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:
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:
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)