Saturday, September 12, 2009

faux quilted baby blanket

i wrote this a while ago, planning on posting it after my friend received her blanket just in case she checked my blog. i think she must have received the gift by now, but i'm not sure, and i can't wait any longer!! so i hope i don't ruin the surprise for her by posting it.
babies. babies everywhere. in the past two years, i know at least eight couples who have had babies. five more are currently expecting. clearly i need to be avoiding whatever water they are drinking.

the nice thing about babies is they use tiny things. and tiny things are very cute. a couple months ago, i ambitiously decided to make my expecting friend a "quilted" baby blanket. had i ever made a baby blanket before? no. do i know anything about using batting and quilting? no.

so i googled. i looked at a lot of baby blankets. i read various experiences. and this is a tutorial i found: afterall, why reinvent the wheel?

i discovered what minky fabric is. it's a very interesting type of fabric. first of all it is very soft. you immediately want to jump into bed with it. sometimes it comes with these little raised dots that you can push in, and then back out. very enjoyable. also it is as slippery as slippery can be. in other words, a real giant pain to sew.

making the baby blanket is pretty straightforward, as you can see from the tutorial above.
you just need two pieces of fabric- one minky fabric, one patterned fabric, and to faux quilt, quilt batting. i used alexander henry's apples and pears fabric and light green minky. i don't know what gender my friend's baby is going to be, so i thought a blanket with blues, pinks, yellows AND greens was a safe bet. i chose to make the blanket 35" by 35", so all my pieces were 36"X36". the tricky part for me was that i wanted to add some thickness to the blanket. google wasn't very helpful in this matter, so i devised my own faux quilting method.

i designed a little pattern of squares (see below). then i drew the lines onto my top fabric with my trusty dritz fabric pen, yard long ruler, and my right angle ruler. i positioned the batting under it, pinned it all together and sewed. voila. faux quilting.

then i pinned down the minky fabric, face down on top of the faux quilted piece. i used a lot of pins. some of them stuck me. i sewed the pieces together, leaving a gap on one side.. oh maybe 6 inches? unlike the tutorial, i didn't follow the edge of the cotton fabric because the batting was in the way and i feared the edge would be deceptively straight or crooked. the minky wasn't exactly perfect either, but it was a tolerable alternative. after i finished sewing around the edges, i flipped it inside out, pressed the seams a bit, and top stitched around (crookedly. i apologize to my friend. i blame the slippery minky!!)

so to review the steps:

1. cut top fabric, minky fabric, and batting 36" X 36"
2. draw faux quilting pattern on top fabric
3. faux quilt the top fabric and batting together
4. sew around the edges of the new faux quilted piece and the minky piece with their top sides facing together, leaving a gap
5. turn blanket inside out
6. top stitch all the way around (making sure to tuck in that seam where the gap is)
7. wash your blanket

there you have it. faux quilted baby blanket. soft. fluffy. and living in finland now.

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