4 Baby Quilts in 4 Hours with 4 Fat Quarters +: Tutorial

Make 4 baby quilts

Make 4 baby quilts

I wanted to make some soft and cuddly charity quilts for Mikayla’s Grace, and came up with this idea. I hope you’ll give it a try the next time you want to make a baby quilt for charity, or for a friend.  It’s easy to whip up all four in an afternoon of sewing, and are great for giving to charity, or to keep on hand for gifts for friends (new moms & grandmas).

Ok, so you’ll need a little more fabric than 4 fat quarters–you’ll need an additional 3/8 yd for the center strip on top, and some fabric for binding & backing–but it all starts with 4 coordinating fat quarters.

I happened to have purchased a packet of coordinating prints I found at “Pineapple Fabrics'” vendor booth at the Quilt Expo in Madison (“Over The Top – Bonus Quarter 5 Pack”, no longer available) and added a bit of yardage for the backs from my stash. It’s fun to use soft flannels and “minky” or “cuddle” fabrics as backing material. See if you can find fabrics from your stash to use, or purchase fabric from the list below.

Richard Blake's

Fat quarter fabrics from the pack

To make four quilts, here’s a list of the coordinating fabric you’ll need:

  • 4 fat quarters of coordinating cotton fabrics (for the fronts)
  • 3/8 yard of coordinating cotton fabric (for the fronts)
  • 1/4 yard (of 42-45″) cotton fabric (bindings)
  • 1-1/4 yard of cotton flannel (backings)

I like to wash & dry all my fabric before starting to be sure nothing bleeds or shrinks.  But many quilters opt not to wash it first.  It’s totally up to you.  However, I would advise that you wash the flannel–as flannel usually shrinks quite a bit.

Stack the 4 fat quarters one on top of the other (right sides up) on your cutting mat, and with your rotary cutter & ruler, cut:

  • Two 3-1/2″ strips, and
  • Two 4-1/2″ strips

From the extra yardage (3/8 yd), cut:

  • Two 6-1/2″ strips (WOF=width of fabric) & subcut these in half so you’ll have four 22 x 6-1/2″ strips.

Cut the binding out of the 1/4 yard:

  • Cut 1-1/2″ strips WOF (you’ll get about 6 strips)

Cut the 1-1/4 yd cotton flannel into 4 squares, each just a little LARGER than 20 x 20″

Cut strips through all layers

Cut strips through all layers

You'll have enough strips to make four quilts!

You’ll have enough strips to make four quilts!

Once the strips are cut, you’ll need one 6-1/2″, two 3-1/2″, and two 4-1/2″ strips for each quilt–so take some time to be sure you have “stacks” of the required strips–each pile of strips should contain 5 different fabrics.

On the backing, find the center mark on two opposites sides and place a pin or mark.  Find the center of the short ends of a 6-1/2″ strip and pin or mark.  Lay the backing on a flat surface wrong side up.  Then place the 6-1/2″ strip right side up on top of the backing, matching the center pins/markings.  (Yup, you’re right, you’re putting wrong sides together).


Lay 3-1/2″ strip against one long edge of 6-1/2 RST & pin

Next lay a 3-1/2″ strip right side down (RST) along the raw edge of one long side of the 6-12″ strip you just laid down.  Pin and sew 1/4″ along.


Sew through all layers with a 1/4″ seam


Lay it back on your ironing board


Flip open and press

Take it back to your ironing board and press it open.

Then take the remaining 4-1/2″ strip and lay it right sides together along the raw edge of the 3-1/2″ strip you just sewed and pin…and stitch.


Repeat–working from the center strip out

Do the same on the opposite side of the center 6-1/2″ strip until the entire backing is covered.


Until all the backing is covered

After a final press, take it to your cutting mat and square it up, making sure the backing and top align around the edges.


Give it a final press, then trim/square up

Join the short ends of your 1-1/2″ binding strips together (as you normally would for a quilt) and fold over one edge 1/4″ to the wrong side and press.  Sew raw edge of binding to the quilt sewing it to the BACK first with a 1/4″ seam, using the same procedure as for any quilt.  Cut and join the edges together and finish sewing.


Cut binding 1-1/2″, press 1/4 on one side & sew to BACK

Now turn the binding to the RIGHT side (top) of the quilt and pin or clip to hold.  Using a serpentine stitch (or zig zag), top stitch the binding in place.


Topstitch from the front using serpentine stitch

See how the serpentine stitch allows it to “catch” on the back?


It looks good on both sides

Faster than hand stitching and it looks nice from the front or the back.


Four quilts! (Notice: I didn’t cut enough binding so 1 is different)

Repeat the process to make the other quilts, and TA-DAH!  You have FOUR beautiful 20×20″ baby quilts ready to go!


My backings are different colors because I used up 20″ scraps that I had on hand.

Aren’t they cute and cuddly?

I donated these to a charity called Mikayla’s Grace…  I’m hoping they’ll cheer some parents of newborn preemies.  Their mission is to support families with a baby in the NICU (neonatal ICU) and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals in Wisconsin by providing NICU care packages and angel memory boxes that offer both practical and emotional support for the parents.

What’s your favorite charity to send your quilts to?

I’d love to hear from you–

And if you make these, let me know if you have any questions.

Until next time,



Mulberry Patch Quilts


9 thoughts on “4 Baby Quilts in 4 Hours with 4 Fat Quarters +: Tutorial

  1. Tried to place an order with Pineapple Fabrics and they won’t ship to Canada. Do you know of a Canadian web site that you can order the bundles from?
    Thank you.

    • No, unfortunately I don’t…but you should be able to pick up the list of fabrics needed (see above) and find some beautiful coordinating fabrics at your local quilt store or online. I just happened upon that particular company as a vendor at a local quilt show. Hope you find just what you’re looking for!

  2. Such a great system! And a great tutorial. As a Nicu mom of a micro-preemie I know these quilts mean a lot to the families receiving them. Walking in and seeing colorful blankets, quilts, and incubator/isolette covers makes the whole experience a little less scary. You are using your wonderful talents and making a real difference for Nicu families!

    • Hi Adrienne, I donated these to a charity for preemies, so they didn’t have batting in-between the layers like a normal baby quilt (hospitals want them light & easy to wash), but you could lay your batting on top of the wrong side of the backing before you start to sew on the strips. And, if I remember correctly, the quilts were close to 20 x 20 inches when finished, which is great for a charity for premature infants or little newborns.

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