Baby Play Mat Tutorial

DIY Baby Play Mat

Baby quilts are the best of all worlds, aren’t they? You can choose to make yours a simple basic design that will show off a gorgeous print, or you can showcase intricate piecing that you might not have the time to do with a full size quilt. Why not make a spin on the usual baby and make a quilty baby play mat instead? It’s important for babies to do tummy time everyday and a textured quilt is the perfect place to do it! 

Baby play mats are the perfect place to get creative and incorporate embellishments and techniques that will provide fascinating sensory input for baby while they try to perfect their roll. I pack up my baby’s quilty play mat with us when we visit family so that my baby has a familiar safe zone to roll around on. Read below to see how I sewed my own DIY Play Mat!

Baby play mat pinterest graphic

Sketching Out your Design

You don’t have to be an artist to sketch out your ideas, take out your sketchbook and get creative! Here you can see my (very rough!) sketch where I outline the day/night theme. I decided I would have the sun and moon in the center, with the sun’s rays shining through the trees on one side and mountains on the other. I ended up changing my design quite a bit, but it was still very helpful to have a sketch to refer to during the process. It’s at this point that I curated my little stack of fabrics to use for the play mat and defined a color story. I also pre-washed all my fabrics first so I wouldn’t have to wash the whole mat later and it would be baby-safe as soon as I finished.

Idea Inception

Drafting the Pattern

I went the more common round play mat shape for mine and drafted a pattern to have a main circle with a 20.25” radius and a trim that was 4” so that the finished mat measured 47” across. I was able to draft both pattern pieces from one piece of poster board. (I prefer to make my patterns on poster board I buy at the dollar store so that they don’t flop around, but brown craft paper rolls work great too.) My main pattern piece is a quarter circle. Measure out 20.25” from the lower left corner along both sides. Now, making sure that the ruler is aligned with the corner point make marks along the curve every couple inches and blend the marks together.

Another method to drawing the curve would be to make your own DIY compass by measuring out some twine (I find yarn stretches too much), tying one end to a pencil and the other to a pin at the corner so that the twine measures 20.25” and drawing the curve. For the trim pattern piece draw a curve at 24.25.” Don’t worry that the bottom end is cut off if you’re using poster board, we only need part of this curve. Take your quilt ruler and measure out a 30 degree angle line from the left side and mark the line on the trim piece only. Cut the main pattern piece out. Add 1/4” seam allowance to the drawn line and cut out (seam allowance is already included elsewhere). Mark pattern pieces as shown, making sure to mark which edges should be placed on the fold.

Playmat Illustrations-01

Cutting the Back

You can cut your center piece from one piece of fabric by taking 1 ¼ yards and folding it into quarters. Align your pattern piece on the folded corner and cut out your circle.

I chose to improvisationally piece together scrap fabrics for the back so that half of the circle looked like a night sky and the other half looked like a daytime sky. After I pieced a big enough piece I folded it into quarters and used the pattern piece to cut out my circle.

When piecing using scrap fabrics it is helpful to cut the edges straight with a ruler first and then sew at ¼” seam allowance. If you’re a free spirit and would prefer to sew the fabrics first randomly and then trim, that is fine, but mark your sewing line with a ruler so that your seams will be straight. You may feel like you’re sewing straight, but if there is even a slight curve it will make the fabric pucker and it won’t lay flat (don’t ask me how I know, I’m not admitting anything!)


I chose to applique my mountains, trees and sun/moon instead of piecing them because it gave me more leeway to change my design while in the process. First, I cut out pattern pieces for the sun/moon center from more poster board and cut them out. Then, I gathered all my mountain fabrics and started cutting out triangles free hand, and arranging them on the blanket until I got a configuration I liked. I pressed the edges under on the sides and sewed them to the quilt top using an edge stitch. I just made sure the bottom edges were low enough to be covered by the sun/moon. I cut out my sun’s rays without measuring as well and arranged them on the quilt top, marked their places with a disappearing Frixion pen and pressed, folded and stitched them down.


Trapunto Trees!

The trunks of my trees were made using a 1” bias tape maker (Cut 2” strips of fabric, and the sides fold in ½”). I highly recommend a bias tape maker if you don’t already have one! To make my treetops I cut out circles and ovals free hand from my selected tree fabrics and stitched them right side down to the bumpy side of some lightweight fusible interfacing leaving a 1” section on the treetops unstitched.

Then I cut out the treetops about 1/8” from the stitching and flipped them right side out. I used a chopstick to help turn the edges. Next was the fun part-- designing my forest! I had fun arranging the treetops and bias tape trunks until I was happy with the arrangement, then I pinned down the treetops and cut the bias tape trunks to size, tucking the ends into the 1” opening on the treetops and folding in the fabric in 1/4” and pinning down the trunks. Then I pressed the treetops, fusing them to the quilt top. I blanket-stitched around the trees.

Finally, I had some fun with using a trapunto technique on the treetops. I ~carefully~ pinched apart the fabrics so that I could cut a little slit in the back fabric of the treetops. Then I stuffed batting and some DIY crinkle material (washed chips bags, cereal bags, candy wrappers, etc.) into the trees. Since I was still going to add batting and quilt around the trees it wasn’t necessary to hand stitch the opening closed. The dimensional trees are one of my favorite parts of the play mat and a great opportunity for sensory play for baby!


