Category: Quilting

Quilting in Virginia! : How to Make a Fast and Easy Baby Quilt

Virginia

Hello Machine Lovers! I’ve been away for a while but, I’m glad to say I’m back with some awesome stories to share with you! It’s officially February and the last time we were together I shared some of my favorite places in the fashion district to buy fabric. Well, what I didn’t mention was that I was also gearing up for a trip to Virginia! Specifically, West Point and Newport News, Virginia. Gilbert grew up in Virginia, so we were heading to the east coast to visit his family. While there I was able to get in some quilting and it was so much fun! Between all the snow, drumming, martini parties, and Big Bang Theory, I was able to start and finish the baby quilt I had planned to make for my baby niece! ❤

pines

Virginia is such a beautiful state. The pine trees alone are a wonder. All of them so tall and the pine cones! Hahaa, there were so many scattered on the ground, I was tempted twice to carry some home, sprinkle glitter on them and make a wreath! I was also lucky enough to experience the awesome Virginia snow. The second day we were there it snowed an inch, just enough to cover the trees and ground in a lovely white coat. Being from southern California, I don’t get to experience snow often. While I had seen snow once before when I was younger on a trip to Big Bear, the Virginia snow was a real treat! I made a few snowballs and enjoyed playing in the snow with the pugs. The following days’ sun dried up most of it by the time we left.

snow

One of the highlights of the trip was the family drum session we participated in. Gilbert’s mother, Madonna, is Lakota and she has this huge, gorgeous leather drum. At one point we all gathered around it. She shared with us some drum techniques and the significance of the different beats and drum. We all drummed together and listened to her share a song. It was a really fun experience!

drum

By the end of our trip, I was itching for some creative time and Gilbert’s sister, Felicity, suggested we start the quilt we had discussed making together when I had first arrived. I told her about the quilt I wanted to make for my baby niece and we decided to make one for her. Luckily, Madonna, a quilter herself, had fabric and a sewing machine with all the fix-ins. I knew I didn’t want the quilt to be very large, as I wanted to finish it within a few hours and it was for a baby after all!

How to Make a Fast and Easy Baby Quilt

quilt 2

What You’ll Need:

  • Assorted Fabric; enough for a 25.5 x 25.5 inch quilt top and back, including some for 100+ inches of bias tape or pre-made bias tape.
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter & Mat or Scissors
  • Iron
  • Your sewing machine
  • Love 

Awesome, now that we have our tools, we’re ready to rock!

1) Quilt Top

Let’s make our quilt top! I decided on a size of 25 x 25 inches. We picked out 5 different fabrics we both liked, then proceeded to cut 5 squares out of each fabric. For this project, since we were working on a small-scale and at a fast pace, I didn’t plan for a seam allowance as it wouldn’t affect the quality of the quilt. Of course when making yours, add half an inch to each square for a 1/4 seam allowance. Cut your squares 5.5 x  5.5 inches. This way, the finished quilt will be exactly 25 x 25 inches. Using your ruler, rotary cutter and mat, or scissors, cut a total of 25 squares. These 25 squares will be your quilt top. Arrange them as you wish. This is how we arranged our squares, along with the strips of flannel we will use to make the bias tape:

quilt

Pin the squares together, 5 at a time. Using your machine, sew these squares together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. Iron seams. When you have 5 strips of 5 squares each, pin the strips together and using your machine, sew these together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. Continue until all strips are sewn, ironing seams as you go along. Now you have your quilt top! Let’s talk about the back of the quilt.

2) Quilt Back

For the back of the quilt I picked my favorite fabric from the ones we chose and cut out a large square from it. Cut a 25.5 x 25.5 square from your choice of fabric, this includes the 1/4 seam allowance.

3) Sew Quilt Top & Back Together

Now we have the two sides of our quilt. With the wrong sides facing each other, pin your quilt top and back together. Using your machine, sew the two sides together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. We’re almost done! Now we’re ready to take care of those raw edges with our bias tape.

4) Bias Tape

OK, so bias tape. I’ve just learned how to make bias tape, as I finished my first quilt only a few months ago, but already I’ve grown a strong love for it and believe it’s essential to a beautifully finished quilt. Also, once you get the hang of it, bias tape is really fun to make! Bias tape is used as the finished edges of the quilt and it’s easy to go around corners with it. If you don’t know how to make bias tape, check out my tutorial on how to make it here. I really enjoy making bias tape and I make it without a bias tape maker too. For the bias tape on this quilt we picked a blue flannel with a cute pattern of monkeys on it, shown here below:

tape

5) Sew Bias Tape To Quilt For Finish

You’ll need a little over 100 inches of bias. Once you have your bias tape made, or you have your store-bought pre made bias tape, line the bias along the front of the quilt’s raw edge, pin. Continue to pin tape along the front of the quilt, turning corners until you reach where you began. Cut off excess.

Using you machine, sew the bias tape and quilt together along the tape’s ironed crease, the one that’s closest to the raw edge. Continue to sew the tape around the quilt, pinning and sewing corners accordingly.

Once done with sewing the top, turn the quilt over and fold the bias tape over to the side now facing up. Pin in place. Now, using your machine, sew this side of the tape around the quilt.

We’re done! A cute quilt for a newborn baby. It’s simple and a great gift idea with heart. When I got back to Los Angeles, I gave my brother and his girlfriend this quilt for my niece and they loved it!

done

We started our quilt at 5:00 pm and after taking a few breaks in between, finished it by 8:30. So it only took about 3 hours for us to complete the quilt including making our own bias tape. If you’re working alone and use pre-made bias tape, you can finish just as soon. I really had such a wonderful time in Virginia with the family and am happy for the great experience I had out there. I’m glad I got the chance to make the quilt for my niece while in Virginia. Since I did, that means the fabric I had originally bought for this quilt can now be used for something else. I’m thinking pillows, maybe! Hahaa, so many projects to do!

next time

I hope this how to on making a baby quilt was helpful and has inspired you to make your own. I know in my last post I promised a tutorial on how to make simple curtains. I will still be posting this. I was in the middle of making them and then took off to Virginia but, I will be finishing them soon and sharing. So stay tuned Machine Lovers! There’s much more to come here at Machine Love. Share with me your projects in the mean time! ❤

:: Athena ::