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.
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″
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).
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.
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.
Do the same on the opposite side of the center 6-1/2″ strip until the entire 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.
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.
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.
See how the serpentine stitch allows it to “catch” on the back?
Faster than hand stitching and it looks nice from the front or the back.
Repeat the process to make the other quilts, and TA-DAH! You have FOUR beautiful 20×20″ baby quilts ready to go!
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,