Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to make a patchwork baby blanket (no quilting necessary)

Sunday morning, my other half is watching the Dolphins game from the previous night (YAWN) and I'm wondering what I can do while the (American) football is on.

How about sewing a patchwork blanket?  I have some scraps left over from the bibs I have made which are the perfect size for a patchwork project.

This blanket will be made with a sewing machine, not the time consuming hand stitching that
I did in college.
Click on this link for the result of months of hand stitching....2nd pic down!
http://www.textiletrolley.blogspot.com/2012/06/life-at-norland-college-part-2.html


How to make a machine stitched patchwork blanket

First of all gather your scraps of fabric that you think will work well together.

I have a couple of tools that I found very helpful, a rotary cutter and a square template for patchwork!

Cut out 30 squares (mine measured 6 inches) using either these tools or a ruler, marker and scissors



Lay your squares out and plan your design, this may take a while.  I recommend taking a picture of the design so that there are no mistakes in the layout once sewing commences



Right sides together put a couple of pins along the edge to join 2 squares


Pin a row of 5 squares together


Sew squares together on one side, top to bottom reinforcing by using a back stitch at the top and bottom


Sew a row of 5 squares, then sew another row of 5 squares until you have 6 separate rows


Turn the rows over and press seams open


Place one row on top of another row, right sides together, matching seams, now is a good idea to look at the picture you took of your design


Pin rows together


Sew rows together making sure seams match.  I usually back stitch a couple of stitches to reinforce the seam


When all rows are sewn together turn over and press the seams open


It should look like this on the back


It should look like this on the front


After pressing the patchwork place it right sides together on your backing material.  I used white flannel cut a little bigger than my quilt


Make sure there are no wrinkles in your fabrics, smooth together (don't pull or stretch) and pin around the edges leaving a 6 inch opening to turn the quilt right side out after sewing


Sew your fabrics together with the same seam allowance used for sewing the squares together.  Don't forget to leave that 6 inch opening


Trim edges a little, I used pinking shears to prevent further fraying


Cut corners of excess bulk


Don't cut too close to the stitches


Give the blanket a good shake to get rid of loose threads and make sure long threads are trimmed.  Turn right sides out through the 6 inch gap


Gently ease corners out from inside the blanket with a chopstick or a knitting needle


Give the blanket a really good press.  Make sure you press the seam allowance under at the gap


I sewed 2 rows of top stitch to close the 6 inch hole and to give extra strength




Drum roll please.......the end product

The finished blanket
Check out the shop for other blankets....this one sold!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/TextileTrolley




The blanket turned out great!  I am more than pleased with it.  It's a lovely light weight blanket not too big or bulky for travel and is great for strollers, car seats, and afternoon naps.  The finished dimensions are 27" x 32.5".

6 comments:

  1. Thank ou for the detailed instructions. I was wondering how this washes as in...do the seams unflatten? Or, because it's flannel, do the seams stay put and not tent the flannel in any way?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Michelle....I have had no problems whatsoever in washing this blanket. Everything stays put, no tenting...it comes out a bit wrinkled so I usually give it a quick gentle press with the iron. I think the top stitching helps keep everything in place around the edge and the patchwork part has stayed flat. It's important to pre-wash all the fabric you use too....I think I forgot to mention that at the beginning of the instructions! Sorry! Let me know how you do if you attempt to make one, I'd love to see pics.
    Best,
    Louise

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Louise, I'm new to sewing, I've never used a sewing machine before. Can you explain the bit on the leaving a 6 inch seam where the top is placed on the white flannel. So, we use a quarter seam allowance while sewing the top on the flannel? Where does the 6-inch allowance come in? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheesetomato...lovely name :o) It's a 6" opening....basically just to turn it right side out! If you stitched all the way round and didn't leave a gap you wouldn't be able to turn your blanket out! I hope this was the right answer to the question :o)
      I usually stitch so that the right side of the sewing foot is against the raw edge of the fabric....in this case you have to use the same seam allowance that you did when sewing the squares together.
      Hope this helps.

      Delete
  4. Hi Louise, if I wanted to add a border to the patchwork top, how would I do this? I am after a border that's simple to put together. Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's a link to an easy border if you're a beginner....I've never added a border so I'll leave it to the experts.
    http://quilting.about.com/od/quiltborders/ss/quilt_borders.htm

    ReplyDelete