One of the most requested baby gifts is the baby quilt. And, if you find out right away, you have nine months to get it done. Right? Right?! Okay, so the baby is due in a week, what are you going to do now? This super fast, but still super adorable, Double Charm Pack Baby Quilt might be the answer. There are so many gorgeous pre-cut options out there, and charm packs are one of the most affordable. This cutie pie quilt efficiently uses up nearly all the pieces from two 42-piece charm packs. Add just 1¼ yards of matching backing fabric and the batting and you’ll be out of the door to the baby shower before you know it!
To really speed up this finishing process, this quilt is assemble like a layered blanket rather than with more a time-consuming binding. The perimeter outline stitch along with the interior quilting holds all the layers securely.
You do not need to pre-wash the materials prior to starting. But, you will want to press with steam throughout the process. If your iron doesn’t steam, consider an old-school spray bottle with distilled water as an alternative.
We used a charm pack from the Hey Dot collection by Zen Chic for Moda. It includes beautifully bright colors and bold graphic designs – just perfect for the new baby to look at… not so bad for sleepy stares from Mom and Dad as well.
Brights are a nice change of pace from the standard issue baby pastels, and they blend nicely with other necessities you may want to bundle into a gift basket, such as stuffed animals, rattles, bottles, and more.
The main diagonal motif of the quilt design is achieved by laying out the squares in color order. As you can see in the photos above and below, it creates a lovely rainbow effect across the quilt top. Alternating with the solid squares further emphasizes the colorful rows.
As with most quilting projects, a Walking or Even Feed foot is recommended. We especially encourage it here since the layers are stitched and turned rather than bound, so you are working with some thick layers. You can also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex system on many of our studio Janome models
Our quilt finishes at approximately 38” x 38”.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot or similar; or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex system on many of our studio Janome models
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ONE 42-piece Patterned Charm Pack; we used Hey Dot by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics
- ONE 42-piece Coordinating Solid Charm Pack; we used Bella Solids in Snow by Moda Fabrics
- 1¼ yards of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton to match the solid charm pack; we used Bella Solids yardage in Snow by Moda Fabrics
- Baby size (45” x 60”) pre-cut quilt batting
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Tape measurer
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Large safety pins
- Keep the solid backing fabric as one uncut piece (it should already be an approximate 45” x 45” square).
- Cut the batting into an approximate 42″ x 42″ square.
- Using the diagram above as your guide, lay out the 81 squares that make up the quilt top. It’s usually easiest to use the floor to do this; make sure it’s clean. As you can see, we created diagonal lines within each color family of our chosen fabric collection, alternating these with diagonal lines of the solid color charm squares.
- If you’d prefer to use your own design, simply mix and match your 81 squares until you have a layout you find pleasing. It’s best to avoid placing similar colors side-by-side and it looks better when you alternate small and large motifs. However, there’s no wrong design; it’s all based on what you (and the baby-to-be) like best.
- There are a lot of pieces to keep track of, so work in a specific order, like a grid. We worked from top to bottom and left to right.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Collect the nine squares for the first row. Pin the first two squares, right sides together, along one side. Keep track of any directional prints to make sure everything is going the right way.
- Sew together, using a ¼” seam. We used our Quarter Inch Seam foot throughout.
- Take the third square in your sequence and pin it, right sides together, to the completed two-square piece. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
- Continue in this manner until you have a full nine-square row. Then, repeat to complete the remaining eight rows.
NOTE: This is basic patchworking, but of course can be modified to whatever process you find the easiest. For example, many people prefer to make small units first, such as three sets of the three, then assemble these units end to end to form the full row.
- Press the seam allowances in opposite directions row to row, pressing away from the light colored solid squares.
- It’s easiest to see this from the wrong side.
- These alternating seam allowances let the seams nest together and create perfect points on the front.
- When your nine rows are complete, you can stitch them together. Working from the top row down, pin the first two rows right sides together.
- Again, remember to align all the vertical seams. It can help to place a pin in the seam.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew the rows together.
- As promised, your careful matching along the seams will create those perfect points on the front.
- Repeat to assemble the next row in the same manner.
- Then, continue to sew together all remaining rows into your completed patchwork top.
- Give the entire top a nice steamy press on both the front and the back, making sure all those seam allowances are still laying flat.
Layering the quilt top, the batting, and the backing
- Press out any fold lines in the batting and lay it flat on your work surface.
- Smooth the quilt top over the batting. The batting should extend beyond the quilt top about 2” on all sides.
- Using the large safety pins, pin through both layers across the quilt top, starting in the center and working out, smoothing, but not stretching, as you go.
- Trim the batting even with the quilt top.
- Press the backing fabric. Use lots of steam; you want the backing to match the face fabrics and you’ve been steaming them a lot!
- Place the backing right sides together over the quilt top, creating a batting/quilt top/quilt backing “sandwich.”
- The backing should extend beyond the top/batting by several inches on all sides.
- Pin through all three layers around the entire perimeter.
- Leave a 6” – 8” along one side for turning.
- Attach a Walking or Even Feed foot if possible.
- Stitch around all four sides, using the edge of the batting as your guide. Remember to pivot at all the corners and to lock your seam at either side of the 6” – 8” opening.
- When the perimeter seam is done, trim the backing to match the other layers. Clip the corners.
- Turn the quilt right side out through the opening.
- Press well. Use a long, blunt tool, such as a chopstick, knitting needle or point turner to push out the corners so they are as square as possible. Roll the sides slightly with your fingers to insure the seam sits right along the edge.
- Hand stitch the opening closed.
- Smooth out the quilt and re-pin with the large safety pins through all the layers, pinning both top to bottom and across. Make sure your pins are placed in the center of the squares in order to be out of the way of the quilting stitches.
- Lengthen the stitch.
- Still using a Walking or Even Feed foot, stitch around the perimeter approximately ½” from the finished edge. We used the side of our Walking foot as a guide.
- Remember to sharply pivot at each corner.
- Quilt through the center of quilt along each interior seam. For consistency, we again used the side of our foot as our guide.
- Start and stop your interior stitching at the perimeter seam line; do not cross that perimeter.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever