Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Triple Baby Quilt Tutorial and a Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving All!

I'm super excited for Thursday. This is the first fall I've been an official empty-nester (even though my daughter is only 20 minutes away at school.) I'm so happy everyone will be under the same roof for the weekend.

We usually spend the day with my husband's extended family. This year's gathering will be especially sweet, because there will be a new baby in the mix! He'll be about 4 months old. And he'll be joined by a cousin in December! Which means, of course, baby quilts are required!

When I started these baby quilts, I knew I wanted to make them gender neutral with a simple design. I found a perfect fat quarter bundle in my stash which included 3 novelty fabrics: giraffes, elephants and kitties. Yes please! As I started designing, I wanted to make the novelties the stars, so I set them as a large center panel and went from there. And since I had 3 of these "panels" three quilt were made. They came together quickly and I'm really happy with the finishes. And because I did all the math, I figured why not share the pattern. Below you'll  find the tutorial to make 3 baby quilts or The Triple Baby Quilt Tutorial! (BTW only 2 are finished ~ the third is still a top waiting it's quilting!)

Triple Baby Quilt Tutorial

16 or so fat quarters
2/3 yard  Border fabric (per quilt)
3/8 yard  Binding fabric (per quilt)

Start with a novelty fat quarter. Fat quarters typically measure 18" x 22". Your mileage may vary. Trim your fat quarter to the largest square you can get out of it. For one of my quilts it was 17 1/2". The other one must have been an off cut, because I could only get a 16" square out of it. It doesn't really matter. Take the measurement of the square (let's say 17 ½") and subtract ½" to give us the finished size. That gives us 17". Take that number and subtract from 20". So, that yields 3". Divide that in half ( which makes it 1 ½") Add back in ½" for seam allowance. 2" is our measurement. This is the width of the first set of borders you'll cut. The goal is to have our fat quarter with one border equal 20 ½" square (20" finished.) 
I'll run through that one more time.

We'll start with an  18" square. Subtract ½" to yield 17 ½". Subtract that from 20" to get 2.5". Divide in half (1 ¼") and add back in ½" to give us 1 ¾" wide borders to cut.

Cut 2 strips width of fabric. From each strip, cut one length to equal one side of your center square andthe remainder to 20 1/2". 

Sew the shorter border strips to each side of your starting square, then the 20 1/2" strips to the top and bottom. Your quilt top should measure 20 ½" square at this point.

Repeat with 2 other fat quarters and borders.

Take the remainder of your fat quarters and cut into strips 5 ½" x 22" (or whatever the longest width of your fat quarter is.) Sub-cut  strips into 5 ½" squares.


18 "

You should get 9 squares from each fat quarter. You may be able to get 12. If those last cuts don't measure up to 5 ½" square, no worries. Set them aside for now.

Take your 5 1/2" squares and make two columns of 4 squares and 2 rows of 6 squares. Mix them up for a nice variety. Sew the columns to each side of your top, then sew the rows to the top and bottom of your top. Your top should measure 30 ½" square.

Cut second set of borders, (2) 2 ½" x 30 ½" and (2) 2 ½" x 34 ½". Sew the shorter borders on the sides, the longer borders top and bottom. Your top should measure 34 ½" square.

Now time for some improvisation!

Stack (2) 5 ½" squares right sides together. Sew a ¼" seam on the right side and the left side of the stacked squares. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, make a vertical cut, dividing the stack into 2 pieces. Continue to stack, sew and cut. As you cut the stacks into 2 pieces, vary the width of the cuts. The goal is NOT to have the cut be in the exact middle, but have variations in the widths of each piece.

Continue to stack, sew and cut pieces. If you have some pieces from earlier that weren't quilt wide enough, use those now. Stack two pieces together, matching the left edges (5 ½" on the side.) Trim the right edges even if necessary. Sew and cut as above.

Take a bunch of your newly cut pieces, and sew together (on the 5 ½" edges) until you have a  column approximately 36" in length.  Press. With a long ruler and rotary cutter, trim one long side edge straight. Measure over 2 ½" and cut a long border. Measure over another 2 ½" and cut a second long border.  Make 3 to yield 6 short borders. (You'll use 2 per quilt.)

Make another column, this time approximately 40" long. Trim as before. Make 3 to yield 6 long borders.
Sew 2 short borders to each side of one quilt top. Trim to fit. Add long top and bottom borders. Trim to fit. (Mix up the borders from the previous step, so that you're using different borders in each quilt.)

Baste quilt and bind quilts. For one, I quilted with an all over meander. For another, I did a giant spiral. The third is TBD. Cut binding strips 2 ¼" each x wof. You'll need 4 strips for each quilt.

There you have it! Three baby quilts!

I'm not much for shopping on Black Friday, but I do make exceptions for fabric. I'm sure I'll be hitting up Craftsy for classes (only $17.99!) and kits. I'll typically buy their quilt kits, more for the fabric than the quilt itself. Lots of great deals! Shop the sale here.

Ready for another sale? Visit my Etsy Shop and use the code GIVE2016 to get my downloadable subway art for $5 (usually $8!) Available in aqua, tangerine and black. I like to have it printed on canvas for a addition to my sewing room. The file also includes an 8 x 10 jpg you can print at home. Discount expires 12/1/16.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

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