Make a quilted crib bumper

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Coordinate your baby’s bedding with Jazz Domino Holly’s gorgeous DIY quilted crib bumper.

Sew-Tiny-HRThis lovely project (see below) comes from Jazz Domino Holly’s new book Sew Tiny. This crafty book is what every new mum needs. Rather than spending a fortune on overpriced, mass-produced stuff, why not harness your inner creativity and make it yourself.

Jazz Domino Holly shows us how it’s done. With 30 original, easy sewing projects for everything from burp cloths to pram accessories, Jazz’s ideas are simple, practical and fashionable. These are projects to fit in between naps and feeds, or plan ahead and get them done before baby is born. There are cute toys to make, clothes, felt moccasins, baby blankets and bath towels as well as a travel changing mat.

There are some great projects here, especially for beginner and intermediate sewers.

Extracted with permission from Sew Tiny: Simple clothes, quilts and toys to make for your baby by Jazz Domino Holly. Published by Kyle Books and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, $39.99.


Crib-bumpers-2Customise your baby’s crib with some super-soft quilted bumper pads. I moved my daughter over from the bassinet to the cot at six months and decided bumpers were a personal must due to night-time acrobatics! Custom-made bumpers give you the opportunity to add your own touch as you can pick a fabric to match your nursery scheme or theme and play around with pattern and colour to create a cosy, co-ordinated crib for your baby.

This project makes a four-panel bumper set, which I’ve quilted to add some extra cosiness and texture. You can cover a set of readymade baby bumper pads or make your own using some natural wadding. Remember to choose natural, breathable fabrics for both covering and filling your bumpers as it’s important to maintain good airflow in the cot.

Crib-bumpers-3FINISHED SIZE

Suitable from 3 months old
2 large bumpers – 120 x 25cm
2 small bumpers – 65 x 25cm
* If your crib dimensions are different to mine, simply measure the perimeter of your baby’s cot and alter to fit! *


4m cotton fabric or fabrics
10m double-fold bias binding
Matching threads
1m high loft (thick) wadding (approx. 3cm thick)


Fabric scissors
Measuring tape
Fabric marker pen or tailor’s chalk
Sewing machine and/or hand-sewing needle

Crib-bumpers-4STITCHES USED

Straight stitch
Zigzag stitch


1. Begin by cutting out the fabrics needed for all four bumpers. For the two large bumpers, measure and cut out four rectangles of fabric and two rectangles of wadding measuring 130 x 25cm. For the two small bumpers, measure and cut out four rectangles of fabric and two rectangles of wadding measuring 70 x 25cm. (Note that the bumpers shrink quite considerably once quilted. So the fabric and wadding should be cut larger and then cut down to the right size once quilted.)

2. Next, prepare the fabric ties. Measure and cut 20 strips of fabric measuring 60 x 8cm. (You could use contrasting fabric for this instead of the main bumper fabric.) Fold the first strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Unfold and bring both edges back into the middle to meet at the crease, again with wrong sides together, and press. Fold in the raw short edges by 0.5cm and press. Fold the strip in half again lengthwise to create a 1cm tie, then press. Repeat this process for the remaining strips until you have 20 folded and pressed ties.

3. Take a pressed fabric tie and pin the two long edges together. Use a straight stitch to sew the two short ends and along the open side, as close to the folded edges as possible. Repeat for each of the fabric ties and set them aside.


4. Take two of the large fabric rectangles and one of the large wadding rectangles. Lay the first fabric rectangle wrong side upwards on a flat surface, align the wadding on top and, finally, align the second fabric rectangle RIGHT side upwards to create a ‘quilt sandwich’. Align all sides and pin the three layers together.

5. To quilt, sew vertical lines of stitching along the length of the bumper at regular intervals of approx. 10cm. The stitching lines should be parallel to the short sides. Use a quilting foot and an adjustable spacing bar, if you have them, to guide your stitching, or alternatively use a soluble fabric pen or tailor’s chalk to mark out the lines before you sew. Use a long stitch and always start quilting from the centre out (sewing the first quilting line in the middle of the panel), alternating your stitching in opposite directions to prevent puckering and bunching.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining three bumper panels.

7. Once quilted, measure the finished panels and cut down and square up all sides of the bumpers to the correct finished size.

8. Stitch around the perimeter of the bumper pads with a zigzag stitch. Finally, trim off loose threads ready for binding.


9. Take one of the large bumper panels and pin and stitch the binding into place around the perimeter of the pad. (See below for binding how-to.)

10. Pin six ties to the inside edges of the bumper: one in each corner, 1cm in from the ends, and then one in the centre of each long side. Each tie should be pinned in the centre, so that the two ends will be free to tie to the cot.

11. Repeat steps 7–9 for the second long bumper pad. Repeat steps 7–9 for the two shorter pads, but omit the central ties.

12. Fix the finished bumpers onto the crib by tying the ties securely to the crib slats at each end of the bumper and in the middle of the two larger bumpers.

SAFETY! Keep cot accessories to a minimum in the first few months of a baby’s life. Cot bumpers are not recommended to use until babies are over 3 months old due to the potential risk of SIDS. It is also recommended that they are not used once babies can sit up unaided.


Bindings are a neat and nifty way to decorate and finish off raw edges. They can be bought either ready-made or you can make your own from almost any material. Bias binding is binding cut on the bias (the fabric’s stretchiest point) and is used especially for edging curves. Binding tape is cut on the straight of the grain and is great for attaching to straight edges. You can either bind by hand or for a quicker finish you can use the sewing machine.

Before you begin, ensure the work is properly squared off and to the correct size, with all corners at perfect right angles. Always start pinning your binding in the middle of one of the sides of your fabric rather than at a corner, as this will create a more seamless effect.

Double-fold bias binding will have a shorter fold and a longer fold. Open it out and place the shorter fold lined up against the raw edge of the back of your fabric. Stitch into place along the creased fold line using a straight stitch either on the machine or by hand. When you get to a corner, stop stitching approx. 6mm in from the edge, then fold the binding up to a 45-degree angle to create a neat fold at the corner, and continue stitching 6mm in from the edge as before. Continue folding and stitching the corners as described above until all sides are bound.

Once you finish binding all sides and get back to the beginning where the two short ends meet, fold in the raw edge of the binding and stitch into place overlapping the unfolded binding to encase and finish.

To secure binding to the top of the fabric, fold the binding over the raw edge onto the right side of the fabric, pin into place and secure using hand-sewn slipstitches or stitch on the machine sewing as close to the folded edge as possible.

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