Finishing the Top

I cut down my poster board pattern pieces by 1/8” and used them as pressing guides for the sun/moon pieces. First I pressed under the inner side of the moon and blanket stitched it to the sun. Then I pressed under the outer edges of the sun/moon around the pressing guide. Finally, I pinned on the sun/moon to the center and blanket stitched it down.

For the outer band pieces I went ahead and gathered all my little leftover scraps and made wonky pieced fabrics to cut the pattern pieces from. I cut and sewed together the six pieces into one long piece and pinned it to the edge of mat top. I started sewing about 3 inches from the start of the edge and stopped sewing about 3 inches from the end of the strip, then joined the ends and finished sewing the band onto the top.


Quilt Sandwich Time!

I pressed, stretched out the fabric over a backing and batting the same as for any quilt and pinned together with safety pins. I chose to do a cloud free motion quilting motif all over the quilt top, I also made sure to stitch around the treetops to emphasize the dimensional effect. When finished cut and trim around the circle to prepare for binding.


Applying the Binding & Ribbon Loops

Binding is applied the same as for any quilt- it’s one step where a circle is actually easier since there is no mitered corner to worry about. You’ll need about 160” but before applying binding you will want to add some ribbon loops to the edges of the play mat. Choose some nice coordinating ribbon, or add some shiny satin “tags” at this point as well. You can hook toys to the mat on there later and babies just love tags for some reason. Baste the raw edges of the ribbon loops to the edge of the mat. If you place them on the front of the mat, they will point in, if you place them on the back of the mat they will flip out after binding. I placed the loops both ways. After tacking down loops, bind as usual for a quilt and you’re done!

PlayMat loops

I hope you enjoyed the walk-through of how I made my play mat and that it inspires you to go ahead and design your own play mat! I think puffy colorful shapes or letters instead of trees would be adorable, really there’s so much you could do and in completely customized fabrics that match your nursery décor! What’s not to love?

Here are the fabrics I used:

  Fabric used

Have a great, fabric-filled day!



Mister Domestic talking about AGF knits - Learn how to sew with knit on your home sewing machine

Hola, all makers!

Do you like our series of Let's Talk Fabric where Mister Domestic is giving some tips about AGF substrates? So far he talked about:

If you haven't watched his tips make sure to check them out. They will help you to master your sewing skills. Today Mister Domestic talks about knit fabric- my favorite substrate. I love knit so much because of its softness. Did you see the nursing cover tutorial I made with just one seam? I didn't know sewing with knit could be so easy! The fabric is very "forgiving" so even all of you who are new to sewing can try making something with knits!


Enjoy the video and let us know in comments what have you made recently with knits:)

Happy Sewing!


Sew Crafty: DIY Lace Drawstring Goodie Bags

 Hello fabric friends,

How is everyone's summer going? I been spending alot of time at the beach and hiking during the weekends. But since Florida is extremely hot during the summer months sometimes I spend my weekends inside sewing with the cool A/C. If your looking for a fun project that you can make a few at a time but still have time to go have fun in the sun I would suggest to give these cute Lace Drawstring Goodie Bags a try!  Wedding season is upon us (June, August, September and October) and I know they can be expensive. There are so many neat DIY projects that you can make for your own wedding or for someone you know getting married! 

Soulful fabrics by Maureen Cracknell is so romantic and dreamy that I thought if you pair it with some lace and it would be a perfect wedding favor bag to give away at weddings! Of course you can make these bags for any occasion by changing up the fabrics and trim to fit your theme. If you are looking for  bohemian fabric or rustic fabrics Soulful fabrics would be a good collection to take a look at! 




Watch the video below and make a few Lace Drawstring Bags of your own! They are also great to store jewelry in and to keep small accessories safe. 



 What other things would you put in these bags? I would love to hear your thoughts! 

There are so many great Sew Crafty projects on our Youtube Channel if you are looking for fun quick things to make! 

Until next time stay cool, 


A Holiday Collection Like No Other: Little Town by Amy Sinibaldi

Hey there, sewists of the world!

It may be summer but it’s never too early to start preparing for the holidays! The holiday season is such a fun time to spend with your family and friends, but let’s face it… most of that time is spent rushing trying to make our loved ones the perfect gift. Despite having to do a lot of sewing in a short period of time, this is our favorite time of the year. So, why not get a head start?

This is why we are super excited to release our first holiday collection. YAY! Beautiful makers, we present to you Little Town by Amy Sinibaldi for ANGLES a division of AGF! This collection tells the story of a small town nestled in the forest where it’s winter all year long. Soft colors and delicate elements in the prints simply evoke the beauty of winter.

Little Town Quilt - Mini 1

What I love the most about this collection is the color palette! It ranges from light grays, to vivid pink, and teal-ish greens that are completely unconventional for holidays and can be used all year round. But let’s talk about the Winterberry Spice rayon for this collection. It’s so classy, subtle, and sweet.


