Nesting Series: Antique-Style Baby Quilt

If you are like me, you LOVE to window shop at Pottery Barn Kids. I say window shop, because I know I could never afford to get all the super cute things they have. BUT, I am working on recreating some of what they have. 

Today, as part of my Nesting Series, I have put together a simple tutorial on how to create an antique-looking baby quilt {inspired by the stylish and fun ones I've seen on Pottery Barn Kids}. 

What makes it look antique!? It's the little wrinkles and creases in the fabric. It gives it a worn look ... like it's been around for-ev-er! 

Since this is my first attempt at a quilt like this, I will show you how I did it, and the improvements I will make the next time around.

But, for a first attempt, this one turned out pretty good I think! 

Want to make your own?? Here's how I did it. 

1 yd of each of 3 coordinating fabrics
safety pins
cotton batting
binding strips
disappearing ink fabric marker
the usual: iron, scissors, sewing machine, rotary cutter, ruler, and mat

The nice thing is, that to make it look antique is just a simple technique. You can choose whatever fabric pattern you would like to create. You can also choose to do simply one piece of fabric on the front and one on the back. The possibilities are endless and you can make it as simply or intricate as you like. 

Step 1:
DO NOT WASH YOUR FABRIC!!!!!! This is super important. If you wash your fabric, it will not wrinkly up and give you the antique look. 

Go ahead and iron all of the creases out of your fabrics. 
Then, if you haven't already, put together your pattern plan! 

This was mine:

Step 2: 
Cut out all of your pieces. 

I ended up with a large rectangle of the rose striped fabric for the center of my quilt...

... and 4 long skinny rectangles for my sides. {2 of the teal size and 2 of the pink size -- from my plan above}

Step 3:
Sew your pieces together. I chose to leave my corners square {vs. mitered} so I started with my smaller rectangles and pinned and sewed those on. Pin right sides together and leave 1/4" seam allowance. 

Once the sides are sewn, you need to iron them in place. Open your fabric and iron it flat. Make sure you iron your seam on the wrong side facing towards the center of your quilt. 

Step 4:
Repeat for the longer sides of your blanket. Then top stitch along the middle section of the quilt to hold the seams in place all the way around. This will help when it comes to the next step... a lot!! 

Step 5:
This is where having a nice long ruler and the disappearing ink fabric marker come in handy! 

You need to create your stitching pattern for the top of your quilt. The closer together the lines in your design, the more wrinkly your quilt will be. 

I created a diamond pattern on the middle section of my quilt by drawing diagonal rows that were 2" apart. 

I used my cutting mat to find a 45º angle to start my first row. 

On the pink strips, I chose to keep it simple and do straight lines. I started by drawing a line from the corner of my center rectangle to the outside corner edge of my pink strip to create an angle for my corner stitching. Then measured 1" from my center rectangle and drew a line all the way around the pink section. 

Then measure an inch from that line and drew another, and so on so that my finished drawn pattern looked something like this:
{though it was a lot more precise on my quilt -- the disappearing ink didn't photograph very well so I don't have a really good picture of my finished design drawn on :'( .So you'll just have to imagine it. }

Step 6:
Time to layer your blanket together. Start by placing your backing fabric -- the green floral print in my case -- right side DOWN. Then place your cotton batting on top of that, and your quilt top on the batting -- right side up. You are creating a sandwich for your batting. 

Step 7:
Safety pin all three layers together.
Now, I thought ahead in making this blanket -- I know... at least my pregrant brain was working a little -- and drew all of my lines before placing my layers together. Why is it such a good idea to work in this order!?! Well... if you try and pin, THEN draw your lines it's a little tougher to draw them. PLUS, this way I already know where I will be sewing and I can place my pins between the lines so that I don't have to remove them to sew. Smart huh!?!? 

In the quilting section of your local fabric store they will carry "basting pins". They are essentially safety pins. So, if you have a bunch of safety pins laying around... just use those. 

You'll want to place your pins 3-5 inches apart so that it holds all 3 layers of your blanket together nicely. 

{here you can see the lines for my pink sections}

Step 8:
Trim the excess batting so that you don't have quite so much to work with. 

Then carefully take your blanket to your sewing machine. You are going to sew along the design lines you created. When you start and stop your diagonal stitches you will want to be sure to start and stop along that top stitched line you sewed way back in the beginning to hold your seam flat. 

It takes some time, but try and be precise. Luckily, if you have a couple goofs it's not a big deal... it adds to the antique looking nature of the blanket. 

When you are done sewing, the back of your quilt will look something like this: 

The ends of your diamond lines are unfinished. In order to fix it on the back so that your quilt has a sewn pattern on the back as well as the front, restitch across the edge stitching you did in the beginning to hold the seams in place on your side pieces. 

This creates a border around your diamond pattern on the back as well as the front. Just follow the same stitching line you originally did. 

Step 9:
Sew around the straight lines you drew on the outside border of your quilt. When you reach the corner, ignore your diagonal line {it was just for reference} and sew a nice crisp square corner. 

Step 10:
Trim your fabric all the way around so that your sides are nice and straight and your corners are crisp. Then add your binding. There are about a billion different tutorials out there for adding binding. I didn't add this step to my tutorial ... I'm saving it for another day .. but here is a link to my favorite tutorial on how to create your own binding strips and sew them on. I use this method all the time! 

Once your binding is on, trim all your thread ends -- front and back of your blanket -- and wash and dry it. 

Once it comes out of the dryer it will be wrinkly and have that old feel to it! 

Now that you know how to get the effect, you can try all different patterns of top stitching. I kept mine simple -- going with straight lines -- but you could draw butterflies, swirls, hearts, or any other shape. If you want your stitches to be hidden, make sure you use colored thread to match your fabric. I am a white thread kind of gal... and use it on EVERYTHING! 

As I said earlier, you can make it even more simple by only using 1 fabric for the top and 1 for the bottom -- so you don't have to piece any fabric together. AND you can use store bought binding which makes it even easier!!


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