Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Easy Baby Blanket Tutorial

In honor of sewing classes starting back up this month, I thought I'd share a little sewing tutorial with you. I made this baby blanket a while ago for a friend who recently had a baby. It's soft and cuddly enough for a newborn, but it's larger size makes it a great play blanket as a baby grows. This would make a very special gift for a baby shower...who doesn't love a handmade gift?

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This project is very possible for any one with basic sewing skills (if you don't have basic sewing skills, why don't you sign up for lessons!) and it only takes a few hours. If you've never attempted a blanket, this is a great place to start.

Supplies:
  • 1 1/2 yards of light weight cotton material
  • 1 1/2 yards of coordinating "minky dot" material
  • Color coordinating thread
  • Large quilter's safety pins
  • Fabric marking pen or pencil
Directions:

Okay, first things first...let's make some cuts! Your cotton fabric should be 44-45 inches wide, from selvage to selvage. Cut the length to 45 inches, so you will have a piece of fabric about 45 x 45 inches.

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Once you've cut out your square, you can round the corners by tracing the edge of a plate with a fabric marking pen. Just line the edge of the plate up with the straight edges of the fabric to make a nice round edge.

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Wha-lah! Repeat for all corners. (If your fabric is folded in half, you'll only have to do this twice.)

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Cut the same size square from your minky dot material. It may be wider than the cotton material, so you might have to cut the length and the width...I did. Just make sure that you cut a square that is 45 x 45 inches.

Minky dot is so soft. It feels like puppy dog ears. If Cruella Deville had known about this stuff, she wouldn't have needed 101 puppies.

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Using the same technique as before, round the corners of your square.
Crate and Barrel, anyone?
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Now that you have two 45 x 45 inch squares of fabric, lay them out, right sides together (meaning the good sides of the fabric should be facing each other) and line up all of the edges.

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I ended up laying mine out on the floor because it's so big. You can see that all of my edges don't line up perfectly...that's ok. I trimmed them up when I got it all pinned.

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Use your large safety pins to secure the two layers together. I like to place these about every 8-10 inches in the middle area of the material. This just keeps the fabric secured together and prevents shifting while you're sewing.

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Then, place straight pins around the edge of the blanket about every 6 inches. Leave the head of the pins hanging off the edge for easy removal while you sew.

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You'll want to leave a hole open about 10 inches wide for turning the blanket right-side-out. I mark where I want my hole to be by placing a few pins parallel with the edge of the fabric (all of your other pins with be perpendicular to the edge). When I run into the parallel pins it reminds me not to sew there...I won't tell you how many times I've sewed something up, only to have to rip the stitches out to turn it. It's embarrassing. This is my trick for remembering. I need a lot of help.

Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew around the edge of the blanket. Once you've sewn all the way around, snip the fabric around the curved corners so that it will lay flat when it's turned. Be careful not the snip the stitches.

Nothing can make you cuss like accidentally snipping stitches. I'm just warning you.

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Now remove all of the safety pins and turn your blanket right-side-out! I like to go around the edge and iron all the seams out so that they're nice and neat.

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Next turn under the edges of the hole you left and pin it.

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Also pin around the entire perimeter of the blanket...pinning about every 8-10 inches. You might want to put in a few of safety pins in the center, as well.

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Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, top stitch around the entire blanket, taking great care to make sure the hole gets securely stitched.

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And that's it! You're all done! Give it to someone you love.

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I used my extra fabric to make a little matching pillow. Holla.

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When you finish, resist the urge to snuggle up and take a nap with your new blankie. Trust me, it's very tempting.

Want to make cute projects like this? Sign up for sewing classes with me!
mel

***UPDATE! In response to the your questions and comments, I did not use any type of interfaceing or batting in this blanket. The white that you see is just the selvage edge of the fabric. I recommend always washing your fabrics before starting a project. Both fabrics are from Joann's. Minky is a little tricky to work with- it takes some patience. I do not use a walking foot or spray adhesive, I just take my time and use LOTS of pins, both straight pins and quilting pins. (which I think is the key to success) Good luck!***

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96 comments:

  1. I think I might like one of these in the lap quilt size to snuggle in the swing with this fall. I love those colors.

    They have much cooler fabric now than they had when I was a little girl. Much more snuggly!!!

    Mama

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a great teacher! Loved the "Holla." The best part for me is the audible laugh I always have while reading your posts. Love you girlie!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial .... it's on my list of things to do soon. I especially have a thing for pillows, so I was very happy to see the "holla" at the end! :D
    ~Anne
    p.s. I enjoyed taking a peek at your house ... it's gorgeous!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. this looks familiar:) maleah loves her blanket! wish i could sign up for those sewing classes with you! love you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love to take sewing classes from you. Wish we were still in GA!

