You Are My Sunshine - Baby Quilt

by Susan Weinroth

I love "no rules" quilting – or just making it up as I go, with a basic idea (or sketch!) in mind.

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I wanted this quilt to work as a "stroller quilt" for my baby-on-the-way. It needed to be gender neutral in color (and to match my orange stroller!), and also be fun and happy in design. I used a few different Fiskars Shape templates to create my sun and tree blocks, and then pieced together my house block to finish off my "You are my Sunshine" theme. Take this basic quilt sketch and turn it into anything you like – change the color scheme and/or create different focal point block designs... Just have fun!

Note: My finished quilt measures 30 x 31 inches. To work from the sketch and increase the size of your finished quilt, simply make your rows of rectangle patches longer and/or add additional rows of rectangles (i.e. 4 or more instead of my 3).

Step by Step:

Start by using the Fiskars rotary cutter and mat to trim three blocks of fabric for your focal block bases (trim to 7.5 inches tall by 5.5 to 8 inches wide).

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For the "Sun" block: Use the Fiskars circle shape template to trim a circle from orange fabric. Place circle in the middle of the block, trim rectangle strips (rays) from orange fabric and arrange around sun. Pin all in place and use a straight top stitch (close to edges of design) to appliqué to block. Don't worry about edges fraying later when washed – this will add to the charm of the quilt.

For "Tree" block: Use the Fiskars oval shape template to trim an oval from green fabric. Trim trunk from brown fabric – I sketched my trunk shape onto paper, trimmed the paper and then traced onto my brown fabric.

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Arrange your "tree" onto the center of your block. First pin green oval only and appliqué using a close zig-zag stitch around the oval. Then arrange your trunk back into place, pin and and appliqué using a close zig-zag stitch around the edge.
For "House" block: I pieced my block together from the starting point – there are many tutorials online that can walk you through the steps. To create a similar block you could also just trim the square and triangle shapes using Fiskars microtip No. 5 scissors and appliqué in place.

After your focal blocks are created, trim the rectangles that will go next to them. All rectangles should be 7.5

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inches tall – width is up to you! (each of my finished rectangle strips measured 7.5 tall x 24 inches long.
Arrange rectangles with focal blocks, similar to sketch shown, and then sew together using ¼ inch inseams. Press seams all in one direction on backside.

After three rectangle rows are finished, trim white "sashing" to go in between and around. Sashing strips should be 3.25 inches in width. Trim

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2 pieces the length of your rectangle rows. Place between rectangle rows, pin and sew all together with ¼ inch inseams. Press seams all in one direction.
Trim sashing strips for top, bottom, and sides of quilt top. Pin and sew, then press seams.
Congrats, your quilt top is finished!
Using the basic directions from my "How to Quilt" article: - layer backing fabric, batting, and quilt top – baste in place – and then quilt. I used a "stipple" or freemotion quilting stitch/technique. You could also just straight stitch around rectangle rows and in between blocks.
Continue following "how to quilt" ariticle instructions to bind your quilt. Enjoy your finished quilt!

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