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Michael Miller Fabrics' Citron-Gray Nursery: Patchwork Baby Quilt with Monogram

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The gateway drug of quilting is the baby quilt tutorial. Once you try one of these easy, itty-bitty marvels, you'll be hooked, and small pieces of fabric will begin stacking up all over your house. This handsome quilt is just one of eight tutorials in our modern, baby boy nursery series, sponsored by our good friends at Michael Miller Fabrics and created using their new Color Story concept. Designer Alicia Thommas picked out the best and the brightest of the bold geometrics in our chosen Citron-Gray Color Story. With names like, Feeling Groovy, Play Stripe and Disco Dot... you know it's going to be a fun tutorial. We added a custom monogram to the bottom right corner square, which personalizes the project and will make it a cherished keepsake. However, first it has to be dragged around the house for a few years, cried into, and cuddled with; only then can it be a real keepsake.

This quilt finishes at 40" x 40". Our binding is wider that what is traditional, because it was sized to take advantage of the design of the Gray Quarter Dot Fabric; we wanted one full dot to show on each side.

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Michael Miller's Color Story concept combines hues that consistently work so well together, they create their own ambience, their own feeling... their own  story . These fabric color pairings are also currently prominent in other areas of fashion, interior style and pop culture: Citron-Gray, Aqua-Red, Cocoa-Berry, It's a Boy Thing, It's a Girl Thing, Lagoon, Orchid-Gray, Retro, Rouge et Noir, Sorbet and Urban Grit .

Like good friends who hang together over time, Michael Miller's eleven Color Story pals will evolve from one release to another. Their stories will update and build momentum as color trends evolve, but their compatibility will remain. You'll be able to add new fabrics within the same  Color Story , knowing they'll fit in and work well together.

Welcome to the Citron-Gray Color Story and our custom baby boy nursery. It's a story with a very happy ending.

For more baby projects, take a look at our original Shower Power Baby Gifts.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Where to Buy

Michael Miller Fabrics recommends the following online retailers as great places to shop for and buy the beautiful fabrics within the Citron-Gray Color Story as well as many other Michael Miller collections:

Hancock's of Paducah: 10% discount on Michael Miller Citron-Gray Color Story fabric. Use promo code: Citrongrey

Fat Quarter Shop

Quilt Home

Fabric Depot

CityCraft Online

Hawthorne Threads


Getting Started

NOTE: Quilting is all about personal choice. We created our Baby Boy Quilt to include all our Michael Miller Citron-Gray favorites, and we've listed these cuts below so you can recreate the exact design. Everything is also broken out in groups so you can select and cut your own fabrics. As with all our tutorials, we recommend reading through all the instructions once before you dive in.

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For the QUILT FRONT, cut the following:

  • TWELVE 5½ x 5½" print squares (or 11 printed and 1 solid if you choose to add a monogrammed square as we did). Our sample cuts were as follows: 3 Sunny Quarter Dot, 4 Gray Huevos, 4 Citron Tiny Gingham, 1 Blanca White Sheeting.
  • TWELVE 5½" wide x 12½" high print rectangles. Our sample cuts were as follows: 3 Citron Stitch Petal, 3 Citron Play Stripe, 3 Citron Feeling Groovy, 3 Charcoal Disco Dot.
  • EIGHTEEN 5½" x 2½" solid strips. Our sample cuts were all in the Blanca White Sheeting.
  • FIVE 40" x 2½" solid strips. Our sample cuts were all in the Blanca White Sheeting.

For the QUILT BACK, cut the following:

  • ONE 5½" wide x 40" high print rectangle. Our sample cut was Citron Feeling Groovy.
  • ONE 28½" wide x 40" high solid rectangle. Our sample cut was Blanca White Sheeting.
  • ONE 7½" wide x 40" high solid rectangle. Our sample cut was Blanca White Sheeting.

