Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket…(with applique)

When Chloe was about 8 months old, she flew with me to California for my grandma’s funeral.  Just the 2 of us.  While there, we had some time to kill one afternoon, so 2 of my sisters and I walked the long hallways of the mall.  I was pushing Chloe along in her stroller and suddenly, she became sleepy and fussy.  I realized she needed a nap, STAT.  She wasn’t a fan of sleeping anywhere other than her bed, in her really dark room.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen here in the long hallways of the mall.  My sisters and I entered Pottery Barn Kids to look around a bit, while Chloe continued to fuss.  I tried all of my normal tricks but nothing was working.  In the back of the store, they had shelves of these super cuddly Minky Blankets and out of desperation, I grabbed one from the shelf and let her hold it.  Right away, she pulled it up near her head, nuzzled her face right into it, and drifted off to sleep.  Ha.  You better believe I overpaid for that super snuggly little blanket right then and there.  Since that day, Chloe has slept with that pink-on-one-side-white-on-the-other Minky Blanket for every nap and for bedtime at night.  In fact, one night it took extra long to find that darn blanket and I realized I needed a back-up.  Done.  I bought a duplicate blanket, several months later…..because no other blankets consoled her like that pink/white Minky one did.  (Believe me, we tried on several occasions to trick her with a similar one.  Nope, she’s no dummy!)  So those two blankets have been on rotation for over two years.  

 

I know every child is different but there’s something about Minky that is just so cuddly and soothing.  So, with this little guy who’s on his way (about 5 more more weeks until my due date…wahoo!), I knew I wanted to save some money and make one for him myself.  Plus, there are so many really cute Minky Fabric prints nowadays too!

 

Oh, also, a friend of mine brought over a darling flannel baby blanket the other day (thanks Lindsay!) that had self-binding around the edges, and it reminded me that I still have never tried that technique on a blanket.  So I added that right in and WOWEE…….I’m so glad I did, because it turned out darling with this minky!  Oh, and it was a little faster than adding your own binding.  Extra cool!

 

Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket (with applique).  So fast.  So cuddly! --- Make It and Love It 

 

And for fun, I added this little appliqued ‘BOY’ to the front.  But you can leave that off or add any ol’ shape you want.  But check out those mitered corners……it’s all one continuous piece from the back. 

Pretty. Darn. Cool.

 

Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket (with applique).  So fast.  So cuddly! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

And I’m sure you’ve run your fingers across Minky Fabric before…….but in case you haven’t, ahhhhhhh, it’s the softest type of fabric you’ll ever touch.  Like, triple teddy bear soft.  And those little bumps on the backing of this particular minky?  I love it for babies.  Such a great texture. 

 

Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket (with applique).  So fast.  So cuddly! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

And yeah, minky fabric is pretty pricey.  But still, the cost of making this was still cheaper than buying more “emergency” blankets from Pottery Barn.  And the color selections are so much better when you make your own.  PLUS, there’s just something fun about making something yourself that you know will be loved and cuddled and snuggled.

 

Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket (with applique).  So fast.  So cuddly! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

I know, I know…..I’ve already made so many simple blankets but I think I’m officially done.  (Find all the other baby blankets I’ve made in my baby tutorial section.)  Truly, you can never have enough.  And they all have their own purpose — some are for swaddling, others for warmth, some work well for nursing, others are used simply for cuddling.  I love them all.  (Plus, that means less time washing laundry. :) )

 Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket (with applique).  So fast.  So cuddly! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

 Okay, let me show you how fun and SIMPLE these are!

 

 

Supplies:

  • 1 yard of front fabric, minky
  • 1 yard of backing fabric, minky
  • fusible adhesive (only if you add the applique)
  • a wide ruler, with a nice 90 degree angle
  • lots of pins

**Note: you can use flannel fabric instead……and it would work just as well!

**This amount of fabric will result in a blanket that is about 30 x 40 inches…..with some leftover minky for another project.

