A baby quilt sounds like a perfect present for a baby shower. Maybe you want to make something special for your little one? Baby quilts are practical, warm and can be made in thousands of different, adorable patterns. Plus, making it yourself adds that extra personal touch which will make this present just a little bit more special. The only question is, how big should you make it?
There isn’t just one correct size for a baby quilt, but there are some guidelines that can help you to make the right choice.
Depending on the baby’s age and a purpose of the quilt there are few common sizes you can choose:
· 36’’ x 54’’ is a standard size for a baby quilt. Quilt of this size will fit comfortably with the crib mattress (a typical measure of a crib mattress is around 28" x 52").
· 30″ x 30″ is a good choice for newborns, while 30″ x 40″ provides some growing space.
· Quilts bigger than 36’’ will make beautiful play mats.
Knowing the perfect quilt size is a good start. However, pretty soon you will encounter questions about the materials to use, how many squares do you need for making a quilt of your choice? What about maintenance or safety? In this article, we will try to provide all the necessary tips and advice to get you started in making your first baby quilt.
Obviously, the first and most important question is always about our baby’s safety.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend blankets, pillows quilts or soft toys for babies under one year old. The only safe sleep environment for the infants is a bare crib.
That means you should not use blankets or pillows when a baby is unsupervised and sleeping. However, if your baby is under one year old, you can still enjoy your baby quilt for some quality, supervised cuddle and playtimes.
Choosing fabric is important. It’s always recommended to go with natural materials for sensitive baby skin, for all parts of your baby quilt.
100% cotton is a wise choice. It’s soft, breathable and hypoallergenic which will provide comfort for even the most delicate babies.
Flannel is another good choice; it will provide extra warmth and soft texture that babies love.
Wool is also 100% natural fabric. Bear in mind that wool can shrink.
When deciding on materials and colours for your baby’s quilt bear in mind that babies are extremely messy. You will probably have to wash it a lot so the fabric should be durable and decorative elements in the colours that can be washed together, again and again. Hopefully, you will use your quilt for years and years to come.
If this is the first time you are making a quilt, it could be useful to list all the materials you will need, starting from tools to materials and measurements.
Basic tools include Scissors, Rotary cutter, Seam Ripper, Thread, Pins, and Fabric.
We have already discussed what fabrics are the best choices for babies. Once you have decided what kind of fabric you want to use we should start calculating how much materials you will need. Quilts are like sandwiches, you have batting in the middle and then front (the top of the quilt) and back, all nicely bonded together. Most quilt patterns tell you how much yardage you need, but if you are making it yourself you need precise measures.
Not to worry, there are standard sizes you can use if you are still not comfortable in doing the math yourself.
These are the measurement you can use for our standard crib baby quilt:
|BED SIZE||MATTRESS SIZE||QUILT SIZE||BATTING SIZE|
|CRIB||28’’x 52’’||36’’x 54’’||45’’x 60’’|
In the case you are making a quilt for some other size mattress there are two steps you need to follow:
Step 1. Measure the mattress. Measure the width and length of your mattress, and then check the thickness of your mattress – start at the corner of the top and measure to the corner of the bottom. This will be your drop width. Before you proceed you need to decide do you want your quilt to be tucked in or you want to add some more inches to your drop width so that quilt can comfortably fall down to the sides.
Step 2. Use this simple equation to determine how much fabric you need:
Mattress Size + Drop Width x 2 + Some Excess for Quilting.
Once you know desirable dimensions for your quilt you still need to find out how many yards you need to buy. This is where we need to have some general knowledge and do a little bit of math.
These days, the fabrics in the stores are about 42’’ to 43’’ in width, but then we have to remove salvages. Basically, the widths of the fabrics in the stores are 40 usable inches. Knowing that you need to take your smaller measurement and divide it by 40, to determine how much width you need.
Let’s say that your wanted quilt size is a bit bigger than standard baby crib quilt, for example, 62’’ x 82’’.
Divide your smaller measure with 40 (round that number) and you will know how much width you need: in this case that’s 2. So you need 2 widths and each of those has to be 82’’ long. Now, multiply 2x82’’ and divide that with 36 inches in a yard. The result will be 4 ½, and that’s how many yards you need.
Simple, isn’t it?
The most important part is over. By now, you know your desirable quilt size and how much yards of fabric you need for your backing. Deciding about the square layout and design is the fun and a creative part. The top part of the quilt is the smallest one, you will leave space for the borders (for example 5’’ on each side) and the rest is all about your creativity and design.
Drown down your design when you decide which shape to use for the top of your quilt. If you are a beginner - start simple. You can buy Charm Packs - pre-cut coordinated fabrics in squares and strips, which are often recommended for beginners. Charm Packs are fun and fast way to make quilts come together. You can find a large variety of different but coordinated fabrics. They are usually 5’’ squares or strips. Amazon is a good place to familiarize yourself with patterns, sizes and numbers of squares in the pack.
If you decide to make and cut your own squares, here is something to give you an idea of how much fabric you need.
|How many strips can I get from 1 yard of fabric?|
|Strip size||# of strips||Strip size||# of strips|
The biggest difference in between baby’s quilt and any other quilt is in its maintenance. For the large quilts (for your king-size bed, for example) made from natural materials is not recommended to wash them too often. But we know how babies are like. They are messy, there will be stains everywhere! At the same time are little ones are extremely sensitive to dust and dirt and we need to make sure that our quilt is not just warm and comfortable but also safe and healthy for the little ones.
As long as you think about that before you chose your fabrics you will be fine. Make sure you get fabrics that are labelled with pre-washed and pre-shrunk, so there would not be any unpleasant surprises.
There are few additional tips you can follow to ensure a longer-lasting softness of your quilts while making your baby’s health a priority:
Use this guide and information you got just as a reference and:
Most importantly, enjoy and have fun!