Fair Isle Baby Quilt and Crib Bedding


Leah Douglas from Buggspot again! I am SO EXCITED to share this with you. There are lots of tutorials out there on the web for making your own nursery bedding, but I think this one is the best. ;-)

This is a tutorial in THREE PARTS. First up is a fair isle style imitation baby quilt using solids and a very thin soft fleece for the backing, sure to entrance the eyes and be snuggled up to by your newest arrival. Second is the chevron crib skirt, with one pleat in the center of each long side, as well as a matching customized breathable bumper (my *favorite* kind of crib bumper because it won't suffocate any little guys who aren't yet strong enough to move their heads if they get smothered AND because it keeps all arms and legs safely inside the crib and safe from becoming stuck or caught...I guess that was a big issue for my kids for some reason!). Third is the crib sheet!

Fair Isle Quilt Tutorial



1 Fat Quarter (FQ from here on out) of Amelia Orange
1 FQ Goldenrod Yellow
2 FQ Pistachio Green
1 FQ Green (the darker green)
1 FQ Turquoise
1/2 yd. White
1 yd. 60" wide Fireside Pale Grey (the super soft stuff; this way we skip the batting)
1/3 yd. binding (OR you should have enough of the soft fleece leftover from the backing to skip this if you want)
white thread


When cutting these fat quarters into strips, always cut so that the strip ends up being 22" long and not 18" long.

If you weren't able to find fat quarters, you can use regular cuts of fabric. Your instructions will be in {brackets}. If using FQs then just ignore the {brackets}!

From Orange cut: 3 FQ strips 2" wide {that's 2 strips of a full length cut if you are not using Fat Quarters}
From Yellow cut: 7 FQ strips 2" wide {4 full length}
     Cut a 2" square off the end of one of these strips. Save this. Don't set it somewhere to be lost! ;-)
From Lighter Green cut: 10 FQ strips 2" wide {5 full length}
     From these strips cut:
          2 rectangles 8" x 2"
          5 rectangles 11" x 2"
          11 squares 2" x 2"
          save 4 FQ strips {or save 2 1/2 strips full length}
From Darker Green cut: 6 FQ strips 2" wide {3 full length}
     From these strips cut:
          6 squares 2" x 2"
          4 rectangles 8" x 2"
          10 rectangles 5" x 2"
From Turquoise cut: 3 FQ strips 2" wide {2 full length}
     From these strips cut:
          8 squares 2" x 2"
          12 rectangles 3 1/2" x 2"
From White cut: 7 full length strips 2" wide
     From these strips cut:
          10 rectangles 3 1/2" x 2"
          49 squares 2" x 2"
          5 rectangles 5" x 2"
          2 half-strips (just cut one full strip in half)
          save 2 full strips

BE SURE ALL YOUR SEAMS ARE 1/4" WIDE! Be precise.
Also, always press towards the darker colored fabric whenever possible.

Sew a yellow FQ strip to a light green FQ strip (long side to long side). Press.

Sew a yellow FQ strip to a half-strip of white. Press.

Sew an orange FQ strip to a half-strip of white. Press.

Cut 9 of these from the yellow and light green:


Cut 9 of them from the yellow and white and then 9 from the orange and white. 


Sew the light green and yellow rectangles that you just made to the white rectangles 3 1/2" x 2" with WHITE on each end. Press.


Sew 3 yellow FQ strips into one long strip with a diagonal seam. A diagonal seam works like this (I know it's not yellow, just pretend):





Sew this long yellow strip to the yellow side of the row you just created above. Press toward the yellow strip. Trim ends and square them to the rest of the row. 


Sew remaining light green FQ strips end to end into one long strip like you did with the yellow. Sew alongside a full length white strip. Press and trim ends. Sew remaining light green strip to the other side of the white strip. Press and trim.


Sew your two rows together:


Using 6 white 2" squares, 4 light green rectangles 11" x 2", and 4 light green 2" squares make TWO of these rows:


Using 9 white 2" squares, 2 white rectangles 5" x 2", and your remaining light green pieces, sew the following:


Using all your turquoise pieces, 16 white 2" squares, and 3 white rectangles 5" x 2", sew the following:



Sew yellow and white blocks from way earlier end to end starting with yellow and adding that additional yellow square onto the other end (so yellow is on each end of the long row). 

