Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oh Baby!

Two of my friends have had babies recently. I decided to try my hand at making baby blankets for their wee-ones. I have been drooling over the super-soft polka-dot fleece at the fabric stores for quite some time, but had no reason to buy pastel blue, pink or yellow for myself. So now the occasion arises. Having never made a baby blanket, it was a learning experience.

My concept was simple. One side of the blanket would be a super soft fleece, the other a cute cotton print, all bound together with one of those satin blanket bindings.

The execution of the concept was a learning experience. The fleece, I found, tends to bunch up in the sewing machine. The satin, I found, tends to slip. The woman at the fabric store gave me a tip, use a walking foot on my machine, but I don't have one. My solution was to use lots and lots of pins to hold all the pieces in place while I stitched. ( I really hate pinning! It's so tedious.)

First I borrowed one of my daughter's blankets to figure out what size. After washing the material, I cut the two pieces to the appropriate size. Cutting the fleece was an exercise in fuzz-making. Then I pinned the two blanket sides, right sides together and went to the sewing machine to stitch...and realized, I needed to pin them with the right sides facing out. So, I un-pinned an re-pinned the blanket--did I mention, I don't like to pin. Next tip, stitch so the cotton is on the feed-dogs, not the fleece, that will help avoid the bunching. After the two pieces were stitched together, pin (again) the satin binding on the edge of the blanket. Working one side at a time, I attached the binding and mitered the corners. Again, the stitching worked better with the cotton side down.

With one blanket done, the second one was a breeze! Wow! Two blankets done in one day! What do you think? I will put them in the mail, and hopefully my friends and their babies will be happy with their new cuddly blankets.