I first made Landon this blanket back in 2009, and have since made one for each of my nephews as well as two that were gifted to my two young cousins and one for my friend's daughter. I would have liked to make more (to sell, perhaps?), but other projects came along as they often do. This time around, I wanted some blankets to keep in the car as we usually have to blast the AC to make sure it reaches Carson, who's rear-facing, which means that Landon usually gets the
It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and the nice part is the only sewing you do is on the actual cotton piece, not the minky fabric, which can be a little tricky if you're new to sewing.
I also chose to hand-embroider the boys' initials on these to give them a little something extra. Since I don't want to cram too much into one tutorial, I won't be covering that part. I just wanted to show you because I'm really proud of my first attempt at embroidery.
To start off, you'll need a front and back piece. For the front I suggest a cotton print since there's oodles of awesomeness out there. Most cotton prints are 44-45 inches wide so if you're making a square blanket, you'll want to plan on it being no bigger than 39-40 inches square, after folding over the edges to create the band on the minky side.
This picture illustrates what I mean by the "band" that lays on top, sandwiching the minky.
Before measuring your fabric out, wash it. It will shrink a bit and you don't want it shrinking after you sew your blanket. You don't need to wash the minky, it's polyester. (Which isn't known to shrink unless you blast it with hot water and heat)
You don't have to make a square blanket, just be sure to subtract 4 inches from your front (print) piece to find your back piece measurement. I chose to make my cotton piece 40 inches square so that I only needed to purchase a yard of my minky fabric. If your fabric store cutting ladies aren't very reliable, I suggest adding a couple inches to your measurement and cutting it yourself to ensure it's straight.
Next I cut my minky fabric. Remember that it needs to be 4 inches smaller in length and width than your front piece. The front piece will be folded over 1/2 inch to hid the raw edge and another 1 1/2 inches to create the band, so all the folding will eat up 2 inches on EVERY side.
This will ensure that the minky fabric sits right inside the folds of your front piece.
The animation below shows this step and the next few to come, so you can see what I'm talking about.
Once you've got your fabric cut, it's time to press the front piece folds. On every side, fold the fabric in a 1/2 inch and press using your steam setting. (You DO NOT need to serge or zig-zag the raw edges as they'll be encased once you sew everything down. I serged my edges because I had to wash the fabric again after I embroidered to make sure all hell wouldn't break loose if I washed it after assembling the blanket. To my delight, it came out fine!)
Then go around again, leaving the 1/2 still folded in, but this time make it 1 1/2 inches, and press. (I usually do these two steps at the same time on one side before moving to the next side)
Once that's done, open up the folds and place your minky fabric inside, WRONG sides facing.
You may find at times that your folding wasn't as precise as you thought so your minky doesn't fit perfectly inside your folds. If the sides are overlapping your folds, just trim off the excess. What's nice about this blanket is even if your cuts aren't perfect, no one's the wiser since it's hidden in the band.
Fold the front piece back over the minky fabric and start pinning one side down then the opposite side, end to end, leaving the corners untouched still, like this:
Now for the corners. I'm sure there's a better way to do this, but I've always done it this way, and I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Unless your absolutely sure you're not going to screw things up ;)
The corners have a mitered look, even though they aren't officially mitered. With the one side already down on top of the minky, I'm going to lay the other side down and fold the corner under at an angle. I've had some corners not play nicely (meaning they don't lay flat, therefore adding bulk) so what I've done it made a note of where the fold is, then cutting off enough fabric to leave 1/4-3/8 inch fabric past the fold, to fold under. (See below)
^^Unfold it so you can see the crease^^
When you cut the tips off the corners you will be left with that little tab sticking out, just snip that off.
Pin those corners down and get ready to sew!
I like to start with the corners first, to get them out of the way. Starting at the INSIDE corner, sew 1/4 inch away from where the corners meet and sew to the outside corner, along your faux-mitered edge. Make sure to back stitch. The reason I start from the inside corner rather than the outside is sometimes my machine has trouble getting going if there's too much bulk and not enough weight to pull the fabric through.
Once you've got your corners down, go around the entire blanket with a 1/4 inch seam allowance from the inside of the band.
Sometimes all you need is a little perspective.
And you're done! Now go run around the house showing everyone what you made, twice (I can't be the only one that does that, right?)
**If you're making this as a gift and would like to include care instructions or are unsure of how to wash it - I recommend washing cold, and tumble dry on low heat. DO NOT IRON MINKY oON STEAM SETTING UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE THE DOTS DISAPPEAR. I speak from experience. Don't do it.**
I hope you found my instructions easy to follow. Let me know if you need any further instruction or help, I'm here all night. Literally. I'm typing this at 12:30 a.m. I may be crazy, but it just might be a lunatic you're looking for...
[EDIT: You may share the tutorial on your site, however I ask that you only use one of my pictures and link back to the tutorial. THANKS for sharing the love!]
Here's where I linked up!
Seven Thirty Three
The DIY Dreamer
Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons