/ / Sailing Away – Free Baby Quilt Pattern with Sailboat Blocks

Sailing Away – Free Baby Quilt Pattern with Sailboat Blocks

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free baby quilt pattern with sailboat blocks

Sew an adorable modern baby quilt with sailboat blocks and a gorgeous ocean pieced with quarter square triangles! This easy baby quilt pattern includes tips for sewing fast and easy half square triangles and quarter square triangles. It’s perfect for a girl or a boy, because everyone loves sailboats.

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The sailboats that I put in this easy baby quilt are just a bit different from the classic sailboat block pattern because I didn’t include a strip to represent the water at the bottom.


Instead I sewed two rows of navy quarter square triangles that give our ocean a beautiful prismatic effect that looks like the water is actually moving, don’t you think?

My quarter square triangles were sewn from 9 different navy fabrics that were put together at random. But you could use as few as 2 different navy or blue fabrics and still arrange the QST for a beautiful ocean.

I made another version of this sailboat quilt too. I guess I love sailboat quilts!

Are you ready? Let’s sew an easy modern baby quilt!


easy baby quilt

Sailing Away – Easy Baby Quilt Pattern

You will need:

  • 1 yard of background fabric

  • 1/4 yard of red fabric with a large scale print, FQ friendly if FQ has 20 1/2’’ usable width (big boat hulls)

  • 1/4 yard of red fabric with a small scale print, FQ friendly (small boat hulls)

  • 1/4 yard turquoise fabric, FQ friendly (sails)

  • enough blue or navy fabrics to cut 18 squares, 7’’ x 7’’. This may be:

    • 9 large scraps with two squares cut from each (what I did)

    • 6 fat eighths (9’’ tall x 21’’ wide) with 3 squares cut from each

    • 3 fat quarters (18’’ tall x 21’’ wide) with 6 squares cut from each)

    • 2 half yard pieces with 9 squares cut from each]

    • or as desired

Cutting Instructions

From the background fabric, cut:

  • 8 squares 3’’ x 3’’ (small hulls)

  • 4 squares 5 1/2’’ x 5 1/2’’ (large hulls)

  • 8 squares 3 1/2’’ x 3 1/2’’ (small sails)

  • 4 squares 6’’ x 6’’ (large sails)

  • 8 strips 3’’ x 5 1/2’’ (small boat blocks)

  • 4 strips 5 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’ (large boat blocks)

  • 2 rectangles 8’’ x 20 1/2’’ (background)

  • 2 strips 3’’ x 40 1/2’’ (top and bottom border pieces)

  • 4 strips 3’’ x 18’’ (side border pieces)

From the large print red fabric, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 5 1/2’’ x 20 1/2’’ (large boat hulls)

From the small print red fabric, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 3’’ x 10 1/2’’ (small boat hulls)

From the turquoise fabric, cut:

  • 8 squares 3 1/2’’ x 3 1/2’’ (small sails)

  • 4 squares 6’’ x 6’’ (large sails)

From the blue or navy fabrics, cut:

  • 18 squares 7’’ x 7’’


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Sew the Boat Hulls

1. Use a fabric marking pen (such as a Frixion pen) to draw a diagonal line across the back of all the 3’’ and 5 1/2’’ background fabric squares.

This line will be your sewing line.


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2. Place 5 1/2’’ squares on the ends of the 5 1/2’’ x 20 1/2’’ large hull pieces with the direction of the lines running as seen above. Pin.



3. Sew across each line – right on top of the drawn line. Cut the extra fabric away 1/4’’ past the sewn line.


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4. Open each piece and press flat. Repeat with the rest of the squares and red hull pieces to make 2 large hulls and 4 small hulls.


Sew the Sails with Easy Half Square Triangles

1. 1. Use a fabric marking pen (such as a Frixion pen) to draw a diagonal line across the back of all the 3 1/2’’ and 6’’ background fabric squares.

This line will be your cutting line.



2. Place each 3 1/2’’ background fabric square together with a 3 1/2’’ turquoise sail fabric square, right sides together.

Sew 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on both sides (using a scant seam allowance gives you more leeway for trimming later – nautical pun intended!).

Cut each square along the diagonal line to make 2 pieces.


3. Press each half square triangle (HST) open. Trim to 3’’ square.

Repeat with all of the 3 1/2’’ squares to make 3’’ HST units (that will finish at 2 1/2’’ when sewn into the quilt).

Repeat with all of the 6’’ squares and trim to make 5 1/2’’ HST units (that will finish at 5’’ when sewn into the quilt).



4. Refer to the photos above to sew all of the HST units into sets of two. Then sew two sets of two HST’s together to make a square sail unit.

The direction of the HST’s is important – it determines the direction of the sails!


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Repeat until you have two large sail units and 4 small sail units.


Assemble the Sailboat Blocks

1. Sew 3’’ x 5 1/2’’ background fabric strips to the sides of each small sail unit.

Sew 5 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’ background fabric strips to the sides of each large sail unit.


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2. Sew a large hull piece to the bottom of each large sail unit. Sew a small hull piece to the bottom of each small hull unit.

Set the sailboat blocks aside for now.


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Sew the Ocean Panel

1. Place each 7’’ square right sides together with another 7’’ square of a different fabric.

Tip: I matched all of my 7’’ squares up randomly with a different square. You can make your ocean panel random like mine, or plan to put certain fabrics together.

2. Draw a diagonal line across the top fabric of each set. Pin the two squares together.


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3. Sew 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on both sides (in the same way that we made HST units for the sails).

Cut each square along the diagonal line and press open to make 2 HST units – do not trim yet.



4. Place two navy/blue HST units right sides together with the diagonal seams lined up.

Draw a diagonal line across the top HST unit – going in the opposite direction as the seam. Pin the two HST units together.


5. Sew 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on both sides (as before).

Cut each square along the diagonal line and press open to make 2 quarter square triangle units (QST’s).


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Trim each QST unit to 5 1/2’’ so it will be 5’’ when sewn into the baby quilt.

Tip: I love using Bloc-Lock rulers for perfectly trimmed HST’s and QST’s.

Repeat to make 18 navy or blue QST’s.


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6. Arrange the quarter square triangle units as desired in two rows of nine. Sew the two rows together.


Finish Sewing the Baby Quilt Together

1. Sew the small sailboats together side by side in sets of 2.

2. Sew a 8’’ x 20 1/2’’ background rectangle of fabric to the top of each set of 2 small sailboats.


3. Sew a large sailboat unit to the left side of each small sailboat unit.


4. Sew a 3’’ x 40 1/2’’ top border strip to the top of the sailboats.

5. Sew two 3’’ x 18’’ side border strips to the sides of the sailboats.

Make 2 large sailboat panels – both with the exact same layout.


6. Pin the ocean panel to the bottom of one of the large sailboat panels. Stitch.


7. Pin and sew the remaining large sailboat panel to the bottom (remaining edge) of the ocean panel.


Sandwich your Sailing Away Baby Quilt together with batting and backing fabric and baste. Quilt and bind as desired.

As always, I love to see the pretty things you make with my patterns and tutorials. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @SewCanShe or #sewcanshe so I can take a look!

Happy quiltmaking,


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