I'm slowly but surely getting back to reality and recognizing that there are things to do around here. Contrary to what you may think, my "nesting" only covered so much... I've got oodles of things on my list to clean, to make, to do, to create. And I love it!
I have got to think about getting some Valentines decorations up. I'm pretty sure last year it came and went without me putting up a single Valentine item. I've got to get things in gear this year... we have a pretty major event happening in our home around Valentines Day. I'll get more into that in a later post.
You may be surprised to know that I have all four of my baby blankets finished to the point of binding, and one of them completely bound and finished. Now that is progress!
Since these are pretty quick baby blankets to work up, I thought I'd do a tutorial. I've made ten or so of them -- Bob and I give them to the ladies in the ward and neighborhood who have just had babies.
You will start with two pieces of coordinating fabric -- one in cotton and one in cotton flannel. In this photo, the little birds are the flannel piece. You can make your blanket any size you want, but I generally make mine about 1-1/4 yards by the natural width of the fabric (about 44").
I also don't use batting. This is a light type of a baby blanket that can be folded small and stowed easily in a diaper bag.
Next, square the top piece of your blanket (which is the regular cotton piece, NOT the flannel piece) so that all sides are square and the edges are straight.
The next step is where your fabric stash will come in handy...
Find two or three pieces of coordinating fabric (be sure it coordinates with both the front and back of your blanket pieces) that you can cut some small decorative circles from to add to the top piece of the blanket.
To make the fabric circles, make 3 circle templates out of card stock that are 6", 4-3/4" and 3-3/4". Trace the circles onto the wrong side of the coordinating fabrics, and cut out with pinking shears. Cut one large, two medium, and one small circle.
Next, pin each of the circles in place on the top piece of your blanket. I usually place the largest one in a corner (keeping it about 4" from the sides), and then place the others in close proximity, wherever it "looks right".
Sew the pieces in place, removing the pins as you go. Do a straight stitch about 3/8" from the edge of the circle.
Now lay the flannel piece down (right side down), and the top piece of the quilt on top of it (right side up). Flatten it out nicely so that there are no creases in the fabric. (Iron the pieces if you need to.) Match the sides the best that you can, then pin along all four sides. Using the squared top as your template, trim away any excess fabric from the back piece. Both pieces should be the exact same size at this point.
Sew around the edge of the blanket about 1/2" in from the edge, removing pins as you go. These stitches will not show -- they are there to hold the blanket together as you are binding it.
These are my four blankets all at the point of needing to be bound.
The next step is cutting the binding strips. I cut my binding on the bias so that it doesn't fray and get all stringy when it is washed. The ruler shows the angle I should use when cutting -- a 45 degree angle. Cut the strips 2-1/2" wide, and cut enough to make about 200" of binding. When you cut the binding, use a rotary cutter with a pinking edge to give the binding a decorative edge.
You can use any coordinating fabric for your binding. I like the looks of mixing and matching binding, and having the strips being a variety of lengths.
After cutting the strips, cut off the ends so that they are a straight edge (instead of an angle edge) and sew together strips.
Press seams open along the strip of binding.
Next, fold binding in half, and press.
Start sewing binding around edge of quilt, starting down about four inches from the beginning edge of the binding so that you leave a "tail" of binding that isn't sewn to the quilt.
Sew about 3/8" from the edge of the binding.
When you come to the corner, sew down to the bottom edge of the quilt, and then stop.
Fold the binding over the next edge of the quilt so that the quilt edge is lined up with the center fold of the binding. Fold binding up and pin to keep in place. Continue sewing binding starting from the corner of the binding where the two corners meet.
When you come back around to the place where you started the binding, check your lengths and cut the end edge of the binding (not the tail that you left at the beginning) so that it is about an inch away from where you originally started attaching the binding. It will be overlapped by the "tail" that you left as you started sewing the binding.
Finish sewing the binding down. Take the tail that you left at the beginning and fold the end under about an inch. Pin it in place and then sew down the binding down so that it is completely attached all the way around.
At this point, sew one more time around the whole blanket between the original line of stitching and the edge of the binding.
And this is the finished product. Scrappy and cute!
Now to finish the other three.... I'll get to them in a while. For now, I'm off to hold my grandbaby for the afternoon!