Monday, July 4, 2011

Easy Baby Boy Quilt

I've discovered that in your late twenties and early thirties, EVERYONE HAS BABIES! This is a wonderful thing, because who doesn't love babies? The result, however, of your best friends having babies year round is that we quilters make baby quilts year round.

Now, some people may find making baby quilt after baby quilt a little tedious, but I absolutely love making them for a few reasons:
  1. They're fast and offer immediate quilty gratification. 
  2. It's wonderful to make something that you know will be loved and very well used.
  3. They offer a great excuse to try out new patterns, fabrics, and quilt designs. 
  4. Handmade gifts really show that you care!

In this specific case, I care a lot! Jess has been one of my best friends for almost 10 years now—as I type it, I can't really believe it's been that long! Jess and her husband have a beautiful family, and have a brand new little member due any day now. Because of my extensive traveling in my previous career, I haven't been around for the births of her previous children; I really wanted to try to make up for lost time with this new baby. And I absolutely had to make this new baby boy a quilt.

This quilt couldn't be any simpler—it's fast, it's sturdy, you can use up your big scraps, and it's easy to adapt for a girl version. I absolutely love how it turned out!

Easy Baby Boy Quilt Tutorial
Finished size: 36.5" x 36.5"

(32) 5" solid gray squares
(32) 5" colorful print squares (8 Green, 8 Yellow, 8 Red, 8 Blue)
Backing fabric: approximately 41" x 41"
Binding: approximately 158" of 2.5" wide blue binding (cut four 2.5" strips from selvage to selvage)

1. With a pencil, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each gray square. Place each gray square right sides together with a print square. Sew 1/4" seam on either side of the drawn line. Cut along the drawn line to create two half square triangles. Press both halves open. Repeat to make 64 half square triangles.

2. Arrange the half square triangles in the desired configuration of 8 rows of 8 blocks in each. There are a ton of different ways you can arrange your blocks, so have fun! I suggest taking a digital photo of each arrangement. Quickly flipping through photos makes it easier to choose a configuration, and if you want to re-create a previous configuration, you have a photo to help you arrange it again.

3. Begin sewing your half square triangles together in 2 x 2 blocks. Carefully line up all of the diagonal seams by peeking into the seam allowance. Pin pin pin! And make sure you are sewing an exact 1/4" seam; a larger seam will cut off the point of your triangles. 

4. Sew the blocks together into rows, and sew the rows together to complete the quilt top.

5. Now quilt it! I used a fairly close meander quilting design using gray thread. Since it's a baby quilt and will actually get some heavy use, I wanted to do a pretty heavy-duty quilt job. This quilt was my first go on my Mom's new longarm! Woohoo!!!!!  It was surprisingly easy, extremely fast, and definitely addictive......

6. Bind it! Here's a trick for you—after you make and fold your binding, wrap it around a paper towel tube. This keeps it from getting tangled and messy while you sew it on. Sew your binding to the back of the quilt first....

7. ....and then wrap the binding around to the front so the folded edge of the binding just overlaps the stitched line. Sew along the folded edge, attaching the binding to the front. This method of binding is a little sturdier than hand stitching it, which I think is important for a quilt that will get a lot of love and washing!

And there you have it! Finished baby boy quilt!  The same quilt would be extremely easy for a baby girl: use a white background with pastel colors in the same layout and Voila!

Hope you enjoyed, and happy stitching!



Unknown said...

I love this! :)

Kelly said...

Thanks, Chrissie! - - - Daria

Victoria said...

I am off to make a few of these! There are two new babies headed our way!

Meghan said...

are you telling me that your Mom has that thing in her house???

awyoung said...

Thank you so much for posting this. My brother and his wife and my step-sister are expecting and I've been flipping out over what kind of baby quilt to make them. This is perfect!! Thank you, thank you!! Happy Summer, Amy

Melissa said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing :)

Donna said...

Love the binding-on-a-tube hint! Good process post!

Sarah said...

This quilt is so bright and cheerful. I love it!