After looking at many blogs about patchwork quilting, I decided to give it a go, but in a short cut kind of way. I say that because, one of the things I find daunting about quilting is having to piece together many small bits of fabric to make up a block, not just one block, but multiple blocks and then piece together the blocks. Not to mention making the binding and then doing all the top-stitching and attaching the binding. Sounds like a lot of hard work to me and just thinking about it tires me out. Besides, I’m still fairly new to sewing and truth be known, I can be a sloth. Makes me appreciate the blankets my mother made even more.

Baobab Baby quilt bundle

For my baby quilt I wanted use the Baobab flannel by RJR Fabrics that features some cute safari animals. The dotted animal print is quite large so to make a patchwork quilt with small squares would not show off the animals, which was fine with me because that meant I would make my quilt with large squares, which ultimately meant less work :P. Also, I decided to leave out the batting in the middle and not include the binding. This was going to be a very lightweight kind of baby quilt – a great blanket for the warmer months of the year.

The finished dimensions are about 32″ (80cm) x 42″ (105cm). I usually wash and iron the fabric FIRST before I begin sewing, but in this instance I didn’t to see what the result would be. In most cases this is a big no-no, but I was confident that the colors wouldn’t run and that the shrinkage would be similar for all the fabric. I have since washed the baby quilt and am pleased to report that it washes up quite well. I love the feel and softness of flannel as well.

All seams are 1/2 inch (1.25cm).

Materials List:

Boabab Flannel by RJR Fabrics (you can of course use whatever flannel you like):
24″ (60cm) Baobab Animals
24″ (60cm) Boabab Dots
12″ (30cm) Baobab Stripes
1 yard (90cm) plain flannel for backing

quilting ruler
sewing machine
walking foot for top stitching the edges
safety pins

How to Make a Patchwork Baby Quilt: My Quick and Lazy Way

1. Trim the selvages, measure and cut fabric. As seen in the next picture, the quilt is made up of nine 12″ x 12″ (30cm) squares and two strips that are 6″ x 34″ (15 x 85cm). Cut five squares out of the Baobab Animals, four squares out of the Baobab Dots and the two strips out of the Boabab stripes. Pictured here is my trusty gingher 8in Knife Edge Dressmakers Shears – it cuts *ever-so* beautifully and smoothly – I never knew a pair of scissors could cut like that until I invested in a gingher.
2. I laid out all the fabric pieces on an old bed sheet spread out on the floor as I didn’t have a big enough area on a table. I found this to be especially handy to get a preview of how the finished quilt would look.
3. Sew the squares together starting with the top row. Place one square on top of another with right sides facing each other and sew a 1/2 inch (1.25cm) seam down one side.
4. Here are first two squares sewn together and opened out.
5. Place the next square on top with right sides facing each other, pin in place and sew down the side.
6. With the 3 squares sewn together, take that row to your ironing board and iron both seams so that they are facing inwards. For the 2nd row, I ironed the seams outwards and for the last row, I ironed them inwards.
7. Here are the 3 rows of squares sewn together. Now it’s time to sew the rows together. Place the first row of squares on top of the second row with right sides facing each other, matching up the edges and vertical seams as best you can. Because the seams were ironed inwards and then outwards when you match them up, they should be going in opposites directions to each other. This reduces the bulk of the fabric where the seams meet.
8. After pinning the first two rows together, sew along one side and then do the same with the last row attaching it to the middle row.
9. With all 9 nine squares sewn together, iron the horizontal seams to face outwards.
10. Now attach the top and bottom strips of flannel fabric. Pin in place and sew. I ironed these two seams to face outwards as well.
11. Here is the front of the quilt. As you can see the edges are not all even, but that’s OK as they will be trimmed later. Now, I don’t have a picture of it, but I laid out the yard of solid colored flannel that is the backing, with right side facing up. I then placed the front of the quilt on top with the right side facing down. Flatten everything down working from the middle to the edges.
12. Although I used pins to hold the back and front together, for this part I recommend using safety pins. Again, working from the middle out, pin at various points, flattening the fabric as you go. This is just a small quilt and quite manageable, imagine pinning together a queen or king size one! Square off the fabric layers and trim off the edges.
13. Starting in the middle of one side, sew a 1/2 inch seam all the way around, leaving a 4″ (10cm) opening for turning. Make sure you backstitch at the start and end to secure the stitches at the opening and make sure you don’t sew overs any pins – remove any that get in your way! Clip the corners, remove the safety pins and turn the quilt inside out. Take a moment to admire what you have done so far because you are almost finished.
14. Before doing the top stitching, press the quilt with a warm iron so that the all seams are laying flat. For the top stitching. I opted for something very simple, however, you can do whatever pattern or fancy stitching you like, me, I just straight stitched 1/4″ (1cm) on either side of each seam, starting in the middle and working out and then top stitched all the way around the edges, sewing the opening closed along the way.

When you top stitch the edges it’s a good idea to sew with a walking foot to prevent the fabric from bunching up.

15. Here is a view of the back.

And here is the front view!

baobab flannel baby quilt

If it wasn’t for taking all the pictures while I was making it, I’m estimating that it can be whipped together in a couple of hours!

baobab flannel baby quilt

Happy sewing!

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