My dear sister-in-law is due with her first baby in April. I am quite excited to meet their little guy, but I am also overjoyed at the great excuse to sew some baby items for her. I asked if she’d be up for creating a pinterest board for her little boy. She pinned some fabrics she liked and the colors she’d like to use in her nursery. I wanted to make sure I was making things SHE liked…not necessarily what I liked.
She pinned April Rhodes new fabric called Arid. It’s from her Arizona line. I quickly noticed lots of larger fabric retailers were out of stock of this fabric, but some smaller shop owners on Etsy had it available.
Here are a few other shops on Etsy that I see carry Arid from the Arizona Line:
Fabric Bubb (combined with a fat quarter bundle of some other prints from her line.)
Annie and Dot Fabrics
I see lots and lots of Aztec prints showing up everywhere right now. They are some fun patterns to see so much of around Pinterest and Instagram.
If you are wanting to sew a baby blanket for a Christmas gift, but you don’t have time to quilt one right now, this is the way to go.
I finished this blanket in two days. (even without my kids napping at the same times.) That’s impressive for me. Since my two year old takes about an hour and a half to eat lunch, I was able to get a good part of the blanket made during his lunch…while the baby slept. Then as soon as I laid Case down for his afternoon nap, the baby woke up. It’s the way it goes, isn’t it? 🙂
I used quilting weight cotton on the front, minky on the back, and quilting weight cotton for the binding. I did not use batting since I wanted to keep this blanket on the lighter side. I considered going an even simpler route and not binding the blanket. I was just going to sew it right sides together, leave a little hole to flip it right side out, and then stitch around the perimeter like I do on so many burp cloths, but I didn’t want to risk a sloppy border. Minky slips so easily, and I figured I should go ahead and bind it. Plus, I am not sure how quilting it would go with an already finished edge.
So, here goes. Here is how I made a very simple baby blanket to gift to my sister-in-law.
1. Using the pattern in the fabric, cut a straight edge. If you just get a yard of fabric, that’s a perfect size blanket, but since I bought two yards, I needed to cut it down.
2. The above picture shows my vertical cut. Below I lined up my ruler with the pattern going the opposite direction. I used the tip of the arrows to get a straight line going the other direction. (using the pattern in the fabric to cut straight lines is not always the best option, but I think it is a good option with this specific fabric.)
3. Cut the selvage (or the edge of the fabric) off too.
4. Lay the minky out flat on the table or surface. Get as many creases out as possible. The fewer the creases, the easier it will be to pin and quilt your blanket. Lay the wrong side of the minky up on the table.
(If you want a thick, quilt like blanket, now is the time to sandwich the batting in — lay it on top of the minky and smooth it out.)
5. Lay your fabric out on top of the minky. Be sure the wrong sides are together. Once again, smooth out the minky and fabric as much as you can.
6. Trim the minky. As you can see, I leave a little extra to err on the safe side. Minky can slip easily so in case it shifts a bit, I have a little extra on the sides.
7. Pin your minky and fabric together. I used lots of pins because I know minky can slip. If you have basting spray, I’d recommend using that. It’s kind of like a spray glue that holds your fabrics together and then washes out in the washing machine.
I don’t buy it regularly in an effort to keep the costs down of an already expensive quilting hobby. 🙂
8. Roll the sides of the blanket together in preparation for quilting.
9. Using the pattern in the fabric as my guide, I quilted right on the lines. My goal for the quilting was not for decorative purposes. I wanted to secure the two pieces together.
Have you ever had a blanket where the edges were bound but the middle was not quilted down? You can kind of still pull the pieces apart and create a balloon affect in the middle. I wanted to avoid that affect by quilting the pieces together.
10. Sew a binding around the edge of the blanket. I’m hoping to have a tutorial up sometime soon on binding, but until then, I learned everything I need to know from Cluck Cluck Sew.
Don’t get too bogged down with this crazy long tutorial. This is a simple blanket, and I think it’s a great sewing project for a beginner.
(Please note that there are affiliate links used in this post.)