Saturday, 25 June 2011

Patchwork baby quilt - the perfect gift

As you may recall from my post about my visit to Millie Moon, I have been making a patchwork baby quilt as a gift for a very special friend of mine. She is having her first baby this summer and I just had to make a special gift to welcome the little one into the world. And here that gift is:

I actually finished the quilt a little while ago, but didn't want to blog about it until I had passed it to my friend - spoilers just wouldn't have worked. Last night, the handover took place and I was very happy with the reaction the quilt received: smiles and hugs. Perfect.

So now I am able to blog about the quilt, that is exactly what I am doing. Here is my little guide to making a patchwork quilt, and specifically a patchwork quilt for a little baby! The quilt I made ended up at about 102cm long and 84cm wide, which is a great size for a little one to hang out on with his little baby pals, whilst the mummies drink tea and nibble cake.


1. Choose some funky fabrics to use for the patches. I used 2 contrasting patterns, which I alternated, but you can use as many colours and patterns as you like.

2. Cut these fabrics into 20cm x 20cm squares. You'll need 20 in total, to make a quilt with 4 squares across and 5 down.

3. Using a 1cm seam allowance, sew these squares into rows:

(The red stitching you see here is just my tacking - I am still a nervous sewer so tend to tack things first to make sure I get them right on the sewing machine).

4. Press the seams. 

5. Once you have 5 rows of squares, it is time to sew them all together. When you do this, try to line up the seams, so that you have good little crosses in the corners:

6. Press the seams again, to keep everything nice and tidy. Now take a look at your handy work at this stage:
7. Next it is time to sew on the borders. Choose a lovely contrasting fabric and cut 8cm wide strips off it, long enough to run the length of the quilt, with 8cms extra on either end. Sew these onto your quilt, using a 1cm seam allowance.

8. Now comes the trickiest bit: the corners! I wanted lovely diagonal seams on my corners and it took me a while to figure out how to do this (I'm not good a geometry!). Here is a series of photos to show you how to do it:

9. Trim the excess and press your seams.

10. Now it's time to put your quilt together. Choose a lovely soft fabric to use as backing - brushed cotton works well. And you'll need some wadding. Both of these should be cut slightly larger than your quilt.

11. Lay out your wadding piece flat on the floor, then lay your backing fabric on to it - face up. On top of them both, lay your patchwork piece - face down. You need to be sure that your backing fabric and your patchwork are facing each other, so that they are in the right place when turned the right way out.

12. Sew the 3 pieces together, using a 1cm seam allowance, but leave a gap of a few inches on one side so that you can turn the quilt the right way out. Trim the excess.

13. Turn your quilt the right way out and sew up the gap by hand. 

14. To hold everything nicely in place and to add that 'quilty' look, machine a line of stitches all the way around the edge of the patchwork, like this: 

And that's it: your baby quilt is now complete! All you have to do now is wrap it up into a pretty parcel and give it to a special friend and watch that friend grin.

I think I may now have to make a much bigger version of this quilt to snuggle up in myself. In fact, I bought some lovely fabric today...!   :o)


  1. This is absolutely beautiful! Great tutorial too! I tend to do mine a little different but I might try mine your way this time :) Thankyou for sharing, I bet your friend loved it!
    looking forward to seeing more crafty creations :)
    Jodi xx

  2. What a fab piece of patchwork - clever you!! Your tutorial is great too - thanks for sharing.
    Jo. xx

  3. Thank you ladies - I'm glad you like it! I hope the tutorial comes in handy too x

  4. This is a beautiful quilt - I'm sure your friend will keep this and treasure it forever for her little one.
    I'm so glad I found your blog as I really want to make my first quilt but not really sure where to start, your instructions are fantastic and I think as soon as I've finished my current project I might just pluck up the courgae to have a go.
    Have a wonderful weekend - Ju xx

  5. Thanks for you lovely comment Julie. It really makes me happy to know that someone has found my tutorial helpful. Good luck with your quilt and let me know when it's done...I'd love to see x