Quilting

Scrap Baby Quilt

Posts have been light, as I've been busy being non-crafty. It's my final semester of grad school (I'd do a victory lap if I wasn't so tired). After finishing some important tests for school, I rewarded myself by ordering the wedding ring shawl. For the non-knitters among you, this thing is epic. A knitted marathon. The overview of the instructions is 18 pages, and it uses about 3,500 yards of gossamer weight yarn (a sweater uses about 1,000 yards).  I'm expecting it to take a year to complete. When finished, the 72" square shawl is supposed to be so delicate that the whole thing can slide, tip to tip, through a wedding band.I think I have a thing for conquering obscenely difficult things.

But, this weekend I was on Spring Break, so it seemed like a good time for something fast and easy that would clean some scraps. I made a baby quilt top for one of the many babies being gestated among my friends and family.

The idea behind this quilt is that it can become a game to play with the wee one when on the floor. There are two blocks of each fabric, so you can point out one fabric or color and have the kiddo jump to the matching block. I think this could be a fun way to teach colors and shapes.

Baby scrap quilt.

Matching Game Quilt

Finished size

46" square

Supplies

  • 18 pairs of 6.5" squares of scrap fabric
  • .5 yard Color A for sashing
  • 5/8ths Color B for sashing (the +)
  • 50" x 50" Batting
  • 1 1/3rd yards backing fabric
  • 1/3rd yard for binding
  • Yarn for tieing
  • Thread and other common quilting notions

Cutting

From Color A, cut eight 2" strips the width of the fabric. Cut these down to eighty-four 2"x3.5" pieces (A1).

From Color B, cut ten 2" strips the width of the fabric. Cut these down to:

  • Thirty-five 5"x2" pieces (B1)
  • Fourteen 3.5"x2" pieces (B2)
  • Eighty-four 2" squares (B3)

Baby quilt top

Piecing

Sew all seams at .25" inches.

Sashing

Create forty-two vertical bars by sewing a 2" square of Color B to either side of a 2"x3.5" piece of Color A (or B3-A1-B3). Press seams.

Create seven rows of sashing by sewing B2, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B2. Press seams.

baby quitl

Rows

Sew the vertical bars to each of the 6.5" squares and press seams.

Lay the blocks in a six by six grid how you'd like the final quilt to look, being careful not to have matching blocks near each other.

Sew the blocks together to form the rows, and add a final vertical bar to the end. Press seams.

Alternating a row of sashing then a row of blocks, then sew the rows together until all have been sewn. Press the top of the quilt well.

Finishing

Back and bind.

Scrap quilt top finished

How to Resize a Quilt Pattern

Following someone elses' patterns will only get you so far in life and quilting. Knowing how to take what someone else has put forward and bend it to your whims opens you up to a ton of potential. Here's my rough guide for how to resize a quilt pattern to the dimensions you want. All you need is a calculator, scrap paper and a smidge of determination.

A note of warning: This won't work with all quilt patterns, but should work for the majority of patchwork designs.

A note of encouragement: Math isn't scary. Your high school math teacher was.

To resize a pattern, you need to decide the following:

  • What size do you want the quilt to be?
  • Do you want to change the number or the size of the blocks? (changing the number is easier)

 

What size quilt do you want?

Before you can resize the pattern, you need to know how big you want it to be.

Below are roughly the quilt dimensions I use. No one is going to get bent out of shape if you make the sides a little longer or shorter. And if they do, I recommend smiling and backing away from the crazy slowly and with no sudden movements.

This site has more information about quilt sizes.

 

Mattress

Quilt Dimensions (WxL)

Crib 32" x 54"
Twin 68" x 86"
Full 86" x 86"
Queen 90" x 90"
King 100" x 90" 

 

Fun with Math

The above measurements are for the full quilt top, but usually quilt pattern will have borders. We need to get to the dimensions of the center pieced part by removing the borders. You can change how thick you want the borders to be on the new quilt, but make sure to account for that.

Old Pattern

Width of completed quilt:______ (A)
Length of completed quilt: ______ (B)

Width of all borders: ______ (C)

Width of center block: A-C=______ (D)

Length of center block: B-C=______ (E)

New Pattern

Desired width of completed quilt:______ (a)
Desired length of completed quilt: ______ (b)

Width of all borders: ______ (c)

Width of center block: a-c=______ (d)

Length of center block: b-c=______ (e)

You will need the length and width numbers of the center sections later, so note them down.