For the QUILT BINDING, cut the following:

  • FOUR 3" x 41" print strips. Our sample cuts were all Gray Quarter Dot.

Finally, cut the lightweight batting into a 40" x 40" square.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Monogram option

  1. We added a monogram to the bottom right corner square of our quilt. This matches the monogram on our Crib Bumpers. As with the bumper project, this is totally optional, but totally cool as well. As we mentioned above, a monogram adds a wonderful bit of personalization and makes the quilt a definite keepsake.
  2. If you choose this option, as noted above, cut one of the twelve 5½ x 5½" squares from a solid fabric, and be sure to correctly size and position the monogram in this square. Our Quilt monogram is about half the size of our Bumper monogram and is positioned on the bottom right corner of its square. 
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  3. If you are new to monogramming, check out perhaps it's time for a shopping trip.

Creating the individual front patchwork panels

NOTE: Paying special attention to seam allowances is important in every project, but is essential in quilting, because your seams need to match up perfectly (quilters call this ‘perfect points'). Therefore, you need to be very careful to make sure all allowances are consistent. For this project ALL our seam allowances are ¼". If you are brand new to patchwork, check out our tutorial on quilting basics.

  1. Using our diagram above as your guide, assemble the SIX vertical patchwork panels for the quilt front. To do this, it helps to sort out the fabric cuts needed for each panel and stack them in the order to be sewn. For example, for the outside left panel in our sample we collected our seven cuts in the following order:
    5½" x 5½" Citron Tiny Gingham Square
    5½" x 2½" solid white strip
    5½" x 12½" Citron Play Stripe rectangle
    5½" x 2½" solid white strip
    5½" by 5½" Gray Huevos Square
    5½" x 2½" solid white strip
    5½" x 12½" Feeling Groovy rectangle
  2. Take the first pair (Tiny Citron Square and the solid white strip) and pin them right sides together along one 5½" side. Stitch together (remember - all seams are ¼"). Press the finished seam open.
  3. Pin the next cut in the sequence (Citron Play Stripe rectangle) right sides together with the remaining 5½" raw edge of the 5½" x 2½" strip. Stitch together and press the seam open.
  4. Pin the next cut in the sequence (another solid 5½" x 2½" strip) right sides together with the remaining 5½" raw edge of the Play Strip rectangle. Stitch together and press the seam open.
  5. I bet you are starting to see a pattern here, right? Continue adding one cut at a time until you have assembled all seven pieces. You should have six ¼" seams and the top and bottom edges should be raw.
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  6. Follow these same steps to create the remaining five vertical panels.
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Assembling the front patchwork vertical panels

  1. Find your five 2½" x 40" strips. These go between the vertical patchwork panels to create the quilt front.
  2. Working from left to right, lay the first solid strip, right sides together, along the RIGHT 40" edge of the first vertical patchwork panel, matching the raw edges. Pin in place. Don't worry is there is a bit of excess top to bottom, you can trim everyting flush later.
  3. Stitch, using a ¼" seam allowance. Press the seam open.
  4. Align the remaining raw edge of the solid strip you just stitched with the LEFT raw edge of the next vertical patchwork panel in the sequence, right sides together. Pin and stitch in place.
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    NOTE: As you pin, be sure to carefully line up the solid horizontal strips (the short white strips in our sample). As you can see in the diagram at the top of these instructions, there is a solid strip that should form through the middle of the quilt. There are also other horizontal strips that should align on an every-other-panel basis. To check this, you can pin first, then gently open up your pinned seam and use your see-through ruler to confirm the strips are horizontally aligned.
  5. Continue in this manner until all five narrow solid strips are stitched in place between the six vertical patchwork panels. The extreme left and right sides are still raw edges.
  6. Trim the quilt front if need be so top and bottom edges are flush.

