When there's a brand new little one in the family, the holidays are all about baby. Our adorable baby quilt, with its matching appliquéd bib, will make Baby's First Christmas extra special. The quilt is made of traditional nine-patch blocks, but we stretched four of the nine squares within each block into rectangles. The resulting design mimics the look of a little wrapped present. You make nine "present blocks" to create the perfect baby quilt gift. The matching bib uses a couple of larger motifs from the quilt's fabric as appliqués, and has super soft and absorbant chenille on the back.
We chose a cheery mixture of eight colorful prints from a variety of designers. Even though the combo has a definite holiday theme, the tones and patterns in this quilt will be just as fun and bright in June as they were in December. Success is all in the way you bring fabrics together to create your own special style. For more tips on blending, take a look at our mixing and matching tutorial.
Inventory shifts constantly, and some of the prints we originally selected from Fabric.com are no longer in-stock. However, the pretty featured medallion we used within in the quilt as well as for the bib appliqués is still available: Holiday Ornaments For All in Courtney Green by Michael Miller Fabrics (item #0290462). For the other fabrics, there are literally hundreds of alternatives in the Fabric.com Quilting Category.
We've left all the fabric detail in place, even though it is specific to the original collection. This detail will make it easier to follow along through the steps, and to see exactly how we assembled our eight different fabrics. You can then simply substitute your own selections and still keep track along the way.
If you are new to quilting, this is a great project to practice your skills. As we mentioned above, it is a modified nine-patch - one of the classic assembly patterns. Below are links to all the articles within our Quilting Basics Series, which give you the tips and techniques you need to get started right away.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP
- Walking foot (the MC8900 QCP has the built-in AcuFeed Flex™ system, which we love. If you do not have a built-in feeding system, we recommend a Walking foot or similar.)
- Quarter Inch Seam foot (standard on the 8900) This foot is optional, but helpful since all the seams for the quilt are ¼".
Fabric and Other Supplies
To get the "Little Presents" look of our quilt, you need to use fabrics somewhat similar to what we selected. Throughout the instructions, we will refer to the fabric by name. Below is a key to the fabrics.
Supplies and instructions are for ONE quilt and ONE matching bib. The cuts specified below are generous to allow you to carefully fussy cut all the motifs. The quilt finishes at 38" x 38" and the bib is approximately 14" x 10½".
- ONE YARD each of EIGHT different 44-45" wide cotton fabrics; see the pictures above for our picks, however, as noted in the introduction, not all these exact fabrics are currently in stock. Dots and Chevrons as always available, then look for similar large and/or small motifs to match our pattern. You can certainly create your own unique mix-and-match combination, but as mentioned, you want to at least follow a similar size-of-motif design in order to achieve the look of the "little presents."
- ½ yard of 56-58" wide cotton chenille for the bib back: we used 58” 10 ounce Cotton Chenille in White (item #AH-402) from Fabric.com
- Scrap or ¼ yard of medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- Crib size quilt batting or enough lightweight batting for a 40" x 40 square: we used Quilter's Dream Green Select Batting Crib Size (46" x 60") from Fabric.com (item #QBR-026) - this is a soft and cozy low loft batting made from recycled plastic bottles!
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- Snap setting tool
NOTE: See our tutorial for more information on installing metal snaps.
- TWO size 16, long prong snap sets; the long prongs are necessary to go through the heavy chenille; we used red
- TWO approximate 5" x 5" squares of fusible transfer web for appliqué: we used Wonder Under
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Large safety pins for quilt basting
NOTE: For all the blocks, take the time to fussy cut your fabric to center a pretty motif in each. If you are new to fussy cutting, check out our tutorial.
- From the Dumb Dot Red, fussy cut the following:
FIVE 2½" x WOF (width of the fabric or 44-45") strips. Cut ONE strip into FOUR 2½" x 2½" squares. Set the other strips aside; they'll be used for binding.
- From the Firefly Red, fussy cut the following:
ONE 2½" x WOF strip. Cut the strip into FOUR 2½" x 2½" squares and FOUR 2½" x 4½" rectangles.
- From the Firefly Green, fussy cut the following:
TWO 4½" x WOF strips. Cut one strip into FOUR 4½" x 4½" squares. Cut the other strip vertically into SIXTEEN 2½" x 4½" rectangles.
