Thursday, July 31, 2008

Making a minkee and flannel blankie

Here's how I made my minkee and flannel blankie. This is not an original idea. I saw it at a local quilt shop several years ago but am just now getting around to making one. Their model used pieced strips of flannel (kind of like the first minkee blanket, but bigger squares). I don't remember what they used for binding. It might have been plain cotton.

First, ask your Quilting Supervisor to get her furry little butt off the rulers so you can cut your fabrics easier. [I love you, Emma!]

For the center, I cut a rectangle of double-sided minkee-type fabric, about 20" x 30". For reasons you'll see a bit later, I recommend cutting it a little shorter than that - maybe 20" x 25". The flannel strips are cut 10" wide, selvage to selvage. Cross-cut 4 pieces at 30" (or 25") and 4 pieces at 39".

Starting with the long sides of the minkee and your 25" or 30" pieces of flannel, layer the minkee between two pieces of the flannel, with the wrong sides out, matching the cut edges, as shown:

Pin well and sew together. I used a 1/4" seam allowance, but it might not be a bad idea to go a little wider than that, since flannel tends to be a bit ravelly. Do this for both sides.

Fold the flannel layers back on both sides, matching the cut edges. I pinned along the edges to keep them from shifting around as I moved them.

Next, layer the 39" strips of flannel across the other edges the same way:

Stitch and flip just like before. After that, I pinned all the raw edges together and stitched about 3/8" from the edge all the way around to keep everything together. You now have a reversible blanket, ready for binding.

I used packaged bias cotton quilt binding for the first one, but I like the satin blanket binding better. I folded back about 3/8" of the satin binding, pressed the fold and lined it up at the edge of the blanket. You can see this part in the last picture. Tuck the flannel edges into the binding, right into the fold. Pin every 2-3", since the satin is slippery. I used a 3-step zigzag stitch all the way across. Must be patient, since the 3-step takes a while.

Fold the binding around the next side, adjust the mitered folds on both sides and pin in place. I started stitching right in the corner to avoid having to hand stitch the folds, or leaving them unstitched. This is what the corners look like:

If you don't like that look, you could pin the binding around all 4 sides, stitch just the edges and leave the folds unstitched.

This, my friends, is why I recommend making the minkee a bit shorter (or the flannel strips a bit narrower):

Yep, ran out of binding with 7" to go. Urgh! So I'll go back to JoAnn Fabrics tomorrow, get another package of binding, sew it (diagonally) to the end of this one, trim it a little longer than the end of the blanket, fold the end under so it's even, miter the corners and stitch it from end to end.

I'm *much* happier with this one, short binding notwithstanding. I have enough flannel and minkee to make one more of this type. I'm going to change it up a bit, though. I have some scraps from other baby quilts, but not enough to use the same fabric all the way around. So I'm going to use what I have and clear out the stash. Pictures this weekend.

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