Sunday, August 17, 2014

Baby Tag Blankie Tutorial

I have made more tag blankies than anything else.  They don't use much fabric or take much time.  My son used to love them as a baby and I've probably made him 6-8 different ones over the years as his likes changed.  My daughter has 3 of her own now. 

You'll need a total of 1/4 yr cotton quilting fabric for the front, 1/4 yard minky, fleece, or fuzzy fabric for the back, 1/4 yard fusible fleece, and assorted ribbon (in addition to a sewing machine, pins, scissors, etc).  You will have enough to make 2-3 blankies with that much fabric but if it is cut any narrower, it won't work. 

First, you need to decide what you want it to look like.  You can just cut a single square from your quilting fabric or you can do 4 squares- my favorite. 

Overall you want the front piece to be 12"-14" finished size. I cut my 4 squares to 6 1/8" square.  This number isn't as important as just making the squares even.  Feel free to make them bigger or smaller as you see fit. 

 Then begin sewing.  Sew 2 squares together, then the other 2.  I use 1/4" seams. 
 Once you have 2 rectangles, press and sew those together. 
 Press the front and check placement.  At this point if something is off you can befriend a seam ripper and begin again. 
 Here is what the back of mine looks like. 
 I cut my fusible fleece to be slightly smaller than my front piece.  This keeps it from adhering to my pressing cloth or ironing board.  Follow the instructions that come with your fleece and iron it to the wrong side of the fabric.  This step gives a bit more cushion and helps to the keep the raw edges from unraveling over time. 
 Now it's time to place your ribbon.  I cut my pieces to 4.5" lengths and lay them out in a pattern. 
When it's time to pin, I like my ribbon pieces to be evenly spaced.   I begin with the centers of each side.  I fold a piece of ribbon in half and pin it centered on the seam, raw edges lined up.  Notice that my pin is roughly 1" from the edge of the fabric so that I won't have to remove the pins as I sew risking shifting. 

 The way my side ended up I spaced my ribbons 7/8" apart.  It's slightly different for each blankie.  Play around until you find something appealing or just make them completely random. 

REMEMBER! Leave 3/4" from each corner bare- no ribbon in this space.  We will be using 1/2" seams when we sew the edge and we don't want to catch our ribbons in that.  
 Here is mine all pinned.
 Stitch around the blankie close to the edge just to tack the ribbons in place. 

In each corner, pin the 2 ribbons as shown.  This helps to ensure that neither will move and get caught in our edge seam.
 Now measure your finished front piece and cut the backing (minky, fleece, etc) to fit that size. 

Lay the minky right side down ON TOP of the ribbons. 
 Using a 1/2" seam, stitch around the edge of the blankie leaving a 3" hole in one side. 
 Turn your blankie right side out through this hole.  Top stitch around the entire blankie using a scant 1/4" seam- this will close your hole. 
 Voila! Finished.

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