    By the way I started a new blog. Blogger ate my other one.

    eatrunteach.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Where did you get this fabric? I have looked everywhere for it and can't find it. I love the colors!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this. I had this type of thing in mind when I tried to make a blanket for my new-mom friend, only like an idiot I decided to sew binding on it. I had to turn it over to my mom to fix so I can use it for my new baby. This would have been much simpler to whip into shape.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anna - I just saw this fabric today at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is great! I am a beginner at sewing and I can't wait to try this out. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm just learning to sew as well and I'm excited to make a soft snuggly blanket like yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is really beautiful Melissa. I will add the link to my blog. candlcountrychic.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. What kind of needle did you use to sew the fabrics together?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Another idea is to add wide ric-rac onto one side. Place the other fabric 'good' side or right sides together. Stitch, leaving about 5 inches at the end to turn right side out. Sometimes called a 'pillow case' style sewing. Turn right side out - Wah - lah !

    ReplyDelete
  14. love it! Simple but super cute. I've got all of my fabric prepared, can't wait to make it. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your tutorial was great. I have never made a blanket but I am motivated to try, your instructions are very clear....thank you so much. I will report back

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ok I just purchased the material and am excited to get started. Do you know if you are suppose to wash the material before you start cutting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The minky will not shrink but the cotton panel will. I would wash both in warm or hot water before starting. Nothing is worse than completing a project only to wash it and it go wonky.

      Delete
  17. I just made this blanket... Instructions were good and simple, but that "minky dot" fabric still stretched during sewing (even with all those pins!!). Dropping the presser-foot down on it stretched it enough that caused me to have to stop and re-cut the fabric off that had stretched to make the corners even. Somewhat of a nightmare, but FINALLY got this done. Next time use a baby fleece/flannel for softness!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I had the same trouble anonymous. I made two, one as a practice one. I pinned well but the minky was much stretchier than the cotton. By the time I got to the 4th corner I had to trim the minky dot by a few inches. I'm a novice sewer, so I figured it was me. The 2nd one I pinned around the edge much more, probably every 3 inches. That seemed to help a little bit. Is the fleece less stretchy? I might try that next time. I got lucky Joann's had minky sale for 40% off, but normally it's $15 a yard. Maybe the baby fleece is cheaper as well? Thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another idea is to use the fabric that has "quilt blocks" and use minky dot in the squares to still get softness. It is more expensive but Joanns and Hobby Lobby have good sales. That fabric was awful to work with and I was surprised that was not mentioned in tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  20. quilters pins! duh and brilliant all together!!! I have made a couple of these blankets previously and had a ridiculous time with the shifting. I pinned the poop out of it last time with better results but a combo of quilters pins and straight pinning every 1/4 inch (only a slight exaggeration) will work wonders for the next one. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have made a few of these blankets as well and the minky is a challenge. Basting helps but isn't always practical. Pinning every 1.5-2" helps a lot. Increasing stitch length helps. I think I set tension to 6 but I don't fully understand tension settings anyway!!

    My question to the original poster is, it looks like you have an inner layer of cotton or batting -- the white that is peeking out of your seams... What is it ?

    Thanks,
    Maureen
    coconutxoxo.blogspot.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love this! Will have to try it :). Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  23. I just wondered if using a walking foot, like you do for quilting would help with the stretching issue.

    ReplyDelete
  24. If I wanted to make a lap quilt instead of baby size how big would you suggest cutting the fabric?

    ReplyDelete
  25. @ Maureen, I'm pretty sure that's the selvedge of the fabric but I may be wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love your project and tutorial. The Minky looks like a challenge. I wonder if you could use one of the temporary spray adhesives (mixed reviews, somewhat expensive, I've never used these) to hold the woven fabric and Minky together while stitching around the edge. Does the Minky stretch after the blanket is finished. I'd consider hand stitching the woven fabric to Minky dots at regular intervals and tying on the woven side, kind of like quilts are hand tied at the corner of blocks when hand or machine quilting will not be done. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love the fabric where did you buy it?

    ReplyDelete
  28. A walking foot for your sewing machine will help with the stretchiness of the minky. I had the same problems and then changed the foot and it worked much better.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is the best tutorial I have ever seen about making a blanket. Thank you so much! I am really looking forward to trying this.

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  30. I agree. This is an awesome tutorial!!! Great job. I WISH YOU LIVED IN MY AREA. I would take sewing classes from you. Seriously, great job. Super cute easy project.

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  31. Here are some great tips for sewing with minky fabric:
    http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2012/02/tips-for-sewing-with-minky-fabric.html

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  43. Put the Minky on the bottom when you sew and hold the upper cotton fabric just taut..(pull back toward you just a slight bit).then the feed dogs will help you get that stretchy Minky to behave as they will pull it in ever so slightly as you sew.

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  84. ok first let me say I haven't sewn anything since high school home ec....my 15 yr old daughter and I just made one of these for my son...here I am to be induced in about 48 hrs and we are on floor pinning and cutting....it may have flaws but the directions were simple and I love the blankey

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  87. How did you make the matching small pillow?

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  88. Personally, I made one and it just seemed too thin for a baby blanket. I added some batting (crib size) and fit it to my fabric the second time around and it was much more cuddly! Thanks for the great and easy to follow tutorial!

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  90. I made this for my grandson and it couldn't have been easier! I used minky and flannel. The trick to working with minky is to use a walking foot with your sewing machine and pin pin pin!

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