I don't know what got into me, but last week I actually started and FINISHED two baby quilts! I know--I feel pretty accomplished. It could be that they were both super easy. But still! How awesome is that? Here's the first one, an argyle pattern on corduroy.
And the other was a simple strip quilt, made out of the leftovers from this quilt. It took me only a few minutes to sew the strips together, and less than an hour to quilt it in straight lines, which was done by sewing a line about 1/2" on either side of each seam. Easy! The binding was what took the longest!
So back to the argyle quilt. You're going to die when you hear how easy it was. I stole the idea from a friend who made one for my sister-in-law. I've known Laurie over 20 years (okay, that makes me feel old!), and I wouldn't exactly call her a craftster. But when she does decide to make something, watch out! She is freakin' amazing! Her quilt had 6 diamonds, but I was feeling lazy, so you get the three diamond version. Thanks for the inspiration, Larry! :)
Easy Argyle Baby Quilt Tutorial
*42" x 42" piece of fabric for top (Laurie and I used a light-weight corduroy)
*1/3 yard fabric for binding
*1/2 yard fabric for one diamond and border strips (I had leftover fabric)
*1/3 yard (or less) for two diamonds
*42" x 42" piece of quilt batting (I use Warm & Natural)
*44" x 44" fabric for backing (I used minky with a cute star pattern)
*1.5 yards iron-on adhesive (I like Heat n' Bond Sewable weight)
*Approx. 4.5 yards ric rac in coordinating colors (I used about 3 yards blue and 1.5 yard brown)
*Sewing machine and matching thread (I recommend a walking foot for the quilting if you have one)
*Cutting mat and rotary cutter
What makes this quilt so easy is that you use all raw edges. I call it quick and dirty quilting. Let's get started.
1. Wash all your fabrics. As I rule, I NEVER wash my fabrics before quilting because I like the crinkly effect that happens when the fabric shrinks the first time you wash the quilt. But since I was working with corduroy (a first for me), and I wasn't really going for a crinkly look, I decided I better wash it. I'm glad I did.
2. Cut your quilt top to 41" x 41" (mine shrunk to about that size, so I just trimmed the edges).
3. Time to cut your diamonds. I wanted mine to be 22" tall and 12" wide, but you can use this method to make any size diamonds.
Cut a piece of fabric 22" x 12".
Fold in half lengthwise.
Then fold it in half the other way.
Lay a quilting ruler on top, with the side going from one corner to the other along the raw edge.
Cut along this edge.
Unfold it and you have a perfect diamond in the exact height and width you need! Repeat for other two diamonds.
4. Cut a piece of iron-on fabric adhesive about 1/2" around smaller than your diamond. I just eyeballed it. You just want to be sure to leave the edges alone so they'll fray when you wash them.
Iron it to the back of each diamond according to the manufacturer's instructions. The adhesive will disappear after you wash it a few times.
Peel off the paper backing and position on your quilt top. I made sure they were centered by measuring from all four sides.
Iron in place according to manufacturer's instructions.
5. Cut a border strip 5" x 41" for the top and bottom edges. I accidentally cut mine 4" wide, so I positioned them an inch from the edge, but you're smarter than me, so cut them to the right width and position them right on the edges.
6. Now you're going to make your quilt sandwich. Lay your backing out on the floor and smooth out any wrinkles. You can tape it to the carpet with masking tape if you want to keep it in place. Then add your batting on top of that and smooth out. Then comes your quilt top. Smooth. Then use safety pins (I prefer the slightly bent quilting safety pins) to secure all three layers together.
7. Now you're going to sew the pieces on and quilt all in the same step! Start by sewing around each diamond, backstitching at beginning and end. Use about a 1/4" seam allowance (so you'll have something left to fray!).
8. Do the same for the borders, sewing along each long edge.
9. For the cute argyle X's, you'll sew on two strips of ric rac, about 22" long. First pin on one half of each X diagonally across each diamond. Sew in place, backstitching at beginning and end.
Then pin on other half of X on the opposite side to create the X and sew in place. The ends of my ric rac met the other piece to create more diamonds.
10. Trim all excess fabric/batting off the edges. For the binding, cut your binding fabric into 4 strips, 41.5" x 3" (I cut them a little long just in case--you'll trim later). Fold each strip in half lengthwise and iron.
11. To attach the binding, start with just one piece. Fold one strip over one end, making sure edge of quilt is flush with inside fold.
Pin in place through all layers. Sew along raw edge with a 1/4" allowance. Trim ends if needed.
12. Pin another strip on, overlapping the two ends. Now you're going to make your corner.
Fold the end of the pinned strip in, making a right angle.
Tuck the triangle under to form a mitered corner.
Pin in place.
Turn over and repeat on the back. Then sew down the angle, starting at the outside edge of the blanket, and turn to sew down the long edge of the binding. Repeat for remaining binding strips and corners.
13. Your quilt is almost done!
The last step is to wash and dry it. This will fray all the raw edges you left and make it look even cuter!
And look how cool the back looks with the argyle quilting pattern! This quilt is a little heavier and warmer than a cotton quilt. Perfect for winter babies!
Okay, one more picture. This one is for the grandmas--they need to see these little crazies once in a while!
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