Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby Blankets

I've been having fun making baby blankets the last few weeks. Here are four blankets and some ideas I used in making them.
Crochet: I don't know what possessed me to decide on this pattern (other than the fact that I think it's adorable). I HATE having to change colors all the time. This blanket was pretty much filled with weaving in ends. I always end up with threads sticking out all over the place.
I looked around at a lot of patterns and liked this one the best. It seemed like it was a pattern that would go with a baby, but would also grow up a bit with her too. And one tedious blanket really isn't too much to sacrifice for my own child, right. I'm sure she'll prove to be worth the time and effort.
The pattern comes from Lion Brand Yard and can be found here. The pattern calls for organic yarn, but I can't pay over $100 for a baby blanket - so I just used acrylic. It made smaller squares that way, so I had to make more. My finished blanket is 16x16 squares (3" each).

Quilting (sort of): I didn't piece together anything to make this quilt, but I did hand stitch lines across it to keep the batting in place. Someday maybe I'll get one of those fancy machines that will do it for me. The fabric is a new Debbie Mumm that came from JoAnn.
I sewed a binding around the blanket when I was finished. A day or two later I went to a baby shower where I saw this blanket that had a fuzzy chenille border. The one I saw was made of flannel, but I thought it might be a fun addition to my quilt. I had to go to three stores to find some chenille type yarn. The first store had some, but not the right color. The second store was out of the color I needed. The third didn't have chenille yarn. But it did have Yed Heart "Pomp-a-doodle" yarn. It was kind of like a string with a fuzzy chenille ball every few inches. I thought I'd give it a try.
Now came the rough part. I'd read that using a "wing" needle in your sewing machine would poke holes large enough for a small hook in your fabric. I think it might actually work if you're not trying to go through as many layers as I was. I ended up having to punch most of my own holes with a nail (super tedious). I used a very small hook and single crochet 1/chain 1'd my way around. I had to sometimes leave out a chain to accommodate a "puff." I think if I ever decide to use the chenille border again I'll have to buy a pre-punched blanket. Unless anyone knows a better way?

I love the softness and texture the border adds. I think baby will love it too.
Applique: This blanket was made by taking two pieces of flannel (about a yard and a half of each) and sewing them around, right sides together. Then you just flip it right side out and topstitch the whole thing. It's super easy. I wanted to add just a little something to make it a little more exciting.
In comes little giraffe.

I just hand copied this little guy, so he's not exactly like the one from the fabric. If you want a perfect copy, an easy thing to do is scan a piece of the fabric on your computer and blow it up to the size you want. I love this idea because you can get applique designs that match your fabric perfectly. I used acrylic felt for the blanket, because wool felt will shrink. I appliqued him to the back side before sewing the blanket together.
 Embroidery: This blanket is sewn the same way as the other, except that instead of top-stitching with my machine, I used embroidery floss in a running pattern around the edge. I thought it was a fun way to tie in my little owl. To get my pattern, I scanned in my fabric and blew up a little owl picture to trace onto my fabric. I used 3 strands for everything except the eyes. I used 6 strands for those. For help with embroidery, go here to see some basic stitches.