By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilly 23
It’s springtime and flowers are starting to bloom. Many of my friends are as well. The soonest baby is due to arrive in May so I’ve started stockpiling baby gifts. Handmade baby items make thoughtful gifts while also developing your crafting skills.
This beginner baby blanket will teach you the basics for making a quilt. It is made of soft fabric to please the baby and is machine washable to please the parents.
Quilt tops generally have a complex pattern while the bottom side has a solid piece of fabric. Cut a 45” x 33” piece of Color A fabric.
Cut a 45” x 33” piece of batting to match the bottom piece.
For the top piece we will be making a simple patchwork pattern.
Cut two 44” x 8” strips of Color B, two 44” x 8” of Color C and one 44” x 8” strip of Color D.
Sew together strips in the following sequence: Color B, Color C, Color D, Color C, Color B. Give yourself a ¼” seam allowance.
For more advanced sewers a baby blanket is a great project to teach yourself how to use a Serger. (That’s what I did!) If you do not have a Serger, sew your pieces together with a straight stitch then add a zigzag stitch.
Now you will have a large piece of fabric with five stripes. Fold rectangle into half, short ends together. Fold into half again. Cut into four strips. This will create four strips with five patches each.
Cut three 33” X 3” strips of fabric of Color A
Sew these thin strips between the four sections you created above.
These thin stripes will divide your patches and tie the top and back sides of the quilt together since the thinner stripes match the back.
On future projects you can cut out smaller patches to make more complex patterns.
After the front is assembled you will make a sandwich of the three pieces-the patchwork top side, the middle batting and the bottom solid piece of fabric. The patchwork top side is now larger than the other two pieces. Fold the excess over onto the bottom fabric and pin. Sew into place with a straight stitch. This will make your blanket border.
For the corners tuck in the edge to make a diagonal. Stitch into place.
Now you have three layers of fabric held together along their edges. To join these layers together you will now tye down your quilt. This involves placing small stitches across the quilt to join the three layers Sew small Xs with matching thread into the corners of the patches. I made twelves X’s over the quilt.
Once your sewing skills advance you can make complex ties to create a more detailed finish. Options include using colorful yarn instead of thread or using contrasting thread and sewing large wavy lines across the whole of the quilt.
Trim loose threads
The finished quilt will have wrinkled during the creation process. Iron quilt to create a smooth finish.
Wrap up your baby blanket to give to the expecting parents at their baby shower. Or if you have a baby of your own, wrap your newly finished blanket around your sweat pea and take some cute spring photos!