I invite you to celebrate the holidays in the summer (or Christmas in July) and explore the lookbook for Little Town! You’ll get tons of ideas for quilts, pillows, cute outfits and more!


Make sure to download this adorable “Boxes & Bows” free quilt pattern. Perhaps you can make a few as presents?

Little Town Quilt - FREE 3

Mix and match your favorite prints from Little Town with a few blenders! Here are a few of our favorites… ;)

Little Town elements

Oh and if you want to get you hands on this festive collection, make sure to enter the giveaway!

Giveaway graphic

Fill the form below for a chance to win a bundle.

I hope you’re excited to so some early holiday sewing! Stay tuned for the next collection release!



Enter the Little Town fabrics giveaway!

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AGF Makers Spotlight Winner: Allison from @allisonsews

Hey, Makers!

I hope you’re having a fun summer so far. As you all know, every month we feature a maker as part of our AGF Makers Spotlight contest on Instagram. Today we’re happy to feature our winner for the month of June, Allison from @AllisonSews

Makers Spotlight logoWhen we saw her sloth quilt made with Nordika Fabrics by Jeni Baker it made us smile. Get to know Allison in the interview below  and find out what inspired her to make this fun quilt. :)

Sloth quilt with logo

1. Hi Allison! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi AGF team! I’ve known how to sew my whole life (thanks Mom!) but really got into it about 6 years ago when I started reading a lot of craft blogs and seeing more fabric I liked in stores. I started making bags and pillows, and eventually found my way to the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. Since then, I’ve made more quilts than I can count and even started making a few garments. I try to keep up with my sewing adventures on Instagram @allisonsews and sometimes go into more detail on my blog

Allison headshot-june maker

2. When we saw your quilt, the team couldn’t help but smile. What inspired you to create a sloth quilt?

Thank you! I really love this pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. She has a ton of adorable patterns but something about this one called out to me and told me it would be perfect for a baby quilt I wanted to make. I wasn’t sure about using this print at first because it’s a panel that looks very different from selvage to selvage but Jeni Baker’s Whimsicol print from her Nordika line turned out to be the perfect print for a sloth body. The shapes and lines make each one unique. I’m sure I’ll make a few more sloths in the future.

Makers spotlight sloth detail 1

3. How long have you been sewing and what are some tips you would give beginner sewists?

I learned to sew when I was very young - I remember my Mom’s Singer always being set up because she sewed many, many matching dresses for my sisters and I when we were little. She would let me do a little sewing on it here and there. I eventually took some sewing lessons around junior high but moved on to other things after awhile.

I would encourage beginners to just have fun playing around, getting to know your machine and sewing some scraps together. Sew something fun to start. Sure, those pants need to be hemmed but hemming pants is not exactly fun. If you sew a project you actually like when it’s finished, you’ll be much happier.

Also, take a class, either online or in person if you’re able. You will learn so much while making a project that you otherwise might not have. And definitely join a group. Sewing with friends is more fun than sewing alone! Once I joined Seattle MQG I made instant sewing friends who have become an important part of my life. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. There are tons of online sewing groups too if you aren’t able to join one in person.

Makers spotlight sloth detail 2

4. What are some of your favorite things to sew and why?

Quilts for sure - I love putting all the fabrics together and especially the quilting. Free motion quilting is a lot of fun for me. It’s a tense kind of relaxing, letting go and drawing all over the finished quilt top. I like looking through my FMQ books and instagram for ideas on which motifs to use.

For a quick finish, I really like sewing zippered pouches. I may or may not have a large stash of zippers on hand at all times. Small pouches are a good way for me to be able to use a little bit of the fabrics that I love but still keep a lot in my stash. Not that my stash needs any help there…

I also have been getting more and more into garment sewing. Sewing dresses for my niece is great because she loves just about anything I make and I’m able to use some of the more whimsical or novelty prints for her. Kids patterns are usually so quick and rewarding too. I’ve been working on sewing tops and dresses for myself as well but those take a little more work to get the fit right.

5. How did you find out about AGF and what was your first thought when you started sewing with our fabrics?

I first came across AGF after I won a blog giveaway bundle of Pat Bravo’s Carnaby Street line. I made a quilt with it and love the light crispness of the fabric. That made it a little more stable and easy to work with for sure.

Since then, I’ve loved so many of AGF’s designers and collections. I’ve had the pleasure of working with quilting cotton, AGF denim (so soft!), and knit. The knit fabric is the perfect weight for dresses for me or leggings for my niece. I’ve used the cotton in both quilts and bags.

Carnaby street quilt

6. What’s next on your sewing list?

So many projects, so little time! I have several quilts in progress so I’m trying to finish a few of those up and also hoping to get a tank top or two sewn up before I go on a trip in a few weeks. Off to sew now!


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Allison. Make sure to check out her blog to see more of her projects and follow her on Instagram at @allisonsews. Don't forget to share all of your creations made with AGF under the hashtag #AGFmakersspotlight for a chance to win a feature here on the blog and a bundle of fabrics (winner is chosen the last day of every month)!

Till next time,