Easy Contemporary Baby Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 05

    Sew a Contemporary Baby Quilt

    Easy Contemporary Baby Quilt Pattern
    Four Patch quilt with alternating colors of outer frames. © Janet Wickell

    Each four patch quilt block in this easy contemporary baby quilt pattern is framed twice, once with a narrow frame and again with a frame that's somewhat larger. Take a close look at the illustration and you'll see that:​

    • All four patch blocks are framed in white first.
    • One version of the four patch block is larger than the other.
    • The larger four patches have more narrow white (or inner) frames than the larger four patches.
    • Although their components differ, the two types of framed blocks all...MORE finish at 9" x 9"

    Quilt Pattern Variations

    The layout shown here is one of many ways you can customize this contemporary baby quilt. Take a look at another version of the quilt, on page 5. Its inner frames are all dark and its outer frames are all white, giving the finished project a very different appearance. 

    I like the added movement and color variations made possible by the four patch units, but you could replace them with plain squares of fabric cut from a variety of scraps. If you prefer, turn the entire project into a scrap quilt.

    The quilt shown finishes at about 36" x 54", a nice size for a baby quilt or toddler quilt. Make additional quilt blocks or add borders to create a larger finished project.

    If you're new to quilting, check to make sure you are sewing an accurate quarter inch seam before beginning this project. You might also want to review the instructions for using a rotary cutter to create long strips of fabric.

    Quilt Block Fabrics

    I wrote the instructions in a way that (hopefully) helps you design your own version of the quilt. Choose desired fabric styles and colors and 'plug them in' to the yardages below. I always add a bit of extra yardage, but it doesn't hurt to up it yourself, to cover excessive shrinkage and those little boo-boos we all make.

    • Block A refers to quilt blocks with larger four patch units (outer frames in green). The four patches can be eliminated if you want to substitute 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares.
    • Block B refers to quilt blocks with smaller four patch units (outer frames in black). The four patches can be replaced with 3-3/4" x 3-3/4" squares.

    Block A

    Outer frames: 3/4 yard

    Inner frames: 3/8 yard

    Four patch units: two contrasting fabrics, small amounts, see page 2 instructions

    Block B

    Outer frames: 3/4 yard

    Inner frames: 5/8 yard

    Four patch units: two contrasting fabrics, small amounts, see page 3 instructions

    Other Materials

    Binding: about 205 running inches of double fold binding finishing at 1/" (quilt binding strip instructions).

    Backing: 1-7/8 yards (Unless you plan to do lots of intricate quilting, a single cut of yardage should work — you would have about 3" of excess fabric on the sides. Trim selvages after quilting.) How to Make Quilt Backing

    Batting: about 42" x 60" of thin batting (as above, larger for lots of intricate quilting).

    If the project will be quilted by another person, check that person's requirements for batting and backing requirements.

    More Baby Quilt Patterns:​

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Sew Double Framed Four Patch Blocks for the Baby Quilt

    Contemporary Quilt Patterns
    Sew Quilt Block A. © Janet Wickell

    Quilt Block A

    Quilt blocks designated as "A" have larger central four patch units and are shown with green outer frames, here and in the layout on page 1.

    Cutting Instructions

    Never cut all fabric until you've made a test block. This applies to any quilt pattern you use.

    Outer Frames: (10) 2" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage

    Inner Frames: (7) 1-1/2" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage

    Four Patch Units: two contrasting fabrics, (1) 2-1/2" wide strip of each cut from...MORE selvage to selvage and (1) 2-1/2" x 10" strip of each

    1. Sew a 2" wide outer frame strip lengthwise to a 1-1/2" wide inner frame strip (top illustration). Press seam allowance either direction.
    2. Square up one end of the strip set and cut as many 6-1/2" segments from it as possible -- likely 4. Create 5 more identical strip sets and cut a total of (24) 6-1/2" long segments. Set aside.
    3. Cut (24) 9-1/2" long bars from your remaining 2" outer frame strips.
    4. Cut (24) 4-1/2" long bars from your remaining 1-1/2" inner frame strips.
    5. Grab the two strips reserved for four patch units. Sew the two long strips together lengthwise and press seam allowance towards the darker strip (middle left illustration).
    6. Square up one end of the strip set and cut as many 2-1/2" segments from it as possible.
    7. Create a second strip set from the remaining shorter strips. Cut more 2-1/2" segments until you have a total of 24.
    8. Sew two four patch segments together, but with like-fabrics on the diagonal (middle illustration, middle row). Press. Repeat to create 12 four patch units. When complete, each should measure 4-1/2" x 4-1/2".
    9. Sew a 4-1/2" long inner frame strip to opposite sides of a four patch unit (right illustration, middle row). Press seam allowances towards the strip.
    10. Sew a 6-1/2" long strip pieced segment (inner and outer frames) to the remaining sides of the block, taking care to place inner frames against the four patch (bottom row illustration, left). Press seam allowances towards the frames.
    11. Sew a 9-1/2" long outer frame to remaining two sides of the quilt block. Press seam allowances towards the frames (bottom row illustration, right).
    12. Repeat to make a total of 12 A Blocks.

