Tutorial: Modern Chevron Baby Quilt (Crib size)

Chevrons are everywhere at the moment and I love ‘em. I know I’ll want to make this quilt again so I’m documenting it for my forgetful future-self and anyone else who might be interested.

Orange Chevron Baby Quilt Tutorial

If you’ve ever thought of sewing a quilt this is a great one to get started with. It’s made from squares and half-square triangles which are quite easy to put together. Plus I’ve also got plenty of helpful links to guide you through the whole process.

Folded Modern Chevron Baby Quilt

Before we start – here’s where I took my inspiration. A manhole cover. Romantic, oui? Just be thankful I photoshopped out the cigarette butt.

Chevron pattern on a French manhole cover

This pattern will produce a crib sized quilt (45 x 60 inches) for your baby-wrapping pleasure. You’ll need to decide on two contrasting colours (I’ve gone tangerine and a beige/taupe) and then assemble some fabrics.

TT8

I chose 4 different neutrals (a half yard of each) and 7 different tangerines (fat quarters of each). A neat trick is to find a fabric with a repeating pattern in regular rows, like this one:

TT6

By just altering the spacing of my cutting, I ended up with three different looking blocks from the one fabric:

TT7

Once you’ve had fun pulling your fabrics together, you can start cutting:

From your tangerine colours you will need a total of 180 x 3 in squares.

From your neutrals you will also need a total of 180 x 3 inch squares.

Then we need to make the 72 half-square triangles (HSTs). What follows is an explanation of how I like to make them, but there are other methods. Get your google on or see this tutorial over at Jennifer’s That girl…that quilt.

So, back to the HSTs –  you’ll need:

36 x 3.5 inch tangerine squares, and

36 x 3.5 inch neutral squares.

Take a neutral 3.5 inch square and draw a line diagonally corner to corner on the wrong side. I use a Hera marker, but a water soluble fabric marker works too. Match this neutral square with one of your 3.5 inch tangerine squares, right sides together.

Marking out half square triangle blocks

Then using your marked line as your guide, sew a seam a quarter inch either side of that line.

Sewing half square triangle blocks

Chain piecing really speeds the process up here. Feed your units in one after the other to sew one seam, then clip them apart, flip them around and feed them all back in again to sew the other seam. Then you’ll have all your squares sewn up lickety-split.

chain piecing half-square triangle blocks

You might notice I’ve evenly mixed my tangerine squares while my neutrals are still in their individual colour stacks (just lumped on top of each other). This way my tangerine fabrics will be evenly distributed among the neutrals in my HST units. (I didn’t want all of one orange fabric ending up sewn to the one neutral.) Then I could just grab from the top of each stack without thinking about it.

Once you’ve cut apart all your two square units it’s time to cut along the marker line to give yourself two HST units.

Separating the half square triangle blocks

Press your seams either open or to one side, as you prefer. Remember to press and not ‘iron’. Ironing involves running the iron back and forward like you’d iron a shirt, pressing is putting the iron down, shot of steam, lift the iron up and repeat. No moving the iron across the fabric as this stretches and distorts your triangles.

Pressing the half square triangle blocks

Now I have made these triangles a wee bit larger than the 3 inch finished product required. This is so there is some fat to trim so your HSTs are accurate and make pointy looking points. Yes, it adds another step, but it makes for a good-lookin’ product.

Right, so trim/square up your HSTs to 3 inchs either with a square template or, like me, using the 45 degree angle line on your cutting mat:

Trimming the half square triangle blocks to size

Now you will have all your units cut and ready to lay out in your chevron pattern. Just follow the grid below, alternating your colours within each chevron in a way that’s pleasing to your eye.

Quilting pattern for the Modern Chevron Baby Quilt

All laid out? Good. Break open a block of chocolate and then sew the whole thing together – first join your squares to make rows, then sew the rows together.

The completed patchwork quilt top

Whee! We’re on the home stretch now. Now to make a backing. I used the tangerine left overs in mine, between two pieces of IKEA flat sheet. If you’re getting jack of it all (or have run out of chocolate) and just want to finish, go with a single large piece of fabric.

Back view of the Modern Chevron Baby Quilt, showing the quilting pattern

What quilting pattern are you going to use? It can be as simple as a large grid, using the seams as a guide or some fancy free motion quilting to highlight your chevrons. I went for a straight-line pattern echoing the chevron shapes.
Marking out the quilting pattern to echo the shape of the chevrons

I drew the pattern on my quilt top with a water-soluble marker, one inch from my outer seams (added bonus is you aren’t quilting over thick seam lines where multiple layers meet).

Make your quilt sandwich with backing, wadding/batting and then your quilt top. You can pin them together (great tutorial on this at Red Pepper Quilts) or you can spray baste them together. I chose to spray baste as my quilting pattern had lots of pivots and I wanted the extra hold as I hauled the quilt through my machine.

Drawing the quilting pattern on the quilt top with water soluble marker

Choose the thread colour for quilting – I went with thread to match each fabric colour but you could easily use tangerine on your neutral chevrons and neutral on your tangerine fabric for a different look. Don’t forget to consider the back as well. In retrospect I wish I’d only used tangerine thread on the back (bobbin thread) so the quilting stood out even more on my neutral backing. We live and learn, huh?

Once you’ve quilted it’s time to bind. My favourite binding making/attaching tutorials are here: at Crazy Mom Quilts and Red Pepper Quilts.

Time to bind the quilt

Once your binding is attached you have to trim excess batting and backing, fold the binding over to enclose the raw edges of the quilt and then secure by sewing. You can machine sew it with precision (Red Pepper Quilts tutorial) or go for a quicker machine sew by using a zigzag stitch (like Rachel in her Stiched in Color tutorial). I chose to hand sew this one.

Hand sewing the binding down on the quilt

I choose a thread to match the backing (rather than the binding) and use a long length of it doubled up. I thread the two cut ends through the needle and the uncut loop hangs at the other end. I put my needle through this loop when making the first stitch to secure the thread without having to use a knot. I sew an uneven ladder stitch – about a quarter inch in the binding (I just zip along inside the fold) and then a smaller stitch into the quilt back and batting before heading back up into the binding. And I love using binding clips to hold it all in place; much more friendly than pins.

Securing the quilt binding with binding clips makes sewing it down a lot easier

After it’s all done, throw it in the wash to get rid of your water soluble marker, dry and then find a baby to snuggle with. Mmmm, babies.

TT22

Even though I’m late I’m going to link this up to the Tangerine Tango Challenge pool, which I first saw over at Ali’s blog a.squared.w.

And there you have it. Not hard when the internet is here to guide you! If anyone is still reading, I wish you many chevrons and babies and plenty of time to enjoy them all.

 P.S. If you see any boo-boos please let me know.

TT5

Comments

  1. says

    Wow! Love this pattern and the fabrics you’ve chosen. Might have to get off my lazy butt and make this one, probably in aqua or pink. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing, it is gorgeous.
    I like the part about your inspiration.
    Have you seen the posters about the new show in the caves in les Baux de Provence?

  3. says

    Wow, fabulous tutorial and gorgeous quilt! Manhole covers have never looked prettier. I read every word and will be back to follow all your tips often I am sure.

  4. says

    Fabulous Kirsty. Love the pattern and thanks for the info on how you quilted it too. This is definitely going very close to the top of my list of what I must make! Thank you very much for the tutorial.xxxxx

  5. says

    Lovethe quilt!
    Great tutorial!
    Love that grid too! Sometimes you areinspired by themost crazy things. You havemade a most striking quilt out of it.
    I love it.
    I’d already seen itin that Tangerine Flickr pool and wondered what had become of it.
    You’ve done areally GR

  6. Anonymous says

    Great quilt and superb use of color Kirsty! But most of all I am impressed and touched by the inspiration. Now you see the name of the foundry: Pont-a-Mousson? I grew up in that region of steel mills and iron mines, so it really hit home when I saw what beautiful thing came out from the picture of such a lowly telephone man-cover.
    Thank Kirsty,
    Annick
    annick5424 at gmail.com

  7. says

    What a great post! Thank you! The quilt is so gorgeous and I really want to try it as well now! I love to see your inspiration and how you highlight the way cutting affects patterned fabric! Very inspiring! So, now I have to think about what would be some cool contrasting colour pairs! :-)

  8. says

    Great Tutorial…no baby’s in my future, though I would welcome another great grandchild if my only married granddaughter would decide to be a mother. Sigh!!
    Love the colors, not so traditional. Love it.

