Sew a Quick Baby Quilt Nancy Zieman

You know the drill. You receive an invitation to a baby shower six weeks in advance. The thought to sew a baby quilt enters your mind, but you put off the process. Gulp, 10 days before the event you decide to start the project.

That’s just what I did last month. Yet, I decided to go ahead and start the quilt with hopes of getting it done on time. I cut a few corners, taking a nontraditional approach to the actual quilting. I thought I’d share my weekend of sewing to create what I call a “Tummy Time Quilt!”

Quilt to Give—Baby Size

You might have read the 10-day Blog Tutorial on my Quilt to Give project. My objective with that tutorial was to show how to create full-sized bed quilts. My most recent project, the featured baby quilt, down-sized the quilt. You can read how to cut the columns of the quilt during day 2 of the tutorial. The difference is that the side strips are just 42″ long—the width of the fabric.

I created seven columns with the following solid strip colors—one royal blue, two turquoise, two lime green, and another two with the light green colors—showcasing the scrappy centers.  The inner border was cut 1-1/2″ and the outer border 3″ wide. You can find out about borders on day 8 of the tutorial.


Sew a baby quilt by Nancy Zieman



The finished quilt width was 48″, wider than a traditional width of fabric which is usually 42″–44″. Instead of buying two lengths of fabric for the backing in order to accommodate the width of the finished quilt, I cut one length of the backing fabric in half, made another column, and pieced the layers together. That was the smartest thing I’ve done in a long time!

To this point, the piecing took me about 6 hours on a Saturday afternoon. Granted, I’ve made this quilt before, so I’ve had a little experience! Plan on an 8-hour project so that you don’t have to sew like you’re running a marathon!


Sew a baby quilt by Nancy Zieman



Monday morning, I asked one of my sewing studio stitchers to layer the quilt backing, batting, and top. I used Warm and Natural for the batting, one of my favorite battings. She pinned the layers together, preparing the project for the quilting portion.

Rather than stitch in the ditch, hand quilt (no time for that), or free-motion stitch to quilt the layers together, I opted to stitch a single decorative “star” at 4″ intervals. Check your owner’s manual as to how you stitch one single decorative stitch. On my Baby Lock, all I need to do is select the single stitch icon.

No specific measuring needed here, just use your fist as an approximate measurement. Mark with an air erasable fabric marking pen. Notice that the markings are not linear. It’s a lot easier to stitch quickly when the placement is staggered!


sew a baby quilt by Nancy Zieman



We changed thread colors a couple of times throughout the stitching process. We didn’t do it too many times as we were under a deadline.

sew a baby quilt by Nancy Zieman

Consider using contrasting thread in the bobbin so the “stars” shine through to the underside of the quilt.


Sew a Baby Quilt by Nancy Zieman



Adding a label, embroidered or hand-written, is always a nice touch.

Sew a Baby Quilt by Nancy Zieman



Add binding using your favorite method. You can find online directions at day 10 of the Quilt to Give Tutorial.


Sew a Quick Baby Quilt Nancy Zieman



I hope you’ll try one of these techniques when making any size quilt. I’m especially fond of the decorative stitching tip!

For additional column-type quilt ideas, please refer to the Column Quilts book which contains my original, less scrappy, column quilt. You can watch this program online!

What’s your favorite quilting tip?

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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