In a short three weeks I am going to be a grandma! Can you believe it? I can’t. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Tomorrow we celebrate Henry’s first birthday. Ha!
In preparation for granddaughter #1’s arrival I made a baby quilt. Isn’t it adorable?
I’m calling it a Chevron Zig Zag Rag Quilt. A wonderful woman at church has been making these for the new moms for the past several years. They are not only visually stunning but they are so soft! While I was sewing it I had the thought that this would be a great quilt for a beginner sewist. They just have to follow the lines with their machine!
To make the quilt you need:
1 1/4 yds of 44/45 inch wide chevron fabric
1 1/4 yds 44/45 inch wide coordinating backing fabric
1 1/4 yds 44/45 inch wide white flannel x3 (You want at least three layers of flannel)
5 yds double fold bias tape
When you get 1 1/4 yards of fabric this makes a 44 or 45 inch square quilt large enough for a baby or a play mat.
To start lay out the backing fabric on the floor or large table with the wrong side facing up. Carefully lay down one layer of flannel on top. Repeat with the other two layers of flannel. It really helps to have a helper in doing this. Lay the chevron layer on top, with the right side facing up, making sure the selvage ends (not the cut edges) are matched up with the selvage edges of the bottom coordinating fabric. This will ensure that when you cut the backing fabric it will be cut on the bias reducing the amount of loose threads.
Now pin all the layers together using safety pins. Start in the middle, smoothing the fabric as you make your way outward. Try to put the safety pins in the middle of the chevron stripes so you don’t have to move them when sewing.
Start sewing! Sew along the edges of the chevron stripes. This takes a while as you have to stop and pivot at each point and valley. (Great practice for the beginner!) To keep the layers smooth it really helps to start sewing in the middle of the quilt working your way to the edge. Then go back to the middle and sew to the other edge. I did this for three chevron stripes and from that point on I was able to just start at one edge and sew all the way down to the other edge keeping all the layers smooth as I went.
When you are done you have nicely quilted zig zag stripes!
Now it’s time to square up the quilt. It’s easiest to fold it in half diagonally and cut off the excess on the side. Then fold in half diagonally the other direction and do the same thing. I also rounded the corners by placing a bowl at the corner, tracing around it, then cutting along the traced line.
Time to bind. You can use whatever binding method your prefer. Me? I go for the fast and easy. And since I am not very good at sewing perfectly along the edge of the bias tape I opted for a zig zag stitch to mimic the chevron stripes in the quilt. I just sandwiched the edge of the quilt between the double fold bias tape and sewed it on. Also, rounded corners are so much easier to bind than square ones. I think I might make all my quilts with rounded corners from now on!
After binding the quilt it’s time to cut up the back. Carefully snip through the back and at least two layers of flannel. I prefer to leave one layer of flannel along with the top chevron fabric uncut. And cut right down the middle between the stitching lines.
To keep the quilt smooth and so you don’t accidentally cut through the chevron fabric it’s best to lay the quilt on a table so your scissors can glide through the fabric. It also keeps the quilt from bunching up in your hand.
The back looks pretty neat when it’s all cut!
Run it through the washer and dryer a couple of times to rag up the cut edges on the back.
Voila! A beautiful baby quilt that only took a couple of afternoons to complete. The skinnier the chevron the more visually stunning the back will be. Eve is decorating the baby’s nursery with yellow and gray. This was the skinniest chevron I could find in our small town.
I know I will be making more of these quilts. They are so easy!