Making a simple baby blanket, how hard can it be? I am here to tell you, it is easier than you might think.
My husbands niece is having a baby, and I need something for the shower this coming weekend. My dear and wonderful husband says to me, “why don’t you whip up a baby blanket for her, she would really love that.” “Sure, I say, lets us just do that.” So this past Sunday morning, he sat down at the sewing machine and sewed the strips and squares that I handed him together for 1 1/2 hours just like a sweat shop worker. At the end of that time, we had us the top of a baby quilt put together. That was the hard part. I am going to share with you the easy part. Finishing and creating the baby blanket itself.
What you will need:
- Blanket top
- Blanket backing
- sewing machine
- long straight pins (sometimes called quilting straight pins)
- Good amount of safety pins
- yarn needle
Lets start with what to use for the blanket top. My preference is to have a blanket at least a yards worth of fabric. So if it comes off the bolt at 45″ wide, then just get a yard and you have a 36 x 45 blanket, which is perfect for a crib size blanket. It can be just that easy, or you can do like we did and piece your top together. Anything in between is good too.
Next, what I have come to love as the backing. You know at Christmas time when they have those micro blankets or throws on sale for 3.99 each. They say they are 50″x60″ I really don’t think they are that big, but those are the ones I have started using. They are so soft and the children just love them. They are plenty warm also. You can usually find them in any color you might want, sometimes even with patterns on them. So now that you know what I use, lets begin. Any fabric of you choice can be used.
First thing you do is to lay out your backing flat on the floor. With those micro blankets, I like to put the cottony fuzzier side on the inside. I find when I wash these blankets that is the side that gets the little balls on it, so if it is on the inside, I never have to see those again. So put that side facing up from the floor. Then lay your blanket top face up, on top of your backing. Just like in the picture above. You will notice that the sides have more backing showing than the two ends. That is okay. It doesn’t all have to be even. You will see at the end how nice it looks.
All those safety pins are what come into play next. About every 6 to 8 inches you want to pin the middle of the two blanket pieces together. Like shown in the two left hand views. Space them all over the top of the blanket so these two pieces hold still together and they stay where you have them, so when you move the blanket to sew the edge, nothing shifts around.
Next, you fold the edge of the backing up over the outside 1/2 inch of the blanket top just like the picture (below) shows. Then you pin it. In the top right hand box (above)you will see that I am holding the edge up off the floor and using the long straight pins I am pinning through all the layers holding the edging together.
The most tricky part is realizing which direction you will be putting this blanket edge through the sewing machine and sticking your straight pins in correctly so you don’t run over the heads of the pins. If you do it wrong…..you will then know what I mean by what I just said. 🙂 If you look closely at the picture up top where I am sticking the straight pin in, I am putting it in at the top by my finger and coming back up through by my thumb. If you do it this way you should be good. Once you go all around the edge with straight pins you are ready to sew your blanket together.
If you are wondering what to do at the corners of the edging. Look at the top left hand picture (above). You can see that I have just folded it back on itself and then folded it over to make the corner. The middle picture shows where I start sewing on the edge. I do not usually start right at the corner because it is so much more bulky. It is easier to start about 4 inches before the corner so the machine does the work of getting the needle into the corner. Tip: Once I start sewing, I do not cut my thread until the ends meet. To do this, at the corners, I will sew clear to the far edge to hold the whole lose piece down then turn the blanket and sew back into the next side to continue the seam. Notice that I am running the inside of the folding edge right along the edge of my presser foot. This makes for a consistent line and straight seam.
In the far right hand picture you will see that I run my finger right in front of where the needle is sewing. I am actually doing two things there. First of all I am holding the edge in place and together because I have removed one of the straight pins and I don’t want everything moving around and 2nd I am feeling for the next straight pin in the edge that I am sewing toward. When I feel it, I can remove it, hold the fabrics and not run over the pin and break my sewing needle. Something I learn to do the hard way. Lots of broken needles. The bottom left shot, shows how the seam has come all the way around the blanket and can now be cut off. We are ready to tie the blanket then be done. Another tip: I do not worry about using thread that matches. It all looks good.
Now we take the blanket with no more straight pins in it, but still full of safety pins, back out to the floor. Lay it back out and see how good it looks. Then you cut your yarn about 7 feet long, thread your yarn needle and start to tie your quilt. I start in the middle then every 6 to 8 inches, about where I have placed my safety pins. You can do them closer or further depending on how you want it to be. To much further than 8 inches you will have a lot of give and when you wash it, there is more risk of the blanket doing strange things. If I have pieced a top that is squares like a patchwork quilt, I will tie it at each corner where the squares connect.
Put your needle in at the top, go though both levels and come back up about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from where you when down at.(As shown above in the middle shot). Leave a tail on both sides long enough to tie a square not. I usually go about 2″ on each end. I will put them all in and cut for each piece until my 7 feet of yarn is used up, then I will tie all those pieces, re-thread my needle and continue till the whole top is tied and secure. Once it is completely tied, make sure all safety pins are removed.
We now have a beautiful hand made just for you baby blanket. I hope you give this a try and really enjoy yourself. I would love to see what you come up with. Granny
No compensation received.
Friday 19th of July 2013
I am sewing inept. I guess it's a good thing I can get my mom to sew things for me. :)
Sunday 14th of July 2013
How cute I know if I was having a baby this would be a special gift to receive.
Friday 12th of July 2013
Great job! I need to start making these again. (Gianna)
Friday 12th of July 2013
That's a neat project! great job!