I recently finished a baby quilt using a method I learned from a friend. It's easy, although not particularly fast, but neither is regular quilting. You tie reef knots (or surgeon's knots ) instead of using a running or straight stitch, although you do use a running stitch around the edge as described below.
1 meter or yard of print fabric*
1 meter or yard of plain fabric, to coordinate
1 meter or yard of quilt batting
regular thread for basting
embroidery thread for edge and knots (amount depends on pattern on print fabric)
* You need fabric with a pattern that lends itself to this sort of quilting - it needs a place suitable for the knots, such as:
You can see where I did the knots in the star/button fabric (this was in progress). In the alphabet with white background, the knots will go in the little swirls. In the fabric with the blue pattern, the knots will go in the center of the flower. In the flower fabric there are small white dots that don't show clearly here, but that's where the knots will go. And in that wild alphabet print? I haven't figured it out yet!
Is it just me, or is it getting more difficult to find fabric clearly designed for babies and/or nurseries? Also, you can use 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend.
1. Lay quilt batting over plain fabric and baste together at edges. You can do this with a machine, but my presser foot kept getting stuck in the batting, so I found it easier to do it by hand.
2. With right sides together, sew print fabric to plain fabric and quilt batting, either by hand or machine, leaving opening to turn right sides out. (For the same reason I sew the batting to the plain fabric by hand, I sew the pieces together using double thread and the backstitch.) Trim quilt batting close to seam.
I've turned back the corner to show the right side of this animal fabric; unfortunately, it isn't very clear.
3. Turn and sew opening closed.
4. Using embroidery thread and a running stitch, sew around outside about 3/8 - 1/2 inch from the outer edge.
5. Using embroidery thread, make reef knots according to pattern. You can do this from the "top" (printed side), going through print and up again to tie knot, or (although this is more difficult), from the bottom, so that the extra thread from the knots will be on the plain side, and only the "dimples" from the knots on the pattern side.
6. When all the knots have been tied, trim excess threads to about 1/2 inch.
And here is the finished quilt: