X's and O's Baby Quilt Pattern with Easy Sashing

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    Use X's and O's to Make a Baby Quilt

    X's and O's Baby Quilt Pattern. Janet Wickell

    Try this X's and O's baby quilt pattern the next time you're looking for a fast and easy quilting project that everyone will love.

    One way to make the individual letters of an X's and O's quilt pop out in the design is to sew the patchwork in two different configurations and then surround the quilt blocks with sashing. That's the type of layout you'll find in this X's and O's baby quilt pattern.

    You might also try making a quilt with blocks that blend together.

    Quilt Size Options

    This baby quilt is larger than the norm, making it more useful as the baby grows into childhood. The quilt finishes at about 51" x 58" and blocks finish at 8" square. Adjust its size by eliminating or adding borders, or by sewing fewer or more quilt blocks.

    For a small baby quilt, sew only 12 quilt blocks, three across and four down. The small baby quilt measure about 30" x 38" with sashing, but without borders. You'll need fewer fabrics and other materials, but the materials list below makes the numbers easy to calculate. 

    If the quilt will be used in a crib or on a bed, check standard mattress sizes before beginning.

    Choose Fabrics for the Quilt

    My O quilt blocks are in red fabrics, and the X's are in mostly greens and blues. Each individual block contains the same dark fabric, but the dark areas could be made from four different scraps. White fabric with multicolor dots is used for all block backgrounds.

    Sashing is dark, with red cornerstones, and a light border frames the interior of the quilt. The sashing fabric is repeated in the quilt's outer border.

    My layout alternates the position of X and O blocks from row to row -- yours can differ. The four small quick-pieced units used to create each block can be sewn in either an X or an O configuration, so it's easy to switch from one letter to the other before sewing pieces together.

    Your quilt can be more scrappy than mine or sewn in a tightly controlled color scheme. Keep the small size of patchwork units in mind when choosing fabrics. Avoid large prints that might appear to be chopped up in the finished quilt. Tone on tone fabrics and smaller scale prints are the best choice for this baby quilt.

    Refer to: How to Rotary Cut and How to Cut Patchwork Shapes if needed.

    Quilting Fabrics & Other Materials

    Dark fabrics for 10 X blocks

    • (4) 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares for each block (40 total)
    • or, 5/8 yard for 10 identical blocks

    Dark fabrics for 10 O blocks

    • (4) 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares for each block (40 total)
    • or, 5/8 yard for 10 identical blocks

    Light Background Fabric

    • (80) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares, or 8 per quilt block (1/2 yard)

    Sashing Bars

    • (49) 2" x 8-1/2" bars, 3/4 yard; most efficient cutting --> cut (2) 8-1/2" wide strips of fabric from selvage to selvage and then cut as many 2" segments from strips as possible; cut remaining bars needed (probably 9 or 10) from 2" wide selvage width strips of fabric that are cut into 8-1/2" long sections
    • Sashing and outer border fabrics are listed separately for quilters who wish to use different fabrics.
    • A quilt made with 12 blocks, three across and four down, requires 31 sashing strips.


    • (30) 2" x 2" squares (3/16 yard to be safe with shrinkage)
    • If making the smaller quilt, cut 20 of the squares

    Borders (from crosswise grain strips)

    • Inner Border, larger quilt: 1/2 yard (use 2-1/2" wide strips)
    • Outer Border, larger quilt: 3/4 yard (use 3-3/4" wide strips)

    Backing and Batting


    • About 245 running inches of continuous doublefold binding: how to make quilt binding strips
    • About 160 inches for the smaller quilt, more if borders are added. Refer to binding instructions.
    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
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    Sew the X's and O's Baby Quilt

    How the X's and O's Baby Quilt is Assembled

    My other X's and O's quilt pattern already includes step by step instructions for the quilt blocks. Refer to the instructions for that quilt to learn how to make the X blocks from your pre-cut fabrics.

    The pieces used to make the baby quilt are a different size, but the method is exactly the same -- small squares are sewn to two opposite edges of a larger square with the same method often used to sew corners of Snowball quilt blocks and (some) quick pieced flying geese. When assembled, each individual patchwork unit (4 per block) measures 4-1/2" x 4-1/2".

    Assembling the four patchwork units used in each block is the same for both the X's and the O's, but the O's are sewn together by arranging the small units differently as shown in this image. Just flip the patchwork around to create an O.

    So far, you've sewn directly on marked lines. Sew all remaining steps with an accurate quarter inch seam allowance.

    1. Assemble 10 X blocks from 40 small patchwork units for the larger quilt (6 for the small quilt).
    2. Assemble 10 O blocks from 40 small patchwork units for the larger quilt (6 for the small quilt). 
    3. Blocks should measure 8-1/2" x 8-1/2".

    Arrange the Rows and Sew the X's and O's Baby Quilt

    Arrange and sew rows together one at a time, or use a design wall or other flat surface to lay out the entire quilt before sewing (the best choice to balance colors in a scrap quilt). 

    See the bottom of the page if making a small quilt.

    1. Arrange two X blocks, two O blocks and 5 sashing strips as shown in the image, top. Sew the components of each row together and press seam allowances toward the sashing. Make two more rows with this layout -- used for Rows 1, 3 and 5.
    2. Arrange two X blocks, two O blocks and 5 sashing strips in the second configuration, shown in the middle illustration. Sew pieces in the row together and press seam allowances towards the sashing. Make another row like this -- used for Rows 2 and 4.
    3. Sew five cornerstones and four sashing strips into a long row as shown, bottom. Press seam allowances towards the squares, taking care not to stretch the strip. Repeat to make a total of six identical sashing/cornerstone strips.
    4. Arrange the rows of blocks by their row number. Place a sashing/cornerstone strip above and below the quilt. Place remaining sashing/cornerstone strips between each row.
    5. Sew the quilt together one row at a time. Press.

    Add Borders and Complete the Quilt

    Borders are an opportunity to square up a quilt, which is explained in my article, how to sew quilt borders. Sew the top and bottom borders in each set first to minimize the amount of piecing that's required.

    1. Sew all inner borders first using 2-1/2" wide strips. Start with the top and bottom.
    2. Sew all outer borders next using 3-3/4" wide strips. Start with the top and bottom.
    3. Press the quilt and mark for quilting if necessary. Sandwich with batting and backing and baste. Hand or machine quilt and sew the binding to the quilt.

    Optional Small Quilt Layout

    • To arrange the smaller quilt, ignore the last quilt block in each row and only sew the first four rows.
    • Vertical sashing strips are used at the beginning and end of rows, and between the quilt blocks.
    • Sashing/cornerstone rows are shorter, with just three sashing bars and four cornerstones per narrow row.
    • Add borders if desired. Refer to the border article linked above for instructions.