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Thursday, March 19, 2009

How to make a children's easy one-piece quilt

My oldest son recently turned 6. Here he is getting measured and marked in the door frame, our family tradition on each birthday.

I made him a pirate quilt for a gift. He saw some ominous-looking pirate fabric at the craft store and wanted a blanket. However, the fabric he picked out - however luxurious, soft, and fantastic it was - was $13 a yard. And did I mention it was menacing and ominous?
So we found a happier pirate fabric on sale for just over $1 a yard. Even the skull & crossbones are smiling.
I purchased 3 yards of the fabric. I folded it in half once. One piece will be the top of the quilt and the other piece will be the bottom. I cut along the fold.

Then I cut a piece of fleece the same size as the other 2 pieces.

I lay them together as I wanted them to be in the blanket.

Then I pinned them together every 6 inches along the edge as well as every 6-12 inches throughout the center of the blanket.
Next, I got some chalk (we have plenty of sidewalk chalk laying around, I used that). And a ruler.
I made a straight line from one long corner to the other. Then I marked every 6 inches from the main line and made another line. So the fabric was covered with lines crossing one direction every 6 inches.

Then I sewed along the lines, using a straight stitch and matching thread.

After the lines were sewn in one direction, I brought the blanket back to the floor and used the chalk & ruler again to make the lines in the other direction. Then I sewed those.

I ended up with a diamond pattern across the entire quilt top.

Then, to finish the edges you need to bind them. This just means taking another piece of fabric and sewing it to the edge. I used a matching fabric, and cut 4 pieces. I cut them 4 inches wide. Then I had to turn them into a binding or bias tape.
Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead when I did this, so I'll recreate it for you.

First, take your length of fabric. Mine is 4 inches wide. Ignore the fold marks, this one was leftover from the blanket and was already pressed (pressed just means ironed).

First, fold the piece in half lengthwise. Press (run the iron over it while pressing down).

After pressing in half, open it back up. You'll have a line down the middle. Use this line as your marker. You want to take the other halves and fold them in halfway to meet at the middle line. Do one at a time. Press after folding in.

Below is what you'll have after folding & pressing both sides in to meet at the middle line.

Then, fold again over the middle line.
You'll want to place this over the raw edge of your quilt (put the quilt on the inside where my finger is). Then pin into place and sew around the edge, catching the quilt and the binding.

You're finished!


  1. Very Cool! He looks so happy with his new mommy made blanket! We mark our kids' height on our wall too. ;-)

  2. I like the ease that this can be done! For my son's x-mas present I tackled doing twelve large squares (3x4) with alternating fabric and did not quite get them exactly matched for the perfect grid but close. Then I decided to go diagonal on the other side and cut long strips and pinned them alternating again. I have to sew them tonight... Your solution would have been much easier!!!

  3. we have looked EVERYWHERE for pirate fabric. Can you please tell me where you purchased this? THANK YOU! Tammy