I’ve wanted to attempt to make a quilt for a while, since my previous patchwork project, and with a baby nephew on the way this seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go. I wanted it to be fun, graphic and modern. Not too fussy and old fashioned, and not too ‘gendered’ either.
I found a free chevron baby quilt pattern online and thought it would look great as a rainbow. I sourced a few of the colours from my stash, and filled in the missing colours using a fat quarter bundle from Hobbycraft.
For those that haven’t made a quilt before, it’s really hard to explain how long it takes to cut out and start sewing everything together! However, one of the great things about quilts is that they’re repetitive. So once you’ve got your head round a block or a row you gain confidence, and get quicker the more you do.
This pattern is great because you don’t have to sew on the diagonal/bias to get the chevron effect which makes things so much easier.
There is however a lot of pressing – quilting is mostly ironing!
Cut four 7 inch squares out of each of your fabrics, and arrange them in the order you would like them to appear in the quilt. I used eight different fabrics because its easier to work with the colours in pairs. The final quilt will be crib/cot size about 30 x 40 inches.
Start with two coloured squares that are going to sit next to each other and sew around the four edges of each square (see dotted lines below). e.g. red and orange, yellow and green etc. Then using a rotary cutter, cut the the two diagonals on a 45° angle to create four triangles.
Press these open to create half square triangles. Arrange these into rows and watch the rainbow start to develop… then stitch!
It’s easier to match points if you sew them into 2 x 2 blocks and then sew these together rather than trying to sew an entire row at a time.
To finish it off I found this beautiful backing fabric with raindrops on it, so there’s rain on one side and a rainbow on the other!
My brother in law is a big Metallica fan, so to personalise the quilt I decided to add in a few lyrics. After searching for Metallica lyrics that were ‘baby appropriate’ I was surprised to find that there are a few that almost sound like a lullaby.
“Exit light, enter night. Take my hand, we’re off to never neverland”
“Don’t forget my son, to include everyone. Tuck you in, warm within”
So these formed the yellow and blue quilting patterns, and I filled the rest in with leaves and herring bone designs.
Finishing it all off
I didn’t want to faff about with binding so used the backing to bind the edges.
- Cut the batting flush with the top of the quilt
- Trim the backing fabric so it’s 1 inch wider than the topper
- Start with the corners – fold and press each corner towards the centre at 45° angle
- Press each edge in half and then fold it over to the front, press again.
- Pin the hell out of it
- Hand stitch the two edges at the corner along the 45° angle
- Stitch along the long edges, you can do this by hand but I used the machine to be more secure.
Quilting lessons learned for next time
- Basting is important – I didn’t baste well enough which made the quilting more difficult.
- Quilt from the centre out! Makes life so much easier.
- Quilting is the best thing ever