Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to Make a Baby Patchwork Quilt

I love making patchwork quilts for newcomers to our world. I'm not a perfectionist, but the babies seem to love them regardless.

Step 1: Make a template from cardboard for the size of squares you want to use (or rectangles, which I do) and cut out MANY squares. My template is about 4x6 inches. I say about because it is MIA right now.

Step 2: Decide on a background fabric. I usually buy 1.5 yards and cut at least 2 rows of squares to add to the quilt top pattern.

Step 3: Place your quilt back on the floor. Arrange squares on top of it in whatever pattern you wish. I love working diagonally. If I place them side-by-side to cover the quilt backing fabric, the quilt top size is almost perfect once it's sewn.

Step 4: VERY carefully stack rows. I pin each row together, working from right to left (with the left square being the top of each row stack.) I add a safety pin to the very top left quilt square. That way I can always see which is the top of the quilt. Something weird happened last time to my perfected organizational techniques and I had to pick out 3 different rows! I do not like picking out. That is why I have a very specific way to organize. Think maybe the kitties messed me up? Hmmmm.

Step 5: Sew the rows. Iron all seams open. Stack on top of each other (I do this for the sake of space - you could always put it on the floor in order to watch it grow). I sew 1/4" seams.

Step 6: Sew rows together. Trim uneven edges around the entire quilt top, which shouldn't be too much.

Step 7: Place the quilt top on your quilt batting (your choice). Trim to fit.

Step 8:
Carefully fold the batting and quilt top in quarters. Spread out the quilt backing and unfold the other two on top. Smooth and pin in place.

Step 9: Fold over backing to make a decorative binding on the front of the quilt. Pin. Sew. I like to do one seam close to the edge, then a second seam 1/4" beside it.

Step 10: Spread the quilt on the table. Use a curved needle and white baby yarn to tie the quilt pieces together. I tie it every other square, alternating on the rows. I also add a "Made by" label. Just in case they forget!

Extra special step: Always, always, enlist help. Furry four-footed help is best.

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