How to Make a Baby Onesie Quilt
By coconutrobot on July 03, 2014
Piece your Baby Onesie Quilt Top Together
When piecing a quilt, you want to use 1/4' seams. This is where it gets a little confusing in quilt-land. The 1/4" seam that you hear, is really a seam that is just under 1/4"—you need to accommodate for the thickness of the fabric and pressing it flat within that 1/4". For a square block quilt like this one, that scant-1/4" seam isn't that important, so if you're a beginner, let's just focus on sewing them straight! If you want to practice that scant-1/4", this is also a perfect time to do that. Just stay consistent in your seams, or your squares won't line up when we sew the rows together! Enter, one of my favorite sewing machine feet:
I love the guide on this foot! It really helps beginners sew a straight, 1/4" seam. When your fabric touches the guide, that is typically a full 1/4" seam. To achieve a scant-1/4" seam with a foot like this, you will line your fabric up along the edge of the foot, the right side of the right most ski-like-toe shape. I have no idea what the technical name is for that... whoops! ha.
1|| Piece the Squares into Rows. Beginning with the top square in your stack, take the second square and line up right sides together. We will sew the rows first, press seams, and then sew the rows together! Simply work your way from left to right, piecing each square of the row together until you reach the note indicating a new row. Set the first row aside—with the label!—and continue with each subsequent row.
You end up with a gorgeous stack like you see below.
2|| Pieces the Rows together. Before we sew the rows together, we need to press our seams. I've become a believer in pressing my seams open in almost every quilt I make now. For the longest time, I thought that was a big no-no, but I'm learning that there are really no rules in quilting. Pressing the seams open keeps your lines so much straighter, and I think it's worlds easier to make those corners match perfectly! After pressing your seams, we will sew Row 1 to Row 2. Even with the interfacing, you are probably going to see some warping with a few of your onesies. You might have to cheat some of your points just slightly, or sew slow and ease the larger edge in very carefully. You can use pins if you'd like, but I like to work from square to square. I begin my seam, and then I immediately focus on the approaching corner. I line them up. I do a quick happy dance if everything measures perfectly, and I look at which square is perhaps a hair larger and needs to be carefully worked into that seam. After working from top row to bottom row. Go press those seams open! Don't forget to iron.
3|| Create your Quilt Sandwich. Pick out backing fabric for your quilt, and cut the batting down to size. You want your batting to be a little bigger than your quilt top and your backing to be a little bigger than your batting. I'm a spray-baster, but you can use pins if you want to.
At this point, before basting your layers together, you could also look for long-arm quilters in your area to do the quilting portion for you. In my opinion, I think this quilt is a great way to jump right into quilting on your home machine. Simple is better, because it lets the onesies be the focus!
4|| Decide on your Quilting Lines and Design. I opted to quilt simple diagonal lines through the striped onesie squares. Initially, I planned on sewing the diagonal through the solids/print blocks too, but I didn't want to sew through the onesies with a featured image (Ohio, Little Man, U of Toledo, etc.). I used my favorite trick: Painters' tape. Simply lay your quilt sandwich out on a clean, hard surface and lay down the tape where you want your seam to be. You'll need to decide what side of the tape you will sew on. Each of us will have a preference! You can put down a few pieces of tape, and then move those pieces after you've sewn them. This step of the quilt will be made much easier with a walking foot. If you don't have one, they are a bit more expensive than other sewing feet, but worth the investment. I rarely take mine off!
(Be sure to check compatibility with your sewing machine! While these generic feet with great with most machine brands, some brands will only work with feet of the same brand!)
Continue working your desired pattern throughout your quilt!
A few patterns to get you started:
- Stitch in the Ditch -- sew along the edges of your quilt squares. From the front, there won't be visible seams, but on the back you'll have a 5" grid.
- 1/4" from each seam -- sew 1/4" from all of your square seams. You'll end up with a border on your existing squares and fun design on the back.
- Stripes! Sew either vertical or horizontal stripes throughout your quilt. I recommend spacing them at least 2-4" apart, and then continue "half-ing" those stripes until you get to your desired width.
- The sky is the limit -- have fun!
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