The Crinkle Quilt

Hi! I'm Palak from Make It Handmade! My blog focuses on simplifying handmade projects and techniques with tutorials ranging from no sew projects to serger how to's. This little quilt is no exception!

This quilt is full of color and crinkles that babies will love. At the same time, it's a forgiving pattern that comes together in a few hours and doesn't require any precision piecing.  

The finished quilt is is about 40 inches square-- my favorite size baby quilt as both a mother and quilter. The size is perfect for covering a newborn or as a play mat for an infant, and doesn't take much room in the wash. For a toddler it's a great size for strollers and car seats, and is still large enough to be a lap quilt for a child or adult. As a quilter, I love that I don't have to piece the backing and it's easy to fit in the small throat of my home sewing machine.

Quilt Top:
1  Simply Color Layer Cake
1 Yard Focus Print (I chose White Aquatic Blue)
1.5 Yard  (I chose White Sweet Tangerine Chevron)
1/2 Yard (I chose White Lime Aqua)

The Crinkle Quilt alternates 5 inch strips of smooth fabric with pieced  ruched strips.  The texture makes errors in piecing unnoticeable  making this an easy, quick quilt that's done without much fuss. 

The colored strips in the diagram below are pieced ruffled; while the white ones are plain. The twist is the ruffling! With the tips you'll learn in this tutorial, the ruffles will be a snap too. 

Cut List (for quilt top only): 

  • Cut your focus fabric into 5 5.5" by WOF and set aside
  • Next, pick 24 squares out of the layer cake and cut them in half to make 48 5" by 10" rectangles. 

Piecing The Strips

Divide the 48 rectangles into 4 groups of 12. Sew each group together end to end making 4 long strips as shown below. (Chain piecing makes this step go fast).

Next, place a pin in one end of each long strip. I know this seems like a small thing, but I promise it will help with the ruffling later. From this point onward, whenever we sew, we will always start with the pinned edge going into the machine first. This will keep the ruffles looking even and keep the seam allowances from flipping up. 

Move to the ironing board and press all the seam allowances to one side away from end with the pin. Once you've done all four strips, you'll be ready to ruffle!


We are going to use the tension method to ruffle. This method is ideal for ruffling long strips that might need slight adjustments at the end. If you are having trouble with this method, try using another ruffling method.

Change your sewing machine to have a long stitch length and high tension.

We'll still need to add even more tension to get the fabric to ruffle enough to be the same size as the focus fabric strips. To do that, I hold the thread down with one finger while sewing.

Here's a close up of what I'm doing. You can also lightly pinch the thread through your fingers if that's easier. Just be sure to do this between the thread spool and tension disks as shown in the picture below.

While ruffling, make sure to pull out a long tail of both bobbin and top thread at either end of each strip. I normally use 10-12 inches to be on the safe side.

Starting with the pinned end of the strip, sew along one edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.You'll see your strip ruffle up along one edge.

Then, starting with the pinned edge again, sew along the opposite edge. This will mean you'll have to flip the strip over to the wrong side.

Do this until you have 4 strips ruffled down each side. Don't forget to change your sewing machine settings to normal.

Now, compare each strip with the focus fabric strips that we set aside. Pull on the top sewing thread to adjust the strip to be the same length as the focus fabric strips. I also like make sure the pieced sections look like squares instead of trapezoids .

Now for the most important step: Press the ruffled strips well and top stitch down each side of the ruffled using a quarter inch seam allowance and normal stitch length. This will stabilize your ruffled strip and keep it from shifting while you sew.  Now you can remove those pins at the ends of your strips!

Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the strips together as normal, alternating a ruffled strip with a plain strip.

Your top is complete and ready to be quilted!

Finishing up 

Quilt your Crinkle Quilt with any pattern you like. I recommend not quilting the ruffled strips--  they poof up beautifully in the wash, and are so much fun for little fingers to play in. Trim, square and bind the quilt just as you would any other quilt.

40'' by 44'' quilt. Covers one sleepy child.

Thank you for having me over at the Moda Bakeshop! Stop by at Make it Handmade to see more about this quilt and other projects.

Palak Shah


Dawn Hendrix said...

CUTE!!!!! Perfect Baby Gift!

Palak said...

Thanks Dawn!

Rachel said...

*SQUEAL!!!!!* This is the most darling quilt I've ever seen! I've fallen in love with the ruffle quilt block idea this year and to have an entire quilt like this one is so perfectly girly - adorable!!! :D Thank you so much for sharing!

~Miss Rachel~

cowboycentral said...

I need to make several baby quilts and this is PERFECT ! Thank you.

Rachel said...

This is absolutely precious! It's going on my to-do list for this winter! Great instructions, too.

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Flowers in the Window said...

I love it. Never seen a ruffled quilt before. Thanks Maggie xx

Ann Ferguson said...

This is SO cute! Thank you :)

Greenville Coupon Clippers said...

Hey Sumar, keep your smut to yourself, I don't think most ladies on here are going to want to see Hot Actresses.

Palak said...

Thanks you all for the positive comments!

Jodie Hickman said...

This is such a precious quilt. Thank you for sharing. I have a baby in mind!

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ohiomom said...

This is darling. I will be making this out of something 'boy-like' for my grandson. I think baby fingers like to play with the ruffles :) Thanks for this! I can't wait to make one.

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Tanya Lee said...

I made one of these yesterday from your tutorial. Well written!! Thank you! This was a quick baby gift to make. Though I need to tactics with my ruffling technique.

Palak said...

Thank you Tanya! I'd love to see a picture if you get a chance! Thanks!

Darla Vanderford said...

Thank you for your wonderful ideas! I think I made a boo boo, though. I am new to sewing and purchased all of the fabric for this project and some thread. I now wonder if I can do this on my regular Brother sewing machine. I do not have a serger machine. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks!!

Palak said...


Palak here!

You can absolutely do this just using your regular sewing machine. The ruffling method in this tutorial uses just a sewing machine. If you have any problems, just contact me at!

Darla Vanderford said...

Thank you so much, Palak! This makes me feel more confident at the task and I can't wait to try this out :).

Liesal said...

Love this quilt! I'm thinking that I'll be making this for my niece due in December! Just have a question though, what quilting method do you reccomend? I'm pretty good at sewing, but new to quilts, so I'm not sure what would be best for this one.

Palak said...


I'm so glad you are going to try this out! I used straight line quilting, only in the smooth strips. I really felt like it worked and set off the texture nicely. That being said, whatever you choose, I"m sure it will be gorgeous! When you are done, I'd love to see it-- stop by my blog and mail me a picture!

Liesal said...

Thanks Palak! I'm shopping for fabric! :) I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

Amy Jo said...

Just bought my fabric to make this for my baby girl coming in January. I can't wait! I'll send you pics of the completed project! Thanks so much for the cute tutorial! I love how unique it is! <3

Marilyn in San Antonio, TX said...

This is really cool. I've added a ruched piece randomly in kids quilts, but never anything systematically. I think I will use my serger to gather the pieced strip.