Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flame On!

Since the young recipient of this Christmas gift is not regular reader of my blog, I feel safe in posting a quick tutorial for you all and giving you a peek at what I'm working on.

THIS is one of the easiest kid or baby blankets you can make.
If you can sew in a straight line, you can make this blanket.

Here's what you need*:
1 and 1/3 yard - printed quilting cotton (42" wide)
1 and 1/3 yard - coordinating solid color fleece (60" wide)
coordinating or contrast thread
basic sewing supplies

After shrinkage, truing the fabric and what-not, this blanket finished to approximately 40" x 43" in size.

1) Launder all fabrics according to care instructions.
2) Iron your printed fabric and fold in half along selvage, then in half again. You're going to have to "true" the fabric before sewing. Especially if the awesome fabric cutter at your local big-box craft store cuts the fabric as such:

Seriously? Straight lines. Ever heard of 'em?
Anyway ...

3) Using your favorite method, "true" your printed fabric to make straight edges and nice, square corners.
4) Yes, your fleece will be quite a bit larger than the printed piece. I'm getting to that.
5) Align one of your now straight edges of the printed fabric with one of the selvage edges of the fleece, right sides facing.
6) Pin at center of edges and working your way outward to the corners, pin every 2" or so. Smooth your fabric as you go! The cotton and the fleece will want to cling together. You want to make sure there are no wrinkles as you pin.
6) After getting one edge aligned and pinned, begin working down one of the side edges the same way. Go back and do the other side before doing the bottom edge.
7) Yes, you're going to have extra fabric along the other 3 edges. This will be trimmed later. Keep smoothing out your fabrics as you pin!
8) When you do the bottom edge, leave at least a 10" section in the middle unpinned as you will use this hole to turn your blanket right side out. Mark the beginning and ending of the opening with two pins so you will know where to start and stop your stitching (see below)

9) Trim up the fleece to match the cotton print.
10) Stitch around the blanket, from double pin to double pin, with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Don't forget to backstitch where you start and stop!
11) Trim your corners and turn right side out through the opening. Using a pencil, point turner, or, if you have pointy pinkies like me, a finger, poke out your corners nice and sharp.
12) Since the fleece can be a little slippery, you're going to have to pin your edges again before top stitching. Don't forget to turn your seam allowances in and pin the opening closed. Like this:

13) Beginning in one corner, top stitch all the way around the blanket, approximately 1/8" to 1/4" away from edge.

Poof! You're done!

Thought this was a fun fabric combo for an angst-y (or trying to be) pre-pubescent boy. I think he'll like the angry flames! Grrr! His younger brother is getting one made from the blue tiger stripe!

* If you're feeling fancy, you can use coordinating yarn to "tuft" the blanket. This keeps the layers from moving around too much, but isn't really necessary as the fleece and the cotton stick pretty well together. BUT the tufting does look nice. I just didn't like it with this print. Did some other blankets with my cousin (for her girls) and we tufted with yarn in the center of the flowers on the prints we used. Looked nice.

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