Back-to-front baby quilt

Have you ever started a quilt with the backing fabric?

A bit more than a year ago, I bought one metre of a Japanese fabric from Studio Mio at the local craft fair. It was too adorable to resist, and I thought it would make a cute backing for a baby quilt.

Megumi Sakakibara pink fabric

The selvedge of this pretty print tells me it is from Megumi Sakakibara’s collection.

In my recent sewing room clean-up and tidy, I unearthed the fabric again and decided to get started. A niece in Canada is expecting a baby soon and sixty per cent of my newly married stepdaughter’s Facebook posts are pictures of her friends’ babies, so I think I need to have baby quilts on hand and ready.

Armed with my pink stash (I have an embarrassing amount of pink) and a set of Matilda’s Own drunkards path templates for 4-inch finished blocks, I started cutting. I calculated how many squares I would need to make a top slightly smaller than the backing fabric. I sorted my fabrics very roughly into lights and darks, and sewed them together randomly in pairs.

The hardest part was choosing a layout, but Instagram and my mum came to the rescue.

Pink drunkards path quilt top for a baby

The finished top is 36 by 40 inches.

I cut and sewed most of it in the evenings, which is why one fabric is actually grey, yellow and orange, and not pink – poor light. Thankfully, it blends without any problems. The only fussy cutting was for the rabbits, which make this a pink fluffy bunny quilt.

I used scrap and stash, but the drunkards path template would be perfect for charm packs as the pieces can be cut from 5-inch squares.

For now, the top, backing, prepared binding (pink spots) and piece of franken-batting I cobbled together with a zigzag stitch will have to sit and wait their turn before I start quilting. I need to get working on Jane’s Possum Magic border. Maybe that will give me some time to figure out an easy quilting design.

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35 thoughts on “Back-to-front baby quilt

  1. That is absolutely adorable… I suppose it depends on how complicated or quick you want to make the quilting. My own choice would be to let the lovely fabrics do the talking and stitch in the ditch around all the squares. If you felt a bit clever, you could FMQ around all the circles… And please can I steal ‘frankenbatting’? It’s brilliant!

    • Use frankenbatting as often as you like. I wonder where I first heard it. Hmmm …
      I am more likely to quilt free motion than in straight lines. I find loops easier as my walking foot and I have yet to reach an accord about feeding the top and bottom through evenly.

      • Sounds like my relationship with my darning foot and tension dial…. I am 100% more likely to use the walking foot! That said, the quilting on my latest is dodgy to say the least. My excuse is that it’s needed in a hurry and the Husband totally doesn’t give a damn!

  2. I like the idea of starting with a backing! For me the backing is the last thing I worry about! I love that you cobbled together the batting- I like to do that when I can too!

    • I have another baby quilt backing queued up too. The next one is a bit bigger and blue. Backing is usually the second-last thing I think of too (before binding), but when a cute fabric is irresistible and/or on sale …

  3. It is way too pretty for a baby. Not that a precious baby does not deserve such a beautiful quilt, but babies are hard on them. I have wondered if I would piece quilts for my grandbabies – ya – I probably will. Anyway, those drunkard’s path curved pieces are a lot of work for a baby. I love the colors and think you did just fine.

    • I know exactly what you mean! I will not be doing any painstaking hand appliqué on a baby quilt that is going to get covered in baby vomit and worse, but I found the drunkards path curves easy to cut and sew with the templates.

  4. Taking digital photos really helps set the overall design. I like the top, and the back fabric is adorable. I checked out the Possum Magic border, and I am inspired. I have been lazy about my borders, very plain Jane, but the next quilt is going to be spiffed up like yours. Lucky Baby!

    • You are right. Things looked different in the photos from hanging on the design wall. I should photograph things more often than I do.

      I think I put more effort into the Possum Magic group’s borders than I would if it were my own project. Why is that, I wonder?

    • Goodness! I looked at the selvedges today and you are right! I had not noticed that. I bought the rabbit fabric as a fat quarter at the craft show to add to my baby quilt stash. I could add to the over-the-top cuteness by cutting out the Guess How Much I Love You text from the selvedge and sewing that on as a label. Would that make you gag? 🙂

  5. I have definitely started a project with the backing as inspiration before. It is a fun and different way to approach a quilt project! I really love the bunnies and how they tie the front and back together. For the quilting, I would be tempted to think about a stipple, meandering loop, or some other slightly curvy organic line and to call it the hopping bunny path or somethings. 🙂

  6. I love this Carla it’s quite funny how you and I are often on the same creative page….scary for you 😁…..I have the same templates on my table for my next project after my trip! The backing fabric is ridiculously cute!!!

  7. I still say a random placement would have looked good… 😀 Though this is adorable! I would just do a quick loopy-de-loop/stipple on it. Whatever’s easiest for you. And people normally start with the front of quilts? Weird….

  8. Yes! I have a real love for backing fabrics and it is a normal inspiration for me 🙂 You’ve done a lovely job balancing all of those fabrics … and I love the fussy cut bunny! I’m clearing my worktop for Possum Magic too … we have two border left each here in the West … once I’ve finished with Jo’s I need to start on yours!

  9. That turned out darling. Can’t say I’ve ever started with a backing, but as I was going through and organizing my stash this weekend I came upon a sizable amount of a bright green fabric with little fishies all over it. I think I had plans for it to be the backing of a cat quilt but I still haven’t unearthed the cat panels!

    • Keep digging! That cat panel must be there somewhere. Now your sewing space is so tidy, it must have turned up, right? I was very impressed by the neatly wrapped bolts. That was a very productive Sunday.

  10. ah that is adorable. Great choice for the top of the quilt. Looks so soft. I bought a sale piece from laura ashley that needs to be the back of a baby quilt, pondering now …

  11. Pingback: The I-spy economy block quilt | Granny Maud's Girl

  12. Pingback: Pink baby quilt | Granny Maud's Girl

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