- From the Chevron Red, fussy cut the following:
TWO 2½" x WOF strips. Cut the strips horizontally into SIXTEEN 2½" x 4½" rectangles.
- From the Holiday Ornaments Green, fussy cut the following:
SIXTEEN perfectly centered 4½" x 4½" flower squares.
- From the Kaleidoscope Red, fussy cut the following:
NINE perfectly centered 4½" x 4½" flower squares. Follow our diagram above to cut these nine squares so the mini medallion is centered within each.
Keep EIGHT of the nine squares as-is. From the ninth square, cut ONE perfectly centered 2½" x 2½" mini medallion. This is the very center square on the quilt.
EIGHT perfectly centered 4½" x 4½" flower squares. Follow our diagram above to cut these eight squares so each has a large medallion centered to fill the square.
- From the Nordic Holiday Peppermint cut ONE 30½" x 30½" square for the center backing.
- From the White Broadcloth, cut the following:
FOUR 4½" x 30½" border strips
FOUR 4½" x 38½" border strips
- Cut the batting into a 40" x 40" square.
- Download and print the Bib Bottom and Bib Top patterns. Print ONE copy of the Bib Top pattern. Print THREE copies of the Bib Bottom pattern.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out each pattern along the solid line.
- Butt one top and one bottom together to create the full pattern, following the assembly arrows drawn on the pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape together.
- With the remaining two bottom pieces, flip one over and tape the two pieces together in the center (at the fold line). Cut along the marked Pocket Line. This is your pocket pattern.
NOTE: If you would like to create a full bib pattern rather than cutting on the fold, you can print additional copies of the bottom and top pieces and flip one set to create an entire patten. This might be especially useful if you’d like to very precisely fussy cut the motif for the bib front.
- Using the pattern (as noted on the pattern piece, you cut along the fold), fussy cut ONE from the FIREFLY GREEN for the bib front and ONE from the CHENILLE for the bib back.
NOTE: Make sure your fabric’s design motif as well as the ribs of the chenille run lengthwise along the pattern’s fold line.
- Using the pocket pattern, fussy cut one from the CHEVRON RED.
- Using the pocket pattern, cut ONE piece of interfacing.
- From the remaining HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS GREEN, you will need to fussy cut TWO medallions for the bib's appliqués. See the BIB instructions below for step-by-step notes on cutting, placing and stitching the appliqués.
- From the remaining DUMB DOT RED, cut 54" of 2½" strips on the bias for the bib's binding.
NOTE: If you are new to cutting on the bias, we have two tutorials: Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making, Attaching and Continuous Bias Binding: How to Plan, Mark, Stitch & Cut.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Assembling the "presents"
- The quilt is made up of nine modified nine-patch blocks, which create the "little presents" of the quilt's name.
- All seam allowances are ¼".
Present #1: Make TWO
- Collect the pieces as shown below to create two Present #1 blocks.
- Row 1: A= Kaleidoscope Red/Medallion square, B=Firefly Green rectangle, C= Kaleidoscope Red/Medallion square.
- Row 2: A= Firefly Green rectangle, B=Firefly Red square, C= Firefly Green rectangle.
- Row 3: A= Kaleidoscope Red/Medallion square, B=Firefly Green rectangle, C= Kaleidoscope Red/Medallion square.
- For each row, place B and C right sides together. Pin in place and stitch along one side.
- For each row, place A right sides together with the sewn B/C unit. Pin in place and stitch along one side.
- When all the rows are assembled, pin Row 1 right sides together with Row 2. Stitch together. Then pin Row 3 right sides together with the sewn Row 1/Row 2 unit. Stitch in place.
- Press the finished block from the back, pressing the seam allowances in opposite directions so all the seams lay flat.
- Then, press again from the front.
Present #2: Make FOUR
- Collect the pieces as shown below to create four Present #2 blocks.
- Following the same steps as outlined above, create the four Present #2 nine-patch blocks.
Present #3: Make TWO
- Collect the pieces as shown below to create two Present #3 blocks.
- Following the same steps as outlined above, create the two Present #3 nine-patch blocks.
Present #4: Make ONE
- Collect the pieces as shown below to create one Present #4 block.
