Baby Quilt with Bridesmaid Dress Pieces

Happy Friday!! I am always on the look out for a creative and sentimental gift idea. So when I ran across the idea to make a baby sized quilt made with patched from the bridesmaid dress that I wore the mommy and daddy’s wedding I just couldn’t resist! I’m going to be honest, this took me about 2 days to complete and had some help from some really helpful websites like The fickle pickle and Diary of a Quilter and my personal manatra “Slow and steady wins the race”, which should be yours as you’re quilting, I finished it! I want you to remember to use your imagination on fabric pattern, layouts, and stitching. Oh and please remember, the first time won’t be perfect so you will develop a really good relationship with your seam ripper so keep it handy. So lets get started.
Supplies
5 different fabric patterns (1 should be the pieces from the bridesmaid dress)
1 ½ yards of coordinating fabric (this will be used for the backing, but also used patched for the quilt)
1 pack of Quilt binding
Light weight quilt batting.
Coordinating thread (I used red)
Fabric scissors (Yes there is a difference
Pins

Lets get started.

Lets start with the obvious, you want to decide how big you want the quilt, and for my first I kept it small. To make it the size I wanted I made each patch a 5 X 5 box and from each fabric pattern I cut six pieces.
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Now once I got my pieces I cut out I laid out my pieces in different patterns until I found one that worked for me. Now remember, it does not have to be laid out like this. Please use your imagination as there is no right or wrong when it comes to pattern layout.
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Once you have it laid out you want to stack your rows. I stack each row from top to bottom. As I did this I pinned the right sides together (once again from top to bottom).
Once you’ve pinned the rows you want to sew the short side together a row at a time. Clear as mud? Take your first row, and where you’ve pinned sew. Doing this until each square in each row is sewn together. ( Yes, you have the option to do this a row at a time and then sew, or pin all the rows at the same time and then sew, it doesn’t really make a difference.) Once you’ve sewn you should end up with 6 different rows of patches sewn together. I surged my edges, to help it nice and neat, but you don’t have to do this.

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Once you’ve sewn please iron your seam to the right. Do NOT SKIP THIS STEP! I don’t like to iron, but I found that when ironed on this project it helped in the end.
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Now we have our 6 rows, and we should sew them together. So take row 1 and row 2, pin right sides together and sew length wise. Repeat this step, always keeping right sides together, until all rows are sewn together. To keep my seam lines straight I lined up my seams and pinned a pin in each square. I used my regular presser foot (because I’m not fancy enough to have the fancy quilting one) and just sewed lining the edge of the fabric along with the edge of my presser foot. Remember “SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!”
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Once you’ve sewn all of your rows together, iron your seams.
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Now we want to cut our border strips. Using the fabric that we are going to use for our backing cut 4 sections that are a little over 3 inches wide and 14 inches tall. These will be slightly longer that the short sides, but DO NOT CUT the excess fabric off. I did and it created a big mess. Lay your border pieces out. This is what it should look like at this point.
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Once again pin right sides together and sew, remembering that the corners should overlap. Once again, to keep my edges nice and neat I surged my edges, but you don’t have to. But you do have to iron the seams down.

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This is the part where I messed up…but you shouldn’t because I’m telling you what to do. Turning your quilt upside down (so the seams are exposed, let the border strips be open and lay out your binding on top to find out how much batting you need. As you can tell from the picture I did not do this…so please DO it! Do this with your solid back piece also.
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Now for the fun part! Let’s sew it all together!! Remember my mantra…SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE! Taking your front piece (the quilted side), the batting, and the back we are going to sew together. But not like normal, the layers should be like this. Back and front should be pinned right sides together. On the back (where the seams are) the batting should be pinned. The middle layer should be your quilted piece. Sew together all sides leaving a 3-5 inch gap on a straight side so we can turn it right side out.
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Remember that gap I was talking about? You want to reach your arm in that gap and pull the opposite side through that gap, so all that pretty quilting shows!
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Now time to make our quilt look like a quilt! The point to this step is to keep the layers together. Using safety pins pin your seams together. I only pinned two patches for each row and it seemed to work ok.
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I decided to keep it simple and sew straight diagonal lines. I started in the center and worked my way out. Remember, be creative, you can use and kind of pattern here.
Here is what it should look like at this point.
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Now for the fun part…binding! I REALLY struggled with the part, but once I figured it out I rolled it out. Take your pack of binding and outline your quilt. Words and even pictures are not enough to explain how this works, so just play with it and be patient.
Using your rotary board (or whatever you want to use) you want to pin you will mark a 45 degree angle. But first we have to pin together our binding pieces. To do this here is
what we do.
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Putting the raw edges together (with the top raw edge lining up with a solid edge pin together.
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Once you have the back sewn down, you will roll the binding over and pin the binding to the top. Remember…SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE! My binding got all messed up in my experimenting so I ended up with rounded corners and some barely visible borders….but you get the point. Hindsight is 20/20 and I know what I did wrong.
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TADA! Once you’ve finished with the binding you are done and it should look something like this…but perhaps a little neater!
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Have fun and be creative!!
~Katie

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