Gather Love Baby Quilt Tutorial

Posted by mandys on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Gather Love Baby Quilt
Course Instructor: Mandy Sybrowsky
37.5" x 45.5"

Gather Love Baby Quilt Pattern

Ruffles, gathers, pleats, tucks, frills--just the thought of a pretty cluster of fabric make me happy. I'm Mandy of Little Birdie Secrets, a crafting and sewing blog, and I'm thrilled to share with you my Gather Love Baby Quilt, because it's full of ruffly goodness! I chose Riley Blake's Sew Cherry line by Lori Holt for it's sweet prints and fresh, cheery colors. I love the classic ginghams, dots, and sweet summer cherries. I focused on the fabrics with pink, green, white, and red.

Course Materials:

* 1/4 yard cuts of 10 fabric choices
* 1 yd printed fabric for backing
* 1 yd of white cotton fabric for sashing and borders
* 10 yds. crocheted lace trim from Riley Blake (optional)
* 1/2 yd. for binding
* Cotton batting (I use Warm & White)
* coordinating thread
* sewing machine, rotary cutter, iron, and other basic quilting supplies

Course Instructions

Cut each of the 1/4 yd. printed fabrics into:

* 2 pieces 4" x 7"
* 4 pieces 4" x 2.5"
* 4 pieces 8" x 2.5"

Cut the white fabric into:

* 15 pieces 1.5" x 8" (sashing)
* 4 pieces 1.5" x 33.5" (sashing)
* 2 pieces 3" x 33.25" (for front border)
* 2 pieces 3" x 46.5" (for front border)
* 2 pieces 5" x 33.25" (for back border)
* 2 pieces 5" x 48" (for back border)

Cut the backing into:

* 1 piece 33.5" x 41"

Cut the binding fabric:

* 5 strips 3" wide by width of the fabric

Let's get started!

1. Start by cutting all your fabric. You should get enough pieces for two blocks out of each print. Arrange them pleasingly into blocks before you start sewing.

block pieces

determine which pieces will go best together to form 20 blocks

2. Now begin making your gathered centers for your blocks. Do this with each 4" x 7" cut of printed fabric. Set your machine to a basting stitch. Sew a basting stitch along each 7" end, just under 1/4" from edges. If you sew closer than 1/4", you will see your basting threads when the block is finished (or have to remove them, which is a pain). To make the gathering step go quicker, try holding your top thread firmly between your thumb and pointer finger as you stitch the basting stitch. This will gather the fabric as you sew!

Gather more quickly by holding the top thread while you sew

3. Pull the upper thread on each side to gather the sides a little more and spread the gathers out. Gather until each side is 4" long. Use a ruler, you'll want to be pretty precise.

gather your center to measure 4" on each end

4. Have your iron ready. Taking hold of both gathered edges, gently pull out along the edges until more pronounced pleats form. Lay on your ironing board and place your iron straight down on top of your gathered square, flattening the ruffles into pleats.
Pull sides of gathered fabric tight to form pleats

Iron pleats flat

Pleated center

5. Next we'll put a border on the pleated center. Like many of you, I do not usually pin when sewing blocks, but this is definitely one time you will want to. Pin a 4" x 2.5" piece right-sides together to each gathered side of the pleated square, making sure your pleated sides are equal to the 4" side. Sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with other 4" piece. Press seams to one side.

Pin block side to gathered center

sew on corresponding block side

6. Add the long 8" x 2.5" pieces to the other sides of the block, again using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press seams to one side.

Finish block by sewing on long sides to gathered center

7. Repeat for remaining prints, creating 20 ruffle-center blocks. Very important: square up your blocks using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter so they are equal on all sides! Arrange your blocks pleasingly in 4 columns by 5 rows.

lay out blocks in a pleasing order

8. Now we'll add the sashing. Sew a 1.5" x 8" piece of white fabric on the right side of 3 blocks in each row of 4. Sew each block to the one next to it. You will have sashing between the blocks, but not on the outer edges. Repeat for each of the remaining rows. Press seams as you go.

Sew sashing on the ends of block

Sew blocks together in a row

9. Sew a 1.5" x 33.5" piece of sashing to the bottom of 4 of the rows. Sew each row together to create one large piece. Don't forget to press your seams!
Sew long sashing strip to bottom of rows

Add rows and sashing for all blocks

10. Sew on your borders. Attach a 3" x 33.25" piece to the top and bottom (short sides). Sew the 3" x 46.5" pieces to the long sides. Press your seams and your quilt top is done!

Add borders to finish quilt top

11. Create the backing. You can use one large piece of fabric 38.5" x 48", or you can use a smaller piece bordered with white to reflect the design on the front of the quilt. If you're using a border, sew the white 5" x 33.25" pieces to the top and bottom (short sides), and the white 5" x 48" pieces to the long sides. Press seams.

12. Optional: Add a little crocheted lace trim to the back for more sweetness! Sew pieces of trim to each of the four sides along the seam of the center/border. Sew right down the middle of the trim and remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of each piece.

Include a crocheted trim border on the back if desired

13. Make your quilt sandwich of your backing, batting, and quilt top, and pin or baste through all layers. Quilt as desired. I quilted straight lines about 1/2" on either side of the block seams (except through ruffles). Trim excess backing and batting, and square up the quilt.
Quilted detail

14. Optional: Add crocheted trim to the front. I sewed the pink crocheted lace trim about 1/4" from the edges before adding the binding.
Sew crocheted trim on edges 1/4" from edge
Trim and binding close-up

15. Add binding. I like using a 3" wide binding strip. I sewed it on to the edge using a 1/2" seam allowance. This will show more of the binding on the front, and allow the crocheted trim to peek out around the edges of the binding. Hand stitch your binding closed and you're done!

Finished quilt with quilting and trim


Finished quilt

Category: Quilts


  1. Love your quilt, I'm making one for the first time and your tutorial really helped and gave me some good ideas. Thanks much, keep on quilting-- you do a wonderful job and have great talent.
    by Susie
    March 09th, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.
  2. I followed your tutorial for my first baby quilt. It turned out so cute. I really enjoyed making it. Your tutorial was great and easy to follow even for me with no quilting experience. Thanks for sharing.
    by Rita
    January 13th, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.
  3. I LOVE this quilt! Thank you for the detailed directions. I am new to quilting and I think I can do this. Can't wait to start.
    by Sulinda
    July 21st, 2013 at 6:33 p.m.
  4. Thank you for this adorable free pattern! I pinned it over a year ago and finally found the perfect reason to make it. It turned out so, so cute! I even used Sew Cherry. Thank you, Thank you!
    by Mindy Carlson (Pinspot)
    September 15th, 2013 at 7:53 a.m.
  5. Love this darling quilt.. Your tutorial is so easy to follow. Thanks for sharing it.
    by Karin
    October 09th, 2013 at 5:59 a.m.

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