First Time Baby Quilt

I have always wanted to try to make a quilt, even a small one, but have never "gotten around to it" because... well I don't know why.  I am maybe intimidated by people who are "quilters" and speak the language, which I surely don't. So, when someone I work with asked me if I would make something for her to give at a baby shower, I knew I had to try a baby quilt!
I LOVE how it turned out, and didn't want to part with it.  The hardest part of the whole process was that the gender of the baby is undetermined.  (Is it just me or is everything geared toward boys or girls, and there is NO in between???)
Because  I was apprehensive to dive into this project I thought it would make for a great tutorial.  Remember I am not a professional.  I am self taught, with much  room for improvement!! (P. S. I KNOW the pictures are terrible!!! Basement. Late. At. Night.)

**Colored blocks (6 colors of quilters cotton)  1/4 yard of each (if you wanted to used the colors for a scrappy binding, you would need at least a 1/3 or 1/2 yard)
**Cream Cotton used for the base and binding 2 yards
**Flannel Print Backing 2 yards  (I had probably 1/2 yard left over)
**Plain cream flannel for lining 2 yards (Again, I had about a 1/2 yard left over)

Here we go!!!

First I cut 6 blocks (6.5 x 6.5 inches) out of each of the six colors for a total of 36 blocks.
Out of the cream I cut 6 blocks (6.5 x 6.5 inches) then cut those six blocks in half to equal 12 half blocks measuring 3.25 x 6.5 inches

*** I used a 1/4 inch seam on all of the sewing on this quilt and place right sides together when stitching.

I then laid out the pattern of blocks.  I decided to make 6 strips with 6 blocks in each strip (one block of each color) and then one cream half block on each end of the strip.  (The cream half blocks are not shown in the first few pictures,because I put them on later... which was kind of a pain : ) 

After getting the colors arranged to my liking I sewed each strip as shown (make sure to add the half cream block to each end of all 6 strips) After sewing each strip, flip it over and iron the strip so that the seams are all going in the same direction.  Every strip should alternate the seams going to the left or to the right.  

For example: In the layout below the top strip starting with red would have the seams going toward the red, and the strip starting with orange would have the seams going away from the orange.  It continues to alternate with each row.
I then cut 7 strips from the cream to put in between the 6 colored block strips.
The 7 cream strips are 3 inches wide.  I made it easy and cut them the width of the cream material, which was probably about 45 inches.  This will give you a total of 3 extra inches of room on the ends. 

Each Colored strip needs to be sewn to a cream strip.  Make sure to sew it to the same side of each of the blocks, so that you can put the quilt top together as you laid it out.
For Example: In the picture below the cream strip is sewn to the bottom of each colored block.

When sewing the cream strip to each block, I pinned, BECAUSE you want to keep the seams on the back from being sewn in the wrong direction.  I found it easiest to put one pin on top of each seam.  You can see the example above.

Below is a picture of how the seams should look from the back of the colored strip after being ironed and pinned.  It is kind of hard to see, but all of the seams are laying in one direction. (They are all laying to the right)
Above is a picture of what happens if you sew like a speed demon and accidentally sew the seams in the wrong direction.  When If this happens to you, YOU HAVE TO RIP OUT THAT LITTLE SECTION AND RE SEW IT!!!!  If you don't, the quilt will look wonky and have a bump in it.  I will not lie.  This happened to me three times. 

To avoid this: Pin all of the seams,and then as you sew over each seam, make sure they it is lying in the correct direction.

After sewing all of the colored strips to the cream strips, it should look like the pieces above.  Then, sew another cream strip to the top and the bottom colored strips.  (Remember again that yours will not have as much extra length on the cream strips, because you should have the cream half blocks attached on the ends of the colored strips)

You can then sew the strips together piece by piece.  After sewing one piece to another, iron the seams flat.  I ironed all of the horizonal seams towards the cream pieces, if that makes sense.  It should then look like the quilt top pictured above!!!  You can trim any excess material, and you are ready to put this baby together!!!

Yay!! The bulk of the work is done!!!

Okay from  here on out I do not have a ton of pictures, but they probably wouldn't help a whole lot anyway. 

After the quilt top is done....

1. I laid the cream flannel out flat (after ironing and ironing it) onto a hard surface (mine was a cardboard quilting board)
2. On top of it I laid the printed flannel quilt backing.  It too was ironed.  I smoothed it out to the best of my ability : )
3.  I pinned the two flannels together.
4. I then carefully rolled them up and sat them aside.
5. Place the quilt top face down on the board and lay it out flat and smooth.
6.  Unroll the flannel onto the quilt top with the printed side facing up.  (This is exactly how your finished blanket will end up.
7. Smooth and smooth and smooth (especially if there is flannel in the mix) until you give up are satisfied. Then repin the 3 pieces together

Now, time for the binding.  I am refering you to crazy mom quilts- a binding tutorial.  The only changes I made to her tutorial are: I used 3 inch binding instead of 2.5.  (easier to cut and easier for me to sew) and I also didn't hand stitch the binding.  I zig-zag stitched it, as you can see below.
Zig-Zag stitching the back side of the binding.
Either way looks great!! You choose!

To "quilt" the 3 layers together I "stitched in the ditch" around the six colored block strips.  I just did it around the colored ones, not the cream half blocks. 

Stitching in the ditch around the colored blocks

As you can see, or can't see the stitching around the blocks.  As I am writing this, maybe I should have "quilted" this before the binding. Oh well, it didn't look wonky or stretched, so no fail there!

Here is the final result.  Maybe I am a little too excited/proud/surprised about finishing this and loving the results, but it is what it is.  My first quilt is done and I did it in 24 hour period!!!  I hope someone finds this useful and can make one too!!!


  1. Great job!! Super impressed that this is your first quilt. Almost gives me courage to give it a try.....

  2. Pretty! Love the gender neutral baby quilt. I am looking to make one soon for a friend who is expecting her baby at the end of the year.

  3. Aw, how cute! And congratulations on how great your first quilt turned out, it's really encouraging :)

  4. LOVE the backing fabric. Do you remember "what" it was? Manufacturer and line? It coordinates PerfectLy with the front!

  5. Alicia- I know it is soooo cute. It is actually flannel from Jo Ann. Of course it was gone when I went back to get more,but check their website.

  6. This is a really cute quilt. I love the colors. GOOD job!