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Whimsy: EZ Pre-Quilted Baby Blanket

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Love, love, love this double-faced, pre-quilted fabric from Joanna Figueroa's Whimsy collection for Moda Fabrics. There are two, reversible patterns to choose from. We selected the option with Whimsy Vintage Flash Cards in Milk on the front and Whimsy Dot in Milk on the back. Then we trimmed the whole thing with coordinating Whimsy Ric Rac Stitching in Multi. I used a fancy decorative stitch to attach my binding, which takes a little longer to stitch, but adds an extra-special touch. Since all you do for the center of the blanket is cut a square, and the binding is a faux-mitered technique, this blanket is SO easy, I even simplified the name to: EZ!

I've outlined the basic steps of faux mitered corners. If you are new to the technique, check out our tutorial. You might also want to read through our bias binding how-to.

Take a look at all the great designs and interview.

A BIG thanks to our friends at Fat Quarter Shop for providing us with all the Whimsy collection fabrics for our tutorial trio. They have a wonderful selection in stock of all the designs. Thanks, FQS!

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • 1 yard of 44-45" wide double-faced, pre-quilted fabric: we used Joanna Figueroa's Whimsy Double Face Quilt Yardage in Milk
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide coordinating fabric for binding: we used Joanna Figueroa's Whimsy Ric Rac Stitching in Multi
  • All purpose thread in color to match fabric
  • Decorative thread in contrasting color to fabric (optional – if you want your binding stitching to stand out)
  • See-through ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Fabric pencil
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Cut ONE 36" x 36" square from the pre-quilted fabric. Make sure your fabric's pattern is straight and true, especially if you chose a directional fabric like ours.
  2. Cut FOUR 4" x width of fabric (WOF) strips from the binding fabric.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Collect all four 4" x WOF binding strips.
  2. Pin and then seam the four binding strips together end to end to create one long, continuous strip.
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  3. To do this, match right sides together along the 4" sides and stitch, using a ½" seam allowance.
  4. Press all the seams open.
  5. If you want your binding stitch to stand out, re-thread your machine now with the contrasting thread. Because of the vibrant colors of the Ric Rac trim, I stayed with my pale yellow thread for a more subtle effect.
  6. Fold the binding in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.
  7. Open up your strip wrong side towards you.
  8. Fold each side towards the center crease and press.
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  9. Fold again along your first crease, right sides together, so your two folded edges are together. Press.
  10. Starting in the middle of one side of the blanket, unfold your binding and slip it over the the raw edge. Work from what you consider to be the right side of your blanket (the Whimsy Flash Cards side in our sample). Be very careful that your middle fold is right on the edge and your binding is even on both sides. Pin from your starting point to the first corner.
  11. Bring your project to your machine, and starting in the middle (where you started pinning), stitch the binding to the project, staying as close to the edge of the binding as you can. Go slowly and make sure you catch both sides of the binding equally.
    NOTE: You can use a straight stitch, or add some pizzazz with a decorative stitch, like I did. I chose Stitch #50 on the Janome Jem Platinum 760 which is a fancy heirloom-type zig-zag. I thought it echoed the look of the Ric Rac trim.
  12. Sew to the corner and stop. Lock your seam. I used my machine's lock stitch button because I used a decorative stitch. A lock stitch is neater than a back stitch for securing decorative stitching.
  13. Remove the project from under the needle and clip your threads, but do not cut your binding.
  14. Fold a pleat in the corner to make a 45˚ angle. Pin. Encase the new side's raw edge with the binding, working your way to the next corner. Press and pin in place.
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  15. Return to your machine, and matching your first line of stitching, edgestitch around the corner and down the side to the next corner. Stop at the corner and lock your stitch.
    NOTE: By 'around the corner' I mean you should drop your needle in at the end of your original line of stitching, stitch into the corner, pivot, and then stitch down the new edge. This way, your line of stitching around each corner will appear uninterrupted.
  16. Repeat these same steps at each corner.
  17. When you return to your starting point, tuck under the raw edge of the binding, match the bottom edges and match your stitching line to finish. Press.
  18. I stitched a Sew4Home label to a bottom corner. Find out more about custom labels from our product review.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson



