I was lucky enough to be given the chance to make my sisters, soon to be born, sons crib set. I was so excited, and she had picked Winnie the Pooh as her theme. I let her pick the fabric, and once she decide on the one she liked, I purchased a few extra pieces of fabric to go along with the pooh bear fabric. The complimentary fabric was so I could create a crib blanket with hints of a quilting style.
Most crib blankets now a days are blocks of different fabrics, or appliqued character onto a panel. I want to do something similar but yet different. My sister said she liked the idea of blocks. I went with the design of keeping it simple and making the front large blocks of different fabric. The back, I wanted to applique his name on it and make it personalized, just for him.
I sketched something out and came up with this:
Once I have an idea of what I am going to do I then grab the fabric. I chose soft fabric, and different textures. Babies need soft, but I also like the idea of them having something to explore, and touching is what they do a lot of exploring through.
I then cut out all my blocks, and laid them in the design I drew out.
Start sewing the blocks together in each row. You can use whatever size seam, here I am using a 1/4 inch.
Sewing the blocks together, 1/4 inch seam.
Then you will have all your rows done.
Take the first row, lay it down with the right side of the fabric facing up. Then place the second row, right side of the fabric facing down, on top of the first row. If you need help remember which row is what you can look at your drawing, or simply pin numbers to them.
Start pinning the rows together by starting with the seams. If you do this, it will help line up all your blocks and the blocks will not look out of line.
Pin, pin, pin! When you are working with mink, pin, A LOT!
After you are done with the first two rows, you should have something like this! Off to the rest of the rows. Just simply add the 3rd row on top of the 2nd row, and sew. Then the 4th on top of the 3rd, sew; and so on and so forth, until you have the finished top.
Top is done!
Now on to the back. I cut my back fabric about 2 inches larger then the front, on all sizes.
I then traced all my letters onto a large piece of heat n bond paper. I then ironed the heat n bond paper to the pooh bear fabric. I carefully cut out each letter.
His name is cut out!
Then I slowly and carefully pulled off the heat n bond papers backing. Flannel has a tendency to fray easily, so I was careful while pulling the heat n bond backing off.
I then placed the letters on the back of the blanket piece, and set them where I liked. I played around with the letters, trying several different styles, but decided on an off set, to one side, style. I also stayed about 4 inches from the top and bottom.
I then pinned each letter into its place.
I then ironed the letters into their place. Make sure the back fabric (white) is ironed and flat. This will help prevent the letters from ironing down all bumpy and such.
I then used a zig-zag with a smaller stitch, notice my .6, thats the stitch from front to back. This is what I use to applique.
I then carefully applique my fabric done.
Once you have a few done, this is what it should somewhat look like.
Finished appliqueing the letters onto the back. Once I do this, I actually go back to the ironing board and give everything a nice press. This way when I start stacking the blanket I know its nice and flat.
Time to put it all together. I placed my back of my blanket with the right side down (facing away from me), and then added a layer of batting. In this case, because I am making a baby blanket and not a quilt I am using a batting that has a lot of volume to it. I cut the batting about the same size as my back fabric.
I then carefully place my front panel on top of the batting, right side facing up (towards the ceiling), and carefully place it in place where I like it.
I then get my pins out and pin, pin, pin. Did I mention you have mink so you pin, pin, pin!
I am working with mink, so in order to keep the mink and blanket top from slipping or moving on me while I quilt it, I am going to lay a zig-zag stitch around the edge of the 3 layers. I follow around the top panel and stay as close to the edge as possible.
You should have something like this.
Now that I don't have to worry about my edges moving or shifting, I now can quilt the blanket. You can do this however you want. I personally just wanted a simple clean design, so I quilted in the ditch. Which just means I followed the seams on the front panel and sewed along those lines.
This is what it looks like on the back once its quilted!
I then clean up all the extra material, cutting the back and batting down to the front panels size.
I then measure, and cut the correct amount of binding. I am using mink, but you can use anything you want. I wanted the edges to be soft and cuddly, so mink was my choice!
I then sew the binding together.
I then place my binding and begin sewing it on.
When you are done, you should have something like this:
Time to hand sew the back of the binding on. You can machine finish it, but I am again, working with mink, and wanted to keep the quilt simple. To hand sew this binding, it took me about 2 hours or so.
When I was finished, I was so happy and excited to see the finished product!
The back looks great, and I love how the name just blends in, it doesn't scream out.
It looks great, and I am so happy with the finished product.
Now, I wait and see if the mommy-to-be likes it (its my sister, so she better love it, J/K)!
Happy Blanket Making,