Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Blankets 3 Ways {#2}

Here's the second blanket of three for the newest addition to our neighborhood. The top is a "race" or "jelly roll 1600" type of design. Here's some more about those along with pictures of other beautiful full-size race quilts.

I was lucky enough to find a jelly roll that used the same colors from baby's room. The parents wanted baby's gender to be a surprise, so they decorated the nursery in pretty muted blues, greens and grays. It's really a stunning room and a great concept for a gender-neutral color scheme!!

To make this blanket I used one half of a jelly roll (20 strips), backing fabric and matching fabric for the binding. Its finished size is 31" x 41".

First I sewed together all the strips with a diagonal seam. To do this you lay two strips together, right sides facing, in what I fancily like to call an "upside down L" (LOL). Then you sew a straight diagonal line from corner to corner, and when you open it up you have nice diagonal line. Do this over and over, joining all the strips together into one big strip.

Sew the strips together with a diagonal line.

When finished it will look like this, with a diagonal seam.
Sew all the strips together and you'll get a nice pile of one long strip. :O)

After you have one long strip, find the midpoint, move up a little and cut so that you now have two long strips. You don't want to cut it exactly in half or the diagonals will line up and that's not what you want. Now sew these two strips together. Again, find the midpoint and cut. Repeat this process until you have your blanket top. Easy peasy. Time consuming, yes, but also easy.

After cutting and sewing the strip together once, then cutting in half and getting ready to sew together again.
The finished top with all the pieces sewn together.

Next I made bias tape for the binding that was from the same fabric as the backing. If you have never done this, it's easy and much more economical than purchasing ready-made bias tape. Plus you know you have a finished binding that matches just right. Bias tape makers come in a variety of sizes. To make the bias tape, simply cut your fabric to the right width and length, run it through the bias tape maker tool and press with an iron and you're done. I also like to spray with starch before ironing so the binding folds stay neat and clean. Mary Ellen's Best Press starch spray in lavendar is my favorite!!

Making the bias tape for binding is easy!!

My 1" finished bias tape (and my handy dandy bias tape maker).

Next I pinned together the top and bottom pieces of fabric, wrong sides together, and stitched-in-the-ditch up every other row of strips. This gives a nice quilted look and also helps the blanket hold together. There is not any batting in the middle -- you certainly could do this if you wanted. But for this blanket I chose to keep it simple. I personally like blankets that are not too thick -- I find they are great for simple cover-ups when a thick blanket would just be too much, are easy to transport and great for baby to sit on and play.

The last step was to put on the binding, and I used a mitered corner (if you need help with this, do a quick search on YouTube for some great tutorials).


Binding with mitered corners; top and bottom of blanket.

Back of blanket.

This blanket is fairly easy to put together and just requires a little time to get done. The design makes a lot of impact for minimal effort compared to other piecing techniques and patterns. Add some matching burp cloths or other baby essentials and you have yourself a great shower gift!!

A pretty blanket ready for a beautiful new baby!!

So now you've seen Blanket #1 and #2 -- next week will finish this neighborhood Baby Blanket triparte!! But no worries -- if you like baby blankets there are more to come. :O)

2 comments:

  1. This is gorgeous!! Do you remember the name of the jelly roll you used? It is so hard to find gender neutral jelly rolls.

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  2. Thank you, Jenn!! I purchased the jelly roll and backing fabric at Hobby Lobby, but I don't remember the name. I agree that gender-neutral colors are hard to find. If you make a jelly roll quilt (or any other!!) I'd love to see a picture. :O)

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