I love making quilts and making quilts for my toddlers is fun. I don’t think I have ever bought fabric for one of these quilts. I use old clothes and raid my fabric stash. I’ve made seven now and hope to carry on the tradition with any future grandchildren I am blessed with.
Part of what makes these quilts fun is how fast they are to make. They’re small since they’re for a small person. ☺ Simple and fun.
I love the creative process for them. First I have to pick out the fabrics. If at all possible I look for clothes that are ready for a second life as something else – usually jeans or pants. Then I need to look in my fabric stash for what I have that would coordinate.
I cut my squares 7 inches and use a half-inch seam. I know quilts are supposed to have quarter-inch seams, but I figure these are going to get a lot of hard use and need the extra seam width.
Then I start to play with the design. I usually cut more squares than I need so I have something to play with for the design. After I like the design I sew each row together and then sew the rows into the quilt top.
Over the years I’ve learned that if I use fleece for the backing I don’t need to use batting – the quilt will be plenty warm. I cut the fleece about two to three inches larger than the quilt front. Then I fold the fabric over the front and sew it down usually with my machine.
Here are the designs I’ve done over the years.
This first one was sewn by my youngest sister for my oldest daughter. I blame my sister for starting me down this road – not that I mind. The white fabric is from my wedding dress, and the dark blue fabric is from my sister’s maid of honour dress. The silky fabrics started to fray at the seams so I took satin ribbon from wedding decorations and sewed it down on all the seams to help the quilt last longer. It made a pretty design on the back too.
Next is the quilt for my oldest son and the first one I sewed. You can see that it’s in rags. That’s because I wasn’t thinking to look out for worn spots in the clothes I was cutting into squares. Now when I cut up clothes I look for worn areas and avoid them because this is what happens. The dark blue is a pair of corduroy pants from my husband. I used as many of the pockets as possible to add interest. This quilt has batting and a plain cotton backing because I hadn’t figured out about the fleece yet.
This is my favourite so far of the eight. My second son’s quilt. I love the bold colours. You’ll notice that I use buttons to “tie” the quilts down. You know my love of buttons. Can’t leave them off. This was the first quilt I did with a fleece backing. Lots of pockets here too.
This is my second daughter’s quilt. The plaid fabrics were my husband’s boxers. The burgundy was from an old shirt my husband had, and the two teddy bear squares were from a tapestry vest I owned that was falling apart at the seams. The backing is a plain blue fleece.
My youngest daughter’s quilt. I didn’t have a lot of girly fabrics to work with for the front so I added some fleece shapes in a girly fleece. I had to sew some fleece pieces together for the backing.
The dark pieces on this quilt for my middle son are from the suit my husband wore when we left our wedding for our honeymoon.
This is my fourth son’s quilt. The dark blue squares are from another suit of my husband’s. I really felt like this quilt was nothing exciting. I traced the shapes of various vehicles onto felt and then appliqued them to the quilt front. Now I liked it so much better. The planet backing was fun. This is the only quilt that I actually tied with embroidery floss and didn’t use buttons on.
And finally my baby’s quilt. My favourite part of this quilt is the backing. Believe it or not, someone gave me this fabric, and it was almost a perfect match for size. I think I just had to trim a couple of sides, and it was ready to use.
If you can sew a straight seam, you can easily make one of these quilts. They really do sew up very quickly and would make a perfect baby gift. The finished size is about three feet square.
Have you ever sewed a quilt? Soon I’ll do a post with bigger quilts that I have sewn.