Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Self Binding Receiving Blanket for Dummies--like me:)

I fell in love with these receiving blankets from this blog (which I adore), but could not figure out the darn tutorial. SO I decided for all of those people out there who want to be crafty but who need lots of pictures and step by step instructions galore---I would make a dummy tutuorial.  They really are pretty easy, and super cute, but just take a little insruction to get throught that first one. So GO AHEAD--TRY IT. This is so easy even Emersyn could do it--if I let her touch my sewing machine--which I do not:)

Here goes!!!

First, you need 1 yard of front fabric (the piggies) and 11/4 yard of back and binding fabric (the polka dots). BTW--the top picture is from another blanket I made--so the piggies and polka dots are opposite--sorry.  You want more of the fabric you want around the border and less of the one you want in the middle--my bad!!
Then you need to cut your fabrics into two squares.  You want them to be proportionate to each other, so if your bigger square is 43 inches, you little square should be 33 inches.  Or something close.  This determines how wide your border will be.  I usually do about 40 inches and 30 inches--but they do not need to be exact. 
 So make a triangle out of your fabric--lining up the edges and cut off the excess (keep this fabric becuase it is the perfect size to make a small burp cloth). 

Do the same with the middle fabric.  You need two perfect squares, so make sure to really line up the edges--if they are not square you will have uneven borders--bigger on one side than the other. 
I am a horrible cutter, so after cutting off my edges I folded my ends and cute a straight edge with my rotary cutter.  This just makes sewing the seams easier because your edges are straight. 
Next, fold your squares in half and mark the center.  You can do this with a pin, but I like to use a washable marker (I stole one from Em).  You have to do this on all four sides and on both pieces of fabric. You are marking the center on the top edges, not the center of the fabric--Get it???  If not click on the picture and look for my orange dot:)  BTW--Yes that is my stomach pooching into the picture and YES I am wearing my blue Camp Wooten sweatshirt from the 6th grade!!! 
By this time my little helper was REALLY doing a great job measuring my fabric.  I am still not entirely sure where my measuring tape is though????
Now here is the crazy part.  Take both pieces of fabric, with right sides together, and line up the center dots on one edge.  So touch the dots to each other and put a pin through both layers to hold the pieces together.  Pin along that whole edge.  Place your last pin about 1/2 inch away from the edge of the smaller fabric (on both ends).  I got help from Manny The Mammoth--and a lot of other junk that Em thought I needed--glue stick--huh??
Next, set your machine up to sew a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Line it up so that your seam will begin where the pin has marked (1/2 inch away from the edge of the small fabric). Sew along that whole seam until....
You get to the pin marking the other edge of the fabric.  So you will have sewed the whole edge from 1/2 inch away until 1/2 inch away from the other side. 
THEN---grab the opposite edge from where you just sewed, and pull it over to the opposite edge of your bigger piece.  Again match up the dots and pin the centers together.  Go throgh all of the steps and sew that edge together--remember to stop about 1/2 inch from each edge and use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. 
Now it gets kinda tricky.  You will do the same for the third side.  Pull the fabric over to the edge and you will get this little corder sticking out.  It looks and feels wierd, but that is the way it should look--trust me!!  This time you will want to sew from the end of your side seam--which should be 1/2 inch away from the edge.  So your seam should start there (like you rounded the corner) and sew along until you get to the other edge and hit that seam. 
If you have a helper they might be losing patience by now, but keep working.  It will pay off in the end!!  Mine wanted--NO BLANKIE MOMMA--NO BLANKIE!!! 
On the last side you need to leave an opening so that you can turn your blanket right side out.  So, pin the dots together and then mark two more dots.  This will be where you start and stop sewing.  So sew from the edge (1/2 inch away) to the dot.  Then stop sewing.  Then start sewing at the next black dot until you reach the final edge(and meet the other side seam--about 1/2 inch away from the edge).
Your finished square should look like these little pinched pastas from Olive Garden.  I think if you make a cute blanket from this tutorial then you should treat yourself to a nice pasta dinner as a treat--Just a thought:)
Ok--now you are making the cute corners--which is a little tricky, but make the blanket soooo cute.  So fold the corder so that the seams line up and you have a point.
Fold the corner over until it meets the other edge.  Make sure that your fold (the one opposite of where I am holding) reaches the seam. You then need to iron it flat.  This will give you an ironed crease.  This crease should reach the edge of your seams--if it does not, pull your corder down further.  You have to reach the seam or else you will have a little opening in your corner--no bueno!! So to explain again--see the seam at the bottom of the photo??? Of course you do.  The line that you have ironed (the fold) should run right up to the end of that seam.  So when you unfold your corner the sewed seam and folded line should make a 120 degreeish angle.  MAKE SENSE??  Ok--now sew right along that folded line--so that the seam is right ON TOP OF the folded line that you made. See how my two seams meet right on????

Once I sew that line I turn that corner right side out to make sure it worked---Sadly I do that after each corner and pray it works EVERY TIME!!  It should be a cute little corner all squared up.  Make sure there are not little openings or wierd puckers.  If it looks good, turn it inside out again.
Cut off the extra fabric from your corner and do the same for ALL four corners. 
Ok, you are soooo close.  Now turn your blanket right side out.  Use a turning tool to make the corners nice and sharp.  You can also use a metal nail file or a pencil, but make sure you do not poke through your corner--you will cry!!  Turn all of the corners as nice and square as you can.  Then iron the blanket flat and make sure your edges are nice and crisp--I like to use lots of spray starch to get nice square edges. 
Then go to your 6 inch opening and fold your raw edge under.  This is where you will be glad you used a 1/2 inch seam instead of a 1/4 inch seam.  If you used a 1/4 inch seam, it is harder to catch the edges---I did that twice before getting smarter:)
Now sew around the edge of your blanket.  You will want to be pretty close to your seamline so that you catch the raw edge.  I tried using a zig zag stitch and liked it on the front, but on the back it was not as sharp.  BUT really I think you can use whatever kind of seam you want on there.  When you get to a corner, leave your needle in the down position and then turn your blanket 90 degrees and sew along the next edge--that way you have nice cute corner seams. 
After going around all four sides, double check to make sure you have gotten your raw edges hooked up in that 6 inch opeing.  If not, you could always hand stitch it or sew around using a closer seam--not fun!!!  I usually have to iron a little bit more to make all of the edges nice and crisp again. 
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!!!  A cuter than cute gift for you or for someone you love.  Now that you have the hang of it, you can whip these out in less than an hour--So get to it!!  I know there are tons of pregnant ladies out there who you will need a cute shower gift for:)  PHEWWW!! Let me know if you make one or seven of these.  I would love to know if the instructions make sense to anyone else:)


marciekoch said...

You're awesome - this reminded me to throw in mine that I started for this weekend. Maybe you can help me figure it out!

Adam Kaplan said...

Love this!

I work with AllFreeSewing and have been trying to contact you. Please email me if there is a good way to reach you. Thanks!

Adam Kaplan