Chevron Baby/Toddler Quilt Tutorial

I debated over what to do for our first blog post… finally decided that since this quilt pattern is one of my favorites and something that is ideal for beginners and seasoned quilters it would be the perfect start.  The first chevron quilt I made was for my mom when she bought me my own sewing machine.  Originally, I found a post by The Cloth Parcel, and she referenced a pattern from the Bee Square Blog (which is no longer around) that I followed.  Once you make this quilt once, it is easy and fun to make again!

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I have adapted the pattern to be a baby quilt pattern – this pattern is easy to adapt to your own personal size preference.

Chevron Baby Quilt

Fabric needed:

7 – 2 1/2 in strips (patterned) (*if you use different fabrics you may be able to pull from your stash or you could just buy some 1/8 or 1/4 yard cuts – no fat quarters) This is the perfect time to use some fabrics from a jelly roll!

7 – 2 1/2 in strips (plain) (*I always use the same for these so you need 1/2 yard – make sure fabric is cut straight because you will only have 1/2 in extra)

1 yard small border and binding

3/4 yard large border (Most of the time, I will use the same fabric that I used for the plain strips – for the quilt pictured in the tutorial, I did use the same fabric)

1 3/4 yard for back (I love to put flannel on the back of baby quilts to give them an extra cuddly feel)

Cutting:

Cut your 2 1/2 in strips for your chevron from both your patterned fabric and your plain fabric

Cut 4 – 2 1/2 in strips for your small border

Cut 4 – 5 in strips for your large border

Cut 5 – 2 1/2 in strips for your binding

2.5 in Strips

Putting it together:

Sew each of your patterned fabric strips to a plain fabric strip (right sides together) – make sure you are using a 1/4 in seam allowance.  This is a great time to chain piece – if you have never used this method before, see this quick tutorial from The Fat Quarter Shop.

After sewing all of your strips together, you need to press them – you can press your seams open or press to the darker fabric.

Then you are going to cut the squares needed to lay out your pattern.  Lay out your first strip set and cut 4 1/2 in squares – you should get 9 squares from each strip set.

4 in squares chevron quilt

Now you are ready to lay out your pattern – this pattern is laid out diagonally.

DSCN3824 chevron layout

Now you are ready to start sewing your pieces together – grab your squares – starting in your second diagonal row and sew the first two squares together (right sides together).  I usually take a few different sets of squares with me to chain piece on the machine, but I carefully take them from a few different rows so I will be able to put them back easily.  Keep going until you have all of your diagonal rows sewn together.

DSCN3831 DSCN3835 chevron pieced top

Now you need to press your rows – I press the row 2 seams to the right and then press the row 3 seams to the left and keep alternating down your rows.  You can also press the seams open – I am just not patient enough to do that because I get too excited to sew it all together! 🙂

pressed chevron row

Please excuse the awful ironing board cover – it is what was on sale when I went to college back in 2003 – there are plans to update it soon 🙂

Now you are ready to sew your rows together – I start with the first corner square to row 2 – lay them right sides together and center the top square with the middle block in row 2.  Then I move to row 2 and row 3 – carefully lay row 2 on row 3 and look for the patterned fabric seams – these are the ones that you want to pin first to make sure they match up.  If you pressed your row seams in opposite directions, it is pretty easy to get your seams to match up – you want to make them “kiss” – can’t remember where I heard it explained that way, but it stuck with me since I thought it was cute.  Also, I usually break the quilt into “quarters” – they aren’t exact quarters but as close as you can get.  I sew row 1 to row 2, then these two to row 3.  Then I sew row 4 to row 5.  Next I put these two sections together (rows 1, 2, 3 to rows 4 & 5).  Then I do the bottom half of the quilt the same way.  To finish piecing the top I sew the two halves together (ends up being row 5 to row 6).

chevron pin rows

This was the best I could do to try and get a picture of the kissing seams the night I was sewing them together.

This was the best I could do to try and get a picture of the kissing seams the night I was sewing them together.

Once you have the top pieced, you need to press your rows – your choice again – you can press them open or to one direction.  Now you are ready to square up your quilt.  I did this while waiting on a load of laundry to finish and then got distracted and forgot to take a picture.  Doesn’t matter which side you start with – just make sure that you have your top as straight as possible and don’t move it after you cut the top half of the side because you will likely have to then take your ruler and cut from the bottom up to the middle of the side.  After all sides are cut now it is time to work on your inner border (smaller one).

If you didn’t cut your small border earlier, cut it now – you need 4 – 2 1/2 in strips.  Once the strips are cut, trim the ends up as needed and then sew your strips all together.  Once they are sewn together, I give the long chain a quick press and press open the seams.  This time I actually press them open because they are such small seams.

inner border seam

Time to put the small border on your quilt!  I started with a long side, but there isn’t a right or wrong place to start here.  Line your border up with your quilt at a corner (right sides together) – here you can pin or not – I just went at a steady pace and stopped every so often to line up the next chunk so I wouldn’t have to pin.  Sew down one side using a quarter inch seam again.  After each side you will need to trim your chain.

inner border on quilt

I do both of the long sides first then press them before I move on to the top and bottom.  After you finish the top and bottom, press those seams before moving on.

long sides inner border on quilt

Once you have the small border on each side you are going to move on to the larger (outer) border.  If you didn’t cut it earlier, you need to cut 4 – 5 in strips.  You are going to follow the same steps you did for the small border.  Sew your four strips together, press them (press the seams open), pick your starting side, line up your border in the corner (right sides together) and sew down the side using a quarter inch seam, trim your border and continue going around the other sides until your top is DONE!!!

chevron baby quilt top

To finish your quilt you need to get your back, lay it out with your batting on top of it then carefully place your quilt top on and smooth it out.  Mom and I use pins to baste it together – hopefully I will remember to take pictures of this process the next time we get together to finish all of the quilt tops – she is the master free motion quilter so I leave most of that to her – I am slowly working on it….thinking about doing a Craftsy class to learn more!  After you have it basted, then you are ready to quilt it – the options for your quilting are endless – the chevron quilt I made for mom, I actually just followed the lines of the chevron.   On the last two chevron baby quilts we made, mom used a free motion stipple to quilt them – that is one of my all time favorites.  Once it is quilted then you are ready to sew your binding on.  For some binding help, see these tutorials from Crazy Mom QuiltsMommy’s Nap Time, and The Fat Quarter Shop.

If you follow this tutorial, your finished top should be approximately 36 in wide by 49.5 in long.

Would love to see pictures of your chevron quilts!!

This was my happy helper while I finished this quilt top and worked on my first blog post!

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