Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner’s: Part 3

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Quilt Along for Beginner’s – Part 3: Sewing Squares into Rows & Completing Quilt Top

Welcome back for Part 3 of the Step-by-Step Quilt Along! I’m so glad you’re here!

So far, we’ve learned all about fabric and the supplies needed for this project and we learned how to properly cut our fabric into straight squares. For this quilt, we need roughly 70 little squares.

Did you get yours cut? How did it go? Any questions or things you’re not quite sure about?

If this is your first time joining us, take a moment to get caught up with Part 1 and Part 2 of the Quilt Along. Once you do, join us back here to start sewing your quilt top!

This is a fun week – probably my favorite part of the whole quilting experience! This week we will be (finally) pulling out our sewing machines and piecing the quilt top together.

Follow along with me through this tutorial, even the most beginner’s can do this, trust me. You will be so proud of yourself when you have a beautiful quilt top completed!

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Are you ready to get started?

 

Design Your Layout

The final step in the Part 2 tutorial was to design your layout.

Just as a refresher, I want to share my awesome little tip for setting up an easy, inexpensive design wall!

Designing the quilt is incredibly fun, but laying the blocks on the ground and climbing over them to make adjustments? No thank you! (Although, I can still recall my 36 week pregnant self doing just that because I hadn’t learned this wonderful tip yet! Yuck!).

Save yourself, your knees and the headache that crawling on the ground entails and set up a simple design wall.

A design wall (or design board) is a flannel wall that holds your fabric and allows you to experiment with different quilting designs and layouts, all without pins!

You can purchase a design wall, but they were more expensive than I was comfortable with and they didn’t offer a lot of flexibility to put them away when not in use.

There had to be a better option….solution?

Are you ready for this….

A (super inexpensive) flannel backed tablecloth! 

  1. Inexpensive (and I found mine at a garage sale for 50 cents – even better! 🙂 )
  2. Easily hang with tacks or command strips.
  3. Easy to fold up and put away when not in use
  4. Works like a dream holding fabric – I’ve even left fabric on it for months on end without any issues!

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish!
Don’t mind the wrinkles, I keep it folded when not in use. 🙂

Use a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth for a design wall! It holds quilt squares without any pins and allows you to experiment with different layouts before sewing!

Do yourself a favor, get a flannel backed tablecloth for a design wall asap! It makes a huge difference! Plus, if you have little ones, it’s a great tool to play and explore with! Plus my little one loves playing with and hanging different prints and textures on my design wall! 🙂

So since you are a super savvy sewer, I know you took my tip and set up your own design wall! Awesome job!

How did setting up your layout go? Pleased with the design?

Good! Because it’s time to start sewing! 🙂

 

Sewing Perfect Inseams

Before we sew anything, let’s discuss inseams for a moment.

I think sewing accurate inseams is perhaps the most important element when creating a quilt. If your inseams aren’t accurate and uniform, you’ll have trouble putting your quilt together, especially if you are following a pattern.

If this is your first time completing a quilt, it’s important to check the width of your presser foot attached to your machine. It’s easy to do so, just sew a seam on a sample piece of fabric. Line your fabric up with the right side of your presser foot.

Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner's. Learn all the steps from start to finish to sew your own beautiful baby quilt. Includes must know tips, how to ensure a perfect inseam and quilting hacks. Check this guide out and get started creating your own beautiful baby quilt! Repin now for later!

Once you sew the seam, check it with a quilting ruler. It should measure exactly 1/4″.

Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner's. Learn all the steps from start to finish to sew your own beautiful baby quilt. Includes must know tips, how to ensure a perfect inseam and quilting hacks. Check this guide out and get started creating your own beautiful baby quilt! Repin now for later!

Another option for checking the width of your presser foot is to take three strips of fabric, each 1.5″ wide. Sew the first two strips together, using a 1/4″ inseam. Attach the third strip of fabric with a 1/4″ inseam.

Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner's. Learn all the steps from start to finish to sew your own beautiful baby quilt. Includes must know tips, how to ensure a perfect inseam and quilting hacks. Check this guide out and get started creating your own beautiful baby quilt! Repin now for later!

Once attached, measure the center piece of fabric. It should measure exactly 1″. If yours doesn’t, no problem. Keep practicing and adjusting until it measures exactly 1″.

Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner's. Learn all the steps from start to finish to sew your own beautiful baby quilt. Includes must know tips, how to ensure a perfect inseam and quilting hacks. Check this guide out and get started creating your own beautiful baby quilt! Repin now for later!

Sewing a straight inseam is definitely a skill acquired with lots of practice. Don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first. Everyone does. Trust me, my first quilt was rough looking, but it’s still so special because I created it myself!

