How to Make a Tied Baby Quilt
An Easy Beginner Project
1 ¼ yards “top” fabric (45” square, more or less)
1 ¼ yards “bottom” fabric
45” square of batting – loft is your choice
5 yards trim of your choice – I like rickrack or ruffled eyelet
yarn for tying the quilt
hand sewing needle
quilt basting pins (these are just 2”-2 ½” safety pins) – about 40
tailor’s chalk (regular chalk works, too)
Fabric widths vary a bit, and the ladies at the cutting table are human. Lay your two pieces of fabric out one on top of the other to ensure they’re the same size. Trim up as necessary. Set the bottom piece aside when you’re done.
With the sewing machine, sew trim to quilt top about ½” from the edge of the fabric. The trim edge that is supposed to show goes toward the inside of the square. Run ends of trim off the edge of the fabric. Later this will hide in the seam.
Now you’ll make a quilt sandwich. Start with your bottom fabric facedown, then batting, then top fabric face up.
Starting in the middle, baste with the quilt pins. Smooth the fabric as you work. I do this on the floor – my kingdom for a big table! Try to have your pins all “face” the same direction; this will be helpful in the next step.
You’re almost ready to tie! Your batting package will tell you how far apart to tie – generally 4-6” is the rule (samples are tied every 4.5”). If your top fabric has an even pattern to it, you can use it to space your ties. If not, you have some options. In the sample quilts, the bottom fabric had a grid pattern. I laid the basted quilt out bottom up, and used straight pins to mark the grid. On the top side, I marked each pin with tailor’s chalk and then removed the pins. Helpful hint: have your marking pins run in a different direction from your basting pins so you’ll know which are marks and which are basting!
Thread your yarn needle with a long piece of yarn. Pull the yarn through the eye of the needle until the cut ends are even. I start with about five yards. If you find this too cumbersome, you can use shorter lengths and just rethread more frequently. Do not knot the end.
Stitch, picking up your marked spots, leaving a 5” tail on the first stitch. Each stitch should take up about ¼”. Leave a tiny bit of slack between each stitch – you don’t want it taut, especially if your stitches are close together.
Keep stitching until you’re done! Having all your stitches run in the same direction gives you a more uniform look.
Snip between stitches. Take out the basting pins.
Tie each pair of yarn tails into square knots. Remember “Right over left and left over right!” Granny knots will come undone in the laundry.
Trim tails to a pleasing length.
Trim the batting just inside the stitch line of the trim
Woohoo, almost done! We’re ready to finish the edge! You have options. My favorite look is to turn the edges in (just flop ‘em under, wrapping the bottom fabric over the edge of the batting) and blindstitch by hand.
You can also turn the edges in, pin, and topstitch with the machine (much quicker, but it’s easy for it to go wonky on ya).
If you prefer a bound edge, skip the trimming step at the beginning and bind the quilt with a coordinating fabric (directions can be found in quilting books or online). This quilt is tied with variegated yarn (fun!) and bound with a coordinating plaid.
Voilá! A darling handmade quilt! They make great baby shower gifts.