Baby quilts in the guild have been made collectively, have been made using extra Block Lotto blocks, or have been made using tops donated by exec members. We’d like to start being more organized with the baby quilts, and go back to making them collectively. If you’d like to be on the email list for baby quilts, please email to be added. Everyone is welcome to contribute blocks to baby quilts, member or not.

For the first few quilts that we’re making as a group, we are going to make a paper pieced economy block (aka square in a square block) using low volume prints and a bright tone on tone print put together in a rainbow layout.

Since this is a smaller block (finishing at 6″), we’ll need 49 blocks per quilt. Fortunately, they’re quick and easy blocks! If you’re new to paperpiecing, this is a great block to start with, because there are no weird angles. There are lots of paperpiecing tutorials online, but also check out previous Block Lottos that were paperpiecing, such as January’s Envelope blocks, for some tips and tricks. Don’t forget to shorten your stitch length!

We’re using this free pattern available from Generations Quilt Patterns.

low volume rainbow square in a square mock up
(a mock up of the finished baby quilt)

When printing paper piecing blocks, it’s really important to make sure that they print the right size. Different printers will give you different options, but here are the most common ones you’ll see –
fit to page
If your printer gives you the option to “fit to page”, make sure that you DON’T click it!
printer settings
If your printer gives you the option for “Actual Size”, make sure that it’s selected.

This particular pattern has a 1″ test square printed on it. After you print your first pattern, use a quilting ruler to make sure that the square is exactly 1″. If it’s not, your pattern isn’t printing right!

Fabric requirements:
2 different low volume prints
1 bright tone-on-tone rainbow print (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple or pink)

Not sure what’s considered to be a low volume print? Our January block lotto post links to a few resources that you might like to check out!

We want the square to really read as the rainbow colour, that’s why we’re asking for tone-on-tones. If you have a print with a minimal amount of another colour (like blue with a bit of white), that’s fine, as long as it reads as a bright blue. (Squint your eyes and look at the fabric – what colour do you see?) Fabrics that read as pastels won’t be appropriate because they won’t be a high enough contrast with the low volume fabrics. If you don’t have any tone-on-tone prints, you can substitute it with a solid.

If you’d like to pre-cut your fabrics, it makes the sewing go together quickly. The measurement for the coloured fabric is exact, but the other squares are slightly oversized to make them easy to sew in the right spot. You’ll trim a bit off at the end, but you shouldn’t have to unpick any seams if the piece isn’t perfectly centred, and that’s worth the trim!

Cut two 4.5″ squares of low volume fabric #1.
Cut two 3.5″ squares of low volume fabric #2.
Cut one 3.5″ square of the bright tone on tone print.

Cut all four of the low volume squares in half diagonally. If you’re using a directional print for one of the low volumes, you’ll want to pay a bit more attention to how you cut them. It’s better to use the directional print for 4.5″ squares, because they’ll be upright on the finished block, but as you can see in my samples, directional works for the 3.5″ squares too, it just means the print is on the diagonal!

Rather than stacking the squares and cutting them together, you’ll want to cut the directional ones separately, and in alternate directions, like in the photo below –
directional fabric 1 smaller

This will give you an upright triangle for each corner of the block, like this –
directional fabric 2 smaller

Make as many blocks as you’d like, and bring them to our March VMQG meeting. I suggest making blocks with a variety of colours, so that we don’t end up with 12 red and no blue!

After the March meeting, we’ll count up how many blocks we have of each colour, and we’ll send out a request to the baby quilt email list asking for volunteers for specific colours. If you’d like to volunteer to put the top together, or to quilt it, please get in touch!

low volume rainbow blocks smaller
(amy’s sample blocks. i’m not sure the outer triangles on the yellow are low volume enough, but i’m hoping they’ll blend with the blocks you all make!)