  9. says

    Wow Kirsty, this is FANTASTIC! It has wonderful movement. And a fresh & happy feel so typical of you! Excellent tutorial too. You are going to see these popping up all over the world I’m sure! Pure genius :) Ros x

  10. says

    I have read the complete thing – you know!
    This is a great tue – and a wonderful pattern!! Thanky for this – and I will definitly do it one day!!

  11. says

    Thank you for the tutorial! I truly appreciate your links to the other sites – I had not seen your spray basting post. And the binding post you directed us to helps a lot. I must make this soon!! Thanks, Kirsty.

  12. says

    Thank you for sharing! I love your design and will use it for my next baby quilt. The arrangement of HSTs as well as the quilting you did are most pleasing!

  13. says

    Wow! Amazing pattern. I am going for pink and cream :) and maybe a bit bigger size, do you have a website? your imagination is crazy unique and organic love it.

  14. says

    Saw this over at Pink Chalk Fabrics and just had to come see! I don’t know why but this quilt has captured my imagination more than just about any other I’ve seen lately; just lovely & so creative! Great tutorial too; I have several baby quilts planned as gifts this year and may have to do one of them like this! Thanks for the inspiration & instruction ;>)

  15. says

    I’m excited by the thought of other babies snuggling up in this design. Pink and cream sounds dreamy cmicha1460; I don’t have a website (.com), only this blog. I’m sure you can increase the size of the quilt by continuing the pattern off the quilt, if you know what I mean.

  16. threads says

    Kirsty, Great design!! I didn’t see it mentioned, but you could include that this is a ‘tesselation’ quilt as well. I love it!

  17. says

    I saw this over at Pink Chalk too and just had to see the whole process – I love the colors and the inventive pattern as well. You should make a block of this and send it for the QuiltCon challenge!

  18. says

    Saw this quilt on the Pink Chalk newletter & it absolutely took my breath away…..sooo beautiful, you did a great job on the turtorial (I’m new to quilting) & the pictures you gave on the stitching were so informative! Have to ask what is name (maker) of that great material that you showed in rows? Would love to find something like that.
    Thanks again, signed up for your email too…..I can’t wait to see what else you come up with.
    Nancy

    • says

      Hi Nancy, that material was an Anthology fabric by Khristian Howell, the line was called High Society and the fabric is Orbs in Orange. It was also printed in green and purple. It’s about 2 years old now so a bit trickier to find – you could try etsy and see what you come up with. Otherwise, look for a large scale print that you could use to the same effect.

    • says

      What a sweetheart you are for giving such detailed information. I did check etsy & found the orbs in green, which was also my favorite in a color choice for this pattern.
      Thank you, thank you again….I am such a fan of your work. I am so glad pink chalk highlighted your wonderful quilt & design.
      xo, Nancy

  19. says

    I saw this posted through the Pink Chalk newsletter and clicked through because it is so unique – and orange! Learned a new trick too – the double thread no knot for binding!

  20. says

    Absolutely love this quilt. Thanks for the great tutorial. No new babies expected at the moment..but three of my nieces have yet to have any…so there could be. Also, this would make a great full size, so maybe I will get one made sooner than later.
    CathyC in Alberta

  21. says

    Awesome design, great colors, beautiful quilt! I have a little stack of orange fabrics waiting for me… I was inspired by that Tangerine Tango Challenge, but just need to make the time to whip something up. Thanks for your tutorial, and inspiration.

  22. says

    it is absolutely Fabulous Kirsty! And the tutorial is very welcome and great. Love love love this post! You are such a great person for quilting, the end result looks so perfectly shaped and the corners all match sooo well, you are a master at this. I hope we can meet one day and I can see you doing it, I can learn big time from you.

    xx
    Maaike

  23. says

    I’m so glad I’ve gone backwards in blog reading to find this gem!!! What a fabulous quilt. The design is just gorgeous and I happen to have a whole lotta tangerine fat quarters waiting for something fabulous. Congratulations on a really, really excellent quilt Kirsty! Hey, you may have been to late for the Tangerine Tango, but I think there is a 1/2 square challenge going on somewhere at the mo…Canoe Ridge Creations maybe? I hope you enter.

  24. says

    THanks so much for this post! My nephew wanted a quilt and found this one – he wanted it to look “camo” so with my fabric choices and this layout – I think it worked. In teh camo colors – ya kinda also get the digital camo look / feel to it. I don’t have a blog but if YOu’d like to see a photo – comment me back and I’ll email it to you! Thanks again…I think it took like 12 hours of sewing to get the top together.

  25. says

    Thanks for the tutorial Kirsty. I made the pattern yesterday. Easy to follow instructions and the layout graph was great. I used leftover fabrics from another quilt top. Shades of tangerine, some grey and a neutral background. It came up really well and has certainly improved my cutting skills. Thank you once again

  26. says

    I am just finishing the piecing for this quilt – 4 more rows to go! I actually asked Pink Castle Fabrics on Etsy to pick out the fabrics for me which I purchased in one bundle. Like a couple other commenters – I have no plans for the finished quilt I just couldn’t get it out of my mind! I’m now starting to think what other color combinations might work. Thank you so much for sharing!

  27. says

    This is great! I love the tangerine instead of the usual baby colors, and I’ll bet the baby will love it, too. I haven’t run across your blog before, but I’ll be back. You had me at “You Had Me at Bonjour”!

  28. Anonymous says

    So clever – never overlook any thing – design inspiration comes from everywhere. I am going to copy this pattern for my little girls sewing class. I think I will cut it and give each one of them a different row to piece. We can use it for a benefit. Thanks so much. nlwessel@yahoo.com

  29. Gayle says

    Love the quilt– it’s been sitting in an open tab for a week while I study and decide what I want to do. Question: I’m a bit confused about the piece sizes. Your directions say 180 3″ pieces, then you mention making the half squares w/ 72 3.5″. Did I miss something? Just don’t want to errantly cut a bunch of fabric! Thank you for clarifying.

    • says

      Hi Gayle, the 180 pieces are plain squares for the pattern. The 72 pieces (slightly larger) are what you sew together and then cut apart again to form the Half Square Triangle blocks. Those pieces are cut at 3.5″ so that in the end, when you cut them open and trim, they will measure 3″ to match the 180 squares. Hope that helps?

    • Gayle says

      Yep, think I’ve got it. Now all I have to do is find really cool tangerines. I love the color and your quilt just shows it off. In my town finding these kinds of fabrics are limited. I’m web surfing, but have only found a couple that I really like. Sigh.

  30. says

    You had me at the photo of the chevron baby quilt. OMG. The pattern is beautiful, and the tutorial is great. I’ve just started to hem the binding of the second quilt I ever made. CBQ will definitely will definitely be quilt 3 for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • says

      Well done on making it to the home stretch of your second quilt – sounds like you’ve caught the bug now, you poor thing! Hope the CBQ comes together nicely for you.

  31. Lori says

    What a cute quilt. I love your talent. Thanks
    for sharing. I reproduced it in EQ7 and plan
    to make soon for a Project Linus.

  32. says

    Kirsty,
    This is an absolutely beautiful quilt and easy top follow tutorial. I love that you got your inspiration from a man-hole cover. I have a feeling I’ll be making myself one of these quilts.

  33. says

    Wow, this is fantastic. I swore to myself I would never make another quilt after sewing my one and only. This is the only one I’ve come across that could make me second-guess my decision. A baby quilt is different from a quilt quilt, right?

  34. says

    Beautiful! And maybe even easy enough for me, someone who has never made a quilt, to make! How would I go about making this into a full size quilt? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Shane, you can make this quilt bigger in a few ways – the easiest would be to just put a big border around it ’til it gets to the size you want. Another way would be to break out your calculator and increase the size of all the squares until the completed quilt is the size you want (the design will be the same, just scaled larger). Thirdly, you could keep the squares the same size and continue the pattern on around all four edges to get the size you want (the design will remain small, there will be more of it). It all depends on your own taste and how much math you’re willing to do!

  35. Barbara says

    This quilt is awesome! Now if only I didn’t have so many other projects that I’m currently working on!

  36. says

    Thanks so much for doing this tutorial for us all….I am not a very “modern” quilter but love this Idea for baby quilts can see it with animal prints :) I have just saved your line drawing for future reference …thanks again

  37. says

    First time visitor here. Beautiful quilt; I love the tangerine and neutral colors together. I’m new to quilting but I’m sure I can sew squares together! This is my next project!
    Thanks – =^..^=

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