DIY Toddler Bedding {making a quilt with batting WITHOUT using binding!!!}

If you are like me you have tried making quilts before. Maybe yours were successful... mine... not so much! Binding is hard to work with. PLUS once I pick out the fabric that I want for my quilt I can NEVER find the pre-packaged binding to match! Rather than make my own -- which I can do, but it's tedious and time consuming -- I opted this time to go an entirely different route ... NO BINDING!! 

Yep, you read that right, a quilt with NO BINDING. {Ya, I heard that audible gasp coming from all of you hardcore quilters out there!!} But wait... there's more... this quilt is made using a curtain! Yep.. a regular old curtain! 

Remember this? The Dwell Studio curtains I scored for $6 each {retail $30}. I bought all 3 even though I knew I only needed two for the window. 

Well, here's the third one put to some good use!! 

Making this cute guy some actual toddler bedding has been on my TO-DO list for a while. Now that baby #3 is half way cooked, I am trying desperately to tackle my list!!! {my hubby says I'm nesting... I think I'm just being practical. Newborns are a lot of work and my office is piled high with "projects" in the works... so, I'm just jumping in!!}

I know you don't all have a cotton curtain hanging around your house... but if you are going to re-do your child's room, or put together your nursery and you are out buying new curtains for the window, pick up an extra {just make sure that the printed side is 100% cotton} and you can make your own! 

Otherwise, you can simply use store bought fabric and create your own binding-less {not a real word... I know} quilt. 

Here's what you need:
1-3/4 yd of cotton printed fabric for the top
1-3/4 yd of snuggle flannel for the back
batting - I buy the pre-packaged crib quilt batting
sewing machine, iron, scissors, rotary cutter, ruler, mat, thread... blah blah blah.. all the usual stuff! 

Here's how to make it:
Be sure that your fabrics have all been prewashed and dried {so that is doesn't shrink with your blankets first washing -- who wants that?!?}. Then iron your fabrics. 

Next {this is where your rotary cutter and mat come in handy} cut your fabrics. Cut a 37"x55" rectangle from each of your prints PLUS the batting! Yes... cut the batting too! 

If you don't have a rotary cutter, you should totally get one. If you don't want to, then I hope you have a lot of floor space! Lay your fabrics and batting out on the floor and cut through all three layers {print #1, print #2, and the batting} so that they are all exactly the same size. 

Next, take your bottom fabric {in my case the blue snuggle flannel} and lay the batting on top of the WRONG SIDE of the flannel. 

Pin the batting to your flannel all the way around. 

Now take it carefully -- so you don't prick yourself with the pins {speaking from experience on this one} -- to your sewing machine. Sew a straight stitch all the way around using the edge of your flannel as your guide. I made mine a 1/4" inseam so that I could do a finished seam of 1/2". You want this inseam to be smaller than your finished one so that you don't see your stitching. 

P.S. Keep the batting on the top as you sew so that it doesn't get stuck in the walking feet of your machine! 

Once you are done it should look something like this: 

By sewing the batting on to the flannel you are essential holding it in place so you can finish the rest of the blanket. Now grab the top print. Lay your printed fabric on the floor PRINT SIDE UP. Then place your flannel/batting piece on top BATTING SIDE UP so that the right sides of your print and flannel are touching. 

Pin all the way around, but leave a 7-8 inch opening so that you can turn your blanket right side out. I like to double pin at both ends of this opening to make sure I remember where I need to stop.

Sew around your blanket with a 1/2" inseam making sure that it is INSIDE of the batting and flannel stitching you did earlier. This way you will be turning your blanket right side out on the seam you are sewing now. 

Once you are done sewing, trim the corners so that you will have square-ish corners {as opposed to a blobby corner} and turn your blanket right side out. 

It can be a little tricky turning it, just be gentle of the batting and go slow if you need to.
 {That's why we left a large opening!}

To help in the next sewing step, take your blanket to your ironing board and iron down all the edges. Make sure your top and bottom fabrics line up -- they tend to sit a little wonky if you just iron it as is. Take your time and really open up those seams to make your blanket look nice. 

Now for that opening. As you iron, fold the two prints inward and line them up with the existing seam so that they lay straight with the edge of your blanket. 

Pin it closed. This is when I like to add my tag! 

To close the opening and keep your blanket holding it's nice crisp edges that you just ironed, sew a straight stitch all the way around the edge of the blanket. I made my inseam 1/4" so that I would catch all of the layers of my blanket. 

When you are done your blanket will look like this:

Now you can finish it however you want. You can tie it using yarn or embroidery floss. Or if you have one of those fancy quilting machines you can use it to quilt the top of your blanket. 

Why do you need to do something more? 
To make sure that the batting stays in place. Even though we have sewn through it now 3 times, you need something in the middle of your blanket to keep it in place. If you choose to leave it as is, your batting will most likely tear and/or bunch up when it gets washed. 

