipsttich. Once you’ve completed the hand sewing, that’s it. Your beautiful, handcrafted baby quilt is now finished.
This is a sample preview video from our huge selection of professional videos entitled “ How to Choose Baby Quilt Patterns .” Marianne and Mary Fons share their ideas for choosing a pattern for a baby quilt. They also demonstrate how to prepare a quilt for quilting and how to add a fabric flange.
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