    Inner and outer frames are sewn in different orders so that a portion can be strip pieced. If each portion of a frame is made from the same fabric, the difference in sewing order (visible as seam allowances) will not be apparent if blocks are rotated in the quilt's final layout.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Make Framed Four Patches for the Baby Quilt

    Contemporary Quilt Patterns
    Make Block B for the Framed Four Patch quilt. © Janet Wickell

    Quilt Block B

    Quilt blocks designated as "B" have smaller central four patch units.

    Outer frames and strips for four patch units end in 1/8" dimensions -- position your rotary rulers carefully.

    Cutting Instructions

    Outer Frames: (11) 1-5/8" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage

    Inner Frames: (7) 2-1/4" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage and (1) 2-1/4" x 13" strip

    Four Patch Units: two contrasting fabrics, (1) 2-1/8" wide strip of each cut from selvage to selvage...MORE and (1) 2-1/8" x 14" strip of each

    Sew a 1-5/8" wide outer frame strip lengthwise to a 2-1/4" wide inner frame strip (top illustration). Press seam allowance either direction.

    1. Square up one end of the strip set and cut as many 7-1/4" segments from it as possible. Create 5 more identical strip sets and cut a total of (24) 7-1/4" long segments. Set aside.
    2. Cut (24) 9-1/2" long bars from your remaining 1-5/8" outer frame strips.
    3. Cut (24) 3-3/4" long bars from your remaining 2-1/4" inner frame strips.
    4. Sew two long contrasting strips for four patch units together lengthwise and press seam allowance towards the darker strip (middle left illustration).
    5. Square up one end of the strip set and cut as many 2-1/8" segments from it as possible.
    6. Create a second strip set for four patch units from the remaining shorter strips. Cut more 2-1/8" segments until you have a total of 24.
    7. Sew two four patch segments together, but with like-fabrics on the diagonal (middle illustration, middle row). Press. Repeat to create 12 four patch units. When complete, each should measure 3-3/4" x 3-3/4".
    8. Sew a 3-3/4" long inner frame strip to opposite sides of a four patch unit (right illustration, middle row). Press seam allowances towards the strip.
    9. Sew a 7-1/4" long strip pieced segment (inner and outer frames) to the remaining sides of the block, taking care to place inner frames against the four patch (bottom row illustration, left). Press seam allowances towards the frames.
    10. Sew a 9-1/2" long outer frame to remaining two sides of the quilt block. Press seam allowances towards the frames (bottom row illustration, right).
    11. Repeat to make a total of 12 B Blocks.
    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Assemble the Contemporary Baby Quilt

    Contemporary Quilt Patterns
    The quilt blocks are arranged into horizontal rows. © Janet Wickell

    Assemble the Baby Quilt

    1. Refer to the illustration to arrange the quilt blocks into six rows, each with four blocks.
    2. Block types alternate from side to side and row to row, but you can swap the position of block types if you like. Notice that the darker squares in four patch units are positioned so that they flow in different directions in Block A and Block B.
    3. Sew the blocks in each row together.
    4. Press seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions. Join the rows. Press the quilt top.
    5. Mark...MORE for quilting if markings are needed. Sandwich with backing and batting and quilt. Sew mitered binding to the quilt to finish the project.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Switch Colors to Sew a Unique Baby Quilt

    Easy Framed Four Patch Quilt Pattern
    Four Patch quilt framed with lots of white. © Janet Wickell

    The frames used in this version of the quilt highlight the four patch units nicely. All inner frames are black and all outer frames are white. The continuous white frames help make the size variations of the other elements more noticeable.