Well, I am here today to share with you a cute project to make over the weekend. I have literally been working on this tutorial since Sunday .. can you believe how long it has taken me to put this together? But, I had my first pharmacology test this week, and although I have not gotten my grade yet, I think I did pretty well.
Anyhow, as I mentioned before (HERE and HERE), I made a whole bunch of cute gifts for my new little nephew Daniel, who surprised us all and arrived a couple of weeks early just this past weekend. I gave the proud parents all of the gifts I made, and it seemed like they really liked them. So, I am spreading the love, and am going to be sharing tutorials for all 4 of the projects I made.
The first project I am going to share is the Baby Bubbles all purpose blankie. I love the way this blankie turned out, and can be used by Mom and Baby for a lot of purposes ... on the go in the stroller, carseat or cart; to make clean surfaces for playing or changing diapers, or just to snuggle up with or dry off with after a bath.
The construction is really simple, just two big rectangles of fabric -- super soft flannel on one side, and quilting weight cotton on the other side. What I think makes this blanket special are the fun details -- the applique bubbles and letters, the rounded corners, the zigzag stitching, and the two ribbon loops. The ribbon loops are meant to be decorative and functional .... functional because you can attach some of those nifty little link things to the loops to attach the blankie to a cart, stroller, carseat or whatever.
I am not going to go into detail with how to do the applique, because I have already done that for you HERE with some extra tips HERE... so if you are new to applique, or need some refreshers, please check out those posts before proceeding.
Another thing to do before starting this project is to prewash your fabrics that you plan on using for these (and the rest of the baby projects) using a baby or hypoallergenic detergent. I don't prewash my fabrics for grown-up projects, but when I prewash for baby items I use the gentle setting and warm water. You will have fraying, that is okay. Then I throw everything into the dryer. I pull the fabric out of the dryer before it is completely dry though, and make sure to press it real well. And that is it for prewashing!
Let's Get Started!
Baby Bubbles All Purpose Blankie Tutorial.
Finished Size: Apx. 32.5" x 24.5"
- Piece of flannel cut to 34" x 26"
- Piece of quilting weight cotton cut to 34 " x 26" (I used Alexander Henry 2D Zoo)
- 1 piece of ribbon cut to 4" long (width is not too important, but I would stick with something that is at least 3/4" wide)
- 1 piece of ribbon cut to 3" long (at least 3/4" wide)
- Various fabric scraps to make the applique (optional -- I used Joel Dewberry Woodgrain, and a calico polka dot from Hobby Lobby)
- Heat and Bond Lite or other fusible of your choice to make the applique (optional)
- Suggested needle size: 80/12 Universal Sewing Machine needle (I use Schmetz)
- Other basic sewing supplies: sewing machine, iron, quality all purpose thread (like gutermann), pins, scissors, etc.
1. First print off the Baby and Bubble applique templates HERE, as well as the free all purpose corner rounding template from the other day HERE. Be sure to print all of the templates with your printer scaling set to "None".
2. Make the applique. Once again if you don't know how, I have a tutorial HERE, as well as some other tips HERE.
3. Sew on your applique to the lower right corner of your blankie. Keep in mind that there will be a 1/2" seam allowance, as well as top-stitching, so do not put the applique too close to the edge. I applied the applique in a way that reminded me of bubbles floating along, but you can put them all on a straight line, or whatever. You also may attach the applique any way you like, but if you would like to make yours similar to mine, I simply used a straight stitch to attach the letters. Then, I used a straight stitch at about 1/8 " to first attach the circles, then went back and put a zig zag stitch around the circles. See the photo below for more clarity.
4. With your quilting cotton laying on a flat surface with the RS facing up, line up the raw edges of the ribbon with the raw edge of your fabric, and baste on the ribbon using a 1/4" seam. I placed my ribbon so that it sort of lined up with the bubbles. Note: I did not get a photo of the actual basting on of the ribbon, but I have a photo below that I took after the blanket was completed. I am inserting the photo here just to give you an idea of the placement for the ribbon.
5. Using your printed corner rounding template, round the corners of the quilting cotton and the flannel. I find it easiest to first fold the fabric in half once lengthwise, and then again crosswise. This way you can cut all 4 corners at the same time. This is not the most precise method, but I bet Baby will not mind.
6. Place the flannel RS up on a flat surface (Note: solid flannels may not have a Right side, but printed flannels do), and then place the cotton on top of the flannel, RS down. Take a look at your flannel, did it some how grow in size? Flannel is difficult to cut precisely to begin with, but as you handle it, it tends to stretch. If your flannel is still the same size as your cotton, great, if not, trim it up now.
7. Pin the flannel and cotton together RST.
8. Sew the two pieces together using a 1/2" seam. Leave a 4" opening along the bottom edge for turning. Tip: You may find it helpful to draw a stitching line (using a water soluble marker or similar) onto each rounded corner before bringing your fabric to your machine to sew. This can help you sew the curves more easily.
9. Press the seams, and notch the curves.
10. Turn right side out. Press in the opening left for turning, as well as the seams. Pin the opening closed.
11. Starting just before your opening, top stitch around the entire blankie using a 1/4" seam and a straight stitch. Then go back and do a zigzag stitch, so that it matches the stitching on your applique ... cute right?
12. Tie it up with a pretty piece of ribbon and give to baby and Mom.
P.P.S. Stay tuned for more matching baby item tutorials coming soon-ish. :)