vintage patterns

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baby Quilt Tutorial ~ Trip Around the World

This is a very special baby quilt for my daughter because it is made from the tablecloth fabric of her wedding, twelve years ago. I originally was going to make her and my son-in-law a double wedding ring quilt, and actually had a few piece cut out, put it aside and never got back to it.

With the news of the baby, their first, my fourth grandchild, my daughter suggested how, if I still had the fabrics, they would make a very nice baby quilt. I agree. I found this pattern in Country Quilts in a Day, Using Strip Quilting & Other Speed Techniques by Fran Roen, 1991. Perfect for sewing up a baby quilt in a short period of time.

The directions calls for nine different colors of fabric, which exactly what I had. I tore a 31 1/2" x 16" from each fabric piece and then tore the fabric strips into nine strips each, 3 1/2" x 16". Tearing the fabric I knew each piece would be on the straight of grain, works great for 100% cotton fabric and is fast.

Two images showing the complete strips stacked into piles. Label each pile A-H according to which fabric you want in the center and work out from there (layer B will actually end up being the center and layer A are the first squares that go around the center. The book suggest to arrange your fabrics from light to dark. Also take a small fabric swatch and label them with the appropriate color A-H so when you are sewing the Sheet Strip squares you know you are matching up the right colors*

I pinned a piece of paper with a letter labeling each stack as a reference guide.

Next sew the strips into sheets along their lengths; A B C D E F G H A and label this Sheet 1, set aside.
Sew seven more sheets and label as follows:
Sheet 2: B C D E F G H A B
Sheet 3: C D E F G H A B C
Sheet 4: D E F G H A B C D
Sheet 5: E F G H A B C D E
Sheet 6: F G H A B C D E F
Sheet 7: G H A B C D E F G
Sheet 8: H A B C D E F G H

Strips sewn together into sheets

 I also used a small piece of paper pinned to sheets to identify the number sheet.

back side of strips sewn into sheets.
Next measure down each sheet 3 1/2", draw a line, I use a ruler and pencil and cut across the sheets so you have a strip of squares. You'll have four strips of squares from each sheet. Stack each cut strips into a pile and mark them as Sheet 1, using your piece of paper you used to label the sheet before cutting it out.
Continue with the other 7 sheets.

Drawing a cutting line 3 1/2" 

Cutting along pencil line.
*Now you will sew these cut strip squares along their long edges. You will be forming the upper and lower parts of your quilt. Stitch together as follows:
Strip from Sheet 1 to Sheet 8 (these colors should match up {Sheet 1 A- Sheet 8 H, top edge}, {Sheet 1 H-Sheet 8 G, next color down on the strips}, {Sheet 1 G- Sheet 8 F, third color down on the strips} and so forth. Continue sewing the strips together (I have only listed the end colors); 
Strip from Sheet 8 H to Strip from Sheet 7 G 
Strip from Sheet 7 G to Strip from Sheet 6 F
Strip from Sheet 6 F to Strip from Sheet 5 E
Strip from Sheet 5 E to Strip from Sheet  4 D
Strip from Sheet 4 D to Strip from Sheet 3 C
Strip from Sheet 3 C to Strip from Sheet  2 B
Strip from Sheet 2 B to Strip from Sheet 3 C
Strip from Sheet 3 C to Strip from Sheet 4 D
Strip from Sheet 4 D to Strip from  Sheet 5 E
Strip from Sheet 5 E to Strip from Sheet 6 F
Strip from Sheet 6 E to Strip from Sheet 7 G
Strip from Sheet 7 G to Strip from Sheet 8 H
Strip from Sheet 8 H to Strip from Sheet 1 A

Do the same as above with the second set of strips, you will have 2 strips left over from Sheet 1, these will be use for the center block.

With the last two strips remove square A that is next to H on one strip and both As off the the other strip. Then sew the two strips together so the order is as follows; H G F E D C B A B C D E F G H, unfortunately I did not get this step photographed.

Next sew the center row to the upper half and the center row to the lower half of the quilt. To finish I used a large piece of fabric to cover the back and folded the edges to the front for the front border. 

I started the machine quilting at the center square and stitched outward. Stitching the border down was the final stitching.

I started stitching on the inside corner square and stitched completely around square before lifting needle and moving needle to next inside square. I clipped threads as I went along.
Finished quilt


close-up of back
This was a very easy quilt to make. The most time consuming process was the machine quilting of the squares once the quilt was assembled. You can choose you own method of how you would like to finish the quilting. Running stitches vertically and horizontally would have been much quicker.

If you have any questions regarding making a quilt I would love to hear and possibly be able to answer.


  1. Beautiful colors... blessed granddaughter! I love that it was made from your daughter's wedding fabrics.

  2. Looks fantastic and a real labour of love and what a lovely keepsake from the wedding, you did a great job, when is baby due.

    1. Thanks Chrissie, the baby is due December 28th, I am very excited about having a new little one, so sweet.

  3. It's GORGEOUS. Learning to sew properly is at the top of my list this coming year, so I can make ur...curtains, not masterpieces like this. One step at a time! Ha! So sweet that is was made from your daughter's wedding fabrics.

  4. Thanks Van! It was fun to make and really simple with the technique in the book. Curtains are easy too, but the fabric choices are endless.

    Looks like you are having a fantastic time in Puerto Rico. I have only been there twice because it it so far away from the west coast. And a side note, if you can recommend any Realtors, we need to get our house and farm property listed that is in Fajardo We lost contact with everyone there, I guess it pays to stay in touch : )