Sew yellow FQ strips end to end into 1 long strip. Cut in half. Sew to each side of a full length white strip. Then add the yellow and white strip from the previous step:


Sew orange and white blocks from way earlier end to end starting with white and adding an additional white square onto the other end (so white is on each end of the long row).


Sew remaining 2 orange FQ strips together (with diagonal seam again). Sew this strip to the orange and white row from the previous step:


Sew your rows together like this and you're done with the quilt top! Use your fuzzy soft material as your backing and if you live in Texas, feel free to skip the batting altogether. I also used the fuzzy stuff for the binding, because I know my babies would love the quilt that much more if the edges were soft on their cheeks too. 






29" x 36" finished baby quilt



Crib Skirt and Bumper Trim



3 1/2 yds. Half Moon Modern Zig Zag Steel
1 1/2 yds. White
a set of breathable bumpers in White

First let's concentrate on the crib skirt. BE SURE YOUR ZIG ZAGS WILL ALL BE GOING THE SAME DIRECTION AROUND THE CRIB.
You need to cut 2 rectangles from the Zig Zag fabric: 17" x 62"
And 2 more rectangles from the same zig zag: 17" x 30"


You should have lots of looooong scraps leftover after cutting these panels. SAVE THEM for the bumpers. They will all be going the same direction as the chevrons in your skirt, which is definitely desirable. Just set them aside. 



Also cut a white rectangle measuring 28 1/2" x 52 1/2".

Turn in the vertical edges (the edges measuring 17") of all 4 of your zig zag rectangles 1/2" and press:


And again, fold over 1/2" to create a double fold. Press.


Now create a 1 1/4" double fold along the bottom of your 4 rectangles and press. When unfolded, your corners should look like this:


To miter the corners, fold the corner up like this and gently press (this doesn't have to be super precise):


Then press your double folds back in place. You should end up with nor raw edges showing.


Sew just under a 1/2" seam down one vertical side until you come to where the bottom is folded up. See these next two pictures:



Just keep that vertical stitch going until you've come one or two stitches onto that bottom double-fold. Backstitch before cutting your thread. Then, using the above picture as a guide, start to sew (Backstitch first!!) from the edge of your bottom double-fold. Sew across and backstitch when you come to the end. Then start the next vertical side as seen below (backstitch first!) and sew until you come to the unfinished top edge:


Do as above for all 4 panels/rectangles.

Now to make a pleat in the center of each long panel. Find the very center of your panel and use a pin to mark it on the unfinished edge. Then measure 4" out on either side and mark with two more pins:


Bring these pins in to the center pin:


Pin everything in place as smooth and straight as possible. Repeat for second long panel. 


Time to sew the panels to the big white rectangle. I used my serger, but if you don't have a serger, feel free to use a tight zig-zag stitch. The bedskirt is not something that should be going through the wash nearly as often as the sheet or quilt, so this doesn't have to be quite as durable. But if you *do* have a serger, go ahead and pull it out for this. 

Pick a panel and match it to a side of the white rectangle. You should have about a 1/4" of white sticking out on either side, and this is GOOD. Pin it all in place and sew together. Repeat for the opposite side as well.


Do the same for the other two ends. 


Your corners should end up like this:


It's a pleated crib skirt! 


Back to your previously set aside strips for the breathable bumper customization. Cut these strips to 3" wide. You will need about 420" total in length, which means you probably still don't have enough. So using the remaining unused chevron fabric, cut more 3" wide strips. BE SURE TO CUT THEM THE SAME DIRECTION AS YOUR OTHER STRIPS. If you're not using stripes or chevrons, this won't matter, but if you *are*, be sure not to mess this up!!

To be more specific, I still needed 290" more in length. Using a 21" cut of fabric, and cutting these strips *horizontally*, I came up with 14 strips 3" wide to give me the amount I needed.


Using a diagonal seam (as demonstrated above in the quilt section), sew these strips together until you've come up with:
   2 lengths 120"
   2 lengths 88"

Press them all flat, with open seams. Then fold over and press the long edges 1/2" on each side all the way down. Then press in half all the way down. You've just created a kind of binding, right? :)

Now pull out your fresh package of breathable bumpers. I got mine on Amazon. I've had two babies and I LOVE these "bumpers". 


