A Tutorial—Pillowcase a Simple Baby Quilt

A simple method of making a quick Baby Quilt uses the “Pillowcase” process.  This does not require the usual final step of Binding, and creates a Baby Quilt about 35” x 40”.  Make it even more simple, use a “Panel” fabric – Although, caution, some Panels are narrow, so check the size of the Panel.  If it is a little narrow, you may need to add borders on the right/left sides to extend it.

Some Definitions:

Pillowcase Method – More on this later, but simply put, fabric is placed Right-Sides Together with batting on the bottom.  Stitch a 1/2” seam all the way around leaving 6-8” opening.  Then, like turning a pillowcase inside-out, turn the quilt right-side out through the opening.

Panel Fabric – Fabric designers will sometimes create a picture on the fabric using the whole width of fabric and somewhere between 19-27” inches.  When cut, this can be used whole as a quilt top.

Quilt Sandwich – This is the three layers that make up a quilt: TOP + BATTING + BACKING.  The Top & Backing can be a whole cut of fabric or pieced to make the size needed.  The Batting is usually a natural fiber (like cotton), a polyester, or a blend and can be low, medium or high loft (thickness).

WOF – Width of fabric (running from on selvage to the other)

Let’s get started!

Gather your materials:

1 Panel – 35-26” x WOF  If your panel is smaller, you will need to add borders on the right & left side to make it this size. Wash, if you want. Iron.

1 Backing – 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 yards (this will be a bit larger than the panel) Wash if you wash the Panel. Iron

1 Batting – 50” x 50” (this will be a bit larger than the backing) With your hands smooth out the wrinkles.

Step #1 –

Square up your Panel.  Trim the edges so they are straight and the top & bottom are the same width and the right & left are the same length.  It isn’t important that the backing & batting be trimmed.  They will be trimmed later.

Step #2 –

Spread the batting on a flat surface, smoothing out wrinkles with your hands.  Layer the Backing fabric with Right-side up. Add a couple of pins in the center. 

Layer the Panel fabric with the Wrong-side up. Smooth out all wrinkles and check to see if batting & backing are extending past the Panel edges.

Pin all the way around and several in the center. You just don’t want the fabric shifting when you sew it.

Step #3 –

A Walking Foot (or sometimes called an Even Feed Foot) is useful to keep the fabric from shifting since sewing on batting and two layers of fabric. Starting along the bottom edge, using a half-inch seam, stitch all the way around the panel but leave about 6-8” opening.  Remember to back-stitch at the beginning and end to keep the seam from ripping when turning the quilt right-side-out.

Step #4 –

Remove the pins, and trim the excess batting & backing to match the 1/2” seam.  Carefully trim the corners to reduce bulk and create sharper corners.

HINT:  At this point, I find it useful to iron the seam open, bending the seam allowance down toward the middle.

Step #5 –

Reach into the opening and pull the corners out until you have turned the “Pillowcase” right-side-out.  Using a chop stick, crochet hook, or other blunt object push the corners out to make nice sharp points.

HINT:  To create clean, sharp edges I will iron the edges, shifting when necessary to force the seam to the edge.  Some people will hand-stitch the opening closed at this point, but I just pin it closed & will stitch it later.

Step #6 –

Pin the quilt and “Quilt-As-Desired.”  If you like to tie quilts, this quilt can be tied, spacing it 4-6” apart.  I usually do some simple diagonal stitching at a 45-degree angle. using a simple decorative stitch.

Step #7 –

Use a decorative stitch and sew along the edge.  On this quilt I just used a straight stitch close to the edge.  This will close the opening used to turn it, and strengthen the seams.

Add a Label and You are Done!! 

This quilt was made for Quilting for Good and was donated to support the Maternal & Infant Clinic of Mary’s Center in Washington, DC.

It is #1 of my 2013 Goal to make 13 Quilts for Quilting for Good/Mary’s Center.

Click here for a printable PDF



About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
This entry was posted in Charity, Quilting, Tutorial. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Tutorial—Pillowcase a Simple Baby Quilt

  1. You did a good job on the quilting and it’s a cute and cheerful quilt.


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