Sew Creative: A festive patchwork blanket

Christmas blanketI mentioned the Christmas Blanket Project in my last Sew Creative post, here.

Well, it’s finished!

Things I learned:

  • Patchwork blankets are ridiculously time-consuming.
  • Don’t leave the sewing machine on when a puppy is running around by the foot pedal (the puppy is fine, my fabric was not).
  • Sometimes less is more.


My initial plan for this blanket was to decorate the patches with festive fabric symbols, like robins, Christmas trees, bells, etc. When I saw the finished base product, however, I changed my mind. Due to the fabrics I used, it was already quite decorative and neat. I thought adding the embellishments might actually spoil the look of it.

Never one to waste anything (and considering I’d already completed one robin decoration in anticipation), I decided to employ it as a ‘signature’ of kinds. I hand-stitched it to the bottom corner of the blanket underside (the fleece side) instead of the top side, and I’m very pleased with the finished look.

Topside:

topside

Underside:

underside

Robin ‘signature’:

robin


All that remains is for me to iron it (the cotton patches were creased during the final stages) and wrap it up for Mama Goodacre in festive paper.

(Oh, and make another one for my sister because now she’s seen it, she thinks it’d go rather nicely in her front room…)


The Hows of It All

Fabric 


Approach

Step one: 

Measure the blanket and work out how many patches you want to use. Work out the dimensions of each patch and leave an inch or so of wiggle-room for when you stitch it together.

Step two:

Cut out all patch fabric before starting to sew. I can’t stress how much easier this makes the process.

Step three:

Lay out all fabric (in order) on the blanket (see picture below). Make sure to overlay the patches slightly so you get a realistic idea of sizing once you’ve sewn them together. Make sure that the patches go over the edge of the blanket on all four sides.

Step four:

Gather patches in strips. Sew the patches of each strip together. In order to avoid showing seams, place two patches face-side (or right side) together and sew edge. That way, when you open them up again, you won’t see the stitching. Repeat this for each strip until you have completed all strips (I had 5 strips of 9 patches).

Step five:

Using the same process, sew each strip together. You now have a finished topside of the blanket.

Step six:

Using the same process (of face-side/right-side together), put the top-side fabric on the fleece blanket. Pin it in straight lines around the edge. The blanket I used had rounded edge, which worked very well for me because it gave me a bit of extra fabric to work with.

Step seven:

Sew the edges of the blanket, following the straight lines marked out by the pins. Sew 3 edges completely and leave the 4th edge with a gap in the corner wide enough to fit your hand through comfortably.

Step eight: 

Turn the blanket the right way, so it looks like the finished product should. Hand stitch the gap that is left over.

Step nine:

Iron it ON A GENTLE HEAT. Let’s not burn any of your beautiful new blanket, now. But you will need to iron it. Turning the blanket inside out will have creased the cotton patches something rotten.

AND YOU’RE DONE.


Fun facts and figures:

  • If you use the same dimensions I did, you can usually get about 4 cotton patches from each fat quarter.
  • If you work it out right, you will have plenty left over to make a matching patchwork pillow.

Christmas blanket (free download).


My next Sew Creative projects:


 


Merry Christmas, everyone.

alinea baubles

 

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