A baby-sized quilt is a great size to make for your first quilt and this one is very simple to make. The size makes it manageable to quilt with almost any sewing machine and is quick to make.
This learn-to-quilt video and photo tutorial series will teach you how to make this cute baby quilt with 5-inch squares. The series of posts demonstrates every step in the process of making a quilt which makes it an excellent quilt for a beginner.
Our first post in our beginner quilting series demonstrates how to cut five-inch patchwork blocks for a beginner baby quilt.
At the end of this post, you will find links to the other posts in our beginner quilting series which include: how to assemble the blocks, how to make a backing, making a quilt sandwich by layering and pin basting, how to quilt the top and binding the quilt.
This quilt would make a wonderful community service project. Our quilt guild donates quilts to Comfort Cases which is a wonderful organization that provides backpacks to foster kids.
It would also be an excellent baby shower gift to make and would be special for the recipient.
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Select the Fabrics for the beginner baby quilt
Select the fabrics you would like to use in your baby quilt. This quilt will consist of thirty 5" squares. To make it easier, I selected a half yard of three coordinating fabrics to use for my baby quilt. The number of fabrics you select is up to you. To make a more scrappy quilt, select many different fabrics. A stack of coordinating fat quarters could be cut into 5" squares to make this quilt.
Another option is to purchase a charm square pack and use that for your 5" squares. The advantage of using a charm pack is that there would be no cutting the squares.
What is a charm pack? A charm pack is sold in quilt stores and is a package of 5" squares. The pack usually contains around 45 squares from a single line of fabric. There are usually multiple squares of each fabric in the fabric line. Using two charm packs and some yardage, a nice child-sized quilt can be made.
If you select to use a charm pack, skip the rest of this tutorial and look for the next one at the bottom of this page.
CUTTING THE BLOCKS with a rotary cutter
For quilting, use a mat board, rotary cutter, and rulers for cutting the fabric. It's important to cut accurately sized squares so that they will fit together correctly and the seams will match up. Look at the end of this post for links to purchase these supplies.
No matter how straight the edge of your fabric appears, it's best to cut a small amount off the edge to make sure it's straight. Otherwise, you may end up with some blocks which are bigger/smaller than they should be.
To cut off the edge, first, make sure your fabric is folded in half and the selvages are lined up. The selvage is the edge of the fabric with the printing from the manufacturer. Line this edge up with a line on your cutting mat. Take your long ruler, make sure it's straight and carefully cut a small piece off so that the edge is straight as shown below.
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Cut Five Inch Strips from the fabric
Next, you will cut 5" strips from the fabric. I only needed two strips to get 10 blocks from each color. You may need more or fewer strips depending on the width of your fabric and the number of blocks you need. Remember since your fabric is folded over, you will get two blocks each time you cut one strip.
Use your ruler and cut a strip 5" wide across the fabric. If your ruler is 5" wide, you can use the width of the ruler to cut the strip. Or, you can align the straight edge of your fabric along a line on the mat board and use the measurements on the mat board to cut the 5" strip.
Be sure your ruler is straight when you are cutting by lining up the ruler with the numbers on both sides of the mat board. If you need more than one strip, cut all of the strips now.
Take the strip you cut and align it on a line on the mat board again. Make sure your ruler is straight and cut off the selvage.
Subcut fabric strip into Five Inch Squares
Next, use your ruler to cut the 5" squares. I used a 6.5" square ruler to cut my squares. A long ruler can also be used to cut the squares. Just be sure to line up the edges of the fabric with lines on the ruler/mat board to make sure you are cutting exactly 5" square.
If you do not want to cut out 5" squares from fabric, you can purchase a charm square pack. Charm square packs usually contain 42-5" squares of fabric from a specific line of fabrics.
This makes it easy to coordinate fabrics since all fabrics in one line of fabric are meant to go together. The number of different fabrics varies by charm pack. You will have more than one square of each fabric in the pack.
We now have thirty 5" squares cut out and are ready to assemble the quilt top.
For the next step in creating your quilt, look below for the "Next Post" tutorial.
BEGINNER QUILT SERIES
OTHER QUILTING TECHNIQUES
Another series of tutorials for beginning quilting is by Diary of a Quilter.
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