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Follow-the-Lines Baby Quilt

Photography: Anna Williams


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 inches

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

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

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

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

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