free quilt recipe: easy monogram baby quilt

It has been so long since I've sewn something--my best intentions to "sew something every month" have fallen by the wayside since I made that New Year's crafting goal. But when a dear friend requested something special for a newborn niece, I couldn't say no.

If you follow my Instagram feed, then you saw this quilt in progress last weekend. It came together super quickly--I pieced the top on a Friday, put the sandwich together on Sunday, and had the quilting done within four hours. With a sewn-on binding, this whole quilt took less than 12 hours. Ahhh, the speed of a crib-sized quilt with zero real piecing!

Hands down, this was the most successful and most "artistic" machine quilting I've ever done. The "M" is for Maeve. I started by taping out the M with washi tape (since that's what I had on hand). My plan was to quilt next to the washi tape, using it as my guide line. By pure luck I had picked a main fabric with a grid pattern--that helped a lot when mapping out the M. I measured the half-way point between my two vertical lines and used a ruler to eyeball equal angles on both sides. When I started quilting, the washi tape quickly detached. So I stopped and grabbed my disappearing ink embroidery pen and marked the corners of my M. Then I just used the pattern on the fabric as my guideline to create straight-ish lines. And breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when the first "M" was finished! From that point it was a lot less stressful, since I could follow my original M as my guideline. I alternated between approximately and 1/8" and 1/4" spacing for each subsequent line of the "M."

I've learned the hard way that if I don't record the details, I'll be sad later--little things like, how wide was that binding I cut? The fun part of this quilt was that it used stash fabrics--the zoo border fabric has been in my stash for almost ten years now.

Main background fabric: Heather Bailey Free Spirit fabrics, Nicey Jane Cherry Hop Dot (used approximately 1.25 yards)
Border strip fabric: Alexander Henry 2-D Zoo (used a little over 3/4 yard) 
Backing fabric: Heather Bailey Free Spirit fabrics, Nicey Jane Welcome Road (used approximately two yards)
Binding fabric: mystery hot pink and white polka dots (used approximately 1/2 yard)
Construction notes: Cut the border fabric into 7" strips. Cut binding fabric 3" wide. Used 1/2 inch seam allowances throughout. Quilted the M first, then did quilting around borders. Attached binding with 1/2" allowance from quilt edge (normally I attach at 1/4 inch allowance) with intention of wider visible binding on the front of the quilt. This did work, but left less material for sewing through on backside of quilt (and more stressful binding sewing). Next time will cut a wider binding (try 3.5 inch strip) if I attempt this again. 

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