Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Self Binding Baby Blanket Tutorial

I first saw self binding baby blankets pop up in quilt stores about 4 or 5 years ago.  They were so cute and fun to make, they became my favorite baby shower gift.  A friend of my husbands recently had a baby. So, my husband thought it’d be a good idea to make a blanket for them.  It’d probably been a year since I last made one and for some reason I had a hard time remembering how to do it.  So, I decided to make a tutorial for myself and any others who want to make it for the first time or, like me, can’t quite remember how to do it. 

minkee baby blanket

(*NOTE*  I use a walking foot to sew most of this blanket together.  It helps when trying to keep the minky fabric from slipping.  You can also use a regular sewing foot and use a few extra pins.)

Many of the patterns call for a 30 inch square of the inside fabric (pink minky) and a 40 inch square of the outside fabric (floral), but I like to make the blanket as big as possible using minimal yardage.  Therefore, my fabrics are:

CUT: 34 inch square minky and 44 inch square floral

(I’ve also seen this blanket made from flannel too.  Both are super cuddly.)

Start by marking the middle of all four sides of both squares.

Step 2

Step 2b

With right sides together, pin the center of the two fabrics together on all sides.  Then, proceed to pin about every two inches along all the sides.  Stop pinning when you get to the last 1/4 inch of minky fabric along the corners.

Step 3

You will now have a tightly pinned minky square and a big drooping floral square with funny tails on the the corners.

Self Binding Blanket Drawing

Along all four sides, using a 1/4” seam allowance, start sewing in the center and sew to the outside corner stopping 1/4” away from the edge of the minky. 

Step 4

Step 5

Then, turn over and sew from the center out to the other corner of the minky, stopping at 1/4”.

Step 5 b

Repeat on two more sides.  On the fourth side, instead of starting from the center, leave an opening about 6 inches wide to turn blanket right side out.

Now we sew the corners.

Open up your blanket by pulling the middle of each of the fabrics out.  Then fold so that the two side seams meet in a triangle like this:

Step 6

Measure with your ruler, to ensure a 90 degree angle.

Step 6b

Use your ruler to draw a line using the edge of the minky as a guide.

Step 6c

Sew along the drawn line and cut off the excess corners.

Step 7

Now, turn the quilt right side out through your 6 inch opening.  Lay your blanket out flat.  The floral fabric will roll to create the binding on the front.

Step 8

Press the corners and along the edge, then pin all around to keep in place.

Step 9

Now, topstitch on the floral fabric right on the outside edge of the minky.  When you get to the 6 inch opening, tuck the minky under the floral and carefully stitch closed.

Step 10

You can’t really tell on mine because the fabric is so busy, but I used a decorative swirly stitch for the topstitch.  I recommend a wider stitch, like a zig zag, if you don’t want to or don’t have a decorative stitch, to ensure the 6 inch opening is closed properly.

And your finished! Too easy.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Fabric Bookmarks

It’s official.  I now have two teenagers in the house.  How did that happen?  I’m not old enough to have teenagers am I?  Apparently so.  Why am I rambling on about teenagers you ask?  Well, my second daughter turned 13 last week.  Sigh.  It really is going by so fast.  But, that’s not the point of this post…

I was trying to figure out what to get my daughter for her birthday, (all she wanted was books) and I came across a cute post from sewmamasew.  Fabric bookmarks!  My daughter and I went shopping together for most of her presents, so she knew what she was getting.  But, these would be a fun surprise.

Jennifer Paganelli fabric

A couple of them are a bit wonky cuz I had 5 minutes to finish them before birthday girl got home from school.  But, I love the way they turned out.  (I had to make one for me too.) 

I found some Jennifer Paganelli fabric in my stash and thought they looked very teen-like.  I was right.  She loved them.

Another one-day-project finished!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Ruffle Curtains

A few weeks ago I was browsing Pinterest, and came across a tutorial for the cutest ruffle curtains.  I didn’t even know I wanted new curtains!  So, I dropped every project I was working on and started sewing, lots and lots of sewing.  It took a week and  21 yards of fabric, but I think they are worth it.  I finished the last panel today. Yeah!  I still haven’t made the tie backs, but I was so excited, I had to post a few pictures.

Ruffle Curtains

The curtains in the tutorial are just under 7ft. long, but I made mine 9 ft. long because my ceiling is so high, I have to decorate with large objects and tall curtains.

Ruffle Curtains Tall Room

See, I told you!  How in the world do you decorate a wall that is 21 feet high??  (Just to give you an idea, the bookshelf in the corner is 7 feet tall.  Everything I put in this room looks tiny!) 

I tried to find a pictures of the window toppers I had there before, but couldn’t find any. It’s just as well, they were a black floral and cut the room in half.  I was hoping they would bring down the height of the ceiling, but it didn’t work.  We’ve lived in this house for 3 1/2 years and I think I have finally gotten it right.  Now, instead of cringing when I walk through the room, I smile big.