What I'd like to know is who sat on the fast forward button for this week?! And where is the rewind button? Ready or not, the weekend is here. We don't have grand plans, just being together. Thought I'd post this tutorial I did over at Delia's a while ago, in case you're tired of looking at the same post all week.
Hello, friends! I'm Katy from "no big dill" and happy happy happy ;) to be here sharing a tutorial with you. I just had a baby myself a few months ago, so I wanted to make something that I never seem to have enough of: blankets, blankets, blankets! Especially if you're enduring some frigid temperatures when baby debuts, it's so nice to have a big stack of clean, ready-to-wrap-baby-in blankets. These don't require a huge amount of experience, so anyone who can sew a straight line can make these. They are easy, but have a touch of quilting, which makes it just a bit classier.
When I made Drummer's blanket a couple of months ago, I wasn't sure how I wanted to finish it, so I started with adding bias, but didn't love the look. I stitched around the edge again and liked it more, then thought I might as well add a third row and that's when I loved it! So, let's get started.
What you'll need:
- 1 yard of minky dot fabric (I got mine here, but most fabric stores should carry at least a few colors of this) pre-washed.
- 2 packages of extra wide, double fold bias tape, or you can make your own using this tutorial
- thread, either matching or contrasting. I did some of both and thought they were both fun.
Are you wondering what kind of bias you should use? The advantage of store bought bias is that it's easier. It's already made and ready to sew with and the fiber content and starch make it easier to work with since it's more rigid. The downside is it's not as "snugly" as a 100% cotton, or other natural fiber bias, which is ideal for a baby blanket. Store bought does soften up a bit, as you wash it (I made Drummer's a couple months ago and it has softened up), just not as much. If you decide to make your own, make sure to wash the bias fabric beforehand in hot water and dry on high heat so it doesn't shrink after you sew it on the blanket. You could also starch it as you pressed it in half, which might make it easier to handle.
Next you need to fold your pre-washed fabric in half (wrong sides together) and make sure they it lays smoothly and on grain. I had to trim 3 inches on either side of this one (fabric cut off grain is one of my pet peeves!) Pin and baste (increase the stitch length to 5mm) your open edges together with 1/4" seam. I didn't do this on my first blanket and now my blanket has an unintended little "pocket". Oops. (I was going to take a photo of it, but Mr. Drummer happens to actually be sleeping with it as I type, which is rare indeed!)
Now set your stitch length to about 2 1/2mm (this is slightly longer than the default setting, which looks a little more professional than a 2). Pin your bias around the perimeter of the blanket. Fold the corners as pictured for a neat mitered look. When you come to the end of the bias, cut it an inch overlapping the other end, fold under 1/4 inch and pin over the other end.
Stitch close to the inner edge of the bias. This first time around you'll want to go slowly, making sure you are catching both sides of your bias. Don't worry if it's not perfect, you can go back later and stitch it on the other side if a few little edges don't catch. The first row is going to look just okay, and then stitch around the outer edge and your blanket is looking even better. By the time you do you third stitching, it will go quickly and make your blanket look amazing with a bit of that quilter's touch.