This is how I made the quilted baby playmat.
For the top panel , Select coordinating fabrics for your squares , you’ll need to cut 36 in total. I used a rotary cutter and a 4″ square template , as mine is transparent you can easily adjust placement according to required pattern.
Next you’ll need to cut the strips for the sashing.
5 No. 2″ X 42″ for the vertical strips
30 No. 2″ X 4″ for the horizontal strips
2 No 38″ X 5.5″ for side sashes
2 No 28.5″ X 5.5″ for top and bottom sashes
The diagram below shows how the pieces are assembled
Next arrange your squares in a pattern you are happy with and stitch with a narrow hem into 6 strips alternating square, short strip , square, short strip until you have 6 squares and ending with a square.
If you have chosen a fixed pattern to your squares design it might be useful to number the top square of each strip, this will save you having to lay out again before assembling.
Once all 6 strips are assembled press all seams open.
Then starting with left hand square strip , stitch a plain 2″ long strip to the right hand side, using the same narrow seam.
Attach second squares strip to the other side to the plain, note pin this first balancing seams with the other side, this will keep the centre of your quilt square .Continue in this way until you have joined all the squares strips.
Press the long seams , I pressed towards the centre of each plain strip, this avoided bulk.
Lay the section on a flat surface and trim any uneven edges.
You have now completed the centre of your quilt
The next step is to add the top and bottom sashes, attach with narrow seam the 28.5″ X 5.5″ strips to the top and bottom edge of the centre panel, press seams towards the outer edges then again lay on a hard surface and trim off any uneven edges.
Lastly attach the two remaining sashes to either side of the panel , press seams to the outer edges. The top panel is now completed.
Now you are ready to assemble the quilt.
Select your backing fabric cut to the same size as your finished top panel -I used a plain white cotton sheeting, you could use any coordinating cotton.
Cut your batting to the same size as your finished top panel – I used a piece of washable wool blanketing, it is stable when quilting and warm in use.
On a clean flat surface firstly lay your backing fabric right side down , then matching edges lay your batting on top and lastly your top panel face up .
Holding the centre still with one hand smooth with the other hand to ensure all layers are lying flat.
Don’t worry too much if edges aren’t exactly matching it ‘s more important that the layers are flat , you will trim square again after quilting .
Note if you wishing to make a quilt to an exact size I would add a couple of inches to the sashing of the top panel and thus athe other pieces , this will allow more tolerance for matching edges.
Now secure all the layers together, I use curved safety pins , you can hand baste however I find pins work extremely well, the main difference between the two ( apart from the difference in time applying ) is that hand basting can be machined straight over and the pins have to be removed prior to quilting that section.
To secure with pins , working from the centre outwards , pin through all layers every 3-4 inches until you have covered the entire quilt.
Turn over and check you have no creases and repin as necessary.
You are now ready to machine quit.
take a look at Leah Day Free Motion Quilting for tips on method and designs.
Once quilting is completed you need to trim square , laying on a flat surface using a cutting mat , quilters square and rotary cutter, trim edges , this will ensure all layers are caught into binding creating a lasting finish.
For this quilt I used a method shown in the below link, which gives a fabulous piped binding look , for additional durability I finished mine with a large zigzag stitch .