Assembling the back panels

  1. The back of the quilt is simply three pieces sewn together. Find the 5½" wide x 40" high print rectangle (Citron Feeling Groovy in our sample) as well as the 28½" x 40" and 7½" x 40" solid rectangles (Blanca White Sheeting in our sample).
  2. With right sides together, pin a solid rectangle to either side of the print rectangle along the 40" sides: the large solid rectangle is on the left and the small solid rectangle is on the right (see the diagram at the very top to confirm).
  3. Stitch both sides together with our standard ¼" seam allowance. Press both seam allowances open.

Layering to make a quilt sandwich

  1. Place the assembled quilt back right side down and flat on your work surface. Layer the batting on top of the back. Align all four raw edges of both layers.
  2. Place the assembled quilt front on top of the batting, right side up. Using the top and bottom edges as your guide, line up the vertical seams of the back print print rectangle with the appropriate corresponding seams of the front patchwork panel.
  3. Pin through all five solid vertical strips from top to bottom, spacing the pins about every 5"- 6", and making sure they are exactly ¼" from seams. The pins represent where the stitching will go when you quilt the layers together. Also, the heads of the pins should be facing towards the bottom edge of the quilt. This will ensure easy removal as you are quilting the layers together.
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  4. When you get to the front print panel that corresponds with the back print panel, pin from top to bottom on the front, then flip that section of the quilt over to make sure that the back side of the pin is also ¼" from the back seam. When quilting, it's always a good practice to check now and then to make sure the back of the quilt is lining up with the front.
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    NOTE: You could also use a fabric pen or pencil (one that will FOR SURE easily erase with water or air exposure; test a sample first) to draw a line to follow that is ¼" from each seam line. Or, you could use a cool foot with lots of helpful markings, like Janome's Clear View Quilting Foot & Guide Set.

Quilting stitches

  1. Place cotton quilting thread in the machine, and wind a bobbin to match the backing fabric. We used white thread in the top and the bobbin for our sample.
  2. Following the lines of pins you have created (or your drawn lines or your presser foot markings), topstitch ¼" from each seam on the solid vertical strips. Stitch from the top to the bottom of the quilt each time, removing pins as you stitch. You are stitching through all three layers: the quilt front, the batting and the quilt back.
  3. After sewing both of these ¼"-from-the-seam stitch lines, sew a third quilting stitch line through the exact center of each solid vertical strip - right in between the two lines of stitching you just finished.
  4. To keep this line straight and centered, you can take the quilt from your machine, back to your work table, and draw the line with your fabric pen or pencil and a see-through ruler. If you are more experienced, you can use a marking on your presser foot to keep yourself aligned. As with the original lines, again stitch from the top of the quilt to the bottom.
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  5. When finished, you should have three lines of quilting stitches in each of the five solid vertical strips.
  6. Repeat this same technique to create three lines of stitching in each of the three HORIZONTAL bands. The difference here is that ONLY the very center band goes all the way across. The other two bands require that you stop your seam line on either side of the long rectangles. In other words, you are only stitching within the solid portion (the white in our sample) of the horizontal band. (Except on the back -- the horizontal stitching does go through that printed panel, but that's okay.) Our horizontal quilting stitches stop exactly when they meet the vertical quilting stitch line (see below).
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Creating and attaching the binding

  1. If necessary, trim the quilt layers so they are flush all the way around.
  2. Find the four 3" x 41" print strips. Pin them together end to end (the 3" ends) to create one long strip. Stitch together and press all seams open.
  3. Create and attach the quilt binding, using your favorite edge binding technique or one of ours:

Bias Binding: How To Make It & Attach It

How To Make Faux Mitered Corners

Ruffled Jelly Roll Tablerunner

Italiano Kitchen Bistro Placemats

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A baby quilt is a keepsake gift.


Project Concept: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson



Comments (53)

Lesley Gordon said:
Lesley Gordon's picture

I live thislove this pattern so much and would like to make it in a large queen. Where can I purchase the pattern for this? 

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

@Lesley - So glad you love our quilt. I'm sorry, but we only created it as a baby size. There isn't an option available in a queen size.

Judy Blinkenberg said:
Judy Blinkenberg's picture

There are some new lines coming out that would be perfect for this quilt! I would like to make it in Michael Millers Birds and the Bees in the purple! Thank you for this beautiful qulit pattern!!

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

@ Judy Blinkenberg - Thanks for your compliment. Let us know how your version turns out. So glad you found a new Michael Miller design to love. 

Kat L said:
Kat L's picture

Hi all!  I finished my very first quilt last night using this tutorial.  It came out so pretty, my grandson will love snuggling it!  I used Michael Miller Backyard Baby fabric (Liz, I already had made the bumper, crib sheets and a regular blanket with Sew4Home's help) and I could not be happier.  I have found a new love (besides the baby, of course ; ) - sewing!!!  Love this site - any other newbies here, trust me, you've found a gold mine!

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

@ Kat L -- congratulations on such great success. We're so glad to have you as a fan!

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

@ Esin demirel - as you can see by the post date above, this article - and therefore this collection - is from three years ago. If may be difficult to find the exact fabrics now. However, we do list the specific name of each fabric used, so you can easily search online using those names along with the phrase "where to buy" to see what you might be able to find in your area. You can also search Etsy, which offers has sellers with small quantities of older fabrics.

Janice Alexander said:
Janice Alexander's picture

Love this quilt and fabrics.  I am in the process of "hunting" for the fabrics as I just found this tutorial & fabrics have been out there a while.  It is perfect for a friend's grey and white nursery.  Just wondering about the binding.  Usually, I double the binding (fold in half) to make it sturdier. What method did you use to attach the wider binding?  I do like the way the dots look on the binding and would like to use this idea.


Jane Huffard said:
Jane Huffard's picture

I would also like to add the monogram to this project. Could you tell me where I could buy the monogram pattern used on your bumper pad and quilt?

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

@ Jane Huffard - We used a built-in monogram font on our Janome machine, but it is a common block font that I'm sure you could fine online. Oregon Patchworks Embroidery Designs is one of our favorite sources:

Barb S. said:
Barb S.'s picture

I am constructing this adorable quilt right now (my first quilt ever!) and I have a question:  I'm concerned that there's no stitching/quilting within the 12" rectangles.  How do they fare when the quilt is washed?  My friend who is an experienced quilter tells me that a block without any stitching/quilting should be no more than 5", but I also do not want to compromise the look of the modern design.  Thank you for your input. 

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

@ Barb S. - we have not experienced problems or gotten complaints about the quilting pattern on this project. However, we always encourage people to change things up to be fit their own comfort levels. I'm sure you could add a very simple straight line quilting pattern that wouldnot compromise the look.

shagufta from pakistan said:
shagufta from pakistan 's picture

i love u thanks for sharing it.this is a beautiful quilt,

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

@ Brittany - Sew4Home does not do contract sewing. We are all about teaching others to sew... like you . Try it - you'll love it. 

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

@ Kathy C - The article itself is all you need for this project. Our PDF and Print buttons are at the top of every article, to the right across from the post date. 

Sarah S... said:
Sarah S...'s picture

There's enough fabric called for in this to make two if you double the solid white and the binding...

JFB said:
JFB's picture

I just found this pattern and I have ordered all the fabric except for the Blanco White.  I can't find it anywhere.  Has it been discontinued?  If so, what would you suggest as a substitute?

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

@JFB - Michael Miller has a new collection of solids called: Cotton Couture. We recently did a series using the collection. I've included a link below. They have several whites from which to choose. Their Soft White would be nice for this project.

Michael Miller Cotton Couture:

One of our Cotton Couture projects:

Na said:
Na's picture

Just to clarify, it sayes you need 1 1/4 fabric for the quilt back. But only a small portion of it is a print fabric. Is the 2 yards do Blanca white for the front and back?