This part is going to be tedious. You need to carefully remove all the velcro and save it for later. Note that there are longer and shorter pieces and remember as best you can which pieces generally went where. It's not too hard. 


After removing the velcro, it will look like this. Don't worry. 


Using your chevron binding created above, sew it over the top of the satin already on the bumpers. First, you're going to fold the edge under about 1/2". Press. Line up this fresh fold with the very edge of the bumper. I suggest setting your machine for a thicker setting. On my ancient machine (it's older than I am!) it looks like this. This isn't a huge deal, but if you're having trouble with your binding becoming stretched or pulling funny, this will certainly help.


Backstitch at the beginning before you get going and then sew along:


Stop in place a couple inches before the end of the bumper:


Cut the "binding" about 1/2" beyond where the bumper ends. 


Finger press it under and then sew to the end, backstitching those last couple stitches in place.


Do this for all horizontal sides of your breathable bumpers! Reattach Velcro strips in the correct spots. Wasn't that easy? 


One crib skirt and one set of breathable bumpers for a standard crib measuring 28" x 53"



Crib Sheet
I know it's hard to cough up the money for fabric that is 108" or 60" wide, but trust me, it's worth it. I've had two babies and made some of their bedding, obviously, but the homemade sheets using regular width fabric only barely covered the mattress and because it was stretched so much, it looks worse for the wear. Go ahead and buy this nice fabric. You won't regret it after it's been pooped, spit up, and peed on and through the wash literally hundreds of times and it *still* holds up great. Honestly, if I were you, I'd make *two* of these sheets.

1 1/3 yds. 108" Dottie Quilt Backs Steel (or you could get 2 yds. of 60" wide fabric)
70" of 1/4" wide elastic

Cut yourself a rectangle measuring 47" by 72".


Make sure those edges and corners are all parallel and square.


Cut out 10" squares from all 4 corners of your large rectangle. 




You should have this:


Now fold those funky corners like this, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER:


Pin in place.


Sew a very scant 1/4" seam. Or if you prefer, sew it at a regular 1/4" and then go back and trim the seam smaller.Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam. 


Flip it inside out and then pin again:


Sew a 1/4" seam (backstitch at beginning and end). 


Congrats, you just made a French Seam! Do this for all 4 corners. 


Now for the elastic casing. Measure and press a 3/8" seam. 


Make a double fold by measuring and pressing in 3/8" again. 


Starting with a good backstitch, sew all the way around the sheet UNTIL you come about 3" from where you started. Backstitch.


You should have an opening in your elastic casing like this:


Using a safety pin at the end of your elastic piece, thread the elastic through the casing, being sure not to pull the other end all the way into the casing too. 


Once you've gone through the whole thing, pin the ends together. 


I used a zig zag stitch down and back and down again to be sure that elastic wasn't gonna go anywhere. 


And I forgot to take a picture of sewing up those last three inches in the casing, but if you made it this far, you can figure that out. ;-)


One crib sheet for a standard crib measuring 28" x 53"

Look what we just made! Isn't it fantastic??!!






A note from Oda May: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using padded bumpers in cribs. Please consult with your doctor and the latest AAP guidelines when choosing bedding for your infant.

9 comments:

CruiseFan said...

Very nice!
Clear and detailed instructions.
Thanks a lot for sharing.
I'll keep this one in mind in case I will have a grandchild one day.... ;-))

Rose E. Glasses said...

A total ensemble. Very good advice for the creative, customized crib bumper.

Pierro said...

Rosemary B here:
Super cute. Love the quilt and the crib ensemble is also superb!
Thanks for sharing, with wonderful instructions suitable for multitasking sewists and managers of trash factories (like me :-P )

mrs.hands said...

This quilt is simply gorgeous!

Valerie said...

I'm lost on why you needed to remember where the velcro went that you took off of the breathable bumper? What did you use it for?

Carol Gregg said...

One can NEVER have enough crib sheets - this pattern is a "no-fail" even for the beginning sewist!

Tammy Vonderschmitt said...

Love your idea on the trim for the breathable mesh liner. So cute. Great job.

Malini said...

That is super cute quilt and love the mess liner for crib and other accessories.

Pat Broe said...

Adorable quilt! Very creative crib set. Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat