Sewing a quilt for babies is the ultimate in handmade gift to welcome new arrivals. Not only are you giving the family an heirloom gift that will be treasured for years, perhaps even passed down to grandchildren, but baby quilts are often naturally quick to make due to their small size. Baby quilt patterns are a great idea if you’re looking for a first quilt project as you can start simple (there are some beautiful fabrics for babies out there) and sew a basic quilt top in just an evening or two.
If this sounds like you then we’ve rounded up our favourite baby quilts to get you started. This article isn’t just for newcomers to quilting though – we’ve also got ideas for more experienced quilters who just want a bit of inspiration for the different baby quilt patterns out there, We’ve packed this article with 25 of the best free baby quilt patterns for you to try. We’ve got something for everyone – read on to find easy quilts, animal quilts, traditional quilts for boys and girls alongside gender-neutral options too. These 25 free baby quilt patterns will have you stitching up soft and sweet quilts for tots to snuggle under in no time.
What is the best fabric for a baby quilt?
Babies of all ages, from newborn up to toddlers, get comfort from being wrapped up snug and warm, so handmade quilts are a pretty and practical gift that will sooth them, as well as making their parents’ day with your quilt skills and thoughtful gift.
Is a quilter’s favourite choice for making baby quilts. It’s soft on baby’s skin and easy to wash – baby bedding can need to be quite hard-wearing as it may endure regular washes. It’s fairly common for babies to experience mild allergies and skin rashes, so with a good quality cotton fabric you know this is likely to be gentle on their skin. Opt for an organic cotton fabric if you prefer to craft with supplies which were made free from artificial chemicals or fertilisers.
- Buy it now: Check out the John Lewis range of fun animal-print cotton fat quarters, including some lovely prints for babies, from Peter Rabbit to dinosaurs
- Cloud-print: we also love this 100% cotton cloud print fabric over on Etsy
Jersey or knit fabrics
Are a lovely soft alternative to cotton, and are most commonly used in baby quilts which are upcycled from a baby’s outgrown babygros and clothing. These fabrics they can be a little trickier to handle in your sewing machine (see our tips for how to sew jersey fabrics) so if you’re new to quilt making, we’d recommend you start with some cotton fabrics for your first quilt.
Soft backing fabric
While the style of your finished quilt is set by the quilt top that you make (see our favourite baby quilt patterns for this below!), a nice touch if you want to add extra snuggle-factor is to try backing your quilt with a soft, fleecy backing fabric. Etsy have some great soft and fuzzy baby fabrics in their Fleece Fabrics section. If you’re on a tight budget, another great way to source good quality but affordable quilt backing fabric is to buy a flat, 100% cotton, single or cot bed bedsheet, and cut that to match your quilt size.
- Buy it now: we love this Dimple fleece fabric (£5.99 for a half metre) for baby quilt backings on Etsy. It comes in cute colourways and is so soft to touch.
Wadding or batting
New parents are always keen to make sure their babies can sleep safely and snuggly. To ensure your quilt doesn’t get too warm for the baby, opt for a lightweight, thin wadding that’s breathable. It’s much easier to add another blanket layer to keep babies warm than it is to go back and remove the wadding in a finished quilt to stop it overheating.We like Hobbs Heirloom Wadding (£19.99, Amazon) as it’s soft and easy to work with, or if you prefer to go with an organic cotton, browse the range over on Etsy.
Baby quilts and sleep safety
When planning any baby bedding project, the no.1 thing to consider is always sleep safety, especially so with very young babies. Any quilt patterns or fabric tips in this article come with a gentle reminder that it’s important to check the latest up-to-date advice on safe baby bedding before you craft. We recommend this helpful artilce from The Lullaby Trust which has further advice about safe baby bedding.
What size is a baby quilt?
Baby quilt sizes, like any, quilt, vary from family to family. Some common baby quilt sizes to start you off though are:
- Small baby quilt – 30 x 40in
- Cot bed baby quilt 47 x 55in
- Single bed quilt – 55 x 79in
Easy baby quilt patterns
Chevron baby quilt
Cut simple half square triangles of your favourite fabric shades to match baby’s nursery with Manda McGrory’s quick-stitch chevron quilt, backed with soft flannel for maximum snuggle effect.
Start simple with squares
This sweet baby quilt pattern, designed by Alice Hadley for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine, is a joy to piece as you can whip it up in a weekend pretty easily. Plus it’s free here on Gathered! We’ve used a jelly roll of fabric to quickly pick coordinating prints, and some linen fabric to give a modern touch.
Pixel heart quilt pattern
Judith Dahmen’s Liberty heart mini quilt can double up as a baby blanket or play mat and is a lovely way to build your patchwork skills sewing simple squares into a heart design.
Easy triangles quilt
Mix simple-to-sew Half-rectangle triangles to make Lou Orth’s graphic baby quilt with a geometric colour pop finish.
Hugs and kisses baby quilt
This sweet free baby quilt pattern from Accuquilt will be an eye-catching addition to any nursery or playroom. Originally made to showcase the GO Qube die cutter, you could easily recreate it with half square triangles and layout plan (or treat yourself to the tech if you enjoy a spot of quilty shopping). The finished quilt measures 40x40in.
