Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas blankies

Although these are intended to be Christmas gifts, my kids don't read my blog, so this won't spoil the surprise.  This morning I whipped together the easiest Christmas gift ever, and I thought some of y'all might be looking for ideas.
Every time we go to the fabric store, Myra begs for this Cinderella panel, and I've been seeing cute Thomas the Train throws and thinking I should get one for Logan.  So I decided that I would make them each a fleece throw with their character of choice.  Myra's is a printed panel with Cinderella and her castle, and Logan's is printed fleece yardage.
Although fleece doesn't ravel at all, I finished the edges with satin blanket binding.  I think that gives it a nicer look, and it doesn't take long to do.  The binding is sold precut and prefolded, so you just wrap it around the edge and sew it on.  For a more comprehensive discussion of attaching pretty bindings, pop over to this tutorial on my Mom's blog.

So how much fleece do you need to make your own blankies?  The printed panel was easy - they come a specific size - but I actually think they are a bit small for a bigger child, although they are OK as just a throw.  For a crib-sized blanket, a one yard piece is perfect.  A standard crib mattress is 27 inches by 56 inches, so a 60 x 36 inch blanket is big enough to completely cover the crib mattress without any loose ends.  (Side note/Pediatrician hat on - You should never have an infant in a crib with a loose blanket.  It is a suffocation hazard and increases baby's risk of SIDS - end rant)  For a crib blanket, I like to just pink the edges to remove the printed selvage.  Binding or hemming adds bulk to an edge that is otherwise soft and smooth, not to mention that it tucks more easily under the crib mattress without any edge finish in the way.
Here is Myra's baby blanket.  The edges are pinked with regular pinking shears, although you could certainly get creative on the scrapbooking aisle and find some cute pinking shears.  I wouldn't generally recommend using craft scissors on fabric, but this is a special case.

For an older child, a 2 yard piece of fleece is perfect for snuggling in a "big kid" bed.  With this one you can have more fun with your edge finish.  Pinking or trimming is an option, or you can fringe the edges.
Here is a purchased fleece blanket that just has a turned and stitched hem done with a coverstitch machine.  I also think this would be fun done with a decorative stitch, although you would need to be sure your stitch is nice and stretchy as fleece has quite a bit of stretch.

If you'd like to bind the edges like I did, you will need two packages of blanket binding for either size blanket.  It comes in a zillion colors or you can get cool prints or any Disney character you can imagine.  Wouldn't Tinkerbelle be cute on a solid green blanket?  Or Lightning McQueen on a black and white checkered flag fleece?  Get creative!

6 comments:

  1. I bet they are going to adore those. I had a plan to make Alex a blanket for Christmas. We will see if that actually happens.

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  2. so cute! I am desperate for functional-but-fun-but-not-too-expensive gifts for the kids this year... and this would be perfect. Except that I just put a No New Blankets moratorium on our house. We have Blanket Issues (in that they seem to accumulate all over the floor and NO ONE PICKS THEM UP DESPITE THREAT OF LIFE AND LIMB).

    Uh. Sorry. Rant off.

    I might have to recall the moratorium after all. Green blankie with tinkerbell binding? They will LOVE that. Excellent idea, Dr. Katie. Thanks!

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  3. You know I'm slightly obsessed with blanket sewing, so I give these a huge thumbs up! I'll have to keep the blanket binding in mind when I'm feeling the need to switch it up from the double-sided minky ones that I can't seem to stop sewing. ;)

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  4. So precious! Your kids will treasure them...

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  5. So fun and cozy! Those are perfect winter gifts.

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  6. Your blankets are lovely. I have been making fleece blankets for may years. I have finished them with a serged edge; moved on to decorative stitch and more recently crocheting an edging on the newborn size (30x30"). 1 yard makes a lap cover and 2 yards will cover a single bed. I have been donating them at work for the Christmas project that adopt a family.

    Everyone seems to love a blanket just for them.
    Lita in Peoria

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