It might be hard to believe, but a baby quilt can be one of the easiest sewing projects a beginner can take on.
Of course, we’re not talking about one of those quilts where you have to spend hours creating dozens of individually decorated squares, and then spend a few more hours sewing them all together. (Although working up to making such a quilt might be on your to-do list.)
No, a beginner’s baby quilt is much less labor intensive, and you can finish your first one in just a few hours. In fact, once you understand the basics of making one of these quilts, you’ll be able to turn one out in less than an hour.
Here is how you make a beginner’s baby quilt.
What You’ll Need
- Quilting Fabric. You’ll need two squares of fabric that are the exact same size. You can use any sized fabric you want, but these three sizes work best for a baby blanket or quilt. 36” x 36”, 40” x 40” or 44” x 44”.
- Quilt Batting. The batting needs to be the same size as your fabric squares.
- Double-Sided Bias Tape. You’ll use this to make the trim. There are other ways to do it, but this is one of the easiest, and will give your baby quilt a nice, finished look. Try to pick bias tape that compliments the fabric. For example, if your fabric has a pattern, pick one color in the pattern and choose bias tape to match. If you want the bias tape to sort of blend in, try to match the fabric’s background color.
- Thread. Choose a thread that won’t stand out too much against the fabric.
- A Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat. If you don’t have a rotary cutter and cutting mat, you can use fabric shears instead.
- Straight Pins
- Tailor’s Chalk
- A Ruler
- If your fabric hasn’t already been cut into squares, use a pair of fabric shears, or a rotary cutter, to do so now. If you use a rotary cutter, you’ll also need a cutting mat. Otherwise, you could end up damaging whatever’s underneath the fabric.
- Spread one square of fabric out so that it is wrong side up. The “wrong side” is the side you don’t want people to see.
- Lay the batting on top of the fabric. Make sure the edges are lined up.
- Lay the second piece of fabric on top of the batting so that it is right side up. The “right side” is the side you do want people to see.
- Use straight pins (or safety pins if that’s all you have) to temporarily baste the three pieces together.
- Next, pull out your tailor’s chalk and a ruler. Lay the ruler on top of the topmost piece of fabric. Starting at the top, and measuring from the edge of the fabric, make a mark every four inches.
- Move to the bottom of the fabric, and repeat step #6, making a mark every four inches.
- Use the tailor’s chalk to draw lines connecting the marks at the bottom of the fabric to the marks at the top. You want the lines to be as straight as possible. To achieve this, take something long and flat (like a long piece of cardboard) and use it as a guide while you draw the lines.
- Place a few straight pins at random places on the surface of the quilt. (Anywhere but on the lines.) This will keep the pieces from shifting during sewing.
- Using a sewing machine, sew along the lines. For each line, start at the top of the fabric, as close to the edge as you can get. When you reach the bottom, sew a little past the edge.
- There’s a chance that, during sewing, the three pieces won’t stay as evenly lined up as you would like. In that case, use the shears or rotary cutter to trim the edges.
- Remove all of the straight pins. Now, your baby quilt is almost complete. You just have to do something about those raw edges.
- Remove the bias tape from the packaging. Unfolding the bias tape, lay it so that the top lines up with the top edge of the quilt. Using straight pins, pin the bias tape to the edge of the quilt. Cut the bias tape so that you’ll still have a few free inches
- Use your sewing machine to sew the bias tape to the quilt
- Fold the bias tape up and over so that it covers the raw edge of your quilt. Pin it in place, and then sew using either a hand needle or your sewing machine.
And there you have it. In just a few hours, you can make a baby quilt that will keep any little one cozy and warm.