River Whirls Baby Quilt Tutorial

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River Whirls easy baby quilt tutorial

Are you looking for another fast and easy baby quilt to make? This tutorial can be made with a charm pack and a background fabric.

River Whirls Quilt Tutorial

The weather was beautiful yesterday and I was able to take this quilt outside for some pictures.

River Whirls quilt

Would you like to make a quilt like this? It is so simple.

You will need:

  • 15 pairs of 5-inch blocks (total of 30 blocks)
  • 30 – 5 inch blocks of muslin
  • 1 yard of muslin for borders
  • 1/2 yd of stripe for binding

Grab a charm pack or cut up some of your stash into 5-inch squares. Most charm packs have 2 of each print like this charm pack of Lily & Loom Butterfly Blooms. I just bought this and will remake this quilt with this fun collection.

I used 2 charm packs of Spirograph by Benartex which only had 22 blocks – one of each print. I needed 2 blocks of each print.

River Whirls tutorial Cutting blocks

Cut your blocks at the angle shown above.

Take your ruler and measure over 2 inches on the bottom and 3 inches on the top, then cut all of your blocks. (in the photo I removed the muslin off the left side so you could see the cutting line better.

Stitching line for blocks

Sew your pieces together as shown using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Trim block with a ruler

Press your block and then trim it to a 4½-inch square, using a 4½-inch square ruler makes it very easy to do.

sew 4 blocks together

Here are 4 blocks ready to be sewn together.

Tutorial Sew sections together

One block done – 14 more to go.

River Twirls Tutorial finished block

Another block done.

One block done - 14 more to go.

Layout your blocks in the following pattern.

River Whirls tutorial block layout

Start sewing the rows together.

Block layout

I wanted to make the baby quilt longer so I added a 2 ½” strip at the top and added another row of blocks.

I made 4 rows of 3 blocks then added a 2.5-inch strip and then the last row.

River Whirls add sash

Then I added a 4-inch border add the long sides first.

The quilt was finished at 30 x 46.

I did my free motion quilting on my vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine.

Quilting River Whirls

I did a little flower design on the River Whirls.

Quilting River Whirls blocks

I did a free motion leaf on the prints and stipple quilted the back ground. I had this little stripe fabric that I thought matched pretty good for a binding. I like to finish the binding on my quilts by machine following this tutorial.

River Swirls Tutorial Quilting closeup

I just had to show one more photo, it was so great to be outside and there wasn’t any wind. I am so ready for Spring!

River Whirls tutorial quilt by the river

This is a revised post from 2012 that I thought I would share.

The quilt is all washed and crinkly now….perfect for a baby!
Using coordinating fabrics makes it easy to design blocks and a quilt.

I hope you enjoyed the River Whirls quilt tutorial

River Whirls easy and fast quilt tutorial


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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. Hi Connie! I love this pattern! I make baby quilts for the NICU (preemie unit) at our hospital. This would be perfect! Thanks! Terry

  2. Now I have the Song “Big Wheel Keeps On Turning” running through my head – but what a wonderful quilt! Looks complicated but your direction have made it very easy! Thanks! Hope the weather is turning by you – we’re in the low 80’s but the humidity has finally gone. Thanks!

  3. Hi Connie!
    What a cute quilt! I’m thinking that would make a great table topper. I’ve got just the fabric to use with it. Hurray! Give Mr. Mickey a hug for me. I have a 16 year old cat and cherish every day I have with her.

  4. That is an awesome quilt. And I love how simple the quilting is too. Ironically I just made a couple of those blocks yesterday because I had 5″ squares left from another project. I had a small collection of the blocks hanging in the closet from earlier in the year, and now I have a couple more.

  5. Hi Connie, That River Whirls baby blanket is so cute. I’ve made Rainbow Squares this summer but can’t figure out how to send you the picture. This pc is windows 10. I’ve had it just a year, but being sick for so long I haven’t learn a lot of it.

  6. Connie,
    So clean and crisp, love the pristine look of the white background and the colors that you chose, your placement and the quilting on the blocks. It looks striking outside in front of the river. How is Mr. Mickey doing? Praying for him.

  7. Luv this pattern…if you trim your charms a quarter inch off of on side
    You will get perfect blocks…no trimming..pauline from canada

  8. How cute ! Perfect to make for Quilts for Kids and Project Linus. I just happen to have Lilly & Loom charm packs, the candy prints. Thank you for sharing such a cute tut.
    BTW- found you on Pinterest.

  9. Hi Connie. Love this quilt that I first though, “Good Grief, How did she make these blocks?” Now that you have shared your very easy method, I think I could sew one of these…someday when I have my sewing machine and supplies available again. House is listing soon.

  10. This is so cute, it looks very complicated at first, thanks for demystifying the pattern. I love the fabrics too!

  11. Another great tutorial. Thanks – you do the best descriptions, makes them really easy to follow. Marilyn

  12. Great tutorial, I like that you are not wasting fabric, will have to work on this one. Thanks, you saved me from another ruler. LOL

  13. I've been wanting to make one of these for a while now and you've inspired me to do it. Starting it Sunday!
    My kitties do not go outside either. Way too many coyotes, foxes, hawks, bobcats, etc. I'm sure you're in the same situation. They are much safer in the the house. 🙂

  14. Pretty quilt and great tute. Thank you. Do you prefer this method over the Twister Ruler? Your way looks 'twisted' but you saved all that fabric… there's no waste! Yippee. Your little stand-in-fur-baby seems to like it outside. Gorgeous.

  15. Oh, my goodness. When I saw the first photo I thought Oh how beautiful but when I got to the tutorial part I was so excited.
    Thank you, I love this pattern!

  16. This is lovely – have already started to cut the squares – will be using Kaffe Fassett fabric – many thanks

  17. Now that is cute! That would make a darling baby quilt. You must stop with the great ideas. I'm never going to get all these done!

    Enjoy your nice weather. We have a ton of fresh snow here. No outside pictures today!

  18. Thanks for the tutorial. A wonderful quilt for using up some of those charm squares. Great shots of the outdoors too.

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