I’m often asked in the shop if I stock panels for baby quilts but I’ve found it difficult to source contemporary panels and often suggest to people to try a whole cloth quilt using a fabric they really love. So when I saw the Baby Jungle range by Makower I new that I had to have it for the shop! I love everything about it – the soft, neutral colour palette, and the fun jungle animals. I thought I’d make up one of the panels to have on display as it always makes it easier for customers to see the finished item.
My finished quilt measures 82cm x 108cm (32.25″ x 42.5″)
The Baby Jungle Panel is printed across the width of the bolt and measures 60cm in width and 112cm in length (including the selvedges). The panel has a really fun mixture of blocks on it; some just have animals, others have numbers and the corresponding number of animals, and some have the alphabet. So it makes it a good educational quilt as well.
I felt the dimensions of the panel on it’s own made it a bit long and skinny so I added strips of the coordinating Baby Jungle – Triangles in Cream down each side. The quilt is backed with Dashwood Studio Twist in Almond which is the perfect warm neutral to complement the colours from Baby Jungle. The binding is Chalk Stripe from the Baby Jungle range – I love how it looks from both sides!
The wadding is a remnant piece of bamboo blend that I’ve had for ages. I forgot how nice the bamboo wadding is to work with, so silky and soft with a nice drape. It is firmer than Hobb 80/20 which is what I typically use, but lighter than the Warm & Plush 100% cotton that I also stock. I think I might have to look at getting some in to sell in the shop.
I haven’t done much free-motion quilting lately so thought this small quilt would be a good opportunity to give it a whirl! I decided to spray baste the quilt, mainly for speed & ease, but it also meant I didn’t have to keep stopping to take pins out while quilting. I did an all over giant meandering pattern that I like to think is a bit like the outline of (rounded) jigsaw puzzle pieces. That is certainly what I imagine in my head while I’m doing it. You can see it more clearly on the back:
How to sew your panel
If you’d like to sew up the panel in this way here is a quick how-to:
- Leave your panel with the selvedges on for now, you can trim them off later.
- Pick a fabric for your side strips. I used a fabric that wasn’t directional so I could use strips across the width of the fabric. To do the same you’ll need 25cm / 10″ which you cut into two strips of equal width.
- Sew your side strips to the main panel using a 0.25″ seam allowance. Press seams open.
- Pick your backing fabric: you will need 1m.
- Make your quilt sandwich by layering your backing fabric (right-side down), wadding, and constructed panel (right-side up). I spray basted my layers using Odif 505 spray but you could pin them together as well. Whatever method you prefer.
- Quilt your sandwich
- Trim your sandwich – to avoid loosing/covering any of the elephants at the top and bottom of the panel with binding I trimmed the top and bottom edges at 1.5cm / 0.5″ from the edge of the elephants.
- For your binding you’ll need 25.5cm / 10″ of fabric. Cut this into four strips each 2.5″ tall. I like to machine sew my binding on by sewing it to the back of the quilt first and then flipping it to the front and edge-stitching it down. This is a really great tutorial for how to machine sew binding.
I just love how cheeky the animals are!