- Following the same steps as outlined above, create the one Present #4 nine-patch block.
Assembling the blocks into rows and the rows into the center of the quilt top
- Following the diagram above, place all the blocks into their appropriate row. You should have three rows, each made up of three blocks.
- Collect the three blocks for the first row. Pin the first two blocks, right sides together, along one side. Stitch together.
- The most important thing to remember is to keep your seams in line with one another. It helps to place a pin in the seam.
- In addition, in order for your seams to 'nest together' and create perfect points on the front (a perfect intersection of the corners), you need to alternate the direction of the seam allowances you are matching up.
NOTE: If you are new to this and other quilting techniques, refer to our list of Quilting Basics tutorials above in the project's introduction.
- Take the third block in your sequence and pin it, right sides together, to the completed two-block piece. Stitch together.
- Repeat to create the remaining two three-block rows.
- When all three rows are complete, you can stitch them together. Working from the top row down, pin the first two rows right sides together. Again, remember to keep your seams in line with one another.
- Stitch the rows together. Your careful matching along the seams will create perfect points on the front.
- Repeat to stitch the final row in place to complete the finished center patchwork.
- Place the finished center patchwork right side up on your work surface.
- Find two 4½" x 30½" border strips and two 4½" x 38½" border strips.
- Place one 30½" strip along each side of the center patchwork. Pin in place.
- Stitch together. Remember, all your seam allowances are ¼".
- Place one 38½" border strip along the top and along the bottom of the center patchwork, which now has the side borders sewn in place.
- Stitch together. For all the border steps, it helps to stitch with the back facing up so you can make sure the seams are laying flat.
- Press well from both the back and the front.
- Find the remaining two 4½" x 30½" border strips and the remaining two 4½" x 38½" border strips, as well as the 30½" x 30½" Nordic Holiday Peppermint square.
- Following the same steps used to add the borders to the front, add the borders to the back square.
Layering the quilt front, the batting and quilt back
- Place the 40" x 40" batting square on your work surface or a nice, clean floor. Layer the quilt top on top of the batting, right side up.
- Using the big safety pins, pin every other square through the quilt top and batting.
- Once the batting is firmly secured to the quilt top, trim any excess batting so the layers are perfectly flush on all sides.
- Gently roll up the top and batting and set to the side.
- Place the quilt back wrong side up and flat on your work surface/floor.
- Gently unroll the the quilt top and place it right side up on the quilt back. The quilt back should fit perfectly, ie. all the raw edges should be flush with the batting and the quilt front.
- Re-pin all the safety pins through all three layers.
- Stitch in the ditch along all the rectangle rows of all the presents.
NOTE: If you have a walking or even feed foot for your sewing machine, this is a good time to use it. The walking foot will help to feed the layered fabrics evenly, so they don't slip. Go slowly and carefully.
- When all your rows of quilting are complete, check the edges. Trim away any excess batting that may have been exposed by any slight shifting while quilting.
- Collect and assemble your four binding strips end to end.
- Fold and press the strip into finished binding and attach to the raw edge of the quilt.
- Stitch in place, making a pretty miter at each corner.
NOTE: If you are new to binding, we have an excellent tutorial: Complete Step-By-Step For Binding Quilts & Throws.
- This bib follows the same instructions as our original Oh Baby! Bib. The only difference is the addition of two appliqués.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the back of the pocket.
- On the wrong side of the Ornaments For All fabric, place a fusible web square over the the top of a medallion motif. The adhesive side should be down. Fuse in place.
- Cut a curve along one side of the medallion. The opposite sides should form a corner.
- Peel off the adhesive backing.
- Place the appliqué adhesive side down, motif side up in the bottom left corner on the right side of the pocket panel. Adjust as shown in the photo below. Pin to secure, then press in place.
- Flip over and trim the corner of the appliqué so it is flush with the bottom of the pocket panel.
- Repeat to create a second appliqué. This one should be a full circular cut-out of the medallion flower.
- Position as shown in the photo below on the right side of the bib front.
- Appliqué both motifs in place, using a tight satin stitch. Go slowly to maintain a smooth curve.
NOTE: If you are new to appliqué, check out our tutorial.
- Finish the bib construction per the original Oh Baby! Bib tutorial.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild