Thursday, September 6, 2012

HST baby quilt tutorial

I normally sew bags, but lately I've been stuck on quilts.  So far I've made and posted about these quilts:

Plus, I've also posted about these quilting projects:

I didn't use a pattern for this quilt.  I picked out some coordinating fabrics from my stash, made some HSTs, fooled around with different configurations, and then sewed it all together.  But my facebook friend, Miss Janice said she was hoping for a free pattern for this quilt, so I'm going to try it out.

As you can see from the photo below, the quilt is made up of half-square-triangles or HSTs.  I've outlined the HST blocks with a black dotted line in the photo:

Here's how I make HST blocks:

1)Cut 2 ten inch squares of fabric.
   Stack them right sides together.
   Stitch all the way around all the edges.
   Use 1/4 inch seam allowances.

2)Cut diagonally from corner to corner.

3)Press the seams open.

4)Now you have 4 identical 6.5 inch half 
   square triangle blocks or HSTs.

Here's how I experimented with block configurations:
I used my Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo 2x program to make the center square in this diagram.
Then I used the fill option to add color to individual blocks.
As you can see I played around with lots of different patterns.
I ended up choosing the pattern just left of the center square.
I haven't tried it, but I image you can do this with any simple 

"paint" program that allows you to draw straight lines and has a "fill" option.

I fabrics I chose were a pink with tiny white stars, a solid grey linen, a floral print, and a white sheet.  I cut out the following 10 inch squares:
  • 15 white 
  • pink 
  • floral
  • grey 
I paired up the white squares with each of the colors and made HST blocks like I had previously mentioned. I ended up with:
  • 28 pink/white 6.5 inch HST blocks
  • 16 floral/white 6.5 inch HST blocks (I only used 13 for this quilt)
  • 16 grey/white 6.5 inch HST blocks (I only used 15 for this quilt)
The tricky part was making this portion of the quilt:
You can see these 4 blocks are just a bit different than all the other ones.
I took 4 of the grey/white blocks and added a bit of the floral print to each
of the corners.  This made a nice focal point on the quilt top.

Here's how I modified the 4 grey/white blocks:
  1. I measured 2 inches from each corner and marked a line between those 2 points.
  2. I cut across the line, effectively lopping off the corner.
  3. I lined up a strip of the floral print to the edge of the cut, right sides together, and stitched across.
  4. I pressed open the seam and trimmed the excess fabric to make a perfect square.
Here's how I assembled the quilt:
  1. I laid out all the blocks in the correct order.  My quilt is 7 blocks by 8 blocks.  Then I sewed together one row at a time.  After that I sewed all the rows together to complete the quilt top.  The resulting top was roughly 40"x45".
  2. I cut a piece of thin cotton batting roughly 44"x49" so it was slightly bigger than the top.
  3. I went bought 4 feet of 45" pink flannel for the backing.
  4. I taped the flannel to my hardwood floor, centered the batting on top, and centered the quilt top over all that.
  5. I used curved safety pins and pinned through all the layers.  I used one pin in each triangle.
  6. I machine quilted for a long stinking time....I like everything about making quilts, but the actual "quilting" part gets very tedious for me. (I show the machine quilting further down the page.)
  7. I squared up the quilt, trimming all the sides nice and even and straight.
  8. I made some binding out of a grey velvety polyester from my stash.  The binding was 2" wide strips sewn together and pressed in half.  One side was pressed under 1/2" from the edge and the other was 3/8" from the edge.  
  9. I sewed on the binding, washed and dried the quilt, and then I was done!  
Here's how I did the machine quilting:
First I stitched in the ditch on all the black lines in this photo.
Then I took out all my safety pins.
Then a made 2 lines of quilting onto all the white and 1 line on the non-white fabrics.
So basically there are 4 lines of quilting follow all the black lines in this photo.
The distance between the lines?  I just had my needle centered the whole time
 and used the edge of my presser foot along the seam or stitching as a guide.

This photo shows the next round of quilting.
I stitched in the ditch for the most part,
but you can see from the black lines in the photo that
 I did not overlap my previous lines of quilting. 
It's kind of hard to put into words so I hope the picture tells the story.

Here's a couple pics of the quilting pattern.  You can click on the photos to enlarge:

And so here's another look at the finished quilt:

I made this quilt to be auctioned off at a benefit for my cousin's baby who was born 3.5 months early.  I posted about it HERE and would love for you to leave a comment on that post as I will be sharing it with my cousin and her family.  The other quilt I made for the benefit is HERE.

So, I've never made a quilt tutorial before.  What did I forget?  If you need extra help with things like machine quilting and binding, I recommend Oh, Fransson's tutorials.

I'll leave you with a recent picture of the Tuffest boy I know:

On Sept. 4 he was a whopping 3lbs.10oz.
and 16 inches long!  He's come a long way
from his 1lb.15oz. birthweight and 2 separate
surgeries to repair holes in his intestines.
That's why we call him Tuff!

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
Pin It


  1. WOW! That was QUICK, lol! Pushing my luck, but any chance I could get this as a PDF to print out?

    Hoping so,
    Janice M.

    1. A pdf now, Janice! You're a hard woman to please. :D I've never made a pdf so I'll have to get back to you on that. What if you highlighted the post and then right-clicked and chose to print the selection? Thanks for being such a diligent fan!


    2. Not a problem, I've printed out the 5 pgs of this Tute. Just a suggestion though, you may still want to research how to also add a 'clickable' PDF button to your Tutes for future reference :)

      Janice M.
      P.S. Luv the quilt!

  2. Great tutorial! Pinning for future reference (one day, I WILL try Thanks for sharing!

  3. Easy to follow tutorial, Rikka, especially with the diagrams. LOVE the quilt!!! Also pinning for future reference...

  4. Our prayers are for Tuff..Wow superb. But looks like a very tough one for me!! You are inspiring me to make a quilt. But I kinda lack the patience to buy matching fabric and making one :D Lazy me..

  5. Gorgeous quilt Rikka and great tutorial too!

  6. Thank you for repinning one of my pins today. I am having a craft weekend and just by chance clicked on your boards to look for ideas... Holy Moly! I might be stalking you after seeing the amazing abundance of awesome ideas you have stashed away. Your quilt is absolutely beautiful and I would llove to make it for my daughter who is having her miracle baby in February... You must have an education background as you made it sound very easy. Thanks again and our prayers to little Tuff as he continues to grow. Would love to have you keep us posted on his progress. :)

  7. I'm planning to try this in a full size quilt for my 3 year old daughter...I hope it works out off-centered like the crib size. :)

  8. What a gorgeous little miracle!! He's beautiful. Thank you for sharing his story and I'm so glad people like you care.

  9. I sent the PDF to you Rikka on FB. DMS PDF printer is a free program. Just print into it and save. I have it installed already so I did it for you.

  10. My first visit. Love this quilt!

  11. Update: Tuff is now 5lbs. 3oz. as of Sept. 29. He is breathing on his own. He can maintain his own body temp. His eye development is right on track. His next big obstacle is his "take down" surgery--I'll let you google it. He is such a little fighter and we are so proud of him!

  12. Beautiful quilt. I am anxious to try it. Thanks you so much for posting the tutorial because I know how much time and effort it takes. I will be praying for Tuff. Having two grandchildren born very early, I know the worry and strain that it is.

  13. How much of each fabric did you use?

    1. I never did figure out the yardage. Sorry. I did mention how many 10" squares of each color of fabric I used.

    2. I just did the math to make this quilt and this is what me and my mother came up with:
      1.5 yards white
      1 yard pink
      0.5 yard floral
      0.5 yard gray + another 0.5 yard for binding
      2 yards of the backing (pink flannel)

      If this doesn't work out (need more), I'll repost.

  14. Your quilt caught my eye, so beautiful! Never quilted before, but seeing your quilt makes want to run out to a fabric store right now to look for fabric. Thank you for the pin.

  15. Thank you sew much for sharing the details of how you made this wonderful baby quilt. I found your site through the link from the blog hop at Just Let Me Quilt and am now a happy follower ... :) Pat

  16. So, I stumbled across your tutorial while looking for ideas for a pink and grey quilt. My friend is having a little girl and doing the nursery in those colors, and when I saw your quilt I just had to make it!!!

    Thank you so much for the beautiful tutorial!! Would love to show you a pic of my knock-off, but can't figure out how to post it!!

  17. Wow! this is just beautiful!

  18. Have spent a good part of my day searching for fabrics for this quilt online. Can't wait to get started!

  19. I have just pinned your beautiful quilt, I'll be sewing this next week, great work. Regards, Wendy from Melbourne, Australia

  20. This is one of the best tutorials I have ever read, Thank you!

  21. What a wonderful tutorial. Very clear step-by-step instructions and lots of good pictures. I love that you put how much fabric you used, and how many squares of each. I definitely feel I could use this tutorial, grab some fabric, and easily make that quilt. As for the quilt itself - I love the colors and the way you set up the pattern. And the quilting you did on it just makes the whole thing pop. Great job on everything! I hope you were able to raise lots of money with your quilt!

  22. Thank you for sharing. I've been looking for a baby quilt and knew that this was the one when I saw the picture on Pinterest. (Soperton, GA)

  23. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt & want it SO bad for my little girl (me!, lol). Could I buy one from you? I'm not a very into-detail craftsy person, so I don't think I could do it. ):

    1. I'm super flattered by how much you love this quilt. Thanks so much for commenting! As to purchasing a quilt from me, I must decline. I perfer to give away the things I sew to friends and family.

    2. And you're an angel too. My goodness you're busy.

    3. Honey, I'll just bet someone reading here would be more than glad to make this for you. The question is, would you be willing to pay them what it's worth? When I found out the price of custom quilts, wooooo. I was floored.

      It is quite lovely and I hope you get one for your special one.



  24. What was the finished size of this quilt?

    1. This is just a guess because the finished quilt is long gone, but 35ish inches by 40ish inches is my best estimate.

    2. Ha! I just reread my tutorial. The quilt top came out roughly 40" x 45". So after quilting and binding, I'm sure it was still pretty close to 40" x 45" or just a smidge smaller. Hope that helps.

  25. Do you have any IDEA how kind it was of you to post this to help others? I have a new granny on the way and I love, love, your quilt, the work you put into it AND to share it with us.

    Hopefully I will do your work justice as I'd like to try it out for our new baby bump.



  26. Thank you so much for sharing this great tutorial! I just love the way your quilt turned out and hope that my version will turn out even half as nice! I can't wait to give this a try this weekend! :)

  27. I absolutey LOVE this quilt! I choose this for my very first quilt and I am actually getting ready to sew it all together. Thank you so much for a great tutorial. I am so excited to see how it comes out! :)

  28. Thank you for such a clear, easy to follow tutorial. One question... Did you press your seams open? I tried making a HST quilt and had trouble getting the intersections to not be a big bump-lump of fabric. How did you avoid that? I already have the fabric purchased and cut to make this beautiful quilt for my 8 month old grand daughter. Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Ellie! It's been quite a while, but I clearly remember not pressing my seams open on the diagonal seams because the seam allowance was too visible on the white fabric. I stuck with the quilter's motto of pressing to the dark side. The longer seams, connecting the blocks,were ptessed open. Some intersections were a little bulky, requiring mindfullness while sewing and extra pressing to keep everything flat. Once I started quilting it all together though, the seams looked great. Let me know how it turns out!

  29. Beautiful quilt. Very nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing it!

  30. Fabulous looking quilt and excellent tutorial. Hope that little Tuff is doing well. I've already got some fabric in mind for this pattern. Thank you.

    1. Tuff is fabulous! He's a busy boy, into everything, and keeping his parents on their toes. :)

  31. Thank you for sharing the instructions for this lovely quilt--I'd like to make it for a great-niece, and love the way you designed it to be off-center!

    1. You are so welcome! Thanks for your kind words.

  32. Love, Love, Love!!! Thanks so very much for sharing!! You are so kind to share your talents!


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