Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby Hand Print Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for the baby hand print mini quilts which I made for Mother's Day this year.

What you'll need
(measurements in brackets are what I used, but it depends on what size/shape you make your design)

  • white/light background fabric [5"/12cm square]
  • water-soluble fabric marking pen (or your preferred marking method)
  • iron-on pellon [5"/12cm square]
  • stranded embroidery thread(s)
  • coloured fabric [9"x44"/23x112cm(width of fabric): 1-1/2"/3.5cm strips for border, 7"/17.5cm square backing, 2"/5cm strip for binding]
  • batting [7"/17.5cm square]
  • matching sewing thread
  • quilt basting spray
  • hanging ribbon (optional) [9"/23cm]

Trace your child's hand onto paper with pencil, go over it with black pen.  If you don't trust your hand writing, print out the name and date from your computer so you can trace that.

Decide on a layout and trace the hand print and writing onto your chosen backing fabric using your preferred marking method (I use a water soluble pen).  Ensure that you leave at least 1/2"/1.5cm around the outside edge.  I traced my design onto the fabric before cutting it out so I could work out how much space I wanted after it was all put together.

Iron the pellon onto the back of the fabric.  Embroider the design using backstitch and two strands of your chosen thread.  Use a french knot if you wish to dot any "i"s.
Once your design is complete, you can wet your embroidery with a spray bottle to remove the marking pen.

Measure your embroidered square from top to bottom through the centre (square up your block if it has distorted from the embroidery).  Cut a 1-1/2"/3.5cm strip of your coloured fabric.  Cross-cut 2 strips the height of your embroidery block.  Attach strips to sides of your block, press the seam towards the coloured strips

Measure your block from left to right (including the coloured strips) through the centre.  Cross-cut 2 strips the width of your block.  Attach strips to the top and bottom, press seams towards the border.

Cut wadding and backing roughly the same size as your finished block.  Spray baste the three layers together.  Quilt around the embroidery panel, 1/4"/6mm inside the border with matching thread.

Cut a strip of fabric 2"/5cm wide and press wrong sides together lengthwise.  Attach this binding to your mini quilt, mitring the corners as you go and leaving a gap for joining along the bottom edge.  Jenny of Elefantz does a lovely tutorial on binding a mini quilt, although she joins her ends slightly different to mine.  You can access her tutorial from this page.

Lay out the two ends of the binding and fold back so that it meets in the middle and press well.

Open out the binding and join the two ends along this fold.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/4"/6mm and then press the binding back in place.

Finish attaching the binding to the quilt, then trim the backing and batting level with the quilt top. (Make sure you don't accidentally trim the binding as well!)

Press the binding over to the back of the quilt and slip-stitch into place.
And your done!
(although if you find a fault in your fabric after you've cut your binding strip, make sure and fold it to the inside, rather than making it end up on the top right-hand corner of your work, like I did).

If you would like to hang your mini quilt, you can hand sew a hanging ribbon on the back like so:

There are many different options for layout of the hand print and words, it all depends on you.


  1. That is darling - may I use your pic and link to you on my next post??

  2. That is just gorgeous! Such a lovely keepsake to have as the kids get older!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. Beautiful work, and a great name to choose, or at least my Daughter thinks so.

  4. This is what kids wants to make these days.



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