 

Before we begin, I bought my minky at fabric.com.  They have a whole bunch of minky fabric to choose from.  They also ship for free when you order more than $35, which is pretty easy to do when you’re shopping at a fabric store.  Also, search around online for a coupon, they almost always have one running.

 

Oh, and if you’ve never sewn with minky, let me share a few helpful tips:

  • It’s polyester, not cotton, so it has some stretch to it…but generally only in one direction. (i.e. it stretches left to right but not up and down.)
  • Use lots of pins while sewing with minky and that will help keep the fabric in place.
  • This stuff sheds a good amount, so just be prepared.  But I have definitely sewn with worse……so it’s not horrific.  Just be prepared to vacuum when you’re done! :)
  • It is more of a medium weight fabric, so it’s pretty warm.  And crazy cuddly!
  • Because this fabric is synthetic, it will melt under the iron.  So if you absolutely need to iron on it (like applique), ALWAYS place a piece of fabric between your iron and the minky.
  • Ironing can flatten the fluffiness of the minky, and can ruin the minky that has those little raised dots, so never leave the iron on for too long.
  • It machine washes/dries just fine.
  • Works great for pillows, stuffed animals, slippers, etc.

 

 

Okay, enough about that, it’s time to cut your fabric.  Minky has a stretch one way but not the other.  Be sure that you have the stretch going the same way for each of your fabrics and cut to the dimensions listed below.

self-binding minky blanket 

 

 

Now, if you want to applique something on the front, now is the time to do so.  (Here are some other applique ideas I used on my Knit Receiving Blankets, if you want some different templates.)  Oh, and just like the Knit Receiving Blanket Tutorial, I ironed fusible adhesive to the wrong side of some of the extra minky scraps.  Then, I printed out “BOY” from the computer, cut out each letter, and then traced them MIRROR IMAGE onto the paper side of the adhesive.

IMG_5426 

 

 

Then I peeled the backing off and ironed them onto the lower right hand corner of the front blanket piece.  (Remember to use a piece of fabric between your iron and your minky.)  Just be sure that when you’re deciding where to attach them, that you remember there will be a 1/2 inch less of fabric around the edges for a seam allowance.  Then zig-zag stitch around the edges.

IMG_5435 

 

 

Next, you want to find the exact center of each 4 edges of both the backing fabric and the front fabric.  And then place a pin there to mark it.  (The dots below represent a pin.)

self-binding minky blanket 4

 

To find the exact middle of each side, the easiest way is to fold each side in half, and place a pin right at the fold.

IMG_5445

 

 

Here are all 4 pins in place.

IMG_5447

 

 

Then, place your backing piece and your front piece together, with RIGHT SIDES together.  Be sure that the fabrics are both laying the same direction, with the front fabric smaller than the backing fabric, all the way around.  Match up one of the sides of your 2 pieces……however, they obviously are different lengths.  So, match up the center pins of both pieces and then line up the edges.

IMG_5451

 

 

Starting at that center pin and working your way outward, pin the two layers of fabric together.  (And before pinning, make sure that the backing fabric extends beyond the front fabric by 4 inches at each end.  If it’s more or less, one of the layers has stretched a bit.  So, adjust the fabric layers a bit until it’s only 4 inches at each end.)

IMG_5454

 

 

Now, it’s time to sew.  Beginning at that center pin, sew the two layers together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance in one direction, stop, and then start at the center pin and then sew in the other direction.  (Doing so will keep the pull of sewing the same and will keep your overhang of the backing fabric more consistent.)

IMG_5458

 

 

However, when you reach the end (at both ends), stop a 1/2 inch before you reach the end of the top fabric edge.

IMG_5462

 

 

Repeat with the other 3 sides — line up the corresponding sides (with right sides together), match up the center pins from both layers, pin the rest of the side from the center outward, and then sew in place from the center outward.  Just be sure to stop sewing 1/2 inch before each end. 

