Today's project is a gift of love. One of the gifts I was given when my youngest daughter was born was a set of 2 newborn receiving blankets embroidered with a cute teddy bear and her name. They were given to me with instructions to enjoy finishing off the blankets as I wished since my friend knew I enjoyed crafting. This little project turned into a great stress reliever for me at a time when I needed it most during recovery. When I was healthy enough to actually work on finishing these blankets, my daughter had far outgrown the newborn receiving blankets. So, I had to come up with another plan for them. After a fun trip to the fabric store for some cute coordinating baby flannel fabric, I got to work. I wanted a nice large reversible blanket that would work for her for quite a while, so I used the size the ones given to me as my base size.
Prewash your fabric: I always do this for baby projects and anything that will be washed often to pre-shrink it and remove any extra dye from the fabric.
Square up your edges: Use a rotary cutter, cutting mat and quilting rulers. Then, cut eight squares (two of each fabric) all the same size; mine are 19 1/2" inches by 19 1/2" inches. You can get this size with 3/4yard of each coordinating flannel. I already had two squares, so I only needed three other fabrics, but you will need a total of four fabrics to complete this project.
Next, using matching thread, sew your squares together in pairs with a 1/4" inch seam allowance. This blanket was done with pink and purple together and then gingham and print together.
Pin your pairs of squares together so you now have a four patch and sew. I like to use a Three Pin Technique. This technique is used for helping to keep your fabric from moving while lining up points and corners or matching seam lines while sewing. Iron your seams in opposite directions from each other so they will nest snuggly when pinned. Then, you put the first pin directly into the center of the seam with the second and third pin closely placed on either side of the first pin. Sew up your seams and then iron flat.
Now you should have two large four patch pieces of fabric. With right sides together, start your edge seams just past the middle on one side and sew all the way around to just short of the middle when you reach that first side again. I used a 1/4" inch seam allowance again. When you are finished with each side you should have 5-6" inches of open edge that has not been sewn.
Clip your corners seam allowance at about a 45 degree angle. This will allow them to lay flat instead of being bulky with extra material when the project is finished. Then, using that opening turn your project right side out.
Now, iron that open section with the seam allowance neatly folded on the inside and with thread that will blend into the fabric stitch this opening shut. You can't see it on my blanket because I covered the edges with a decorative stitch.
To finish off this project with a bit of embroidery flare, I chose a variegated thread that went well with the fabrics I picked and then selected a decorative stitch I liked on my machine and stitched it all the way around the edge of the blanket.
And your project is finished! My finished blanket ended up being approximately 38 1/2"inches square, which is a nice big size. At six months old, she still has plenty of growing room and space to snuggle in it. It was so nice to have a project I could work on a little bit at a time and rest in between each step while I recovered from surgery. It really gave me something to focus on besides how painful everything felt and how useless I was feeling because I was on such limited activity. I can't thank my friend enough for her thoughtful gift that was an answer to an unspoken prayer just for its ability to keep my spirits up while I worked on it.