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Follow-the-Lines Baby Quilt




The following text is excerpted from "Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts" by Joelle Hoverson.

This quilt is very simple to make, but the hand-quilting does take some time. The story here is the joyfulness of the fabric, which lends itself especially well to being quilted along the lines because it includes both large and small designs. Cassandra Thoreson, who teaches at Purl Patchwork, made this quilt for me. We selected bright red for the hand-quilting thread and the binding to accentuate the playfulness of the fabric.

Finished Measurements: About 34 by 40 inches


  • Fabric 1: 1 yard of 45-inch-wide printed cotton (with a design that varies in size), for quilt front
  • Fabric 2: 1 1/4 yards of 45-inch-wide coordinating printed cotton, for quilt back
  • Fabric 3: 1/2 yard of 45-inch-wide solid cotton, for binding
  • Hand-quilting thread
  • Hand-quilting needle(s) (I prefer size 10 betweens)
  • Wool batting, 36 by 46 inchesNote: If you use Quilter's Dream wool or cotton batting, your stitching can be up to 8 inches apart and the batting will remain stable. If you use another brand, check the manufacturer's directions for the maximum distance between stitches.


  1. Step 1

    Prepare fabric: Wash, dry, and press all fabric.

  2. Step 2

    Square up the sides of fabric 1 and trim the selvages. You should be left with a piece that is about 34 by 40 inches, but no larger than the batting (36 by 46 inches).

  3. Step 3

    Square up sides of fabric 2 and trim the selvages. You should be left with a piece that is about 43 by 41 inches.

  4. Step 4

    Fold fabric 3 selvage to selvage, cut five 2 1/4-inch-deep strips, and trim the selvages. Set aside for binding.

  5. Step 5

    Baste quilt: Thread-baste quilt front, batting, and quilt back.

  6. Step 6

    Quilt by hand: Following lines of the print, begin hand-quilting the outlines of the large designs all over. Stitch around medium-size designs next, then smaller ones. If you work across entire quilt, rather than focusing on one part at a time, you can decide that it's done when it looks right. You'll also avoid being locked into a really dense design from the beginning.

  7. Step 7

    Piece binding strips. Attach binding, following the directions for double-fold binding at



Reviews (9)

  • gapped 24 Jan, 2010

    Wondering if anyone knows what material they used for this quilt? It's so gorgeous I'd like to try to make the exact same one!

  • sara82 7 Mar, 2009

    wonderful i wish i can make one myself i will try

  • Seeker 23 Feb, 2009

    lbuser, the best quilting practice is to always make a separate binding on your quilt, especially if it will be used and washed regularly. This makes the edges of your quilt stronger, and it may be replaced more easily as years and wear take their toll.

  • lbuser 3 Sep, 2008

    Thank you, sleepylabrat, for the website. For those who want pictures, go to and you can see a project step by step - except for adding the binding - you go to for that. This and the matching projects look like a great way to get started quilting. I've sewn for a long time but never quilted. I will try the table cloth, it really looks like fun.

  • julyalovesdarwin 11 Aug, 2008

    Well, I'd hardly call this a "last-minute" quilting project, but they do turn out really nicely! This was the first quilt I ever tried and I was happily surprised with the results. The only thing I'll try differently with the next one I make will be to keep the back fabric big enough to just fold over to the front and use in place of separate binding.

  • jimsqueeniechef 20 Jun, 2008

    I also feel that if you are a first time quilter the directions or instructions should be explained a little better--that's how they learn--most importantly directions that are understanding for the beginner--maybe pictures next to explanations. Nothing is worse than trying to figure something out--especially quilting projects--and doing them incorrectly, ripping out and hoping you can find a quilter who can teach you correctly--which is difficult for those who live in the middle of nowhere!

  • vah1964 23 Jan, 2008

    The different measurements take into account the thickness of the fabrics when stacked. Also, as you "quilt" the fabric has a tendency to shift. Once you've quilted the top of the blanket, the 3 pieces won't move much----you can trim the whole piece, leaving about an inch around the perimeter, in preparation for the binding. Pin all 3 layers together at 2 inch intervals around the whole quilt; match the raw edges of your binding to the raw edges of your quilt TOP, and stitch as directed.

  • ayomidejpw 18 Jan, 2008

    As easy as the article sounds it isn't as easy because there are so many things not explained. Like squaring up. I am not a quilter but I sew and that means something different to me. also, it needs to be explained why there are so many different measurements... How are you going to add the binding when nothing lines up?? I was excited to start this project but now it is becoming a pain. Now I have do research on quilting and how to put this together. Shame!!

  • littlemartha94 11 Jan, 2008

    I wish I could make something like this. I am knitting a blanket for my baby cousin to be, but maybe someday I can do something like this.