Howdy howdy y'all! On Monday I found out that I have a baby shower for my hubby's boss's wifey on Sunday, nothing like finding out at the last minute that I needed to make stuff. Baby quilts are my thang, that's what all new babies need. Boobies and a blankie, that's about all they need
So I figured why keep my secrets to myself I can share with you fine folks!
So here goes:
2 fat quarters of 4 coordinating fabrics, and 3 fat quarters of a fifth coordinating color, fat quarters (for those that don't know) are a cut of fabric that measures 18 inches by 22 inches and they are so useful, 4 fat quarters equals a yard of fabric.
For these fabric we will call them Fabric A,B,C,D and E respectively.
Fabric A will be your darkest, Fabric B, lighter than A, Fabric C, lighter than B, and Fabric D lighter than C. Fabric E will be a coordinating color that will be used for the binding of the quilt.
Start by cutting ALL the fat quarters into 3 inch strips, since a fat quarter measures 18 X 22 if you can the 18 inch side into 3 inch strips you'll end up with 6-3X22 inch strips. Lay fabric E aside as we'll use it last for the binding.
Lay all of the strips of fabric A on top of fabric B and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
You can strip piece these together, this means when you get to the end of your first strip, go ahead and start sewing on the next strip without cutting the thread from your machine. At the end you'll have a heap of strips out the back of your machine.
Press your fabric towards the darker color always. When all of the A/B combos are sewn lay fabric C on top of fabric D and sew in the same fashion as you sewed the A/B strips. When you're all done trim the stitches attaching the strips. Press again remembering to always press towards the dark side. Now, lay fabric C on top of fabric B and sew the same strip piecing way with all your strips.
Now you'll have 12-22 inch long strips of four fabrics sewn together.
Trim the strips into 10 1/2 inch squares.
Press again (I'm sensing a pattern here) You'll have a smidge of fabric left at the ends but by squaring it up it'll make things so much easier when you go to assemble the quilt.
Now you should have 24-10 1/2 inch squares. Assemble the squares into the rail fence layout, here's how I did it: using the fabric A as your guide, and using a 4X6 layout grid, row one: start with fabric A at the east position, for the second block in the sequence put fabric A at the south position, block 3 back at the east position and block 4 with Fabric A at the south position again. For the second row start with fabric A at the south position and follow the alternating positioning for the rest of this row and all subsequent rows. At the end, you'll have 6 rows with a very cool layout that looks like zig zags between fabric A and fabric D.
Sew your rows together top to bottom then side to side. this quilt goes together so fast, seriously I put mine together in an afternoon, cutting the fabric and all.
NOW it's time for the binding, remember those three fat quarters you cut into strips and laid aside in the beginning? Pull those bad boys back out and sew them end to end til you make a big long strip of fabric. Press the fabric wrong sides together and make a skinny strip. With the binding fabric facing in on your quilt top, and raw edges touching, start sewing. I start with the binding on the short side of the quilt kinds towards the edge, it makes it less evident that that's where the binding begins and ends. Leave about one inch of binding fabric free and start sewing. Pleat the fabric by pinching the tiniest bit of fabric (seriously like a quarter inch) of fabric up and sew over top of it, keep repeating the entire length and width of the quilt mitring your corners.
When you get to the corners, stop sewing at about 1/8 of an inch from the edge, lift your presser foot and rotate the quilt top, fold the binding fabric at a 90 degree angle to the quilt and keep on sewing, go around all four corner and end at the beginning of the original binding.
To make it seem less obvious take the beginning portion of the binding that was left free and match them up as best as you can and sew over all of them, hiding the raw edges within each other.
VOILA! A quilt top!
Now it's time to quilt this bad boy, I used a twin size batting and 3 yards of backing fabric folded in half, sewn along the selvage edge and cut along the fold. Essentially you start with a long piece of fabric folded in half and sewn at the edges, cut at the fold and made into a wider rectangle of fabric. Confused? Sorry. I tend to be a bit wordy. Baste the quilt together with large safety pins and quilt as desired, for this quilt since I'm pressed for time I am just tacking it together which is very simply using yarn and a darning needle to tie small pieces of yarn through the quilt. When the quilt is quilted (or in my case tacked) trim the backing 1/4 inch wider all around than the quilt top. Fold the backing fabric over and sew with an invisible stitch to the back of the binding fabric. The backing fabric should be attached to the back of the pleated binding.
If you can bare it, give your quilt away, or just keep it for yourself. This quilt is perfect for a lap or baby size, it's roughly 40 inches by 60 inches.