My Favorite Baby Quilt Pattern
Baby quilts are often my favorite quilts to make. There are many reasons why they are a favorite for not just me, but most quilters. For one thing, they are quick to make. They also are useful. Most adults know someone who is having a new baby. Is there any better gift than a handmade gift? On top of that, it's a handmade quilt the baby will lay on, crawl over, and eventually snuggle under. Not only will the family be happy with the gift, they will get years of use out of it. One more thing - they are just cute. You know that fabric with the adorable sailboats, or daisies, or gnomes that you have been meaning to use, but just can't figure out a use for? Yep, baby quilt.
Now that we all agree baby quilts are the best size quilt to make, there are a few things I look for in a baby quilt.
1. I like something in the middle. Maybe this is a circle, or square, or where lines cross, or just blank space. Bottom line, I want something in the middle to focus my eyes on. I have used quilts in the past for taking pictures of my babies as they grow and it is really good to have a place for them in the middle.
2. I need the option for several different colors or printed fabrics. I love a two-tone quilt just as much as the next quilter, but for a baby, I want more. This is my opportunity in my quilting to throw a bunch of colors together or use brights - something I rarely do.
3. The pattern should be something between a traditional quilt and a modern quilt. I love modern quilts, but I also don't want it to be too modern for a baby. It comes off a bit stiff. On the other hand, too traditional may not be as fresh and exciting as a more modern look. Something in between is perfect!
The Beginnings Quilt Pattern
I've made many baby quilts I love from my own patterns, other people's patterns or improv quilts, making it up as I go. Last year, I needed a good pattern for a few of my favorite people who were expecting. This is what I came up with! The Beginnings quilt pattern is my favorite quilt for a modern, yet traditional baby quilt that can be made with so many fabric combinations.
And the best part, it's free for you! Enter your details on the top of the page to receive the PDF pattern.
This quilt pattern borrows many traditional ideas from old quilts. The quaint patchwork in the middle, the border with squares in the corner, the simplicity of many small pieces are all things I have loved from traditional quilts. I incorporated all of these components into a modern quilt that is so fun to make.
The Ruby Star Society Version
The original Beginnings Quilt was made with scraps from one of my favorite fabric collections - from Ruby Star Society. I love these bright colors with flowers and sunshine. I have full details for making this quilt in the pattern you can download above. Here are a few tips for you.
1. Put all your fabrics together in one pile to start. You want a large variety. Make sure you have enough variety in light and dark tones. A great way to do this is to take a picture of all your fabrics and then turn it to black and white. You should have equal amount of black to dark grey to lighter gray or white.
2. After cutting out the squares, get them ready to chain piece. If you haven't heard of chain piecing, here is a tutrial. It makes this part so much faster.
3. Once the squares have been sewn into rows, press the seams for each row in the opposite direction from the last row. This will help all the seams to easily next right into place.
4. When you cut the large square diagonally to go around your center diamond, you can use a 1/8 inch stay stitch to keep it from stretching. To do this, mark your cutting diagonal line on your square. Stitch 1/8th inch away from that line on both sides. Cut down the middle on your marked cut line. Continue to sew this onto your diamond.
5. If your final pieces are a bit off, don't stress. Sometimes seam allowances make everything a half inch or so off what they should be. Just adjust the length of your final strips to make it work.
That's all. Make sure to download the free pattern above to get started! You can always leave a comment or email me with questions or finished quilts.
Enjoy a bit more inspiration below.