the boy’s quilt

i have had so many emails asking about the quilt at the end of silas’ bed.

well… i made it!

after digging through my archives, i combined a couple posts and added in some extra info, and hopefully it will all make sense if you’re interested in making your own.

first, if you want to know about my fabric choices, see here first.

i finally decided what to do with all the fabric i got for the boy’s bedding. i eliminated a couple fabrics, but obviously, i still have a lot! i had a few strips of fabric that were only 3 1/2 inches wide, so i went with that and cut all the fabrics into 3 1/2 inch wide strips. i basically cut 3 1/2 inch wide strips and lay them out somewhat randomly, end to end, then made multiple rows like that. most of them ended up being random lengths, others i had to trim a bit. i cleared off our dining room table (two folding tables pushed together), and started laying out the strips in a fairly random order, just trying not to lay the same ones right next to each other. it took me about an hour to do this.
piecing it all together took much longer than i had expected (always does). but  i was able to whip it all together in one morning and afternoon.  the sewing actually went really fast because i didn’t have to worry about keeping the pieces all lined up – random was good. the size is also random – it ended up being whatever size would fit on my table! don’t forget to iron!

now for the backing:
as you can maybe see from the picture above, my nice straight rows turned out to be a bit more rainbow shaped. they have quite an arch to them, so making a blanket with 90 degree corners has been a bit difficult, thus my procrastination on moving forward. after a bunch of measuring and chopping i finally made the overall blanket a fairly even rectangle. don’t look too close – so many of the fabrics look like they were cut on an angle – oh well!
ever heard of “warm & natural”? its the white stuff in the picture above. basically its a thin batting that i put in between the layers of this quilt. its really soft and i think easier to work with than the loftier polyester batting. i layed the quilt top on top of the warm & natural, smoothed it all out so there were no wrinkles, then pinned the 2 layers together all over, like every 4 inches or so. then i “stitched in the ditch” as you can see in the picture above and the close-up below. basically, that means to stitch directly on top of a seam already done. i’m not so good at the “directly” part, so i just try to get close.

i used a contrasting thread (turquoise) because, since i knew my stitches wouldn’t really be hidden in the seam, i would make them be more of a focal point rather than an error if i had tried to do it perfectly (note the former title of my blog – imperfect!).

next step is to make the backside of the quilt. the easiest way to do this would be to get a piece of fabric that is the same size as your quilt top, then go from there. i didn’t go the easy route. a girlfriend got the fabric for me, a super soft lightweight corduroy, and she was only able to get 2 pieces, not 1 whole one. so i had to piece them together to make them cover the size i needed. i’m pretty happy with how the back came out. i did a large rectangle in the middle with an 11 inch border around the edges.

i could’ve left it at that, but i thought it looked a little blah, so i added more contrast stitching in the ditches.

i used a turquoise and an orange thread, and a zigzag stitch and made 4 lines. pretty simple for adding a bit of color.

next step is to lay the top of the quilt onto the back. i had my husband help with this. i made the back slightly (like 1/2 inch) larger than the front so i had a little wiggle room. but we basically had to lay it on top as exact as possible.

i’m not a big fan of pinning. i usually think it can be a waste of time, but in this case i decided it was worth it. so i pinned again about every 4 inches around the edges. i sewed the 2 pieces together leaving an opening on one end about a foot wide.

before i turned it all right-side-out, i snipped the corners. this helps the corners on the outside to be a little more square, rather than rounded.

at the 1 foot opening i carefully pulled the quilt right-side-out, making sure to push my finger in the corners to make them square.

its hard to tell in this fuzzy picture, but the next step is to close the opening i left in order to turn out the quilt. first i needed to iron all the edges flat, especially where the opening was. then i used thread that would blend into to opening fabrics, white on top, brown on bottom. if you can tell in the picture, i stitched as close to the edge as possible so the seam wouldn’t be too noticeable.

next i needed to attach the back side to the front so it wasn’t loose like a bag or a pillowcase without the pillow. i decided to use embroidery floss/thread to make little “x’s” on the back and tied knots on the front.

i hope that this has been helpful to some of you, and not too boring for the rest of you!
if you have any questions, or noticed i forgot something, please let me know!

have a fabulous day, and go sew something!


  1. 1

    thank you for posting this. I love it and love the completed room. i have been wondering how to make a quilt similar to the one you made. i just wish I had an eye for choosing fabric. i'm not so sure I could see shirts at walmart and envision them at quilts, but i'll try! thanks again

  2. 2
    I Love Pretty Little Things says:

    I love that quilt! I am naturally drawn to bright girlie colors, but I have three boys so I occasionally do need to consider the other side of the color wheel. This one is great! Thanks for sharing. Love the tips…

  3. 3

    thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I promised my friend a tshirt quilt from her sorority tshirts for her birthday without knowing exactly how to do. now i do!

  4. 4

    So cute!

  5. 5

    I'm in love with that quilt! You did a fabulous job!
    Thank you for sharing your talents!

  6. 6

    LOVE IT!

  7. 7

    Thank you Lindsey! Do you have any pictures of how you sewed the patches together? You make it sound so easy! The quilt is gorgeous!

  8. 8

    Love it! Will you post a picture of the knots that made it look not-so-pillow-case-like on the opposite sides of the x's? I have made one blanket my entire life, and now I'm sad to see that it's not even done! I need to make it all sewn together…6 years later. :)

  9. 9

    Not quite sure how I ended up at your blog, but I'm here and I LOVE your quilt. In fact I am making a similar type of quilt right now with long strips lined up randomly! Love your color choices!

    I'll definitely be back :) !!!

  10. 10

    So inspiring!

    My mom made a mallard quilt out of my brother's shirts (from when he was a little boy). She also made a "dutch girl" quilt out of my sister's dresses. Great memories.

  11. 11

    What a beautiful quilt and such an awesome keepsake for your son!

  12. 12
    Kristi @ Pink and Polka Dot says:

    Fantabulous! Love it and you. Thx for a great wknd!

  13. 13

    Beautiful! I love the quilt. I always appreciate the hours and work that goes into making quilts (patience I do not have LOL!)

    Nice to have met you as I was leaving (in)courage party.


  14. 14
    Fawn Hamilton says:

    oooh!! Super cute!! You are so talented!! Thanks for sharing! I became a follower! :)
    Swing by and check out my giveaway if you get a sec.

  15. 15
    Chrissie Love says:

    Hi! I stumbled here after following a few rabbit trails, so I don't remember where I found your blog. But I love it! This quilt is so adorable, as are the other ones for your girls. I'm curious about one thing: why did you quilt the top and batting before adding the backing? I've always quilted all three layers at once, and I'm wondering if there's some secret tip I can learn =)

  16. 16

    Cute quilt! I think I am going to do this for my girl’s room. I love the stripes.

  17. 17

    Beautiful! I am not much of a sewing person, however this is awesome. I just might have to give it a try!

Speak Your Mind