 

When you reach a corner that’s already been sewn along the neighboring side, just keep the excess fabric out of the way and sew right up until 1/2 inch before the end.  It will look like this.  Perfect.  (The flap on the corner is out of the way for the seam to be sewn along the bottom.)

IMG_5467

 

 

Along one of the sides, leave about an 8 inch opening for turning your blanket right side out.  (Leave the opening on one of the sides that doesn’t stretch as much.  It will help later on when closing up that hole.)

IMG_5479

 

When you’re finished sewing all of your sides, your backing fabric will overhang around all four sides of the front fabric…..plus you’ll have four corners that look really wonky, like the one below.  That’s okay!

IMG_5471

 

 

To create your pretty mitered corners, pick one corner to start with.  Grab the backing fabric and fold it in half diagonally, ignoring the front fabric and letting it just hide on the inside of the folded outer fabric.  You should now have a triangle shape with a fold along the diagonal edge and 2 even layers of raw edges along the flat horizontal edge (at the bottom).  If the very tip of the triangle is a little off, that’s okay…….just be sure that the 2 edges along the bottom where you sewed your front and back pieces together, are nice and evenly matched up.

self-binding minky blanket 3

 

 

Now, it’s time for marking your seam.  Grab a wide ruler that has a nice 90 degree angle (or you could use a piece of printer paper) and line up the very end with the diagonal fold of the triangle.  Move your ruler along that fold until it directly lines up with the very end of the horizontal seam that you created to sew your layers of minky together.  Draw a line with chalk or marker.

IMG_5508

 

 

Before moving your minky an inch, pin those layers in place, so that you’re sure you’ll be sewing right where you need to.  (That minky stuff is slinky and you don’t want it to move and mess you up.)

IMG_5516

 

 

Then sew along your line and trim away the excess fabric.

IMG_5517

 

 

Repeat with all 4 corners.  Then, turn your blanket right side out through the opening you left along one side.  Gently poke out each corner and then you’ll notice your blanket take place.  And go ahead, marvel at those corners……aren’t they cool????

IMG_5520

 

 

Place your blanket on a hard table, counter, or floor and evenly distribute all the edges and make sure everything is laying perfectly flat.  Pin the two layers together, right where the 2 fabrics meet.

IMG_5526

 

 

Oh, and at the opening, pin the top layer of fabric under a 1/2 inch…

IMG_5532

 

 

…and then pin in place.

IMG_5534

 

 

 

Now, sew all the way around the fabric where the two layers meet, zig-zagging the layers together.

IMG_5537

 

 

After you’re done and you notice you’re blanket isn’t laying perfectly flat…….place a layer of fabric over top and iron your blanket very gently.  Don’t leave it on too long or you’ll crush the minky.  But ironing for a second or two will help flatten out some of the bunching, if you have any.

IMG_5539

 

 

 

And that’s it.  How cute is that!

 Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket (with applique).  So fast.  So cuddly! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

Now, it’s time to let your little one snuggle right in.  Or wrap that blanket up and use a baby gift.  So perfect!

 

-Ashley

 

 

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Comments

54 Responses to “Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket…(with applique)”
  1. 1
    Jess M says:

    Very nice, I have a bunch of minky in my stash and a cute little boy to make a gift for-perfect!!

  2. 2
    Mikea says:

    You always have posts at the right time! I have some thermal knit im making into a blanket for my soon to be 2 year old. I couldnt figure out how i wanted to do the binding. This is perfect!! I made one before with minky and baby cord and we still use it. Its a bit wonky bc the stretchy minky (and it was one of my first projects). I’ll give it another try this weekend. Thanks!!

    • 2.1
      Ashley says:

      Haha…..how funny! Perfect!

      And yeah, minky can be a little finicky because of the stretch but just use lots of pins and sew slowly. :)

  3. 3
    Katie P says:

    I don’t understand, you placed the two ends at the very end and pinned together and sewed, so how do you come up with a border on all four sides when done? Very cute blanket but just don’t get it. Could you explain i to me??

    • 3.1
      Olive says:

      I too am confused!

    • 3.2
      Ashley says:

      SO, let’s see…..are you confused about sewing all 4 sides of the blanket together? Or about sewing each of the corners together after drawing the line?

      If it’s the sides being all sewn together, you sew all 4 sides together, the outer fabric with the front fabric (by matching up the center pins and then pinning outward)…..just the same as the one side that I showed above. Because the back fabric is bigger…..it just hangs over naturally and creates a border of fabric. If you have the backing fabric pulled all the way to one side, there’s lots of overhang all on one side, but once you shift the back fabric around after sewing all the sides, it re-distributes and is more like 2 inches around all sides.

      If you’re confused about each mitered corner, then this little trick is almost easier to understand once you have your fabric in hand. But once you create that angled seam at each corner and then turn right side out, these perfectly mitered corners are created after you turn it right side out.

      Hope that helps! (But if not, just let me know!)
      Ashley

    • 3.3
      Vanessa says:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lqwdNqMZ8Ro Hi! I hope this is not inappropriate, to add the link I found on YouTube. I, too, was confused as to how matching up the sides, when the back is bigger than the front, how it works out once you flip it. The video I found is excellent for a visual learner. :) please don’t hesitate to let me know if it’s not ok to add a link from YouTube (or other source for that matter).

      For me, I had the blanket cut, read and re-read the instructions. Your tutorial is amazing, I love the pictures and detailed explanations. My mind just could not conjure up the seam lines.

      Hope this helps! Thanks for the great tutorial! I’m making my blanket for my very best friend’s daughter, who had a beautiful baby boy yesterday! :)

      Kind regards, Vanessa

  4. 4
    Cheryl Maynard says:

    I have spent YEARS trying to figure out how to do this kind of backing with mitered corners!!! Thank you SO MUCH for the tutorial!!

    • 4.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh, this is perfect then. You’re so welcome!!

      • 4.1.1
        phyl. says:

        I’ve been doing LOTS of these little “cuddlers” for a good while. I’ve never made one that was not instantly loved. So many of my cuddlers have become problems at daycare because the other kids wanted one, too. Sooo, not having grandchildren of my own and always having an out of control stash, I’ve happily supplied many little folks with these little cuddlers. I made one that had cupcakes printed on it recently for my grandniece. She called me as soon as she received it and asked me, “Have you ever cuddled with a cupcake? I have and it’s awesome!” She just turned four and has enjoyed one of these “cuddlers” for every birthday since she has blessed this world. It’s great to know that our handmade gifts bring such joy. Ashley, thank you so much for introducing young (and old) folks to the joys of making things with your own two hands. Handmade items are so loved and appreciated by all.

  5. 5
    Kate says:

    Adorable! My little guy loves the little bear I made him (pattern here if interested: https://www.etsy.com/listing/183803966/pdf-pattern-owen-snuggly-bear?ref=shop_home_feat_1)

    It is definitely crisis if we can’t find him! I think I need to make another.

  6. 6
    cara says:

    LOVE this! And I love the story you shared, I completely identified with the “No matter what I tried, NOTHING was working, until that desperate grab for the blanket,” and yikes, PB — but there is (almost) no price too steep to pay for a restful child :) Can’t wait to use this tutorial!

  7. 7
    Queenie says:

    Beautiful minky blanket turned out very nice. Never worked with minky fabric before. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • 7.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh, you’ll LOVE the feel of it! it can get a little tricky because of the stretch but once you get the hang of that, it’s really fun fabric.

  8. 8
    Ale Y says:

    I’m very new to sewing and you have been so helpful to me with your clear & detailed instructions multiple times. I love your blog and wait each week to see what project you will come up with next. Thank you so much for doing what you do. It really does help those of us new to sewing. That said I was wondering if you need to pre-wash and dry the minky and also did you use a walking foot to sew up this project?