Quilting for Beginner's: Quilt Along

 

Sewing Your Rows

Once you have your layout set and you’ve checked the width of your presser foot, take a small piece of tape (I️ use painters tape) and number the rows. This will help you stay organized as you piece your rows together.

Let’s go through one row at a time.

Take your first 2 squares. Lay them right sides together, with the second square on top. You want the wrong sides of the fabric showing.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Add a few pins or clips (I love these clips) to hold them together and prevent sliding.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

We’re going to sew these together up the right side with a 1/4″ inseam. (As a side note, I use and absolutely LOVE this sewing machine. It’s relatively inexpensive, comes with a lot of accessories, and is the perfect machine for beginner’s!)

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Once you have the first two squares together, we’re going to repeat the process.

Take the third square, lay it right sides together on the second square.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Sew together with a 1/4″ inseam.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Continue adding squares (always add them right sides together- wrong sides facing out) until you complete your row.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Place the completed row on your design wall and begin your second row.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Finish Sewing Your Rows

Repeat the process for each row until all of the squares are sewn together into rows.

You will have a total of 10 rows.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Now it’s time to press the seams and sew our rows together.

 

Iron Your Seams

There is more than one way to complete this step, but my favorite and my go-to is by nesting my seams. I find it to be a simple way to ensure I have a nice smooth finish on my quilt.

Nesting your seams is simply ironing joining seams in opposite directions so they fit together nicely.

Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner's. Learn all the steps from start to finish to sew your own beautiful baby quilt. Includes must know tips, how to ensure a perfect inseam, nesting seams and quilting hacks. Check this guide out and get started creating your own beautiful baby quilt! Repin now for later!

To put this in practice with a quilt top, the seams of each row will be ironed in alternating directions.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Once they are ironed, the seams will fit together nicely and pull together when sewn.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner's. Learn all the steps from start to finish to sew your own beautiful baby quilt. Includes must know tips, how to ensure a perfect inseam, nesting seams and quilting hacks. Check this guide out and get started creating your own beautiful baby quilt! Repin now for later!

One of the best tips I can give is to take time practicing nesting seams. Nest a seam and feel how smooth the fabric & seam feels. Slide it out of place and feel the difference. Continue shifting the fabric into nested position and out until you are comfortable identifying if a seam is nested.  This is how I learned and got comfortable with nesting seams.

 

Sewing Rows into a Quilt Top

Now it’s time to take our rows and sew them all together!

Take your first two rows and put them right sides together, opposite sides facing out.

Shimmy, slide and adjust the fabric as needed until each seam is nested nicely.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Pin or clip liberally. Especially if you are new to quilting. I recommend over pinning rather than the opposite. Pinning helps prevent fabric shifting, which is not a good thing, especially when quilting.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

With the first two rows pinned or clipped,  sew them together with a 1/4″ inseam.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Once the first two rows are sewn together, we are going to repeat the process.

Add the third row, right sides together with the second.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Nest the seams by sliding or adjusting the fabric as needed.

Pin or clip in place.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

Sew together with a 1/4″ inseam.

Repeat this process for rows 4-10, always adding the rows right sides together (wrong sides facing out).

 

Iron & Admire Your Completed Quilt Top

Iron your quilt top smooth. I typically iron the right side of the quilt, then flip it over and iron the seams in the correct direction. Ensuring the seams are pressed on the backside helps prevent bulk and allows your quilt to lay more smoothly.

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

You did it! You just completed your first quilt top!

Step by Step Guide to Sewing your own Baby Quilt for even the most inexperience beginner sewers. Follow along week by week to create your own beautiful baby quilt from start to finish! Repin now for later!

How’s it look? Are you pleased with it?

I’m sure it looks beautiful, but just in case your first attempt is anything like mine was, here are a few tips for properly using the seam ripper.

Properly Using a Seam Ripper

  1. Do not feel embarrassed if you have to use a seam ripper. It literally is a lifesaver that quilters have a love/hate relationship with. 🙂
  2. When using a seam ripper, the object is to remove stitches quickly, without damaging the fabric.
  3. Cut every 3-4 stitches with the seam ripper. Pull the bobbin thread (the thread on the backside of your piece) to remove.

Finish Your Quilt Top & Join Me Next Week

Now that you know what to do, take your time sewing your quilt top together and meet me back here next week to continue our baby quilts.

As your working, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you might run across! I tried to be as thorough as possible, but if something is unclear please let me know! I am more than happy to add videos or clarification, if needed!

Join me next week to learn how to create our quilt sandwich and start quilting! By the end of next week, we will be nearly done with our quilt! You don’t want to miss it!

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2 thoughts on “Step-by-Step Quilt Along for Beginner’s: Part 3

    1. Hi Carleen! Thank you so much for following along – awesome job making it this far! I allowed a bit of extra time on Part 3 because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Part 4 of the Quilt Along is now posted. Good luck and enjoy! 🙂

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