Sailboat Baby Quilt Pattern in Two Sizes

  • 01 of 03

    Make a Sailboat Baby Quilt

    Sailboats Baby Quilt Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    Customize this easy sailboat baby quilt pattern to create a project that's just the right size.

    Both sailboat quilts above are assembled with 8" x 8" patchwork quilt blocks sewn into horizontal rows and separated by sashing and cornerstones. The examples repeat the same fabrics throughout, but a scrappy layout works wonderfully.

    • The quilt on the left finishes at about 29" x 45".
    • The quilt on the right has 4" wide borders but fewer quilt blocks. It finishes at about 37" x 45".
    • Alter the number of blocks and sashing to customize the size of the quilt. Learn how to calculate yardage for quilts if you're unsure how much extra (or less) fabric you need for custom layouts.

    Yardages for the Sailboats Quilt on the Left

    Fabrics can be realistic or whimsical.

    • Sky: 3/4 yard
    • Water: 5/8 yard
    • Boats and cornerstones: 3/8 yard
    • Sashing: 5/8 yard
    • Backing: a panel about 39" x 55" (1-5/8 yard)
    • Batting: same as backing
    • Binding: about 175 running inches of continuous doublefold binding

    Blocks and Borders for the Quilt on the Right

    • Make 12 blocks instead of 15.
    • Buy slightly less yardage for quilt blocks if you wish, but I think you'll be happy with the extras if you use the yardage above. 
    • Eliminate seven of the sashing strips and four of the cornerstones.
    • Gather 3/4 yards of border fabric to cut 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" crosswise grain strips
    • Add side borders first.
    • The backing panel should measure about 47" x 55". See the backing panel article above for configuration ideas.
    • About 230 running inches of continuous doublefold binding.


    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Sew the Sailboats Quilt Blocks

    Sailboats Quilt Block Pattern Assembly
    Janet Wickell

    Cutting for the Tall Quilt


    • (30) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" bars
    • (30) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares
    • (30) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares


    • (15) 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" bars


    • (30) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares


    • (15) 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" bars


    • (38) 1-3/4" x 8-1/2" bars


    • (24) 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" squares

    Sew the Sailboats Quilt Blocks

    1. Gather the 2-7/8" squares cut from sail and sky fabrics. Draw a diagonal line on the reverse side of the two lightest squares.
    2. Pair a sky square with a sail square. Use the easy half square triangle method to turn the pair into two units. Repeat to make two more. When complete, each unit should measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2". If units are too small, try cutting your squares larger than necessary for the next block, and then trim finished units back to the exact size.
    3. Referring to the diagram, sew the four sail units into two rows as shown, middle left. Press seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions and then join the rows. Press.
    4. Sew a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" sky rectangle to each side of the sails unit as shown. Press seam allowances towards the rectangles. Fanning out the seam allowances is another pressing option, and the technique reduces bulk.
    5. Gather the 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" boat bar and the (2) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" sky squares. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each square. Use the quick pieced flying geese method to sew a square to each end of the bar. This is a slightly different technique than you used to make half square triangle units.
    6. Sew the 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" water bar to the bottom of the boat unit. Press seam allowances towards the water.
    7. Press the Sailboat quilt block; it should measure 8-1/2" x 8-1/2".
    8. Make additional blocks as needed.

    Try the magic 8 half square triangle method if you plan to sew lots of identical quilt blocks.



    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Make the 8" Sailboat Quilt Block

    Sailboats Baby Quilt
    Sew the Sailboats Baby Quilt. Janet Wickell

    Sew the Sailboats Quilt

    1. Gather three sashing bars and four cornerstones. Sew the pieces into a horizontal row as shown, top illustration, beginning and ending with a cornerstone. Press seam allowances towards the cornerstones, taking care not to stretch the rows.
    2. Make a total of six sashing/cornerstone rows for the tall quilt – five for the quilt with borders.
    3. Gather four sashing bars and three Sailboat blocks. Sew the pieces into a row as shown, bottom illustration, beginning and ending with sashing bars. Press seam allowances towards the sashing bars.
    4. Make a total of five sashing/block rows for the tall quilt – three rows for the quilt with borders.
    5. Sew all rows together, placing sashing/cornerstone rows between rows of blocks and at the top and bottom of the quilt, easing where necessary to match seam allowances. Press.
    6. Mark the top for quilting if necessary. Sandwich with batting and backing and quilt. Trim excess batting and backing, squaring up edges carefully if necessary. Finish by applying the doublefold binding.

    For the Quilt With Borders

    Instructions are slightly different. Assemble rows in the same way, but sew only three rows. Sew 4-1/2" wide strips of border fabric to the sides of the quilt.

    Cutting for One Sailboat Quilt Block


    • (2) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" bars
    • (2) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares
    • (2) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares


    • (1) 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" bar


    • (2) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares


    • (1) 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" bar