03 May 2012

Bright Windows Baby Quilt & Free Pattern (ish)

Right now, it seems like I have about 16 long-term, complicated projects going on.  The kind that I can only work on in little chunks at a time (telling myself, "ok, all you have to do for this one today is press open 50 HST's, and you can put it away").  

So it's very nice to take a moment and look back at a simple and sweet finish from last summer.  Its long quartered rectangles remind me of tall windows, so it's named Bright Windows, and it was very easy and fun to put together!

I sliced up a Valori Wells Del Hi charm pack, and just played around.  The fabrics are girly without being sticky-sweet, and I think the palette is really interesting.  This quilt, which finishes at around 36"x 48", really lets them shine.  

Want to make your own?  Here's a loose pattern. I don't have step-by-step photos, but the quilt is so simple that I hope a finished shot will be enough of a guide. Unlike my current endless projects, I completed this quilt top  in one weekend morning sewing session!

You'll need:

~(32) 5"x5" charm squares in assorted prints
~1 1/8 yards white (or other) sashing (I used Kona Snow)
~3/8 yard binding fabric
~40" x 52" backing of your choice
~40" x 52" batting (I like Warm and Natural cotton)

Get started!

1. Cutting: 
-Slice charm squares in half to make 64 2.5" x 5" rectangles
-Cut white fabric into 8 4.5" x Width of Fabric strips, trim selvages off.  (You could probably squeak by with just a yard of white, but since you need exactly 36 inches, I like to play it safe with the few extra inches an eighth provides)
-From 5 of the white WOF 4.5" strips, cut 20 9.5" x 4.5" units.  Save extra fabric for another project, or use it for a pieced backing.

(Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance in all sewing steps.)

2. Play around with your half-charm rectangles, pairing them up.  Chain piece them together into 32 4.5" x 5" units. Press seams to one side.

3.  Play around and pair up again, matching each new, double-rectangle 4.5" x 5" unit with another one, lining up along the shorter 4.5" sides.  Arrange so that the seams lay in opposite directions and can nestle together, and join to make 16 4.5" x 9.5" units. Press open, and your "windows" are done!

At this point, refer to the finished quilt for layout visuals.  I pieced this quilt in horizontal rows. To make the rows:

Pair up each "window" with a 4.5" x 9.5" white sashing unit and join along the long sides.

5. Arrange the resulting 8.5" x 9.5" window+sashing units into 4 rows of 4. For each row, join each window+sashing unit to the next, and add one additional white 4.5" x 9.5" unit to the end of the row. Press seams in one direction, ideally the same direction as the bottom half of the "window" unit.  

Rows done!

6. Lay out your (now complete) rows, and sew one of the remaining 4.5" sashing strips to the bottom of each of the first 3 rows.  Press seams towards the sashing and trim excess. 

7. Join the top two units (both composed of a window row+sashing strip). Press seams towards the sashing.

8. Join the bottom two units (window row+sashing strip and just window row).  Press seams towards sashing, creating two halves of the quilt top.

9.  Join the two halves together, press seam towards sashing, and your quilt top is complete! Square up your corners (using a 12.5"x12.5" ruler is my favorite way).

10.  Finish your quilt with the backing, batting, quilting, and binding of your choice!  I used an extra "window", some leftover sashing, and some fun orange butterfly yardage from the line to make a pieced backing.

For binding, I chose a fiery red pindot fabric, which echoed the bright red in some of the prints, and there's a tiny piece of white inserted, too.

I machine-quilted this one in simple straight lines along the windows to make a grid. I also added some nice red hand-stitched details.  

This little one has yet to find a good home! (quick, someone, have a kid...), so it's in the shop for now! (SOLD)

Pin It!


  1. So lovely and thanks for the tutorial!

  2. It`s fabulous.Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Nice way to use bits of 2.5" strips too :-)

  4. Thank you for shairng your cute pattern. I;m going to try one!

  5. I really love this quilt! It looks so "do-able!" You've made the tutorial so easy to follow, as well. Tthanks for the great inspiration!

  6. What a cute quilt. Thanks for the pattern and the tute.

  7. Just found your site, and I love your quilts. Lots of inspiration. Just wondering, when you do the decorative hand stitching, do you go all the way through to the backing, or do you stop your stitches in the batting?

  8. I love this. I have a Mount Everest of fabrics here to put to use. I should get started
    Thank you for sharing

  9. Hi Anna: Love the BRIGHT WINDOWS baby quilt. Any way I could get printed directions of this along with photo. Because it is a Blog I can't print it for my use. Please advise. Thanks Bev B.

    1. Hi Bev,

      I tried to email you directly, but your blogger account doesn't have an email (you're just listed as "no reply"). Unfortunately, this blog post is the only form of the pattern that I have. As far as I know, though, you should be able to print out the post, even though it is on a blog. If that doesn't work, maybe you could copy and paste the text into your own document, and then print that? Good luck! Anna


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