Making a quilt out of baby clothes is the perfect way to preserve the memories of your child or grandchild’s first years of life. It is a rewarding project, but it can also be an intimidating one for someone who has never made a baby clothes quilt before. There are so many things to take into consideration: How many pieces of baby clothes do I need? How do I cut them? Which stitches work best to sew them all together?
Don’t worry! You can find all the answers you need right here.
1. Planning the quilt
The first step in making your baby clothes quilt is to plan it. How large would you like the finished product to be? Quilt Keepsake has a list of various sizes, as well as how many articles of baby clothing you would need to make a quilt that size. Obviously, the bigger the quilt, the more baby clothes you will need!
2. Prepare the baby clothes for sewing
After gathering all of the baby clothes you would like to use for your quilt, the next step is to prepare them for sewing. While advanced crafters sometimes use whole onesies or even hats and socks on their quilts, the easiest way is to just cut a square or two of material from each piece of clothing. For a small quilt, Martha Stewart’s website recommends cutting the baby clothes into 4½ inch squares, which allows for a ¼ inch seam. Pin the pieces together in the order and design that you want, and then decide on a fabric for the back (if you haven’t already). Many experienced quilters recommend using either flannel or fleece for the backing, but Martha Stewart suggests that you could also repurpose an old cotton bedspread if you’d like. The important thing is to make sure the backing is the proper size to accommodate both your baby clothes layer and the binding.
After pinning your fabric squares together (pin them to each other, not to the backing layer –yet!), sew them together, making sure to keep straight, evenly measured seams. If you’re using a sewing machine, Craftastical suggests using a chain stitch to get the job done.
Once all the squares are united into one solid top layer, you can put everything together. Pin the top layer, the batting, and the backing together, and begin quilting from the center of the quilt to the outside edge in whichever pattern you choose.
When you have finished quilting, the final step is to take care of the binding around the edges. Generations Quilt Patterns’ website has several binding options and tutorials to choose from if you need style suggestions. Some quilters prefer their baby clothes quilts to have a satin or decorative border, but others like to keep it simple with a double fold binding. The choice is yours!
Once that’s finished, you’ll be all set with a great keepsake that will last much longer than it took for your baby to grow out of those baby clothes!