 

Do you want to change the size or the number of blocks?

If you want to change a quilt's size, you can do so by adding additional blocks or by creating the same number of blocks, but adjusting their size. Decide which you'd prefer and do one of the following. I, personally, prefer changing the number of blocks, because it's less complicated to scale the pattern.

 

I want to change the number of blocks

This is pretty basic math: How long do you need each side to be/size of the blocks.

You should have the length and width of pieced section in fields (d) and (e) above. Divide each by the block size and round to the nearest block. If the pattern doesn't specify the dimensions of the finished block, make one and measure it. Reduce each side by .5" to account for seam allowance.

Example: Adding more blocks to my scrap quilt pattern

Things I can pull from the pattern:

  • Each square is 2.5" when finished (they are cut at 3"-.5" seam allowances)
  • We need an even number of rows (length), because the pattern has the in color sets
  • We can have even or odd in the columns (width)
  • There are no borders, so we do not have to account for this.

Assuming I want to make this a twin size quilt, I want the sides to be as close to 68"x86" as possible (referencing the chart above).

Width: 68" (width I want) /2.5" (block size) = 27.2 blocks

Length: 86" (length I want) /2.5" (block size) = 34.4 blocks

Round to the nearest block, and you'd need 27 blocks across by 34 rows (or seventeen 2-row color stripes) long

 

I want to make the same number of different sized blocks

Scaling the blocks works if you want the quilt to be the same proportions, but a different size. It would not work to scale a twin size quilt to queen, because a queen is square, whereas a twin is rectangular.

To resize the blocks, you need to resize each piece's calculations. You can end up with some off measurements (5/8th of an inch instead of 1/4th), so I only recommend this if you're comfortable with math and good at solving issues as they arise. They will.

In order to do this, you need to determine how much larger you want the pieced center to be as a percentage, and then cut each piece that percentage larger, excluding the seam allowance.

Example: Enlarging the blocks in my scrap quilt pattern

 This quilt is 36"x48". Let's say I want it to be 54" wide.

First, determine the percent increase: (new dimension)/(old dimension) 36/54=1.5 or 150% It needs to be the same percentage in both directions. Therefore the length will be 48"x1.5= 72" for a finished dimension of 54"x72".

Next, resizing the blocks: This pattern is actually easy, because there isn't much piecing. You will remove the seam allowance (.5") from the size of block the pattern tells you to cut, multiply that by the percentage you want to change the block's size, and add back in the seam allowance.

((pattern's sizes to cut - .5" seam allowance) x percentage increase) + .5" seam allowance

 Or, using the pattern's numbers, 3" cut blocks - .5" for seam allowance = 2.5" x 1.5 (the increase) = 3.75" (new finished block size) + .5" seam allowance = 4.25"

You'd cut 4.25" squares, and the blocks will be 3.75" after being sewn. You'd use the same number of blocks and placement as the pattern originally called for.

 

Get more fabric

Determining how much more fabric you need for the resized quilt is a tutorial in itself. I'm not going to go into it here, but here are some resources:

 

Triple check your math before cutting

No, really. Check it. Maybe a fourth time for luck.

Questions? Anything I have wrong?

Scrap Quilt Pattern

In economics, externalities are the unintended side effects of industry. Similarly, this quilt is the side effect of many of the other quilts I've made. I always buy more fabric than I think I'll need, so I thought it was time to turn the left overs into some thing more awesome.

This quilt is a good way to use up scraps. Each color strip uses only a 3" strip of the width of the fabric. It's a quick and easy quilt, but still interesting.

If you're interested in making other sizes, it should be simple to scale up. If you'd like help, let me know. I'm happy to do it, if there is interest.

[img:1]

Externality Quilt

Finished size

36"x48" - a bit smaller than crib size

Supplies

  • Eight sets of twelve 3" blocks
  • 2/3rd white (or contrast) fabric, cut into eight 3" x width of fabric strips
  • 56" x 80" Batting - I doubled the batting to make the quilt extra fluffy. A precut twin size piece is large enough.
  • Backing fabric - 1 1/3rd yards
  • 1/3rd yard for binding
  • Yarn for tieing
  • Thread and other common quilting notions

Top of the Quilt

For each two row set of one color, you will need one strip that is 3" by the width of the fabric. Since this quilt is meant to use scraps, you might not have strips that are the full width of the fabric. This is no big deal, it will just require more cutting.

