Make a Baby Quilt – Part 1 – Fabric Selection & Assembly


Hi, it’s Jenny, from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. We have a fun project for you today. We’re going to take you from start to finish through a baby quilt. We’re going to have four segments in this quilting project and the first one will be putting the top together, the second one will have to do with borders, the third one will have to do with
how we sandwich our quilt together, so that it’s ready to quilt, and the last one will be onthe binding.

For those of you who have quilted before, this is a basic beginning quilt, but it will be good to brush up on your skills if you want to watch it. So the first thing that we’re going to do in the first part of this series is we’re going to choose a Charm Pack, and I have chosen this Chickadee Charm Pack from Robert Kaufmann. It’s an adorable Charm Pack. The front piece doesn’t do it justice, but I will show you how I lay this

What I do with a Charm Pack is, I open it up, and when a designer designs these they generally separate them into colors, and so that’s what I do when I put them out. This one has pinks, and from pink to white, yellows, blues, and some greens, and I just separate them into piles. Some of these are a little bit mixed around. Let me see if we can straighten them out a little bit.

We’ve got a white one over here, and the reason I do this is so that when you lay them out you get all different colorways, so that it’s a good mix
of color. I’m going to try and explain terms and things that I use.

So what we’re going to do, all these fabrics are going to be different, so we’re going to take them, theres forty squares in here. So, what we want to do is we want to figure out how many we can get wide and long, and six times seven is forty-two so that’s actually two squares extra. So, if
we go the next smallest, six times six is thirty, six times five is, ooh, now you get to see all my mathematical skills. We’re going to try and do close to a six by seven and we’ll see what we end up with. We might have to add a couple more little pieces, but this’ll give us a good size.

So, we’re going to lay them out six across. We need to get a pink up
here. So, one, two, three, four, five, and six. So, that’s a good mix, we’re just going to lay these out. Let’s see this white one, we can put a white one over here. We need a pink on this side, maybe another blue. So, now how I get ready to take it over to the sewing machine is, I’m going to take these, and I’m going to fold these on top of each other like this, and I’m going to do it all the way down this row. It’s easy to get mixed up when
doing this, but this is the way I do it so that I’ll remember.

Then what I do is I take the bottom one, and I stack it on the top one like this, and then I’m going to go over to the sewing machine and I’m going to sew the right edge of all of these together, and I’m going to chain piece them so they’ll all be hooked together and we’ll see how you do that. So, follow me over to the sewing machine.

OK, so here we are at the machine and to explain chain piecing, it’s when you sew groups of squares together without cutting them apart. So, we’re going to start here. These are lined up, we’re going to sit them in here
under our ¼” foot and we are going to sew along, ¼” and then we don’t cut it, we just fit the next two in, and that is chain piecing. Since we don’t have to back stitch in quilting, because all of our seams are enclosed in another seam, it just speeds up the process a little bit.

OK, now we’re done with our chain piece and you can see why it’s called that. It all comes together in a chain, and you really don’t want to break this up or forget where this is because this is your order, that we picked them up. So, we’re going to go over to the ironing board now and we’re going to press.

OK, so now we have these laid out here on our ironing board. We grab them two at a time we chain pieced them together, and we’re just going to press them open, and what you do is you want to set your stitches, and then you want to open this top piece and just set it on there. We don’t do a lot of wiggling, ironing. We mostly just do pressing. So, let’s press that seam, and then iron it. Press it, when you press it that sets the stitches, and actually I’m not exactly sure what that does I just know that it sets the stitches, and that’s what I’ve been taught!

So, there we have all this pressed. So, remember my blue was at the bottom, in the corner. So, we’re going to snip that and lay it out, and the next one will come there and we just want to make sure that all of our colors still blend and that we don’t have colors like two yellows right next to each other, or two stripes like that. So, we’ll move that, and this is a good stage where if something doesn’t go right, it’s easy just to move it around and make that change. So, it looks pretty good though, we have one more here.

Alright, that actually looks pretty good in the mesh of things, and I think what we’ll do is go ahead, and do the chain piecing on both of these sets as well, and then we’ll start putting rows together. So, we’ll meet you back here in a few minutes. I’ll do this piecing.

OK, so we have all the segments sewn together in sections of two, and you may notice that they’re in a little different order. I just moved them around a little bit, so they were aesthetically pleasing to me. There is no quilt police in quilting! That’s one thing you have to remember, so, you may find a better way to organize how you sew your strips together and things like that. None of that really matters, it just matters that you get that ¼” seam, and you get that top together.

So, now we’re going to start doing it in rows. This is how I do it so I’ll take these two, right here, and I’m going to attach it to here, and then I’m going to attach this one. So, we’re going to do them in long rows this way. So, let’s go ahead and do that.

OK, so now we’re sewing the edge of this row together, ¼”, and you’ll notice that these little squares, they’re pinked on the end, and I generally go from the outside edge. I don’t think it really matters as long as you’re consistent.

So, what we’re going to do now is we are going to, I think I might have this backwards, we’re going to lay this out and we’re going to sew this end piece on here, so we have the whole row. And then we are going to press all of our back seams going in one direction, and I’ll show you why that is important in just a second.

OK now what we’re going to do is we’re going to iron all these seams going one direction. Some of them you’ll have to coax a little bit. We don’t want to do too much moving, and the reason we’re doing this is so that when we put our rows together the seams will nest together. Which means they’ll just fit right in with each other, and I’ll show you how to do that in a second.

OK, so now we’re going to take this one row, and we’re going to lay it back down on the counter and make sure all the squares still blend, and we don’t have to many greens or pinks together. So, now you can see that this is all together it still looks good with the bottom squares. So, we’ll sew another row together, and then I’ll show you that nesting.

Now you can see on this that we’ve ironed the seams going that direction on this row, and this direction on that row. That is so that when we put them together, top to bottom, see these little seams on this edge will just nest together, and that will give you nice sharp points, and so we’ll go ahead and sew this row together, and nest those seams.

Now, if it makes you feel more comfortable you can put a little pin at each juncture. I would do that if I were on a bigger quilt. These little squares, I think I can keep them straight. So, let’s go do that.

OK, so as we’re sewing along on our row we’ll fit these quilts. Nesting means laying right close to each other. So that your seams match up, so that your corners are sharp, and nesting also reduces the bulk of fabric. See, you have that seam going that way, and that seam going this way. If it was all going this way all your bulk would be on one side.

So, we’re putting it on each side, and we’re going to sew that together. You can pin it if it makes you feel more comfortable. So, now we have our rows of two sewn together, and we’re going to attach these together, and our quilt top will be done.

posted: All, Beginner Quilting Tutorials, Charm Packs, Common Quilting Techniques, Quilts and Quilt Blocks | tagged: ,
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  • Anne

    Have embarked on my first quilt for new grandson. Thank you so much for your clear and CHEERFUL videos. The whole idea is so daunting (which is probably why at 65 this is my first attempt) but you give me  the confodence to have a go.
    Cheers! from Anne, York UK

    • Sarah

      Wonderful to hear, Anne!  best of luck to you on your quilting adventure!! You will do a fabulous job and create an heirloom for the new baby to cherish!  Have a wonderful day!

  • Mosquito99

    Beautiful!   My Great Granbaby #6 is due in May2012. As old as I am, I’m still learning.Thank You Much. Mary

  • Thank you so much! I learned a lot!

    • JenM

      We’re so happy it’s helpful! Happy Quilting!

  • TootsNYC

    How do you iron the seam allowances after you sew the rows together?

    And, what exactly do you mean by a 1/4-inch foot?