Half-square triangles are one of the most essential blocks for quilters, as they are so versatile and can show up in a variety of patterns and projects! The Cool Waters Baby Quilt combines ocean blues with aqua greens for a refreshing color palette. Every block is precisely placed for a geometrically pleasing quilt that draws the eye through pattern and repetition. This free baby quilt project is perfect for beginners, and we’ve even included a grid-quilting tutorial to help you dip your toes in with straight-line quilting.
Finished quilt size: 44” x 55”
Finished block size: 5½” x 5½”
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE INSTRUCTIONS AND PATTERN WITH ADDITIONAL PHOTOS.
- Baby Lock sewing or quilting machine
- 10 fat quarters -or- (20) 10” squares (must have 10 prints with 2 matching squares each).
- 1¼ yards of background fabric
- 2-2/3 yards backing fabric
- 50” x 60” or larger batting
- ½ yard binding fabric (cut into 6 strips 2½” x width of fabric)
From the background fabric, cut 5 rows 8.75” x width of fabric. Subcut 20 squares 8.75” x 8.75”.
From each of the 10 feature fabrics, cut 2 squares 8.75” x 8.75”. Label each fabric A-J.
A: Green solid
B: White with blue details
C: Dark teal with moons
D: Light green with gold cross-hatch
E: Teal solid
F: White with stars
G: Aqua with Fireflies
H: Light Green solid
I: Jungle leaves
J: White with black half circles
Make the Half-Square Triangles:
- Pair a background square with a feature fabric square, right sides together. Pin together and sew a ¼” from the border around all four sides of the stacked squares. Remove the pin and use a rotary cutter and ruler to slice diagonally both ways to make 4 half-square triangles.
- Press the seam of each half-square triangle toward the background fabric. Use scissors to trim off the dog ears next to the seams. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with all of the feature and background fabrics to make a total of 80 half-square triangles.
- You now have 8 half-square triangles of 10 different prints. Arrange the half square triangles as shown in diagonal rows A-J. Starting at the bottom left corner, place:
- 1 A block
- 2 B blocks
- 3 C blocks
- 4 D blocks
- 5 E blocks
- 6 F blocks
- 7 G blocks
- 8 H blocks
- 8 I blocks
- 8 J blocks
- 7 A blocks
- 6 B blocks
- 5 C blocks
- 4 D blocks
- 3 E blocks
- 2 F blocks
- 1 G block
- Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, begin sewing together the blocks in each horizontal row. Once the rows are sewn, press the seams in alternating directions (Row 1 to the left, Row 2 to the right, etc.). Sew all of the rows together, nesting the seams as you go, to complete the quilt top.
- Layer the quilt top, batting, and backing and baste with pins to keep the layers in place. Quilt as desired, or here’s a fun and easy grid machine quilting tutorial to try! First, quilt straight lines ¼” to the right and left of each “ditch” or seam line. Tip: Use a walking foot or the Baby Lock Digital Dual Feed foot to feed the layers evenly through your machine. You can use the quarter-inch marker on your sewing machine foot to keep your lines straight.
- Next, add a straight line horizontally through the center of each row. This will essentially cut each of your blocks into halves. You may want to pre-mark these lines with painter’s tape or a chalk pencil, but you can also just freehand them like I did. The Baby Lock Guide Beam (a laser light feature that comes in several models) really helps you keep your lines straight with minimal prep time.
- Add additional horizontal lines above and below the lines you quilted earlier. This essentially cuts each row into four stacked rectangles.
- Quilt a vertical line through the center of each block row. This will give you 8 equal rectangle sections in each block.
- Quilt two additional vertical lines to the left and right of the lines you just quilted. This will give you 16 equal square sections in each block and a wonderful grid-like texture!
- Square up the edges of the quilt and sew on the binding as desired!
We hope you enjoyed this free half-square triangle baby quilt pattern! If you’ve been nervous to sew your first quilt, we hope you break into your fabric stash and give this project a try. It makes a thoughtful handmade gift and the colors can be customized to fit any nursery décor or theme!