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Baby Quilt – 5 Half-Yards of Fabric

Yesterday, I was asked to help design a baby quilt for someone. I sat down and in 30 minutes, had the following to post on my Facebook wall:

Have tools, ready to go! Especially with favorite mug for coffee.

Asked and answered: Crib Size Quilt (32″ x52″), 4 colors, 4 patch design. What is needed?

4 colors, 1/2 yd each (will have left overs), cut 5 strips at 2.5″ x WOF (trim selvage to 43″)

Sew two color strips together: colors 1 & 2 (5 sets when done), subcut that to 2.5″ x 4.5″ pieces to match and resew together as (42) 4.5″ x 4.5″ Four-Patches. Do the same for colors 3 & 4.

Assemble.

Borders (different fabric): 3/8 yd fabric cut as: (2) 48 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ (sides) and (2) 32 1/2″ x 32 1/2″.

Binding (different fabric): 3/8 yd.

Backing (different fabric): 3 1/3 yd.

I had drawings to go with it and posted those; however, I decided to make the quilt to show it with pictures. You’ll notice the title of this is 5 Half-Yards but in my above instructions, I’ve said 4 Half-Yards. I’ll explain as we go.

Materials List:

  • (4) Colors, 1/2 yard each, for the main baby quilt top. I did not include fabric for borders or backing/binding.

Cutting Instructions:

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  • Cut (5) strips 2.5″ x WOF (width of fabric) out of each of the four colors selected.

Match the colors. You’ll want two colors together. With 5 strips x 2 colors, you’ll have 10 strips for that set. From the other two colors, you’ll have 5 strips x 2 colors = 10 strips. Above, you can see my four colors, matched up as blue/pink, blue/pink.

Assembly:

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We start by sewing the strips together. From the picture in the Cutting Instructions section, we’ll go left to right, number the colors: 1, 2, 3 and 4 colors. Take color 1 and 2 and sew the strips together. Instead of having (5) of each, you’ll end up with (5) sets of the two sewn together lengthwise. Do the same with colors 3 and 4. Look at the picture just above. I have 10 strips now, each with two color sewn together lengthwise. I ironed it all to the blue – each set of pink/blue was ironed to the blue. This helps later.

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Take your strips to your cutting table and lay them down. If you stack them, you could end up with slight variations on the bottom, as the fabric tends to slide more when it has seams under it. I lay them one next to the other to cut 3 or 4 strip sets at a time. Cut the selvage off and start cutting it from the length in 2.5″ pieces.

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You’ll need (84) of these pieces cut when done, split into two piles of (42) each. I used (5) strip sets and got (84) pieces but it was cutting it close to the edge of the selvage. Above, you see I have two piles of (42) for one color set and two piles of (42) for the second color set.

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This is where it comes in handy to have ironed every strip the same direction – in my case, I ironed all to the blue pieces. When you reverse one pile to make it opposite of the other, you’ll notice the ironing is now perfect for nesting your seams as you sew them together. Do not mix up the colors. The sets stay together for this quilt, not mix and match. We’ll sew likes together as shown above to create (42) Four-Patches of each color set, for a total of (84) Four-Patches when done.

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Use chain piecing when sewing the Four-Patches! Makes it go so fast and easy! I finished this top (to where it sits now) in three hours from design to temporary completion. Chain piecing is your friend!

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Chain piece all the Four-Patches, open and iron flat, then start filling up your design wall. Set out the first color set staggered as such, then fill in with the other color set.

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The picture is crooked but you get the idea. A crib quilt for a baby ready to be assembled and borders added. Wala! The original instructions for borders, backing and binding are intact – use those to finish the quilt. It is ready for assembly at this point…

Except

I hate following directions.

I think people should be as creative as they can be, when able!

So….

I stared at it and then decided to do something different with the pieces, now that the original question has been answered for my friend.

I cut another 1/2 yard of fabric – this one very bright and bold to contrast the soft colors of all that I had already done. This is where the 5th Half-Yard comes into play.

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This is what I came up with.

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One color set of Four-Patch blocks was placed on the corner of the bright pink. The second color set of Four-Patch blocks was placed in the middles of them. Please look close as I know the colors are muted and hard to tell apart from each other. I did the entire top this way but had quite a few pieces of bright pink and one color set left over. So, I made the quilt bigger…

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Skipping a row, I placed the bright pink and the remaining color set pieces around as a border of sorts. I thought it was lovely but I had three of the Four-Patch blocks missing when I went all the way around.

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Well, I had left overs from the 1/2 yard I used to create the Four-Patches, so I just made three more with the left overs.

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This is how it looks on my design wall right now. I’ve yet to do the final assembly but the idea is there.

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I’ll probably do the final assembly tomorrow morning. Enjoy!

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Mystery Monday: The Christmas Quilt, Pt 1

Long ago and far away was a woman who loved to make quilt tops. She spent hours and hours working on tops and designing her own, sharing with the world as she did so. Unfortunately, a few things happened and an entire summer went by without her touching her sewing machine. Loss of funds to get quilts finished at the long armer, an online game that got in the way, mid-summer surgery that threw her out of sorts for several weeks and finally, just generally, life.

Two weeks ago, this woman had a friend send her a text on Facebook. It simply said, “Ok! The summer is over! I’ve waited patiently! Let’s get going! You promised a Christmas Quilt!” The woman decided enough was enough and it was time to hit the sewing machine again. Out came the pattern created from a photo many months ago and directions were poured over, trying to understand what was going on when it was written up. Materials and cutting instructions were double and even triple checked, posted to a few places and the woman came to life!

All cutting has been done, all of part 1 has been done and the woman waits anxiously to see the completed project, hoping her instructions are as perfect as can be. Now, she shares….

Materials List:

  • Print: 1 1/4 yd
  • Light: 3/4 yd
  • Red: 3/4 yd
  • Blue: 5/8 yd
  • Black Print: 7/8 yd
  • Inner Print (not too dark): 1 yd
  • First Border: 1 5/8 yd
  • Second Border: 1 1/8 yd
  • For backing, your choice: 10 yd
  • For binding, your choice: 3/4 yd

Cutting Instructions:

  • Print: (69) 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
  • Light: (13) 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and (22) 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • Red: (40) 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″
  • Blue: (16) 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and (14) 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • Black Print: (20) 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and (14) 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

Instructions:

We’ll start with the HSTs you need to create. Next week, we’ll be ready to assemble the top.

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These are the colors I picked because I couldn’t find any Christmas colors I liked. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get to MY favorite quilt store an hours’ drive from me or I might have found something!

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Take (13) Print 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and (13) Light 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and create (26) Print/Light HSTs. The method I use is taking one of each piece, draw a line down the center on the back of the print piece, place the Print/Light right sides together, sew a 1/4″ on each side of the line, cut down the line to create two pieces, iron open, trim to exactly 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and you’re done.

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Take (40) Print 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and (40) Red 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and create (80) Print/Red HSTs.

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Take (16) Print 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and (16) Blue 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ and create (32) Print/Blue HSTs.

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Use (14) Black 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and (14) Blue 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ to create (14) Black/Blue 12 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bars.

That’s it for now! Next week, we’ll be ready to assemble the pieces. It went pretty fast using chain piecing. The only slow down part was trimming all the HSTs to exactly 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ after creation. I hate that part and I do admit, this is where my mistakes usually come in!

Until next time…

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