  • If you have a 3" x width of fabric strip, grab one of the strips of white. Sew the two strips together along the long edge. Press seam toward the color. Cut this down to twelve 3" x 5.5" pieces.
  • If you do not, cut twelve 3" blocks from the scraps that you do have. From the white, cut down a strip to 3" blocks. Sew one color block to one white block. Press seam toward the color

Continue until you have ninety-six 3" x 5.5" blocks with color on one side, white on the other. For each color, chain together six of these blocks. Press the seams toward the color. You now have sixteen strips of twelve squares (alternating color and white) which can be paired by color.

For each color pair, prepare to sew them together so that the color and white alternate. Take the time to pin and line up the seams. How well your seems line up can make or break this quilt.

[img:2]

One you have sewn together the pairs of strips, lay the strips out to determine what order you would like the colors to appear in. Pin and sew together the strips until the top is together. Press the seams open.

[img:3]

Finishing

I wanted the quilt to be extra fluffy, so I doubled up the batting. Tie in the middle of the white blocks.

Bind your new quilt

[img:4]

Square Quilt Pattern

Square Quilt Pattern

I started this baby quilt pattern months ago, but am just finishing the quilt now. I wanted to make something that was easy enough for a beginner, but still modern and creative. Only two fabrics are used for the top of the quilt, and a third print for the back. You'll want to pick high contrast fabrics for your two colors for the quilt top.

The fun thing about making this quilt is that you can place the blocks as I did or get creative with how you layout each square.  The free quilt pattern is below. I have not tested the pattern, so please let me know if you find anything goofy.

Archipelago Quilt

[img:2]

Finished size

42"x45"

This is larger than a crib size, but smaller than a throw. I like my baby quilt patterns to be this size, so that the blanket is large enough to throw on the floor when they're babies, but small enough for them to drag when they start toddling around.

Supplies

  • Color A (squares): 1/2 yard
  • Color B (background): 1 yard
  • 46" x 48" Batting
  • Backing fabric: 1 1/4th yards
  • Thread and other common quilting notions

Cutting

  • Color A
    • Cut one 4.5" strip and cut it down to eight 4.5" squares
    • Cut five 3.5" strip
      • Cut one down to twelve 3.5" squares
      • Set aside the other four for borders
    • Cut one 2.5" strip and cut it down to ten 2.5" squares
    • Cut one 4.5" strip and cut it down to the following
      • Four 3.5" squares
      • Ten 2.5" squares
      • Sixteen 1.5" squares
  • Color B 
    • Cut five 4.5" strips and then cut them down to the following
      • 32 - 4.5" x 1"
      • 32 - 4.5" x 1.5"
      • 32 - 4.5" x 2"
      • 16 - 4.5" x 4.5'
    • Cut four 1.5" strips and then cut them down to the following
      • 32 - 1.5" x 2"
      • 32 - 1.5" x 2.5"
    • Cut one 3.5" strip and cut it down to the following
      • 32 - 3.5" x 1"
      • 3 - 2.5" squares
    • Cut one 6.5" strip and cut it approximately 14" from the selvage

Piecing

Blocks

All the blocks are assembled the same. Using the pieces listed for each block type, do the following until all blocks are complete.

  • Sew the shorter blocks to the center square
  • Press the seams toward the outside
  • Sew the long side on each side
  • Press toward the outside

Block A - 8 total

These are the 4.5" Color A squares. Done!

Block B - 16 total

  • Center square - 3.5" square
  • Short sides - 3.5" x 1"
  • Long sides - 4.5" x 1"

Block C - 16 total

  • Center square - 2.5" square
  • Short sides - 2.5" x 1.5"
  • Long sides - 4.5" x 1.5"

Block D - 16 total

  • Center square - 1.5" square
  • Short sides - 2" x 1.5"
  • Long sides - 4.5" x 2"

Block E - 16 total

These are the 4.5" Color B squares.

Center Piecing

Sew the blocks together in the following order, press the seams, then sew the rows together from top to bottom.

