Sunday 2 August 2020

The Quick and Easy Baby Quilt

I think I've finally found it: the (almost) perfect formula for a quick and easy baby quilt. If you've been following my blog, then you know that I've been looking for a baby quilt pattern that works up quickly but still looks good. I thought I'd found it when I made Baby Alter Ego, but after making two of those, I was bored. (Even though they had significantly different fabrics, and I haven't even finished the first one, which exists somewhere in my stash as a UFO). I honestly don't know how people can make the same quilt pattern more than once or twice. But whether or not it's a personality flaw to get bored easily and constantly need a new challenge, that's me. And so, the search continued. I have made several baby quilts since Baby Alter Ego, most of which I was quite happy with, but none of them really fit the bill of being quick and easy. So, having 3 more baby quilts to make, I was once again perusing Jenny Doan's tutorials. And I found the Chevron quilt. 
And the Herringbone quilt, which I posted about previously. And I realized that this is basically the same quilt, just with the HSTs arranged differently. In case, you don't want to take the time to watch the video, the idea is this: take a 10" square of print and a 10" square of background, right sides together, and stitch a ¼" seam all the way around the outside. Then cut on the diagonal, corner to corner in both directions. This yields 4 HST units that are a little over 6½" square. So, I calculated how many HST units I would need for a reasonable sized baby quilt and came up with 63, 9 rows of 7 units, which produces a quilt about 44" x 55". So my fabric requirements for the Quick and Easy Baby Quilt are: 

  • 16 - 10" squares of print
  • 16 - 10" squares of background
  • 3 yards of backing fabric (approx.)
  • ½ yard binding fabric (approx.)
The main drawback to this method is that you are dealing with all bias edges on the HST units. So handle carefully to avoid distortion, maybe even starching the 10" squares before you start stitching and cutting. And you may want to add a narrow border to help prevent distortion during quilting. But I didn't, and so far I've completed 3 of them without any really significant problems. You will also end up with 1 extra HST unit, because using 16 - 10" squares produces 64, and you'll only need 63. I assume I will eventually accumulate enough orphan HSTs to make another quilt. 😉
Chevron Quilt
I quilted the Chevron quilt using Alphabet Soup #2 by Patricia Ritter from Urban Elementz. 

After completing this quilt top, I figured I would just come up with my own arrangement for the next quilt. Initially, I was going to do some kind of star arrangement, maybe with pinwheels. But then decided on something totally different and came up with A-Maze-Ing, which you can see in the picture at the top of the post. The recipient of this quilt did her nursery in blues and greys. Initially, I thought, "Oh, that will be a boring quilt." I'm big on bright, cheerful colours. But I was actually surprised by how stunning this quilt is, and it has become one of my favourite quilts. (When I posted it in a quilting group on Facebook, one quilter referred to it as a modern quilt and I thought, "Oh, I've made a modern quilt, and I actually like it.")
Then I had to pick the perfect pantograph, and chose Celtic Square by Quilting Creations from Urban Elementz.
A word about the backing - I hadn't purchased backing fabric for either of these quilts. And being in the midst of the pandemic, I didn't want to go to the fabric store, unless I really had to. I had 3 yards of an orange ombre that I considered using for the Chevron quilt, but I just didn't feel it was quite right. I have some ice cream fabric and some popsicle fabric, both of which would work for baby quilts, but I didn't consider either of them appropriate for these quilts. Then I found some fabric that was navy blue with stars and I figured that would work for both quilts, but I only had 4 yards. Doing some calculations, I cut the fabric into three lengths, stitched two seams, and was able to use it for both quilts by putting one after the other on the frame. 
Yikes! That was "backing chicken" in both length and width.  But I managed it, thank the Lord. 
Here's the actual backing fabric: 
In case you want to try my idea for the Quick and Easy Baby quilt and need some ideas for different arrangement for HST units, check out this video:

Just bear in mind that she uses a square layout with an even number of units, whereas my idea for a baby quilt is a rectangle, with an odd number of units. 
So, there you have it - a baby quilt that uses the same instructions, but can be different each time. 

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