I made new quilts for the kids' bunk beds before Thanksgiving last year as part of their shared room mini makeover (details still to come) and loved the graphic look so much that I decided to make a crib quilt with the leftover squares. The three of these kids will likely share a room later this year so it was another way to help their small space remain cohesive and a chance to experiment with a new idea.
I started in on this crib quilt the night before Thanksgiving and then finished it up in between getting the turkey in the oven and starting the sides and was in such a hurry that I didn't bother to take step-by-step photos as I went. What I've shared below are the step-by-step photos I took to show how I was making the larger quilts (as I was making them in black and white squares) and then I've added in steps I took to get the abstract look using gray and white. I didn't make it to the same scale or use the same amount of squares but I think it gets the idea across on how you can create this kind of abstract pattern.
It turned out to be a little smaller than a standard crib quilt measuring at 27" x 38". Since we're waiting to find out the baby's gender until he/she is born I have been purchasing and making a lot of things in black and white with mint and citron yellow. I really love the graphic pattern but it's also nice to know the contrast of black and white is stimulating to babies. Perfect for tummy time!
I had originally cut 10" squares for the kids' quilts and ended up using eight black squares paired with eight off-white squares. Once stitched together and cut this turns into 16 squares measuring about 9.75" squared.
Supplies: To make this same size you'll need 3/4 yard of black cotton and 3/4 yard of off-white cotton. You'll also need batting (I always go with organic cotton but used two layers of it in this blanket knowing it'd be used on a hardwood floor), fabric for your backing in your preference measuring 1 yard, four yards of binding for your edge, straight pins, sharp scissors, a cutting mat, a rotarty cutter, an acrylic ruler, a pen, and of course a basic sewing machine.
1. Cut out your 10" squares and place a white one on top of a black one so the edges match up. Pin in opposite corners to keep them together and trace a line from one corner to the opposite corner as shown. Shown in this image are two different squares but the rest only show one square. 2. Stitch about 1/4" on either side of your line. 3. Cut on your line to get two pieces that have been stitched together. Remove your pins. 4. Open each piece to get two new squares and iron flat. Each 10" square stitched and cut in half will yield two new black and white triangle squares measuring about 9.75".
5. After you've created all of your triangle squares (16 total) you'll stitch them together in rows. Always be sure the triangles are facing the same direction before you stitch them together or you'll get a different pattern than the one shown. Fold one square on top of the other and line the edges up as best as possible. Pin near the edges you are going to stitch together. Stitch along that edge about 1/4" in (this is called seam allowance). 6. Fold open, iron flat and repeat with the next square. 7. Finish stitching all of your rows. I only show three squares stitched together here to give you the idea of a row but you'll want four to get the same sized blanket as the one shown. 8. Start stitching your rows to each other by folding one over the other and lining up the edges as best you can. Pin along the edge that will be stitched together. Stitch in about 1/4" from the edge as you did with your squares. 9. Remove pins, fold open, iron flat. 10. Your back side will have lots of turned hems. Some people like to iron them open flat but I usually fold them all to the same side. It's up to you.
After this step what you'll have is a 16 square grid of black and white triangles that all face the same direction. These are the basic steps for making any size quilt in this pattern just on a smaller scale. I finished up two twin sized quilts in this pattern but used much more fabric. To take things a step further to get the abstract quilt you'll want to get your rotary cutter and cutting mat back out.
11. Remember this example isn't to scale but accurately represents the process. Cut your quilt top into uneven strips measuring about 1.5" - 2.5" wide. I made sure one or two of my strips included the natural hem lines between rows because it adds to the pattern. 12. Rearrange your strips so that no two are next to each other that were originally next to each other. You can reverse the direction they faced as well. 13. Once you're happy with your design, stitch your strips together along the long edges with about 1/4" seam allowance (distance from edge to your stitching so it won't unravel as mentioned above). Iron each new row flat before you add another to make it easier to work with. 14. Once you've stitched all of your rows together you'll notice it's shrunk up a bit. Trim off the wonky edges to get a rectangle. Now you've got your quilt top and you're ready to stitch things together!
NOT SHOWN: I wanted to add a little more area to my quilt top so I cut four more strips of off-white. Two measured the width of my quilt top and two measured the length plus 6". They were about 3" wide. I stitch the sashing to the width of my quilt top first and ironed flat and then added the two strips along the long sides. I ironed everything flat and then trimmed my edges.
Here's a link that shows how to quilt your quilt top to your backing and batting.
Here's a link on how to make your own quilt binding. For this quilt I used pre-made binding that I found at JoAnn's because it really is the nicest shade of minty blue.
Here's a link on how to machine stitch your quilt binding using the process shown above. It's not the traditional way of doing it but makes quick work of things.
You can see the extra sash around my quilt top here. It helps frame your design and adds some area at the same time. My method of quilting was just to stitch on either side of the major seams but you could also quilt a more detailed pattern or hand-tie things together depending on how much patience (or lack of it) you have!
What you'll end up with is something quite unique and any mistakes in lining up corners can easily be forgotten as they only lend to the interestingness of the design.
I'd love to see what you end up with if you try this design and thanks for always linking up to any tutorials you use to make your own version!
All this quilt needs now is a squishy baby to wrap up and snuggle!
p.s. I can't remember who makes the fabric I used on the back. If you're familiar with it please feel free to share in the comments and I'll add it in to the post. Thanks!