This quilt is a very special one to me, it's the one that I am tucking away into the hope chest for the hypothetical someday baby. I think my maternal clock must have started ticking in the past year or so because I seem to be making and squirreling away quite a lot of goodies that I normally would have sold on Etsy. Johnny and I have a thing for moons, and when we found Lizzy House's Moon Phase Polkadot fabric I knew I had to make a quilt. I had some other vaguely-moon-invoking prints in my stash and they looked lovely together! Here is the simple tutorial for this quilt's design, any novice quilter could whip this one up in a weekend or so without too much fuss.
How to Make a Moon Phase Quilt:
Finished dimensions, about 42x45 inches.
You'll need 1/4 yards of 4 different coordinating materials, and 1/2 a yard of a 5th material
1 yard of cotton needle punch weight batting
1.5 yards of a backing fabric if you plan on making your own bias tape -or-
1 yard of backing fabric and 5 yards of coordinating bias tape
Coordinating cotton thread
If you get your pieces cut in 1/4 yards from the fabric shop it saves some time, since you will want to cut them in half lengthwise to get 2 4.5 inch wide strips from each quarter yard. Also cut the 1/2 yard piece into 3 such strips.
You want to arrange the fabrics so that the first strip and last strip match, 2nd and 2nd to last match, etc, with the pattern meeting in the middle with a single strip to echo the phases of the moon. I chose to use a fabric already in the quilt for the single middle strip because it was my favorite, but you could also use a completely unique piece.
Stitch the strips, right sides together lengthwise, in the order you have them laid out. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance so the strips will be 4 inches wide when sewn. Press the seams flat when you're done.
Now you'll need some space to lay down and smooth out the backing fabric (wrong side up if it has one), then the batting, then the quilt front right side up. Trim the bottom and batting to be relatively even with a little extra overhang, but don't worry about making it perfect as there will be some shifting as you quilt.
I like to use giant safety pins, which can be found with the quilting supplies at any craft store, to keep all my layers together as I quilt. Working with regular pins and trying to roll up a quilt to fit it under the arm of a sewing machine is risky business, and basting is too tedious for my tastes.
Now comes the fun part! For your first bit of quilting be sure you've got a walking foot on your machine and sew down along the seams between the strips of fabric. This is known as "in the ditch" quilting. You can't easily measure this, so just eyeball it as you go.
If you're in a terrible hurry you could just stop here and add the binding and it would still be a lovely quilt, but I prefer to add the next bit of quilting:
Using your walking foot's guide arm, set it to 2 inches out and line it up with the seam you just quilted over so you'll be sewing down the center of each strip. Quilt all of them this way:
All done quilting! Trim any excess fabric around the quilt top so you get a nice even edge for binding.
I always make my own bias tape, though for solid colored fabrics I usually don't cut the strips on the bias. For this quilt I cut 4" strips from my backing material and I didn't even feel the need to iron the giant strip in half, though for first-timers it would make it a bit easier. If you've never made your own and want to try it, check out my tutorial on how to quilt and scroll down to see my method.
Now line up the raw edges of the bias tape and the quilt, and using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, stitch them together with a regular presser foot on the machine. See my how to quilt tutorial for my method on starting, finishing, and making mitered corners for your quilt binding.
Now, using the method I linked to above, fold your bias tape over the edge and hand-stitch it in place using a blind stitch. This is my favorite part of quilt making!
I don't like to pre-shrink my fabrics because I love the wrinkles quilts get after years of use, and if you're the same way then when you're done sewing go throw it in a hot washer and dryer. So cuddly!
And there you have it! If you end up using this pattern I'd love to see what you make! You can leave me a comment here or go ahead and share your photos on my Oh the Cuteness Flickr group!