Saturday, August 14, 2010

Baby Stacks - Tutorial

Stacked coin quilts are really popular right now.  I needed a baby quilt for a gift, so I thought I'd play with the stacked coin idea with some charms.  For this quilt I used only the girl prints from 2 Funny Babies charm packs for a total of 40 charms.
This pattern could easily be altered for just about any charm pack, regardless of how many charm squares.  And the best part is that it can easily be pieced in an hour or two!

Baby Stacks, 38" x 38"
40 charm squares
2/3 coordinate for borders
1/3 yard binding
42" square batting
1 1/4 yard backing

Gather your 40 charm squares:

Chop them in half so that you have 80-2.5" x 5" pieces:

This step is optional, but it helps me embrace the random piecing.
Toss the 80-2.5" x 5" pieces into a bag and give them a shake!

Piece together 5 strips of 16 coins each.  I pull 2 pieces out of the bag at a time and chain piece.  When I have everything sewn into pairs, I toss them all back into the bag and pull 2 out to sew into sets of 4.  Continue until you have strips of 16.  Press.  The strips should measure approximately 5" x 32.5":

Measure the length of each of the 5 coin stacks and take an average of the 5 measurements.  Don't worry if they aren't all exactly the same.
Now cut the 2/3 yard coordinate print into 8 strips 3" wide by WOF.  Set 2 strips aside for the top and bottom borders.  Trim the remaining 6 strips so that they are the average length of your coin stack strips.
Attach the strips of coordinate fabric to the coin stack strips.  You may want to pin these a bit.  I usually pin at the top, bottom, and once in the middle.

Piece all of the coin stacks together and press all seams.  At this point you should have a nearly complete top with both side borders, 5 pieced coin stacks and borders between each stack.
Measure the width of your quilt top at the top, bottom, and middle.  Find the average of the 3 measurements.  Now pull out the top and bottom 3" border strips that you set aside earlier.  Trim the length of both of these strips to the average measurement that you just calculated.
Attach the top and bottom borders.  Again you may want to pin at a few places.

Press all seams.  Layer top, batting and backing.  Quilt.  I quilted straight lines 1/2" apart.  This is a great pattern for practicing straight line quilting without marking any lines because you can check your quilting lines against the seams in the top.  I used the edge of my walking foot as a guide to keep my lines 1/2" apart, and when I approached a seam I adjusted my quilting to keep my lines moving straight down the quilt.

Bind your quilt however you like.


(Now I need to find a baby boy who needs a quilt, so I can use the rest of this fabric line!)



It looks great, I have started the same quilt for my Boy....I will certainly use your bag clever....that part of quilting can take forever!
Cheers Nic

Neoma said...

Finally a great tutorial for a charm pack quilt! :) And a good idea about the bag, like Creative disorganization said - that part can take forever!