There’s something very personal about making a baby quilt — whether you are making it for your child or as a gift for someone else’s child.  It may be displayed as a wall hanging, used as a bed spread or used as an everyday blanket.  What is certain is that your labour of love will be appreciated for generations. These ideas and tips will help you on your way.

What pattern should I follow for my baby quilt? 

Pattern and colour choices are very much down to the individual. Some people like to pick certain patterns for boys (e.g. airplanes and guitars) and other patterns for girls (e.g. hearts and ducks). What’s key is to pick a pattern that you’ll enjoy making. 

Valerie has fallen in love with a book of baby quilts called Fat Quarter Baby from It’s Sew Emma patterns that uses fat quarters, with 20 different patterns.  You can click here to watch her talk about the book in this video, The book is perfect for beginners and those who want to use up their stash.

What size baby quilt should I make?

There isn’t necessarily one size for your baby quilt.  It can be as big or as small as you like. Here are some suggested sizes that quilters prefer to use:

Baby quilts – 30” x 30” sized quilts are usually ideal for newborns as it’ll be just big enough to keep them snuggly and warm. As babies grow quickly though it may not be used for very long.
But, it can always be used as play-mat or even passed down to future generations.

Cot quilts – For a Cot quilt they usually measure 30” x 40” to fit the rectangular shape of the crib and allow the baby room to grow.

Toddler quilts – Quilts for toddler beds will also be rectangular and should measure around 46” x 70”.

What fabric and thread should I use for a baby quilt? 

The best fabric is 100 percent cotton, and there is a huge variety available in specialist quilt shops.  Whatever you use, it needs to be fully washable — that applies to the wadding as well.  If the fabric is cotton, then cotton thread is best.  If you are using other types of fabric, then polyester would work.  But remember, fabrics and thread do need to be washable.

As a general rule, keep to bold colours and dynamic patterns in your fabric.  Stains are much more noticeable with lighter colours and large sections of solid fabrics.

What wadding should I use? 

Again, you must use something that is washable.  There is a huge range of waddings now available through quilt shops, designed by quilters for quilting.  All are fit for purposes — from 100% cotton, bamboo, wool, polyester and combinations thereof.  They also come in a wide variety of pre-cut sizes, so there will be something for every purpose.

If you’d like help finishing your quilt and with those 3 little words – layer, quilt and bind – watch Valerie’s beginners guide from her First Sampler Quilt series

How much time should I put aside for my baby quilt project?

The time it takes to make a baby quilt will depend entirely on your skill level and how much spare time you actually have available. It could take anywhere between a few hours or a few days to complete your baby quilt project. So, making it over a long weekend would be ideal!

Inspiration for your baby quilt

If you’re still not sure where to being with  designs for your baby quilt, Valerie suggests you might like the following lovely blocks and quilts. Click on a video below to get started.

If you’d prefer to buy a pattern to follow, you’ll find the Fat Quarter Baby book in the SHOP – just click here. There are also a range of other patterns to choose from.  Here are a few to get you started: