The itch is on.
You know, to hurry up and complete every last baby project before this little one arrives in a few weeks. (And clean out that closet, scrub the baby bouncer, clean out the fridge, stock up on more baby necessities, and maybe organize the kids closet……okay and scrub the toilets. But that husband of mine is so good at that one. We’re going to have to make some deals.)
I keep thinking maybe by chance I’ll go into labor early. But I have no idea what that feels like, since I was induced with the last two. But as I was cutting up and redoing the baby car seat cover over the weekend, my heart started to panic…….”Ack, what if this baby girl arrives and her car seat is in a trillion pieces?!!” So I worked all weekend to finish it up.
Did she come?
Nope. That’s okay. The car seat is done. Phew.
(Tutorial for that coming soon…..there’s just a lot of pictures to sort through first.)
But I do have something simple and cozy to share today.
When my fresh new babies come home……I love to wrap them up as snuggly as I can. And knit seems to keep those little flailing arms/legs nice and secure inside of the blanket. The stretch of it seems to work best for me while they’re so itty bitty.
So I was excited to make a snuggly little baby blanket for this baby.
Oh, and a few hats
…..because they’re so quick and simple. (Look for the Baby Hat tutorial here.
A great combo though, right?
Especially if you’re into making your own baby gifts.
Who wouldn’t love a sweet new hat/blanket set for their new baby?
The blanket is one layer and works great as a receiving blanket.
Or swaddling blanket. Or play mat for the floor.
And I’m kinda crazy about the applique’d lettering along the front. You could place the baby’s name on there too…..but I didn’t because we’re still undecided. (That’s another topic… Ha!)
And how about that scrumptious ribbing around the edges… It adds such a great texture to the blanket.
Success. Another baby project completed.
(Remember, the baby hat tutorial can be found here.)
Would you like to make a knit baby blanket too?
For this project……I found some interlock knit for half off at whipstitch here
but the colors I bought are gone. But the fabric is Michael Miller Interlock Knit (Designer: Patty Young)…..in case you want to search elsewhere.
First, I pre-washed my knit (Why prewash? Read this post.)
and then cut a large square that was 36 x 36 inches. You can make your blanket any size you like….but this seemed like a good standard size for a receiving blanket.
Then I rounded off each corner. The easiest way for me to do this is to trace a bowl right along the corner with a marker…
…….and then cut off the circular corners.
Next, cut some strips of ribbing to use around your edges, just like bias tape…..but no need
to cut on the bias if you’re using ribbing. It stretches and goes around curves really well.
If you can’t locate ribbing though, just cut some regular knit the same way…..but cut it on the bias. (What is the bias and bias tape? Click here.)
And what is ribbing? It’s a knit fabric with a distinct vertical ribbed pattern, that allows for a good amount of stretch. You’ll usually see it around tshirt collars, cuffs, or even little boy undies.
I cut long strips of ribbing that were 2 inches wide, with the ribbing lines running parallel to each 2 inch side. I sewed enough of the 2 inch strips together to create a piece of “bias tape” (but not cut on the actual bias) to go all the way around the blanket.
Then I double folded my long strip of ribbing, to create my “bias tape”.
(Need help with folding and ironing your bias tape? Click here
Now, begin on one long edge of the quilt and start sandwiching the bias tape ribbon around the edges and corners of the blanket. Use pins to keep the ribbing in place.
Here’s where an extra little tool may come in handy. Have you ever seen a walking foot for your sewing machine? The walking foot is on the left and the standard foot is on the right. I had never used mine before this project (and you can still do this without one) but it sure helped while sewing with knits.
How it works is, do you see those gold bars that run from the front to the back of the foot? Each time your feed dogs move up to grab your fabric (the pokey little bars that are down below on the sewing machine base that move up and down, grabbing your fabric as you sew), those little gold bars on the walking foot move up/down at the same time. The bars and the feed dogs work together to grab your fabric and pull it along and keeps it in place as your needle makes a stitch. This is especially helpful with knit, as it helps eliminate stretch.
So, as I stitched the ribbed binding around my blanket, the walking foot really helped keep the knit from stretching so much.
(But you really can use a regular foot. I have used both. But with a regular foot, it helps to increase your stitch length and re-adjust your presser foot as you go, so you’re not pulling on the fabric too much. BUt if you have a walking foot………give it a try!!)
But honestly, no matter what tricks you try, there seems to always be a little waviness while sewing with knits.
So I always, always, always steam/iron my knit……..which kind of shrinks the knit back into place after sewing. (Keep in mind, you don’t want to iron like you do with a wrinkly cotton and pull your hot iron across your fabric. You just want to place the iron down and let the steam shrink it up. Then move the iron and repeat.)
And that’s it for the main blanket.
All nice and bound.
Onto the applique…
I simply printed out “baby girl” on the computer in the font and size I wanted. I should have printed mirror image….but didn’t. So I turned the paper over, held it up to the window, then placed a piece of the iron-on adhesive (paper side up) over the letters and traced around them. (I used Heat ‘n Bond adhesive……just like like this
Then I placed the Heat ‘n Bond, with the traced letters, over some of the same ribbing that I used for my edging, and ironed the adhesive down. Make sure the paper side is up and the shiny adhesive side is facing down.
Then I cut out each letter…….
Then peeled off the paper backing, flipped over each letter that are now facing the right way…….and layed them on the blanket where I wanted them.
Then I ironed them down flat (no steam) and then stitched around each letter with a straight stitch. You could also do a zig-zag around the edges.
And that’s it.
A nice little knit blanket…..with a little personalized applique along the front.
**Remember to click here for the knit baby hat tutorial.