I have used sheets for the backing of many quilts with a lot of success. This past week I was approached by a mother and daughter team (soon to be grandmother and mother team!) who had a great question: can you take cute fitted crib sheets and turn them into the main design element for a baby quilt? With so many really cute designer crib sheet options available, this could be a great way to match the quilt to the bedding chosen for a baby’s room. I thought I would share what I learned in a quick tutorial on how to use fitted crib sheets to make a baby quilt.
Before I had the fitted crib sheets in hand, I did a bit of quick research. The “standard” fitted crib sheet size is 51 5/8 inches long by 27 1/4 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches thick. This sounded like it might make an awkward size panel to work with once the elastic were removed, but I knew that the only way to find out was to get a crib sheet in hand and try! I received two different crib sheets made by two different companies. I will refer to one sheet as the World Map sheet and the other as the World Cities sheet.
To begin, I used my trusty seam ripper to deconstruct a small portion of the pocket that holds the elastic around the edge of the fitted sheet.
Next, cut the elastic in half and gently pulled the elastic out of the opening I had created in Step 1. Note that I had to ease the elastic around the fitted sheet on occasion as a lot of fabric would build up.
Using my seam ripper, I completely opened up the rest of the pocket that the elastic was encased in. I also used the seam ripper to disconnect the seam at the four corners. As a short cut, you could choose to cut the seam away instead of ripping it open, but it will reduce the width of the sheet you have available to trim to final size. Laying the sheet flat at this stage it will look something like this:
Press the sheet flat.
Fold the sheet in half down the long length of the sheet and trim off the tabs of fabric at the top and bottom of the pressed, flattened sheet. Fold the sheet in half again and square the sheet. I was able to trim the two different brand sheets down to just over 40-inches wide by 50-inches long, which was much larger than I had originally thought I would be able to achieve based on the “standard” size information.
At this point the sheets are large enough to quilt together as-is, or you may wish to add a border to the sheets before quilting. I am choosing to add a coordinating light blue solid as a border to the World Map sheet and a coordinating yellow solid as a border to the World Cities sheet. I will then finish out the quilt with a light gray solid border. The concept for the two sides of the quilt are shown side by side below.
I realize that this process would be a lot simpler if using a flat sheet instead of a fitted sheet. 🙂 However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of material available to use from the fitted sheet and thought it might come in handy for someone else to know in the future!