    • 8.1
      Ashley says:

      You know, I’m lazy when it comes to pre-washing. But my recommended answer is, yes, always pre-wash just to be sure. But did I for this blanket? Nope. I sometimes risk not pre-washing when I’m using fabrics that are the same and I know they will shrink about the same and I have my stretches going the same way. But if I was making this blanket with one layer of minky and one layer of cotton, I would have absolutely pre-washed first….simply because those two fabrics will behave so differently in the wash.

      Anyway, just to be safe, I’d say always pre-wash. :)

      Oh, and no, I didn’t use the walking foot but if you have one, it would probably help a little bit. But I really didn’t see the need for it. (If sewing a stretchy fabric and you’re noticing some pulling or rippling of the fabric, just increase the stitch length a bit and that usually fixes the problem. This just helps the needle hop over more of the fabric at once.)

      Ashley

  9. 9
    Lynette says:

    I love how that turned out! Those colors just go so well together!

  10. 10
    Shelly says:

    Adults can have one too, right? I have a new cousin -he would LOVE this!! Fabulous tutorial, thank, you so much. :)

  11. 11
    Shelly says:

    So, Ashley, you can add “Enabler” to your list of talents….. I just got back from Fabric.com, and am awaiting my MINKY fabric! Ha, ha!!!
    I hope the blanket is one of many that I make!

    • 11.1
      Ashley says:

      Hahaha…..this made me laugh! :) But I know, there is SO MUCH really cute minky over there, huh? I actually bought 4 different colors the day I bought the 2 colors for this blanket. I just couldn’t help myself. Wanna join my support group? Haha! ;)

  12. 12
    Emma G. says:

    My son LOVES his minky blanket that we received as a gift! One day I noticed he was getting very attached to the blanket, and knowing that I didn’t want to drag that big thing everywhere with us I sewed up a smaller owl security blanket using a minky fabric. Mr. Owl is his best friend!! I actually just open up a shop ( http://etsy.com/shop/finddailyjoy/ )selling the same blankets and have a few more animal ideas in mind. :)

    Your blanket turned out great and I’m sure your little guy will love it! Thanks for sharing all of these cute baby projects recently. :)

    • 12.1
      Ashley says:

      Those little owls are such a cute idea! And the perfect replacement for hauling around a blanket!

      And thanks Emma, glad you’re enjoying them! :)

    • 12.2
      Laura says:

      Emma, those owls are FABULOUS! What a very cute idea :) Maybe you could do a guest post on here……

  13. 13
    cucicucicoo says:

    Oh my goodness… I’ve bound other things with the same piece of backing fabric, but it never occurred to me to do it this way. What genius!! It looks so much easier this way than how I did it. Thanks so much! :) Lisa

  14. 14
    katy says:

    Oh I love minky! I have seen this method for a flannel blanket and have yet to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    • 14.1
      Ashley says:

      Yes, it’s pretty cool! Using this method with flannel would probably be a little easier because flannel doesn’t stretch…..but I just love me some minky! :)

  15. 15
    Bethany says:

    This is AH-mazing!! My sister in law was just telling me that she wished she had more blankets for her second son because oldest son was not crazy about sharing his ;) I ran out and bought gray minky and Winnie the Pooh fabric this afternoon. I love the easy appliqué too! That way it can even have his initial lol. Thank you. These directions are superb as always. Can’t wait to sit down and sew!

  16. 16
    amber b says:

    I love this! Could I do this same technique with minky as the back and a quilting cotton as the front?

    • 16.1
      Deb says:

      Yes you can Amber. You just have to allow for the stretch of the minky. I actually tied my cotton front to make sure the two pieces stayed together.

  17. 17

    I’ve been making something simular for over a year, flannel print on one side and minky on the other side. I do like your construction better, as I was just wraping and topstitching . I also used spray fabic glue to hold the two fabrics together, as both ides are super soft, they can be quilted or just the topstitched edge.

  18. 18
    Jen S says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I’ve made several Minky baby blankets for friends and I look forward to trying this tutorial. My pets also LOVE minky! We’ve recently inherited a new kitten and it seems she was separated from her mother too soon. She LOVES the Minky and simulates milking from her mother on her Minky blanket! She kneads and “milks” on it until she falls asleep. I think it’s the “furry” exterior, plus the softness and warmth of it. But she finds great security and comfort in it.

  19. 19
    Kristina Noall says:

    That. Is. So. COOL! Would this work for a bigger blanket?

    • 19.1
      Mindy says:

      I wish you had an answer to this before I started… I wanted to use the whole width of my minky fabric, so I adjusted the measurements using your ratios (47 x 60 … & … 37 x 50) and after turning it right-side out it was not lying flat like your picture. I am so bummed and not sure how to fix it. After discussing it with my husband (good at math) he said the area of the rectangle exponentially increases, so simply adjusting the ratios wouldn’t work.

      I know I will just end up ruining the fabric if I try to unpick it… what is your suggestion??? I am certain I did not sew it incorrectly… I

      I can tell I should have made the two pieces of fabric closer in size to each other, maybe something like 47 x 60 … & … 39 x 53 instead.

  20. 20
    Corrine says:

    Awesome tutorial! I’ve been sitting on a stash of minky I bought from Pick Your Plum and with our baby coming in nine weeks, I know what I’m going to make! I love that you and I have had kids within weeks/months of each other every time (this is #4 for me too!). It’s always so perfect b/c you’re whipping up something I can always use.

    One question I had though…I LOVE fabric.com (we live on an air base overseas and they’re awesome on shipping time). However, I’ve noticed that since about last fall, I haven’t been able to find those handy coupons online. You mentioned it in your tutorial. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I haven’t been successful in a % off coupon in months! Any ideas? I have been quite disappointed (and honestly more slow in my ordering) because of this news, so any input would be appreciated!!

  21. 21
    Rebecca says:

    Fantastic tutorial! I bought some minky on sale at the end of last winter and have been wanting to make some blankets for my girls to use when they’re reading on the couch (it’s winter time down here in Australia) and with number 4 due in late November will have to make an extra one for him/her. Thanks!!

  22. 22
    Jentri says:

    Can you make this bigger? How do you figure out the dimensions if you wanted to change the size? All of the self building blankets I’ve ever seen have been square, I like that yours is a rectangle.

  23. 23
    Wendy says:

    Do you have a pdf of this tutorial? I can’t convert it to a documental with HTML to PDF as it is too long.

  24. 24
    Lindsay W says:

    Ash, thanks so much for the tute, it was perfect timing for my friend’s baby shower. I just want to let you know that the part regarding cutting off the minky corners at the right angle, well, it was a little hard to follow. I ended up cutting the wrong angle and poof, had to get out that seam ripper and undo the whole blanket to start over! I hope you don’t mind the constructive criticism, just don’t want other mammas to wind up like me :) Yours turned out super cute, congrats on #4!!!
    ~Lindsay from Ohio

  25. 25
    Steph says:

    Just finished one if these it is awesome! Thank you. I was wondering if u could use minky in bottom and cotton or flannel on top? Would it make it super difficult because they stretch differently?

    • 25.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh good, glad it worked out for you! And yes, you can use different fabric types…….but I would definitely wash/dry your fabrics before sewing them together.

  26. 26
    tracie c. says:

    brilliant tut! totally demystified it! so glad i found your blog! following you and retweeting. just awesome!

  27. 27
    Cloe T. says:

    Can this blanket be washed in the washing machine? I was going to use it with a newborn but am worried about the chemicals getting on the baby

  28. 28
    Meagan says:

    When I did double minky, my smaller centre piece bunched up quite a bit after it was all done and didn’t lay flat. Is that normal?

  29. 29
    Robyn says:

    This tutorial is so well written! Mine turned out perfect!! Might be my favorite pintest pin to date!! Cudos!!

Notes and Comments