  1. D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E | E
  2. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  3. E | E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D
  4. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  5. D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E | E
  6. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  7. E | E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D
  8. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E
  9. D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E | E
  10. E | D | C | B | A | B | C | D | E

I played with some alternative layouts, if you're interested in trying something else.

[img:3]

[img:4]

[img:5]

Borders

Sew shorter borders on the sides. Press the seams.

Sew the other borders on. Press the seams.

Backing Fabric

I like to piece the backing fabric, both because it looks awesome and it saves you fabric for quilts that are just a little too wide for 42" backing fabric.

Strip insert

  • Sew the remaining seven (four color A, three color B) 2.5" squares into a strip, alternating Color A and B. Press the seams.
  • Sew the 2.5" x 14.5" Color B strips on each side. Press the seams.
  • Sew the two 6.5" wide strips to each end of this piece.

Finish backing

  • About 14" in, cut the backing fabric the long way
  • Sew each piece on either side of the insert
  • Press seams

[img:6]

Back, quilt and bind your new quilt

I stippled in the white and did a design in each block. Be creative

[img:7]

Gavin's Baby Quilt Pattern

Gavin's Baby Quilt Pattern

Check out my new nephew! His name is Gavin, and he's snuggly, cute, and all kinds of awesome.

[img:1]

Such a perfect little person clearly deserves a quilt. He's going to grow up to be either a marine biologist or an avid fisherman, so he got an aquatic theme. Or my sister was doing his bedroom in brown and blues, and I complied with her colors. It's one of those.

[img:6]

Here's the pattern. I am writing this off my notes and haven't tested it, so you are forewarned that there might be typos. Please let me know if you have any issues.

The center of this quilt is comprised of one piece that is arranged to create a design that resembles seaweed.

Finished size

36" x 42" - I tend to make baby quilts larger than crib size, because babies aren't crib size for very long.

Supplies

Piecing

  • Color A (fish prints): If you use one color, you will need 1/2 yard, but this would also be a good place to get rid of scraps.
  • Color B (water bg color): 1/4th a yard - you will need a full 9" of width, so you might want to buy more to be safe
  • Color C (turquoise border and binding): 1 1/4 yards
  • 42" x 48" Batting
  • Backing fabric - 1 1/4 yards of 56" fabric
  • Thread and other common quilting notions

Cutting

  • Color A - Cut five (5) 2.5" x width of fabric strips
  • Color B - Cut two (2) 4.5" x width of fabric strips
  • Color C - Cut three (3) 2.5" x width of fabric strips

Piecing

Center piecing

Sew one Color A strip to each of the Color B and Color C strips. Press seams.

Cut each of these down into 2.5" pieces. The pieces created from Color B should look like the below. This is 'Piece 1", which should be 6.5" square. Set aside those created from Color C for when you're read to work on the border.

[img:2]

Sew together an inverted and upright Piece 1 along the long edge. Press seam, and sew another Piece 1 to the block so that the squares alternate sides. Press seams. Your completed block should look like this.

[img:3]

Keeping all blocks upright, sew together six rows of five blocks. Press seams.

[img:4]

Alternate upright and inverted rows, making sure that the squares do not line up. Sew together. Press seams.

This completes the center of the quilt. It should be approximately 30.5 x 36.5 inches.

[img:5]

Borders

I don't cut borders until the center piecing is done, since size can get off. I recommend measuring and adjusting for your quilt's actual size.

From the remaining Color C fabric, cut

  • Two 2.5 x 30.5" strips
  • Two 2.5 x 38.5" strips
  • Two 2.5 x 32.5" strips
  • Two 2.5 x 40.5" strips

Sew the 2.5 x 30.5" strips to the top and bottom of the central block. Press seams.

Sew the 2.5 x 38.5" strips to the sides. Press seams.

Using the pieces you set aside ealier, piece the second border. Being sure to alternate the print and solid, piece together two strips of fifteen (15) squares and two of twenty (20) squares.

Sew the shorter strips to the top and bottom. Press seams, and sew longer strips to the sides. Press seams.

Sew the 2.5 x 32.5" strips to the top and bottom. Press seams, and sew the final 2.5" x 40.5" strips to the sides. Press seams.

This is the completed quilt top. It should be approximately 34.5" x 40.5"

Quilt and bind. I quilted it to emphasize the movement of the water, stitching in some little fish as I went.

[img:7]