Comments (13)

Lynda Crouse said:
Lynda Crouse's picture

i was looking for a charity that could use baby quilts. I️ am in a circle at our church and we would like to have more projects, that we can do as a service. This charity sounds like something we could do. We all either sew, quilt, crochet/knit. Can you send me more info?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Lynda - We didn't reference a charity in this article - was there a particular mention you were looking asking about? There are so many from which to choose. In general, one of our favorites is Project Linus: https://www.projectlinus.org/

Joyce Casey said:
Joyce Casey 's picture

ok I see that they didn't use bias, the prints they used are cut on the straight grain, you can tell by the pattern! I can't wait to try this!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Joyce - yes, we straight cut the binding since all our edges to be bound were perfectly straight. Have fun with the project!

Susan Williams said:
Susan Williams's picture

Bought my quilt panel 20 years ago and just now made the quilt with the help of your instructions here.  Thanks so much for helping this newbie through it!  The words plus the pictures were very helpful.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Susan Williams - Wow -- this project goes back a ways. I'm so glad you found it and that it helped you out! We hope you continue to explore - there's lots more and our instructions are always written with the new-sewer in mind. 

Tori said:
Tori's picture

Do you pre-wash the pre-quilted fabrics?  The project is awesome - thanks very much!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Charlene -- extra pinning will help, but remember to remove them as you go. What might also be helpful is a walking foot. This is a specialty presser foot that keeps layers moving at the same rate across the machine's feed dogs. Many models come with this foot standard. If not, check with your local dealer to purchase it separately. It is a great foot that can be used in many, many applications where you are sewing slippery, thick or different types of fabrics. I use mine all the time.

Charlene Packard said:
Charlene Packard's picture
This is my first time on your site and am wondering if you can offer a suggestion for sewing satin binding on a soft fabric for a baby blanket. As I sew, the binding bunches up and I have to place a tuck every so often to keep it going straight. I did pin the binding but wonder if I should place them closer together or what. Is there a trick to this? Thank you.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Emily -- sorry you are having a bit of a struggle. Here are some things to think about: 1) make sure your blanket fabric is cut nice and square with 90˚ corners - and, make sure your binding strip is also straight and the folds are even on both sides; this will make the corner pleat the most accurate; 2) take your time folding, lining up and pining the corner pleat - carefully check on both sides to make sure it looks good to you from the front and the back - as I've said many times, "futzing is okay ... if you need to re-fold, re-press or re-pin ... do it," it's important you take the time to get it pinned in place nicely, 3) when you slide the blanket back under the needle, make sure it doesn't get caught on the feed dogs... that could be causing a fold you don't want. Lift up the corner ever so slightly and slide it between the needle plate (where the feed dogs are) and the bottom of the presser foot. Before you put the presser foot down, lift up the corner and make sure everything is still flat and pinned in place; 4) go slowly around the corner and make sure your needle is in the down position, completely through the fabric, when you pivot... after you pivot, lift up the corner again and check that the back of the pleat hasn't bunched or folded, drop your presser foot and continue stitching. Hope that helps ... with this type of binding, practice makes perfect smilies/wink.gif
Emily Sneed said:
Emily Sneed's picture
I have a question for you on this one...I have been trying this technique for applying the bias binding, and I keep having a problem.

My issue begins at this point..."Return to your machine, and matching your first line of stitching, edgestitch around the corner and down the side to the next corner. Stop at the corner and lock your stitch.
NOTE: By 'around the corner' I mean you should drop your needle in at the end of your original line of stitching, stitch into the corner, pivot, and then stitch down the new edge. This way, your line of stitching around each corner will appear uninterrupted. "

When I drop my needle and pivot the fabric, the bias binding on the underside gets turned over and doesn't look neat and pretty like yours! Any tips? Thanks!