Are you looking for a baby quilt to make? This Sweet Bees baby quilt just may be your ideal quilt.
This quilt is made with a border fabric from the Sweet Bees fabric line by SusyBee. Because the quilt is made from a border fabric that is bidirectional, we have rotated the blocks to match the direction of the fabric. This means the quilt doesn't have a specific top and bottom and can be used in either direction.
This quilt pattern is also a panel quilt idea. If using a panel, the blocks would be placed all in the same direction to match the panel direction.
This quilt is ideal for any fabric that has larger (approximately 5") motifs to feature in the center of the propeller blocks. The quilt features a large section for the panel or border fabric and four blocks on one side of the quilt along with a filler strip.
The propeller block has a large section to feature motifs from the fabric used in the large section of the quilt. This block could also be made with a center four patch instead of the motif.
Using an Accuquilt Go! cutting system, a Go! Qube, and the free propeller block pattern, this quilt stitches up quickly. Any size Go! Qube can be used but we used a 10" Qube for our sample.
This quilt is easily adjustable for different sized quilt panels or quilt border fabric by changing the width of the filler strip. It can accommodate any size Qube, by altering the number of blocks and the size of the filler strip to fit the length of your panel or border fabric.
The quilt can be made wider by cutting a larger piece of the border fabric. To make the quilt longer, we give a couple of alternate layout ideas.
Are you looking for panel quilt ideas? Visit our web page Panel Quilt Ideas for lots of other ideas and patterns.
Learn more about the Sweet Bees Baby Quilt pattern by watching our video or keep reading this post.
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WHAT YOU NEED for the sweet bees baby quilt
- 1 yard Sweet Bees Border Fabric by World of Susybee (25" for the panel section and another 11" for the fussy cut blocks)
- 1/2 yard of Green Background with Yellow Bees by World of Susybee
- 1/4 yard yellow fabric
- Fat Quarter of Orange fabric
- 1-1/2 yard backing Fabric
- Binding Fabric - 1/4 yard of two fabrics for Flange Binding OR 3/8 yard of one fabric for a quick quilt binding - See binding section.
- Accuquilt Go! or Accuquilt Go! Big Cutter
- Any size Go! Qube
- 72 Block Patterns PDF
- Sewing Machine
- Scissors, Mat, Rotary Cutter & Ruler(s)
Find links to the fabric and products needed for this quilt at the end of this tutorial.
Sweet Bees Quilt Layout Options
For the Sweet Bees Quilt in this tutorial, the final size is approximately 35" x 42". This includes the "panel" cut to 25" wide by 43" (width of fabric) and the 10" propeller blocks on the side of the quilt.
I used EQ8 to create the photos below of the layout and alternate layout.
For a wider quilt, the "panel" can be cut wider than 25" to add more width.
To make a longer quilt, another row of 10" propeller blocks can be added along the bottom of the quilt. This will add 10" to the length of the quilt.
I also considered adding an orange border around the panel. This is another option to increase the width and height of the quilt by a smaller amount.
INSTRUCTIONS for the Sweet Bees Baby Quilt
These instructions will be for the first layout option shown above. Alter the measurements as needed if making an alternate layout option or using a different size Go! Qube.
Finished Quilt Size: 35" x 42" (approximate)
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Seam Allowance: 1/4"
STEP 1: Cut the fabrics
Cut the Sweet Bees border fabric to be 25-1/2" in width. Trim off the selvages along the bottom of the flower stems. This should make the material approximately 41 1/4" long.
Cut the filler strip to be 3-1/4" x 10-1/2". The filler block will accommodate differences in the length of the border fabric.
Set these fabrics aside for use later. The remaining border fabric will be used for the propeller blocks.
STEP 2: Stitch four Propeller Blocks
Make four propeller blocks by following our tutorial, Propeller Quilt Block with Accuquilt Go!
Use the leftover Sweet Bees border fabric (not the 25-1/2" piece!) for the fussy cut centers of the propeller blocks.
Pick some cute areas of the fabric to feature in the center of the four propeller blocks.
Step 3: Sew the Blocks together
Next, make the strip of blocks to sew onto the side of the quilt using the four propeller blocks.
Take two blocks and sew them together with the center motifs facing in the same direction.
Match the corners up and pin them to hold them in place while sewing. If the seams of the blocks have been ironed in the same direction, the seams should interlock together. This makes it easier to have matching points to the triangles.
Sew the seam to connect the two blocks together removing the pins as you go.
Sew the second two blocks together in the same way. You will have two sets of two blocks each as shown below.
Attach the two sets of blocks together. So that the blocks will face the same direction as the border fabric, be sure to turn the blocks so that the center motifs are facing away from one another.
See the photo below, the blocks on the right are facing the opposite direction to the ones on the left. The tops of the two blocks meet in the center.
Sew the two sets of blocks together. Press all seams open to help reduce bulk.
Step 4: Add the Filler Strip
The filler strip can be sewn to either end of the block strip.
Sew the filler block with a 1/4" seam allowance and press the seam towards the filler block.
The block strip is completed.
Step 5: Add Block Strip to Border Fabric
Lay the block strip along one side of the long edge of the border fabric piece cut in step 1. Pin the blocks and the border fabric with the right sides together.