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

@ NA - Sorry for the confusion. The Solid is for the front and backas listed in the supplies: SOLID fabric for the front and back: 2 yards of 44-45" wide fabric. For the print section, you can see in the Getting Started section that the cut is 5-1/2" x 40" -- we wanted the distinctive fussy cut, which means we needed the full length but only used 5-1/2" of the width. We were doing the entire series and so used this print many other places. If you can get away with a horizonal cut, you would only need 1/4 yard.

Na said:
Na 's picture

Woh that didn't make sense! Is the 2 yards of Blancawhite for the front and back? You mentioned you need 1 1/4 for the pattern print on the back but only a small portion of the back is print. Im ordering fabric to make this, just want to make sure I have enough, and not too much, as my sewing room is already overwhelming!!!

Angela Dickson said:
Angela Dickson's picture

Do you have a pattern for the curtains in the background of the quilt photo?  The curtains are made out of the citron feelin groovy fabric.  I really like those.

jillian r said:
jillian r's picture

Can you tell me about the yellow in the fabric.  Does it have a lemon tone or more green in it?

alicia.thommas said:
alicia.thommas's picture

@jillian r: Citron is, by definition, a greenish-yellow. We found this particular citron to have just a very slight greenish cast. It's not lemon yellow, but definitely would never be described as a shade of green. My best description would be a "hint of green" but mostly yellow, and not a super-saturated (or vivid/bright) yellow. A very pleasing shade, in my opinion.

Jayne R. said:
Jayne R.'s picture
Beautiful fabric. I think that this will be my first quilt too. It is equally beautiful for a boy or a girl!
Jayne R. said:
Jayne R.'s picture
Beautiful fabric and excellent instructions. I think that this will be my first quilt too. I think it is equally nice for girl, too!
Anna1420 said:
Anna1420's picture
Hi! Such a cute little quilt. I'm currently making it, and I wanted to make it a little bigger. The easiest way for me was to keep the width 40" and make the length 60", so 1.5 times and kept all the rectangles and squares the same size as called out. For exammples I think the original plan had 12 squares, so I made 18 ( or 1.5 times) etc. so far it's working great! I'm not quite done yet but I think it's going to be really cute.
KP said:
KP's picture
Thank you! This does help a lot! Just when someone else said they changed the dimensions to fit a crib, it made me nervous because I wanted to use it for our crib. I am just going to stick with your measurements. I measured our crib and it will fit perfectly. Thank you so much for your help! I am excited to get started.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ KP - "crib size" actually covers a lot of ground and there's debate on the final dimension. The "average" is probably 34" wide x 40" -52" in length. We made our crib quilt a square, which is non-traditional, but it would certainly work in a crib. If you want to go with more of a rectangle, that will require math on your part. I can't tell for sure what the other commenters did, but it appears they increased just the length of the rectangles and didn't mess with the squares, but I'm really not sure. I wish I had the time to do a specific re-size for you, but I simply don't, so my two suggestions would be: one) stick with the square, it will still be adorable and small enough to work within a crib, 2) sketch out a rectangle that represents the size you want to finish with, then draw in the other pieces, elongating and/or widening them as needed to fill your unique width and length. Once you have all your finished sizes mapped out, go back through and add 1/4" all the way around to account for seam allowances. I hope that helps.
KP said:
KP's picture
I am also wanting to make my blanket crib size and I am so nervous because this will be my first quilt ever, but I wanted to my one for my first who is due in a couple of months. I saw somebody commented that they "added 2 inches to the rectangles". Do you add 2 inches to every piece that I cut ex: the twelve print squares, the twelve high print rectangles, eighteen solid strips and five solid strips OR did she really just add 2 inches to the high print rectangles and maybe the solid pieces and then you would have to add inches to the back too. I am just nervous that it isn't all going to match up and I don't want to ruin such a pretty quilt!
susy said:
susy's picture
I made the baby quilt for my daughter's best friend's baby shower. It came together quickly and I LOVE it! The only thing I changed was a stripe of Citron Gray Bicycles on the back instead of Feeling Groovy. It was my first machine-quilting effort and I can't wait to do another! I also tried an appliqué pillow which was a disaster. I will try again AFTER I watch the piping tutorial! Thank you!
Jamieschneg said:
Jamieschneg's picture
I just finished making this quilt and I ABSOLUTELY love it. This is the first time I have made a quilt. I did make my rectangles all 2 inches longer so that when it was finished it was 40 X 50 to fit a crib and toddler bed. The instructions were great and easy to follow. THANKS SO MUCH!!! I can't wait to start on the curtains, bumpers, etc.
alicia.thommas said:
alicia.thommas's picture
Hi Thearica, The Michael Miller Fabrics' Citron-Gray Nursery: Patchwork Baby Quilt with Monogram is an original Sew4Home pattern and tutorial. It was designed to feature the cool modern Citron-Gray Color Story fabric. You can certainly alter it to suit your fabric and size needs.
Thearica said:
I am making this quilt but using longer rectangles. I will have 3 rows down and 13 strips across with 1 1/2" finished sashing strips. This will be a lap quilt for a dear teacher from my Alma Mater. She taught me and my children. She broke her ankle and is laid up for a while. I am using a Parisville fat quarter bundle for the quilt. I actually got 3 quilts from the fat quarter bundle.. The large lap..a small version with a border using 8 of the block units and a baby quilt. When I first saw this quilt ensemble I thought I had seen the pattern before or something very similar. I have searched but cannot find the one I am thinking of.