I chose to do a little bit of top stitching. I chose several hippos on my print design and sewed on them with my machine -- really wish I had one of those fancy quilting ones. These are terrible pictures.. but you can see that where I sewed the hippo shape on the top, there is a hippo shape on the bottom as well. Since the stitching goes through all layers it holds the blanket and batting together. 

Now it's ready for snuggling and sleeping! It is soft and cuddly because of the flannel, and it is warm and squishy because of the batting. What more could a little guy ask for!??!  

His bed will probably never look like this again .. beds in our house never seem to stay made! 
{we are storing our crib mattress under his bed until we set up the new crib in the girls' room}

Here's my little guy "practicing" sleeping. He wouldn't let go of Peter Pan {his latest toy obsession} or his wand. 

Here's my super helped trying to help put him to "bed".

... and here's a sneak peek at the pillow case I made to go with his quilt... more on that next week!

What is on your project to do list?



  1. Thank you for this tutorial. This is close to what I had in mind when I thought I'd make my toddler a blanket. As a brand new beginner sewer, the thought of doing binding is overwhelming. Thank you again.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial, I was thinking of doing a Spiderman blanket for my son (His current toy obsession). And I was thinking of doing it this same way, so now you put it into words and pictures for me!! You did a great job and congrats on your 3rd baby!

  3. I just made my daughter a gorgeous comforter in two hours using this tutorial. Many thanks, Katy!

    1. You are so welcome!!! I am glad you were able to use it! :)

  4. I'm curious what weight/thickness of batting you used for the blanket. If I wanted to make a thicker comforter, what would you suggest?

    1. If you want a thicker comforter I would suggest using maybe two layers of batting or a layer of batting and a layer of flannel. I am currently working on a toddler size quilt using a layer of flannel and a layer of batting. It is still super soft and flexible, but adds a little more volume and a little more warmth!

      As for the weight of the batting I use, my JoAnn's only carries one weight (I think) just be sure to buy the cotton batting versus the polyester. It washes better and I have been really pleased with it! :)

  5. After having to pay someone to bind my son's quilt I made for his bed, I'm so happy that you posted this alternative so I don't have to pay someone to bind my daughter's quilt too! Yours turned out beautiful, I can't wait to do mine! Thank you!!!!

    1. Thanks! If you think of it, I would love to see your finished blanket! Let me know if you have any questions! :)

  6. Thank you for this tutorial! Out of curiousity, how many hippos did you end up topstiching? I guess I'm trying to figure out how much of the quilt needs to be reinforced. My fabric has rows of ballerinas and I like your idea of topstiching a shape rather than creating the quilt squares.

  7. Thanks for your question. I did one hippo about every 6-8 inches. The batting package will say how closely it needs to be quilted. Most will be anywhere from 4-6 inches. So you will want to stitch something about every 4-6 inches. I actually stitched mine further apart than that and my sons quilt has gone through a TON of washings and is still holding together really well.
    Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

  8. I like the toddler bed...can I ask where you got it or if you made it?

  9. We bought it years ago at Babies R Us. It has been a great bed. Very sturdy! We've had it for about 5 years now and it's been through 2 kids already!! :)

  10. Does he get hot with the snuggle flannel and does the snuggle flannel hold up well? Or any other suggestions for what kind of backing fabric? I've just never used it, but I'm determined to use this tutorial for our toddler. Thank you! :)

    1. The flannel has held up really well. Since we are working on potty training *sigh his bed sheets and blankets get washed frequently. Just be sure to follow the directions on the batting regarding how closely you need to quilt your blanket. Usually it's every 4-6". If you use this tutorial I would love to see a picture of your finished project!

  11. I made a blanket for my son today using this tutorial! Thank you! The only directions for batting I can find say 25 inches, which is about 9 inches. Think that would be ok?

    1. Are you talking about how far apart to quilt it!? If so and it says 9 inches then you should be fine. Personally, I always think it's better to quilt closer together than it says and KNOW that it will hold up just fine rather than to do exactly as it says and cross my fingers! :)

  12. Toddler bedding sets are so expensive, I'm excited about this project! One question (may be obvious but I'm a novice) why 100% cotton? I have found some microfiber or cotton/poly mixes I would like to use, what problems would they give me?

    1. It all depends on your personal preference. If you have used cotton blends before and like sleeping with them then by all means use it! Just be sure to wash and shrink all fabrics before sewing with them. :) I used cotton because it is the easiest and most comfortable to my little kiddos! ♥

  13. This is a great step by step tutorial with the pictures. Simply great and educational for me! I will surely make the bedding whenever I get the time. What type of fabric have you used?

  14. Hi, I'm brand new and trying to make my first blanket. Just curious- Do you have to sew the back+batting separately first? I wondered why I couldn't just sandwich all three (cotton facing up on the bottom, flannel facing down in the middle, and batting on top), then stitch all the way around (minus the opening), then turn it all inside out so the batting is on the that I only have to sew the perimeter once before the final top-stitch.

    Thanks for your help and explaining it for this novice! :)

    1. That's exactly what I did in this tutorial. I sewed all the layers together, then turned the blanket right side out, and top stitched.


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