Friday, March 23, 2012

Rough tutorial for baby Cohen's minimalist quilt

Thanks to everyone who helped out by voting for their favourite quilting pattern for my new baby quilt. There wasn't much of a concensus on this one, so I might just have to go with my original idea... you'll have to wait until it's done to see which one I picked!

So, on to the tute...You can probably figure out how to make this without instructions, but I've had a few people ask how I put Cohen's quilt together so here's the rough guide.

I didn't use any measurements as I was making it, and I don't have the quilt anymore. But I thought I could share the general directions and some rough measurements (using the photo as a guide) for those who are interested in making something similar. It's a really easy, fun one to play around with!

So here's a picture of the master plan to refer back to, with VERY rough estimates of measurements. I used a charm pack and a cotton/linen blend for the background.
  • I chose (well actually, my husband chose all of the fabrics and laid them out for me to sew) 12, 5" square prints for the main vertical strip and sewed them together. 
  • Then I cut four 5" squares in half and sewed them together (joining the narrow ends) for the bottom left hand corner. 
  • I cut the four squares with the fish on them into 3 1/2" squares and set them aside.

Then I took my background fabric and cut it to the approximate size that I wanted the quilt to be (you'll want to cut it approximately 3" longer and 4" narrower than the desired finished size - I would have cut my background piece to approx 38" x 58"). 
  • Using the diagram and photo as a guide, cut a long narrow strip vertically down the side (number 1) approx 8" wide and put it aside.
  • Then from the left over fabric cut four 3 1/2" strips and one 2 1/2" strip from the bottom (number 2).
  • Lastly, you'll make a horizontal cut where you want the fish strips to go (number 3).

To make the fish strips, lay out your four 3 1/2" strips and make cuts in them where you want the fish squares to go. Then sew the squares where you made the cuts.

Sew the strips together and insert them where you made cut number 3 in the background. Trim the strips in line with the background fabric.

It's pretty easy from here to put the rest of the quilt together. Sew the 2 1/2" background strip to the end of the four half squares strip for the bottom left corner. Add this strip to the bottom of the quilt and trim in line with the background fabric.

Then add the strip of 12 fabric squares to the right of the quilt top and then the thick strip of background fabric (which was your number 1 cut). Trim it to the size you like and voila! You have a funky baby quilt top which you could put together in an evening. Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense. It's meant just as a quick guide not as a pattern.

You could easily use this method to design your own quilt. Have fun!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your process. Your drawings are perfect and clear. My daughter picked out a quilt in a modern style that she wanted me to make. I just couldn't wrap my head around how I was going to do it. But after reading this tutorial and seeing how you broke your quilt down into sections I think I may be able to tackle her quilt. Thanks so much.

  2. Love the way the quilting makes the squares stand out. Great little quilt! Thanks for sharing your steps and the process. I love to see how the quilts come alive :)

  3. Such a pretty quilt - thanks so much for the tutorial/process info!

  4. I just adore this quilt--it's so calming! thank you for sharing your process;I'm trying to 'learn' how to intuitively feel my way through a project (this is tough!) and you have a natural gift for that.

  5. I love this quilt and the quilting. So fresh and cheery. I might just have to make a larger one for my bed for the summer.

  6. I was looking for a clean and simple style to make a quilt for my 17-year-old nephew and I think this is it. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  7. Love this quilt, great modern fun design. A friend made it and showed it off in class tonight, told me that you designed it. Great stuff you should put a book together.


Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I try to respond but life sometimes gets in the way. If you have any questions please email me at kateeconklin(at)gmail(dot)com