Big Baby Bento Box Quilt Free Tutorial

When I found out that my sister-in-law was going to have a baby last summer, I naturally had to make a baby quilt for her.  Since it was their third child, they didn’t want to know if it was a girl or a boy, so I was rather torn as to what to do for fabric because I typically pick out something with an appropriate theme.  I don’t go to Walmart all that often, but when I do, I usually check out the crafts section, and I found the perfect fat quarters for only $1 each.  Then the problem came when I tried to decide what to do with these fat quarters, so of course I turned to Pinterest for help and found this design by a user named pcbatiks called Giant Bento Box Baby Quilt.  There was no pattern, just a finished size of 36″ by 40″.  I knew I had to figure out how to make this quilt, and I decided to share the pattern with you so you can make it too!  Here is the finished quilt:

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To make this quilt, you will need:

  • 2 fat quarters each of four different patterns (8 total), or four 1/2 yards
  • 1 1/4 yard fabric for backing, or if you are adventurous (or frugal), you can piece it from the leftover scraps and two or three more fat quarters
  • 1 fat quarter for the binding
  • Crib size batting (I used the fusible kind since I don’t like to baste!)

CUTTING:

If you are starting with 1/2 yard cuts, cut them in half on the fold to get two fat quarter sized pieces approximately 18″ x 22″.  To keep directional designs upright, each fat quarter pair will need to be cut on the long edge and the short edge, see the diagram below.

big-baby-bento-cutting-diagram-1

  1. Lay the first fat quarter so that the 22″ edge is horizontal and cut one 9 1/2″ and two 5″ strips.  Subcut the 9 1/2″ and 5″ strip to 10 1/2″ long, and the remaining 5″ strip to 15 1/2″ long. Lay the second fat quarter so that the 18″ edge is horizontal and cut two 5 1/2″ strips.  Subcut one strip to 18 1/2″ and the other to 14″.  Repeat with the remaining sets of fat quarters.
  2. Take your strips and arrange them as show below, making sure to keep the designs all facing vertically.

big-baby-bento-layout-diagram

IMPORTANT:  For these next steps, be sure to keep the strips in the same orientation as you laid them out, otherwise you will end up with blocks that don’t fit together!  I worked on one block at a time and put the sewn unit back in place to make sure I sewed the next strip on correctly.

SEWING:

1.  Sew a 10 1/2″ x 5″ strip to a 10 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ rectangle.

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2.  Next, sew the 14″ x 5.5″ strip to the unit.

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3.  Now add the 15 1/2″ x 5″ strip to the side.

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4. And finally, add the 18 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ strip.

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5.  Repeat this process to create three more blocks, and be sure to keep the strips of each block in the correct orientation; each block is different!  Lay out your blocks again and join them into rows and then stitch the rows together.

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6.  Layer the top with your batting and backing and quilt!  I just used a stipple design.

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7.  Cut 8 – 2″ x 22″ strips from your binding fat quarter and join the ends.  I sewed the binding on the back of the quilt, wrapped it around to the front, and zigzag stitched it in place, see the picture above.

8. Add a label and you’re done!

In case you’re curious about the back of my quilt, here it is:

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While it turned out awesome and used up all the leftover fabric, it took longer to piece than the top did!

Hopefully you enjoyed this tutorial, and I would love to see the quilts you make from it!

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37 thoughts on “Big Baby Bento Box Quilt Free Tutorial

  1. I found this on Pinterest and am planning to make this! Yours is beautiful and the instructions you provided are easy to follow. I was having a hard time finding any directions on making a giant Bento Block, and was delighted to find yours. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for this! I followed your directions exactly & it came out great! This was my first quilt which I gave it as a gift yesterday.

  3. Thank you so much for a wonderful tutorial. Not everyone can do a tutorial so clearly. I’ll be making one soon using this.

  4. Thank you so much for this pattern. I do a lot of sewing for charity and I am always looking for simple and unique. This pattern covers both areas.

  5. Thank you for the pattern. I purchased the fabric this morning. I am going to make it in flannel.What is the finished dimensions? Is it square?

  6. Thank you, the instructions and your photo’s are so appreciated, I have been looking for this pattern and so happy to have found it here….

  7. Just finished a cute quilt using your tutorial. Thanks it was quick and easy. And yes it took longer to piece the back with the leftovers 😜

  8. Just made this for my third grandson. Went together very easily – toughest part was making sure my one fabric with a directional pattern stayed consistent. First 2 baby quilts were pretty traditional. Decided this one should be a bit different. Make it from flannel prints – pale greens, taupe, yellows. My daughter said the hospital photographer loved it, her favorite nurse brought in another nurse to see it, and the lactation consultant remarked on it! Warmed my heart that my daughter felt so special!!

  9. I will try this for our wee care quilts at the quilt quilt. Thank you much for such a cute quilt. Your tute is perfect.

  10. Fantastic and you are so generous to write a tutorial and what a wonderful job you did with pictures and all! I plan to use this for Project Linus–thanks so much! Your work is beautiful!
    Pam

  11. Excellent instructions and photos!! I am thrilled to have come across your site while looking for online instructions for the giant bento box baby quilt pattern. Your pictures, diagrams, and step by step instructions make it easy-peasy to follow. Very generous of you to share the pattern, particularly for the math challenged. Can’t wait to make this quilt (gift), just need to purchase eight fat quarters, etc. As they say, “sharing is caring” and your generosity is much appreciated! Blessings, from a gal in Texas.

  12. Help! I am a self-taught quilter and NEED TO KNOW what size seam allowance for piecing this quilt together!!! I have all my pieces cut and just waiting for your reply!

  13. Pingback: Big Baby Bento Box Quilt revisted | ronda's creations

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