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Keepsake Quilts: Design a Baby Clothes Quilt

I want to make a keepsake quilt from my favorite among Grace's baby clothes. With our new baby girl expected in early January, I wanted to get the quilt finished as soon as possible.

I started by gathering and sorting the baby clothes in order to find the ones that I really had an emotional connection to. Next, I found inspiration by looking at other baby clothes quilts online.

How to Make a Keepsake Quilt from Baby Clothes

Step Three: Design the Baby Clothes Quilt

Given the volume of clothes I had in a variety of sizes, I decided to make something similar to this one.

baby clothes quilt

It has everything I liked – a small border between the clothes squares, big squares to maximize precious outfits, small squares to minimize waste, and a coordinating border around the whole thing.

Decide on a Size for the Baby Clothes Quilt

Grace's day bed is a 5-in-1 that turns into a full-size bed when she's ready for that. After finding a helpful tutorial at Craftastical, I realized that I had enough baby clothes to make a queen-sized quilt. I thought about sticking with a full-size one, but the dimensions for the queen size worked out better given my design for the inner part of the quilt.

Design the Quilt Pattern

Here's what I started with –

baby clothes quilt pattern

For that to work, I'd need the center to be 7 squares by 8 squares, a total of 56 8-inch squares, each bordered by a 2-inch strip of solid material. The patchwork border would need to have 76 4-inch squares, each bordered by a 2-inch strip of solid material.

Around the whole quilt will be a 1-inch binding, but I didn't figure that or the quilt backing in the calculations above. Let's do one thing at a time, okay?

According to my calculations, the finished quilt will be 90″x100″, just a bit bigger than a queen-sized bedspread.

This is going to be a big job. I'm a little concerned about that, but working on one step at a time should make it doable.

I hope.

Oh, and I decided to add a pillow sham. It will require 4 2-inch squares and 24 4-inch squares.

I'm insane.

Step Four is to cut the outfits into appropriately sized squares. More on that next week.


© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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20 thoughts on “Keepsake Quilts: Design a Baby Clothes Quilt”

    • Thank you 🙂 But that’s not my quilt. That’s one I found online (from Google images) and the link to the original owner is no longer a valid link. That’s just what I’m using as my inspiration. I’m still working on cutting quilt squares here!

  1. I’m really interested in this project, do you have the follow step instructions? I want to get his done for my twins, I was thinking that this would be a wonderful gift for them.

  2. hello, there. i found your website while trying to figure out the design for my baby-clothes quilt. it was something i decided to do when there was one newborn outfit that was so cute, i just, i couldn’t get rid of it! it was so adorable. since our older two children had had attachments to blankets, i wanted to make a special one now that i’m in this baby’s entire life. (they are all my step-children. they had their baby blankets from their mother, but the eldest became attached to a baby blanket my OWN mother used for me, and the middle girl has a plain baby blanket that i used to iron-on things she liked). the biggest question and issue i’m having while designing my baby quilt right now is the size of squares. i know i want a variety of squares and rectangles, but i’m never sure how big to make them or how small, because the clothes vary so much, and some parts i can’t use due to stains, etc. without measuring available material on EACH piece of baby clothes, do you have any idea what sizes are usually available in sizes newborn to 9 months? if not, i understand, but i thought you might have a better grasp on it than i do. this is my first foray back into quilting since i was ten!

    • It sounds like you want it to have a patchwork look with squares and rectangles of many different sizes pieced together to make larger blocks. Am I understanding that correctly?

      If that is what you’re thinking, your first step should be to decide on the overall size of your quilt and from that, the size of each block. For instance, if your quilt will be made of 12 blocks, 3 x 4, and each block is 12″x12″, then you need to cut pieces that will join together to fill those proportions. You might do four 6″x6″ squares in one block. You might do sixteen 3″x3″ squares on another or two 6″x6″ squares next to four 3″x6″ rectangles. Does that make sense?

      For my quilt, I cut 8″x8″ squares out of each and every outfit. I used sizes from newborn to 3T and cut the same size. I had several outfits where I had to cut down a side seam and open the garment flat in order to get the full 8″ width, but I didn’t have any items that were too small to cut. If I had, I intended to use a coordinating fabric to make a backing and applique the garment onto the backing.

  3. thank you so much! it does help to know that 8 inch is pretty much the ultimate size, then i can vary anywhere from 1-8in squares and rectangles.

  4. This is so awsome! I have saved my daughter clothes, well the ones with more meaning! I have been looking for someone to make me a quilt. I have no clue how to do it. But after 2 years I guess no one wants to do it??? So I think I am going to try. Could you email me a few instructions on what to do first. I know that I like the one that had the whole outfit in the middle. I may not do that. But I like that all the peices are different sizes. I want to add her bumper pad somehow? I was thinking cutting it is squares and using it around the border? Suggestions? I have NEVER done anything like this before! EVER…no clue! That is why I was loooking for someone to do it for me! I do have this feeling that it will not work because I am so clueless! Thank you so much for your time!

  5. Hi, I’ve been agonizing over how to proceed with a baby clothes quilt for my grand daughter.. they sent me many of her first year clothes and I would like to use them in tact, but I’m worried about the bulk factor.. would you suggest cutting them down to one layer and just use the front only or the back only for the little decorations ?? I hate whacking them all apart but its what they want.. I still am stuck on how to proceed.. thanks for your input..

      • Thank you so much for your input, I should have had the darn thing done by now but I have been wondering how to do it… especially with the things that I want to leave in tact, like the little tees that have first writing on them, First mommy’s day, first fathers day, first christmas etc. your answer should make it easier for me..

  6. I don’t see how to go to tour next steps. It ended with step four, more on that next week……I see nothung to click for step 4.

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