Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Blanket for Baby #2: Easiest Patchwork Baby Blanket

I finished by first project for baby #2. It is a simple patchwork blanket with a flannel backing. I made a bunch of these for Nora before she was born. They were the perfect size for tummy time, and I have so many pictures of her laying on these before she could crawl. 

I didn't make anything super girly for Nora, so I definitely wanted to sew msomething pink for the new baby. I used Ann Kelle Girlfriends in blue Mermaids and blue and pink dot remix, plus some old fabrics I had in my stash (which should make my husband happy). The finished size of the blanket is 36" x 36", which makes it a great little blanket to have on hand, as well as a quick project to finish.  


1/3 yard of 6 different fabrics
1 yard backing fabric (I used flannel)
coordination thread
cutting mat
acrylic ruler
rotary cutter

Step One: Cut your fabric to size. You will need 6 6.5" squares of each of your 6 fabrics, so 36 squares total.   

I chose my fabrics based off the Ann Kelle mermaids fabric. I pulled colors for that, and played with scale for each of my accent fabrics. The pink and blue polka dot fabrics are a medium scale, the scallop fabric (which I thought looked a little like scales) is a larger print, and the white on white dot, along with the yellow stripe are very small, subtle patterns. Varying scale in your design will help to prevent the entire piece from looking too visually cluttered. 

Step Two: Lay your squares out and decide on placement. To help my blanket feel "random" I made sure that the same fabric wasn't represented more than once in any given column or row, which is effectively not random at all. Patchwork is funny like that. 

Step Three: Forget to take any more pictures! I was in the zone. 

Step Four: Sew each row together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. To keep from getting confused, it helps to have a photo of the finish layout so you can reference it as your are sewing. I chose to also write the row numbers on post it notes and pin them to the first square in each row. Iron your seam allowances flat.

Step Five: Once each row is complete, sew the rows to each other with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I stared with row one, and sewed each consecutive row to the bottom. I know some people choose to sew two rows together, then combine them. Use which ever makes the most sense for you. Pay close attention to match seams. My seams are 100% matched up, but they are pretty close which is fine for me. Part of the beauty of handmade items is that it is not perfect, and you can tell that someone put time and effort into making it. Once all of your rows are together, iron the seams flat.

Step Six: Cut your backing fabric into a 36" x 36" square. Place your patchwork top over your backing fabric with right sides together. Pin all the way around, leaving a 6" opening on one side. 

Step Seven: Sew all the way around the blanket, skipping the 6" opening.

Step Eight: Turn the blanket inside out, pushing the corners out, and iron the sides flat. 

Step Nine: Top stitch 1/4 inch all the way around your blanket. This will enclose your opening. If you want to go to ensure that you closed your opening, go back and use a blind stitch to completely finish it off.

And you're done! 

This blanket is for the new baby, but since her crib is in pieces in our room I laid it out on Nora's new bed so you can see the finished product. 

I love the colors used in this blanket. It is definitely a girly blanket but its not overwhelmingly pink.

I chose to use a light blue flannel for the back of this blanket. It doesn't match completely, but it goes nicely with the colors and I had a left over piece that was just big enough for this project. Again, making the husband happy that I didn't buy something new. 

I showed Nora the blanket and she loved it!

So much so, that when I told her it wasn't for her she got really upset and started to cry. 

I was forced to pull the blanket that I made for her out of closet so she didn't think I was neglecting her. Poor baby. Luckily she liked hers just as much.

What do you think of this quick patchwork blanket? I think this makes a perfect gift for a new baby. Let me know if you try this out!

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