When it comes to baby shower gifts, there is none quite like a baby quilt, especially one that you’ve made yourself. There is something about the fact that you took your time and energy to create something warm and fluffy for someone’s child that just tugs at the heartstrings.
So, whether you are a beginner or have been quilting for a while, this is one quilt type that you should know how to make. And in case you’re worried about how you’ll learn, we’ve come to the rescue. Today we are going to give you a comprehensive guide that will answer all your questions. Prepare to be thoroughly informed.
What size is a baby quilt?
Before we delve into the intricacies of making a baby quilt, you first have to know what size a baby quilt is. I mean, while quilting does give you a lot of artistic freedom, you don’t want to make something that won’t even cover a baby properly. To avoid such instances, baby quilts are usually squares having a length of between 36 inches to 91 inches. This is more than enough to keep even the biggest of babies warm and snug throughout the winter.
How much fabric do you need for a baby quilt?
Now that you have a rough idea of how big a baby quilt is, you must also know how much fabric you need to buy for your project. Usually, for a 36-inch baby quilt, 3 yards of fabric is enough. This is usually divided into:
- Around a yard for the quilt top (36” by 36”)
- A little over a yard for the back fabric
- Around ½ yard for the binding fabric
However, some quilters have been known to use just 2 yards of fabric for such a project. Ultimately, your expertise and experience can help you save on a lot of fabric.
What is the best fabric for baby quilts?
When making baby quilts, it is best to use fabrics that are soft, warm, and absorbent. That is why most people go for cotton. Moreover, it is breathable, light, and can withstand regular washing. As such, cotton is commonly used to make many baby clothes, not just quilts.
Another popular alternative is wool. Like cotton, it is comfortable and absorbent. Also, it is an all-organic fabric; a good quality to have in a baby fabric.
But if you’re looking for something really high-end, you should go for cashmere. This luxurious fabric is soft, warm, and incredibly light; just what a baby needs.
What is the best batting for baby quilts?
Before you start making your baby quilt, you will need to get some quilt batting. And while there are several options available, there are two that have stood out as the best; cotton and polyester. In fact, since the beginning of the quilting craft, cotton has been viewed as a great batting material, especially when it comes to baby quilts.
Not only do quilters love that it is a natural fabric, but also the fact that it drapes better and better with every wash. Polyester has some great advantages as well. It is soft, stretchy, easy to needle, and fire retardant. It also helps that polyester batting is significantly cheaper than a cotton one. And if you’re torn between the two, we have some good news; you can buy a blend of both.
How long does it take to make a baby quilt?
Making a baby quilt can take a mere 12 hours depending on your level of expertise and chosen quilting method. If you’re machine quilting and highly experienced, you can put together a baby quilt in a couple of hours. On the other hand, if you’re a newbie or are quilting by hand, it may take you a while.
How to make a baby quilt
Now that you’ve gotten some clarity on fabric and batting, it is time to get to the business of actually making your quilt. Here are the supplies you’ll need and a step by step guide:
- Quilting pattern
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter
- Pre-wash your fabric. For best results, you should tumble dry it on the low heat setting until it is dry
- If you’re using double gauze fabric, remember to spray starch all over it just before it’s completely dry and iron it out
- Cut out your quilt pattern using the rotary cutter and piece your fabric cut-outs together using your sewing machine. If you’re a newbie or dealing with delicate fabric choose a simple pattern. Go for large strips instead of tiny square blocks
- Place your backing on a flat surface and place your batting on top of it
- Place your now-complete quilt top on your batting and use your pins to baste the fabric sandwich
- Use your scissors to trim the backing and batting edges to 2” bigger than the top all around. This is enough allowance to cater for any shifting
- Quilt your backing, batting, and top together. You can do some loose stitching for a soft finish
- Bind the edges of your quilt.
- If you’re using wool batting, make sure to cut your binding extra wide to cater to all the fluff
- If you’re using precuts with pinked edges ensure you measure their edges to determine whether the true square edge lies in the valleys or the peaks
- For a good piecing outcome, maintain a consistent seam allowance of ¼”; it is the golden standard for quilting projects. When in doubt, use a seam guide to ensure accuracy
Some readymade baby quilts
If quilting isn’t your thing but you really want to gift someone a cute baby quilt, worry not. We’ve got something for you as well. There are some great readymade baby quilts out there and we have highlighted some of the best ones for you:
- Hudson Baby Muslin Tranquility Quilt: made of 100% muslin cotton, this quilt is breathable, comfortable, and machine washable
- Burt’s Bees Baby – Dottie Bee Reversible Quilt: this quilt is made of 100% organic cotton and is as soft as it is cute
- Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Quilt: measuring 47” by 47”, this baby quilt has 4 soft layers that make it one of the most comfortable options out there
- Trend Lab Quilt: this soft baby quilt is available in a variety of cute patterns such as rockets, dinosaurs, and mermaids
- Graced Soft Luxuries Bamboo Muslin Quilt: this 4-layer quilt is soft, durable, and easy to wash. It is available in Pastel Floral, Peony Floral, Woodland Morning, and Bear’s Forest designs
While each and every one of the highlighted baby quilts is an Amazon best-seller, they are not the only options out there. By all means, feel free to research far and wide. Your dream baby quilt may just be around the corner.
In a nutshell
Whether you choose to buy a readymade quilt or make one from scratch, it is the thought that counts. If you decide to pursue the latter route though, know this; it’s a process. And like any other life process, it takes time and a lot of mistakes. So, please be patient without yourself, especially if you’re a newbie. Remember, the more you quilt, the better you’ll become!
If you want to learn more check out some of our other quilting guides. And if you want to use your quilting skills for someone who doesn’t have a baby, you can always make something fun with our guide on how to make a t-shirt quilt.