Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Simple Fat Quarter Quilt Tutorial

{Making the Quilt Top}

Supplies needed:

  • Six fat quarters for the top (Although I used six different colors, it would also work well with 1, 2, or 3 different fabrics.  If using only one fabric I suggest still piecing the fat quarters together to section the quilt top for machine quilting.)
  • 1 2/3 yard for the backing
  • An extra (contrasting) 1/3 yard if piecing the backing
  • 1/2 yard piece for the binding
  • Crib size batting (About 45 x 60 inches)
  • Coordinating thread

The fabrics I used for the top are Kona Cottons in Bright Pink, Carrot, Canary, Lime, Water, and Bright Peri.  My backing is "It's a Party" by Fabri-Quilt with a Bright Pink contrast strip.  My binding is from the Henry Glass line "I Love You."

I selected a rainbow in 50 weight Aurifil thread for the quilting.  

I am sure there are lots of ways to cut the fat quarters to size.  I am going to show you how I did it.  :)

1.  Iron all the wrinkles out of your six fat quarters for the quilt top.  I like to use Best Press.

2.  Lay one color on your cutting mat with the selvage edge toward you.  Square up the edge on the right.  I used two rulers to do this.  One ruler was long enough to cut the entire edge. The second ruler was used to make sure the trimmed edge was 90 degrees from the selvage.

3.  Rotate the fat quarter and using the edge you just trimmed, cut off the selvage.  Once again I used two rulers to make sure I got a good 90 degree angle where the two edges meet.

Note:  I used a small square ruler to make sure my angle was 90 degrees.

4.  I now use the grid lines on the cutting mat to trim to the correct size.  I find using rulers for cutting more accurate, but most people don't have a ruler big enough.  Lining up my nicely cut corner at 0 inches and on the first horizontal line above the numbers, I line my ruler up with the lines on the grid above and below the fat quarter to trim it to 21.5 inches long.  (Kona Cottons seem to be a little wider than most, so trim to 21 inches or a little smaller if you need to.  The key is just to be consistent.)

5.  Once again, rotate the fat quarter and line the corner up at 0 inches and on the first line. The fat quarters I bought were very generous, so I lined my ruler up with the lines on the grid (above and below the fat quarter) and trimmed it to 18.5 inches wide.  (You can cut your fat quarters to 18 or 17.5 inches instead.  Just be consistent.)

6.  Then place your fat quarters on your design wall (or floor) and decide on a placement.  Here are a couple I tried:

Berries vs. citrus

Rainbow in an oval
My boys liked this one the best.  

7.  Sew your fat quarters into two columns with a consistent quarter inch seam.  Press the seams going down on the first column, and going up on the right column so that they will nest together.

8.  Sew the last seam together and you have a cute, simple baby quilt top with just five seams.

Now you need to prepare the backing, baste, quilt, bind, and enjoy.  Check out my "Quilt Basics" page for more tutorials.

I will be demonstrating free-motion quilting on this quilt in my upcoming classes at my local quilt shop.   Students in my class can choose between making this quilt top or the Simple Stripe Quilt.  I am super excited.


P.S. Some of the supplies for this quilt were generously donated by Daines Cotton Shop.


  1. A quick fat quarter quilt top is great, and I like the ROYGBIV layout (I would have chosen the same layout that the boys liked)>

  2. So seriously pretty! Can't wait to see how it looks with your quilting magnificence! Have a blast teaching the class, Jasmine. Looking forward to reading about your experience!


I love reading your thoughts, and I try to respond to every comment through email. I hope you will consider leaving one. If you are unable to leave a comment, you are welcome to email me at quilt dot kisses at gmail dot com.

Comments are now moderated on posts more than seven days old so that I don't miss any. Thanks!