Ahoy, sewing mateys! Summer is the season for sailboats, beaches and all things nautical, so this darling Nautical Baby Quilt is just perfect for this time of year. Amanda of Jedi Craft Girl designed this sea-worthy quilt for a friend who had chosen a nautical theme for her nursery and she did a fabulous job! It’s simple to stitch, fairly quick to make and would be fun in any size.
Amanda’s quilt uses simple Square in a Square blocks for the main portion of the quilt top. While she doesn’t give exact dimensions of the finished quilt or the blocks, she does have good cutting instructions for your block pieces and the side panels that complete the top. It looks to me like these are 7” blocks and that added to the side pieces would make the quilt approximately 39” x 44” when finished. Hope that helps!
You’ll choose red and blue prints along with a solid white that can be used for the blocks as well as the side panels. Amanda used a navy polka dot print for the binding and it looks adorable. Stars, stripes or checks would look great, too. For a genuine nautical flag feel, you may want to use all solids rather than the red and blue prints – that could be fun, too!
I love the anchor Amanda chose for the fusible applique accent on her Nautical Baby Quilt. You won’t find a template in her tutorial as she googled “anchor” and found an online picture she used as her pattern. What did we ever do before the internet became our BCF (best creative friend)? While the anchor is theme perfect, you may want to try something else for your applique. A sailboat, tugboat, sailor or seagull would be just as fitting. Or, you may want to make smaller motifs and cover more of the left side panel with a variety of symbols.
Other than my estimate, since we don’t have the actual finished dimensions of the Nautical Baby Quilt, you may want to wait until your top is pieced to choose and purchase batting and backing. That way you’ll be sure you have enough! To finish, Amanda chose simple, straight line quilting to form a grid on her finished quilt. Always a great choice! Waves along the side panels would create a “fresh from the sea” look, if you are confident in machine quilting and would like to explore a bit more. As always, Coats Machine Quilting Thread is what you’ll want to use to keep your quilt firmly “anchored”!
While you’re thinking nautical baby, those Square in a Square blocks would make a fabulous tote bag to carry baby’s gear or a wall hanging to adorn his or her nautically themed nursery. And, since you’re fusing and stitching, can a little one ever have too many hand decorated onsies? Size your downloaded nautical internet pictures to baby chest size and use a little of your quilt fabric to create appliques for those, too.
Should we stop there? I think not! You could add more blocks, make wider panels and stitch up a Nautical Quilt in any size you please. To help you plan, click here for a chart that shows finished quilt sizes. And, think about pillows to coordinate with your quilt. They could be made from a set of four Square in a Square blocks or you could make the blocks smaller and use eight. Or, you could make large pillow size blocks and give each pillow it’s own unique block. You’re the captain of this project!
Click here for Amanda’s Nautical Baby Quilt tutorial and make sure you don’t miss the best part at the end. She’s included pictures of the nautical theme baby shower she put on for her delighted friend and it’s super, super cute. In fact, a nautical picnic or BBQ could be really fun for summer and those blocks would make a marvelous table runner, right? I can’t stop! Isn’t it great how one idea sparks another and another and another? Time to cast off now, sewing mateys. Enjoy exploring and navigating the pleasant waters of this terrific project!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.