Since the quilt is bi-directional, the block strip can be pinned to either side of the border fabric. Pin starting with the block end of the border strip. We want to include the entire blocks in the quilt. The filler strip could hang off the end a little and be trimmed off later.
Sew the blocks and border fabric and press the seam towards the border fabric.
The quilt top is complete.
The finished quilt top will be approximately 41-1/4" x 35-1/2".
Step 6: Quilt Backing
I had enough fabric to make two baby quilts. For the first quilt, I had enough quilt backing fabric to cover the quilt with one piece since the backing is 43" wide. The 1-1/2 yards of backing fabric will be plenty to use as a one-piece backing for your quilt.
For my second quilt, I didn't have quite enough fabric left over to cover the entire back. So, I pieced the back of the quilt using some extra blocks I made and a piece of extra filler strip fabric.
If you need a pieced quilt backing, follow this for an idea.
After making the propeller blocks, I found that I had cut several extra quarter square triangles and I assembled them together to make two 7-1/2" x 7-1/2" blocks. Sew these two blocks together along one side and press the seams open.
Next, cut a piece of fabric 7-1/2" wide by the width of fabric (WOF). Cut the WOF strip in half. Sew each of the halves of the WOF strip to the sides of the two-block set.
Press the seams towards the strip.
Cut the backing fabric at the 10" line to make a place to insert the new strip. By inserting it there, it is not centered so I don't need to worry if it's perfectly centered on the back of the quilt.
Align the end of the strip with one side of the backing fabric. This will offset the two blocks so they are not centered. Again, this is on purpose so you do not need to worry that the blocks are centered properly!
Above is the finished backing fabric. It's folded in half but you can see that the blocks are not in the center of the fabric and the strip itself is also offset from the center of the backing.
This will make it easier to layer. The quilt top and backing are ready to be put together into a quilt.
If you need more instructions on piecing a quilt backing, please click the link for a tutorial.
Step 7: Layer and Pin Baste
Layer the backing fabric face down on a table, then place the batting fabric on top. Place the quilt top face up on top of the batting fabric. I like to use Warm & Natural batting in my quilts.
Smooth out the layers and pin-baste them together. Or, use your favorite method for basting your quilt. We have a tutorial on layering and pin basting a quilt available through the link.
To begin the straight-line quilting, I used a chalk marker to draw a straight line through the center of the border fabric.
Step 8: Quilting the Layers
For my quilts, I decided to quilt horizontal lines through the border fabric and then vertical lines through the blocks. I quilted each quilt a bit differently.
For the first quilt, I quilted the horizontal lines 2" apart. I only quilted two lines vertically through the blocks and the lines outlined the sides of the center motif.
The second quilt was quilted with horizontal lines 1-1/2" apart. For the blocks, I quilted four lines. Two were the same as the first quilt, and then two more lines were added going through the triangle blocks.
I do like how the second quilt turned out with the quilting a bit better than the first one.
Tips on Quilting the Layers
I used Sulky Blendables Cotton thread in tans to quilt the top. This thread blends into the background and allows the border fabric design to show. I really love these variegated threads for quilting.
A walking foot is also helpful to keep the layers feeding through the sewing machine at the same rate.
Stitch the horizontal lines by starting at the center edge of the border fabric. Be sure to pull up the bobbin thread before starting to stitch. Start with a very short tacking stitch and then stitch across the quilt. For a video tutorial on Straight Line Quilting, click the link.
I marked the first line with marking chalk. Follow the first line stitching across the quilt. You only need to mark the first line since the walking foot guide can be used for the remaining lines.
Setup your walking foot guide to the width of the lines. Stitch the remaining lines by using the guide to follow the previously stitched line.
If you have a needle down on stop option, set this while quilting. Having the needle down when you stop, keeps the fabric from shifting.
While stitching, keep your eye on the guide, not the needle and presser foot. This will keep you going straight. Keep your hands away from the needle though!
Stitch all of the lines starting from the center and moving towards one short side of the quilt. Then go back to the center and start stitching the lines on the other half of the quilt.
Bury the thread ends into the quilt and trim the extra thread.
The photos show the quilting and how it doesn't detract from the design on the border fabric panel.
After stitching the horizontal lines, stitch the vertical lines through the blocks.
Step 9: SQUARE UP THE QUILT TOP
After the quilting is complete, square the quilt. Click the link for a tutorial on How to Square Up your Quilt Top.
Squaring up a quilt top is the process of removing the extra batting and backing around the edges of the quilt and also making the quilt as "square" on the corners as possible.
Step 9: Binding & Label
To finish the edges of the quilt, add a quilt binding. My favorite binding is the Flange Binding. This binding is sewn on completely by machine and also requires no hand sewing but it uses two fabrics.
For both quilts, I used the green bee fabric for the binding. For the flange fabric, I used yellow for the first quilt and orange fabric for the 2nd quilt.
Use our binding calculator to figure out the number of strips to cut for creating the binding for this quilt.
Don't forget to put a label on the quilt so everyone will know who made this fabulous baby quilt!
Below shows the back of the 2nd quilt and the front of the first quilt.
And below is a photo of the front of the 2nd quilt along with the back of the first quilt.
Below is a close-up of the first quilt.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Additional Panel Quilt Ideas