Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quick Baby Blanket Tutorial

Quick Baby Blanket
Finished size approx. 26.5" square

Materials needed: 
3/8 yd. each of 3 coordinating fabrics (quilting cotton)
7/8 yd. minky or other soft fabric*
Coordinating all-purpose thread
Yarn or embroidery thread (I used DMC Perle 5)
Hand embroidery or upholstery needle
*I find minky to be a bit slippery to sew, so if you are in an extreme hurry you might want to try something like flannel.

**Even Faster Variations:**
-If you're really in a hurry, just use one top fabric and one back fabric (both 7/8 yd.) and trim them into matching squares.  Then, begin with Step 7.
-Try using 3 9.5"x 27.5" strips for the top fabric and begin with Step 5.


1. Using a quilting ruler, mat, and rotary cutter, cut one strip of each cotton fabric 9.5"x width of fabric.

2. Cut 9.5" squares from each strip.  You can get 4 from each fabric, but you won't need that many.  You will only need 9 squares total. 

 I used a 9.5" quilter's square, but that's not necessary if your cutting mat has measurements on it.
I cut 3 squares of animal fabric, 4 squares of green dots, and 2 squares of stripes. 
 3. Sew your squares together in rows using a 1/4" inseam.  As with any patchwork project, it's really important to have a 1/4" presser foot so that your seams line up perfectly.

4. Once you have 3 rows of 3 squares each sewn together, press your seams.  You can either press them toward the dark fabric or press them like I did- top and bottom rows in one direction and middle row in the opposite direction.

5. Sew rows together to complete blanket top.  

Here are a few tips for pinning your rows together:
Arrange two rows right sides together making sure to align the seams.  Don't worry about the edges too much yet.
Starting with the bottom row, insert your pin into the seam on the wrong side of the fabric about 1/4" from the cut edge (about where your stitches will go when you begin to sew).  Then insert your pin into the seam on the right side of your top row fabric.  When I took my quilting class, my instructor told me to "guess at a quarter inch."
Now press your fabrics together and insert the tip if the pin back through both rows of fabric. 

This method of pinning really helps you to get sharp points without pinning a million times.
Now line up the edges and sew your seam.  Don't remove the pin until you have caught one of the seam allowances with your needle.
Now press those middle seams open.
And you have a perfect (or nearly perfect) point!
6. Lay your blanket top out in the wrong side of your minky and trace the edges using a ruler and fabric marker, and cut out your blanket back.  I just used scissors.

 7. Position your fabrics right sides together, and pin them in place.  Unlike joining the seams in the top, you'll probably need a fair amount of pins because the minky is so slippery.  Sew your layers together with a 1/2" inseam leaving a 4"-5" opening in one side for turning.  Backstitch on either side of your opening.

A note about turning corners: When your needle is 1/2" from each corner, leave your needle down in the fabric, raise the presser foot, rotate the fabric 90 degrees counter clockwise, and continue sewing.  Use your regular presser foot or a walking foot.  

8. Trim your corners (but do not cut the stitches in the corner) and turn your project right sides out.  Make sure your corners are crisp by using a pointed object like a capped pin, closed scissors, knitting needle, your finger, etc., to push the corners out from the inside.

9. Tuck the edges of your opening in, pin them in place, and top stitch around the edges of your blanket 1/8"-1/4" from the edge.  Make sure your topstitching closes the opening.

10.  You'll need to secure the blanket with ties or a nice satin stitch on your machine.  I used 4 ties, but you can have as many as you like, pretty much anywhere you like.  I made mine tie in the back, but once again, that's up to you.

To make your ties come out in the back, thread your needle and insert in into the back and up through the front in the spot you choose. 

Secure your tie with a surgeon's knot.  Trim to about 1/2" inch.

And that's it!  Now you can use your scraps to make coordinating burp cloths!  Enjoy!

If you make one, let me know!  I'd love to see pictures!


  1. Thanks for posting this! I just got some Minky and I'm still not sure how to work with it. This is great! I have a couple friends pregnant, so this will be perfect! Anxious for the burp cloths tutorials!

  2. I'm sure these little tutorials will be so useful to people who are just starting out. Well done! Juliex