While this is a (very) time consuming project, it's actually quite easy since all you have to do is sew straight lines so if you have a few hours on your hands (or days if you need to break it up like I did) then I highly recommend making one of these for a loved one. K already picked out the fabric she wants for hers and I helped E pick out hers. But, they're going to have to wait until AFTER Christmas!
1 1/4 yards cotton fabric (this will be for the top of your blanket)
1 1/4 yards each of THREE coordinating cotton flannels (I used 100% cotton for all fabric)
Kitchen twine (the kind you tie around a pot roast)
Disappearing ink fabric marker
At least two spools of thread of a color that will show on the top of the blanket
2 packages of double fold bias tape
1 spool of thread to match the bias tape
Fabric scissors, or even better, a slash cutter (sometimes called a chenille cutter). I got mine from JoAnn Fabric using a 40% off coupon. I highly recommend it.
1. Lay out the top fabric and measure 45" square. Cut off any excess.
2. Use the cut piece of fabric as a guide to cut your pieces of flannel.
3. Using a piece of the kitchen twine, stretch it across on the DIAGONAL. This blanket will only work if you sew and cut it on the bias, which means the diagonal. Then, use the yard stick (or other long straight edge) and the disappearing fabric marker to trace that line.
3A. OPTIONAL: You can pin your blanket around the edges or use a few safety pins in the middle. I didn't pin mine at all because the layers of flannel keep it from shifting too much.
4. Sew straight down the line you drew. Continue sewing straight lines 1/2" apart. For the most part I just eye-balled the 1/2" spacing but occasionally if I felt my lines were getting too wonky, I would lay the blanket out on the floor and use a ruler to draw a line or two until they were straight again.
|You can see my first 6 lines under K's hand.|
5. Keep sewing straight lines. And sewing... and sewing... I started at the center and sewed one whole side. Then I spun the blanket around and sewed the other side. It's a bit ungainly because of the weight of 4 layers of fabric so I had to keep folding mine up so it would be easier to handle.
6. Cut off any excess flannel that might have shifted during sewing. Leave the top fabric though - it helps with the cutting in the next step.
7. Lay your blanket face down (flannel side facing up) and using your slash cutter or scissors, cut right down the center of each row you stitched - FLANNEL ONLY! Don't cut through your top fabric.
8. Spread the blanket out on a hard flat surface and using your ruler as a guide, square up each side and corner. This is much easier done with a rotary cutter and self-healing mat but it isn't absolutely necessary. (I found this step to be a pain in the bum and had to keep trimming off a little more, and a little more until I got it nice and square. It's important to have nice straight edges for the binding in the next step.)
9. Line up the binding so that the edge of your blanket is sandwiched in between the binding. I made mine with the edge all the way inside the binding so that I wouldn't miss any layers as I sewed.
10. And now the fun part - Washing the blanket! Throw the blanket in the washer and dryer and watch those cut rows of flannel turn into soft, fuzzy faux chenille.
Here's a comparison:
Both girls loved the blanket and anytime I had it out on the floor to cut or measure they were all over it. Here's E enjoying the final results. She loved running her fingers in between the rows of wiggly flannel.
I hope Baby F will enjoy her new blanket as she gets a bit older and her Mommy and Daddy will tell her all about her crazy Faux Auntie who already loves her and can't wait to meet her.