Thursday, July 8, 2010

Making a small baby blanket

I've seen blankets like these all over the Internet on sites like Etsy and in posh boutique baby stores. So for a friend of mine who was hosting her sister-in-law's baby shower, I decided to add one to the gift set.

Here's my step by step process on how I did it. Granted by the time you buy the material and do it yourself, you might as well have bought one, but I love having a handmade present at showers.

1- I cut two pieces of fabric in 12.5" squares. (I used my big quilting acrylic square as my template. The fabrics are satin and dotted minky.)

2- I cut 8 striped ribbons and 8 solid colored ribbons into about 4.5" lengths. You could do all different colors and different ribbons, but I like things pretty coordinating.

3- I took the minky and laid it right side up, then folded the ribbon in half and pinned it onto the RIGHT side of the minky with the raw edges pointing out toward the raw edges of the fabric. (Here you could do funky things with the ribbons or fabric pieces if you wanted to use fabric. I've seen people twist the ribbons, use thin and thick lengths of ribbons, some people don't even fold them, they sear one edge of the ribbon and then just have the ribbon like little flops off the end of the baby blanket.)
After they were pinned in place, I used a 1/4" seam allowance and stitched them down.
4- I pulled out all the pins and then took my solid colored satin fabric and placed it RIGHT side facing down. (The shiny side of the satin is the RIGHT side.) I pinned everything in place and made sure none of my ribbon pieces would be sewn together or anything like that.

5- Then I used a 1/2" seam allowance and sewed along all 4 edges of the material, leaving a 2-3" opening so I could turn it out. After it was all sewed, I snipped the corner edges so everything would poke out nicely.
6- I turned the fabrics right side out, poked the corners with a pointed end and pressed the fabric lightly to get out any wrinkles. I turned in the edges of fabric where the opening was left exposed, press it to get a nice crease line, then used coordinating thread to do a 1/4" seam allowance top-stitch around the edge of the fabric.

Some other ideas for the blankets..... if you have an embroidery machine you can embroider a design or name or initials onto once piece of fabric before sewing it together, add teething links to the blanket and the baby can play with the links on the blanket, applique a design or initial onto the fabric before sewing.

Of course, after taking all the time and effort into figuring out how to make one of these, I walked into Wal-Mart and they had a section above their Fat Quarters with some pattern booklets, and I picked up their Quick Cuts children pamphlet to behold they had all these step by step directions with some sketches on their pattern for $1. It sure would have saved me some time if I had that to begin with.