Monday, March 15, 2010

Quick and Easy Baby Blanket

I've never been that interested in babies. We have mostly surrounded ourselves with baby-less friends, but when that occasional friend or cousin (my cousins are serious breeders) have a baby, I want to send them a gift but I am usually flummoxed about what baby sort of thing to buy.

About 10 years ago I was having this baby gift dilemma and I think it was my sister Holly's idea to create a baby blanket out of a piece of fleece.

And it was easy but it looked sharp.

So this has been my go-to gift for babies for the past 10 years. I have made a lot of these blankets. The nice thing about them is that they can be used for many years and thrown in the washing machine. One year I made a whole bunch of them at Christmas time for a women's shelter.

Start by buying a yard of interesting fleece. Cut off a foot on the long side to make it a little more square. Or you can just keep it rectangular, but I like it to look more square. Also pick out coordinating embroidery floss. I love looking at all the colors on the floss aisle. You only need 2 per blanket. Notice that I bought 3 for each blanket and now I have left over. I do this every time for some reason.

I have a big sewing basket but I also have my cigar box that is easy to carry around the house. I bought it at a yard sale years ago and just love it.

It perfectly fits a pair of scissors, my rotary cutter, pins, embroidery floss, tape measure, and needles. I love my Sewing Susan needles.

But for this project I needed my larger embroidery needles.

Cut a couple arm's lengths of the thread you want to use and separate the floss in half so you have 2 lengths of three strands each. I'm not sure why I always divide the floss strands. I think my mom taught me to do that and it is one of those things I have been doing ever since.

I don't like to start on a corner; I start about 6-8 inches in from a corner. Decide which way you want to work. I work from left to right. Tie a knot about an inch down from the edge because you are going to roll the edge down twice.
Start by folding down the edge and then fold it again. You get a nice roll.

Then just wind the thread around the roll and come through the back and keep going.
It's pretty darn easy, sorry to insult your intelligence with explaining how to make a roll.

The corners are trickier, but just barely. I usually trim a little off the corners before rolling them so they won't be so bulky.
For some reason, these blankets make me so happy. I just love the wobbly edge and the texture of the finished edges. It can be very meditative to just sit and work on these blankets. This one took about 2 and a half hours to sew.
I know you can buy something similar at IKEA or Target for barely nothing, but usually the colors are boring and they are made in China. (Although I am sure this fleece is from China too!) But this looks so handmade and cozy.

1 comment:

  1. Nice choice of fleece.
    Funny, I've never made one of these, but my friend Addie gave one as a gift when Leila was born & we still use it. (She did a machine blanket stitch, but I think yours looks nicer.)