Rainbow quilt pattern
Our cute pixel quilt buzzer has been on high alert ever since we added this over-the-rainbow quilt pattern from Sarah Ashford to our free quilt patterns collection here on Gathered. Find out how to make it now…
Bricks baby quilt tutorial
Amy Smart over at Diary of a Quilter has a free tutorial for othis lovely, simply bricks baby quilt pattern. Check it out
Nordic ribbons baby quilt pattern
Inspired by Scandinavian traditions, we’ve smitten with this beautiful baby quilt project from FaveQuilts.com with it’s modern take on basketweave quilt patterns and subtle pastel colourway.
Sweet n Sassy Baby Quilt
Cluck Cluck Sew has got the combo of modern baby quilt with a classic feel nailed with this quick-sew half square triangles pattern over on her website cluckclucksew.com.
Super speedy quilt panel baby quilt
Short of time or never made a quilt before? Pre-printed patchwork fabric panels for quilt tops are enjoying something of a surge in popularity this year, and we’ve found this adorable baby quilt fabric panel on Etsy, filled with clouds, hot air balloons and bunting motifs. It comes with a free blog tutorial to show you how to turn it into a simple DIY baby quilt too!
Baby quilt and playmat kit
Save time on picking your fabrics with this ready-to-sew baby quilt kit over from Cottage Patchwork (£33, Etsy). Choose between 7 colourways to match your nursery colour scheme.
Puff quilt pattern
This fluffy, free puff quilt pattern by Heidi Ferguson is light-as-air is super snuggly and a fun 3D variation on traditional flat patchwork quilts.
Baby boy quilt patterns
Little Owl Baby Quilt
We stumbled upon this beautiful baby quilt on Flickr and followed the breadcrumbs to discover it’s from the lovely Beech Tree Lane Handmade blog.
Dinosaurs quilt pattern
If go big or go home is your approach to quilt making, you’ll love this dino quilt pattern from the Queen of paper piecing Elizabeth Hartman.
Squadron Leader quilt pattern
We have yet to meet a small child who isn’t fascinated by aeroplanes. Ok so newborns may take a few months to catch on, but that’s no reason not to get piecing this Squadron Leader quilt pattern from Granny Maud’s Girl – capturing this classic children’s motif in a sweet baby quilt pattern.
Baby boy quilt kit
We do love a quilt kit for speedy fabric-pulling, and this sweet kit on Etsy is a great weekend baby quilt project. Featuring baby motif favourites (trains, rockets and circus animals), baby boys and girls alike will be fascinated by its cute design.
Baby girl quilt patterns
Flower power quilt
If you’re looking for some patchwork piecing ideas to give nurseries and play rooms the wow-factor, this flower quilt, found on Sew Fresh Quilts’ Etsy, could be the one for you!
Go bright with this Playing Tag quilt
We love a colour-popping combo of shades in baby quilts and this fun pattern from All People Quilt mixes a splash of cyan and lime with traditional pink shades to piece-together a playful patchwork playmat or baby quilt.
Pinwheel baby quilt pattern
You can’t beat a pinwheel quilt for a timeless DIY quilt which will make a sweet family heirloom. This simple design from BeckysQuiltDesigns on Etsy won’t take long to make and will suit confident beginners or quilt-makers with a few previous quilts under their belts.
Butterfly dance quilt pattern
This marvellous mini quilt from Ellis and Higgs may be small but it’s beautiful and just the pattern if you’re looking for an eye-catching quilt with a feminine feel. If you want to make it bigger to form a full-sized cot quilt, simply make up more of the quilt blocks to create a flock of fabric butterflies. You’ll need to try paper piecing to make it but this is a handy technique to add to your patchwork skillset! See our guide to foundation paper piecing for beginners.
Simply charming baby quilt
This traditional PDF baby quilt pattern (from Treasures in Time on Etsy) is one for everyone out there who loves a classic floral print, and also makes a great beginner quilt project as it’s mostly made from simple squares of fabric. Give it a unique finishing touch with scalloped edging for a sweet finish.
Animal baby quilt patterns
We dare you to resist making this cute rabbit quilt for babies and toddlers. It combines a traditionally pieced quilt top with soft, floppy ears and a striking patchwork panel. Designed by Kate Webber, it was first featured in Love Patchwork & Quilting.
Farm animals quilt pattern
If Old Macdonald had a quilt, this would be the one. We found this beauty of a baby quilt pattern over on Sew Fresh Quilts’ Etsy store. It’s a digital download pattern and has 5 star reviews from other quilters in the community.
Make a splash: Whale quilt kit
We dare you to resist this super cute whales quilt kit – ready-to-go with all the fabrics, pattern and instructions you need to make an under-the-sea-themed baby quilt. Wadding isn’t included so you’ll need to use some from your stash or stock up separately.
Windy Hill Farm Quilt Pattern
Another sweet take on patchwork farm animals, check out this fun baby quilt pattern from The Red Boot Quilt Co on Etsy.