I don’t know about you, but I am currently in the life season of “everyone is having babies.” Is that just me? Anyone else? With all the babies comes the idea of figuring out what to get new moms for their little ones. I am a huge fan of buying gifts of need over want and providing something of value to new moms. I also love to add a personal touch and give something with a bit more meaning than something bought at the store. Over the years I have tried the ribbon/tag blankets and various other blanket versions. With this new season of “everyone is having babies”, I have tried to come up with a simple blanket that is functional and also cute. Enter this tutorial! I have now made 7 of these babies and they are super easy. So, for all those moms-to-be and their little ones, try out one of these blankets as an easy gift.
Fabric in 4-5 patterns
sewing machine and thread
solid fabric for back (I use a light fleece or flannel)
**TIP: The pictures are a mixture of different blankets created. The first used only 4 strips, the other uses 5. This tutorial is easily customizable to whatever works for you! See notes at the end to find out additional ways I have changed it up.
**TIP: All my fabrics were found at JoAnn Fabrics. They have upped their fabric game. I also usually check Hobby Lobby because they often have cute fabrics and I ALWAYS use those coupons. I usually buy 1/2 yard to a yard at time so I always have fabrics on hand to make another blanket.
*This originally appeared on Old Pink House. All step-by-step pictures are posted at the end of the tutorial.
Step 1: Cut your patterned fabric into equal size strips. I went for something around 7 by 36 inches. Why 36 inches? So, here’s the deal. I really dislike the need to be so precise with measuring and cutting. That is a lot of focused time and attention. To solve that issue, I usually buy a yard of fabric at a time and can get quite a few blankets using the same fabric. I then straighten the one edge and cut into 7 inch strips. Sidenote: Because I am not super diligent in my measuring, sometimes they aren’t the same length. I sew the strips together, even or not, and trim it up after. No pattern means I get to make my own rules and do it my way.
Step 2: Pin the right sides together of your first two strips. Sew along the long edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Step 3: Repeat until the front is completed. Be sure to keep right sides together each time!
Step 4: Cut your batting and back fabric to the same size as the front. I usually the cut the back fabric first, pin it to the front, and then cut the batting before pinning all 3 layers together.
Step 5: See pictures at the end. Pin the right sides of the patterned front and back fabric together. The batting should be pinned on top of the patterned fabric.
Step 6: Sew along the outer edge of your blanket using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. IMPORTANT: leave a hole of about 5 inches. You need this hole to turn your blanket right side out. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your project.
Step 7: Cut the corners as seen below. This allows your corners to be as crisp as possible. With this much fabric, this gives a little more space to sharpen your corners.
Step 8: Moment of truth. Through that tiny hole you left, start pulling your layers out. Take your time and don’t force it or you will rip the edges a bit. Feed a little bit of time out until your blanket is completely right side out.
Step 9: Pull the blanket completely out and sharpen the corners as best you can. If you really want to make the blanket a bit more “cleaned up” iron out the blanket before continuing on to the next step.
Step 10: This is my least favorite part. Bust out your needle, thread it, and seal up the hole you left. I do a no-show stitch that is far from perfect. I mean if you look closely, it’s seriously rough, but it does what it needs to by sealing up the hole. You will be going over the whole blanket again to make it a bit more finished, this is just one of those things you have to do.
Step 11: Time for the finishing touches! I usually up my seam length a bit for this one. Maybe 3.5 inches or so. This does a few things, it 1) makes it go a bit faster and 2) seems a bit fancier. I’ve done a zigzag stitch before, but I like the clean lines of a basic stitch for this particular project. So, I use about a 1/2 inch seam allowance and sew all the way around the blanket. You can adjust the seam allowance based on how your machine is working. With all the fabric and can sometimes be a bit hard to get right on a half inch, so I will often use whatever seam allowance works for the blanket.
Step 12: Wrap that beauty up and gift it to your nearest and dearest about to have a little one. Here are a few examples of the blankets used by my awesome mom friends. And can I just say, baby models? Seriously.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE: As I mentioned, I have done several variations of this blanket and have loved them all. Here are a few options:
- Use the long strips and vary the size of the blanket by how many strips you use.
- Use more strips and fabrics, but make them thinner. So instead of 4-5 fabrics, use 8-10. Or use the same 4-5 fabrics, but use thinner strips and do two of each fabric.
- Add a fun print to the back of the blanket.
- Add some hand stitching to have a “quilted” effect without the endless hours of quilting. Seriously, I considered doing this and thought of a better way to use those hours and hours.
- Go more traditional with squares. For Greta (and Zoey’s) blanket, I used squares. I used 7 different fabrics and made 6 rows to make an even pattern. See the picture below. This one certainly took the longest, but I think it turned out well!