Who is the pattern designer for this quilt?
Thearica said:
Love this quilt! Especially the fact that it incorporates black!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Eryn: you may indeed be able to get away with less fabric. We always give amounts to allow the exact cuts we created and we often use directional prints that require special fussy cutting, which means more fabric. As I mention above, we've specified all the cuts, so you can read through and map out exactly what you need. Here's what my note said above:

Quilting is all about personal choice. We created our Baby Boy Quilt to include all our Michael Miller Citron-Gray favorites, and we've listed these cuts below so you can recreate the exact design. Everything is also broken out in groups so you can select and cut your own fabrics. As with all our tutorials, we recommend reading through all the instructions once before you dive in.
Eryn said:
Eryn's picture
Does the quilt really require half yard cuts of seven print fabrics? That seems like way too much...
Sewfun said:
So in love with this set!!! I have been looking for months for a pattern like this!!
Thank you Thank you!
jgoffsylvania said:
jgoffsylvania's picture
This is a BEAUTIFUL baby ensemble. I love the colors completely! Wish I had thought of it years ago. Maybe for my next grandchild (if any!)? Beautiful style and the monogram is perfect!
Martine Fiere said:
Martine Fiere's picture
It is a beautiful grouping for baby. The little quilt is brilliant. I must do it all Merci!
Steph Tyler said:
Steph Tyler's picture
Oh my gracious! I guess I was looking too hard!! Thanks so much! I see it now smilies/wink.gif
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Steph Tyler - take a look at the diagram -- the back of the quilt is made up of three pieces -- two large solid pieces and a third piece that is an accent print. The cutting steps show this too. We used a strong directional print; you might be able to get away with a bit less. As you'll see above, this accent is a vertical piece: 5-1/2" x 40".
Steph Tyler said:
Steph Tyler's picture
I am going to make this my first baby quilt!! I am using the It's a Boy color story...I am reading through the directions...why is there a list for •PRINT fabric for the QUILT BACK: 1¼ yards of 44-45" wide fabric; when you list •SOLID fabric for the front and back: 2 yards of 44-45" wide fabric Where did you put the print on the back?! Please clarify! Thanks so much! smilies/smiley.gif