How to Sew: An Appliquéd Baby Blanket

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I’m taking a little break in posting about my vintage finds to show a sweet and simple baby gift. Remember my friend Koala, who I made that giant quilt for? She contacted me about making a gift for a friend of hers who is having a baby in December. I started to get lots and lots of ideas when she mentioned the words girl, vintage, and floral. There were so many fabric combinations I could choose from!

I decided on an Amy Butler print and a super smooth and soft Anna Maria Horner flannel. It was all I could do to not pet the flannel every time I walked past it. To make a blanket like the one for baby Quinn, you’ll need:

  • 1 yard of 45″ wide quilting cotton
  • 1 yard of 45″ wide quilter’s flannel
  • 1 fat quarter of solid colored quilting cotton
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Trans-Web lightweight fusible
  • Pressing cloth
  • BERNINA #10 Edgestitch foot
  • BERNINA #34 Clear Appliqué foot
  • BERNINA walking foot

Please remember to prewash your fabrics! If you don’t, there’s a good chance the blanket will warp and pull in a funny way once it’s washed. And you know that with a baby, it’s going to be washed many, many times! Once you have washed your fabrics and pressed them, fold them in half, making sure they’re on grain, and square them up by cutting off the excess fabric and the selvedge edges. Make sure both of your finished rectangles of fabric are the same size!

To decide on the size of the name’s letters, print out the name from a Word or Illustrator document in a large size. You may have to print it out more than once to get the size you prefer. Cut the letters out of the printer paper and prep  your fat quarter with the Trans-Web.

To attach the Trans-Web, simply place it paper side up, fusible side down on either side of your solid cotton fat quarter. Because I chose a light pink color, I actually fused together two pieces of pink cotton with Trans-Web before adding a second piece of it to one side. I wanted to make sure that none of the print’s color showed thru the letters.

Before you trace your letters onto the paper backing of the Trans-Web, remember one thing. The letters need to be placed on it upside down. If you cut them out right side up, then the fusible would be on the wrong side!

Cut out the letters and place them on whichever corner you prefer of the non-flannel fabric. If you want the name to be on the corner of the blanket on the bias (like mine), using a quilting ruler with a 45º angle on it to line up the ruler at the appropriate position. Or, you can simply fold up one corner of the front fabric towards the middle, and iron a crease in the fabric when there is enough room to fit your name’s letters. Remember to leave room for seam allowance!

If you have a letter such as an “i”, keep the spacing correct by leaving the printer paper intact between the two letter pieces, such as the body and the dot. You can use it to make sure your spacing isn’t off once the paper is traced and the fabric is cut out.

After carefully placing the letters how you wish, peel the paper off the back of them and iron them down. I used a piece of muslin as a pressing cloth so I didn’t get any extra Trans-Web on my iron. Do you notice the little mistake on the letters below? I accidentally switched around my “u” and the first “n”. With Trans-Web, you can easily warm up and peel off the letters, then place them back down and iron them. I’m glad I caught it before sewing them down!

After pressing them down, use and appliqué foot (or a zigzag foot) to easily sew down the letters. Like the monogram pillows I did, I kept the stitching neat and narrow. On my BERNINA Aurora 430, I set my zigzag with a stitch length of 1, and a stitch width of 2.5 for the perfect edge. Be sure your needle is down before you pick up your foot to turn any corners!

After everything is sewn down, give the letters a final pressing and clip stray threads. See how nice a small zigzag looks?

Next, place the flannel on top of the printed cotton, with the right sides together. Pin together the two sides, taking care not to stretch the flannel. Sew around the edges of the blanket, using a 1/2 seam allowance and your walking foot. Leave an 8″-10″ opening on the middle of one edge for turning the blanket right side out.

After you have sewn and turned the blanket, take it over to your ironing board. You will need to roll the seam out to the edge of the blanket so that you can topstitch it shut. There is an example of this on my kitchen towel tutorial. I would recommend that you pin the blanket edge together before you topstitch it. It will help to make sure the flannel doesn’t shift and pull while sewing. Use an Edgestitch foot to sew the perimeter of the blanket, making the topstitching an even distance from the edge of the blanket.

If you really wanted to, you could call the blanket done at this point. Your monogram should look nice, your edges are enclosed and topstitched. However, if you start to fold up the blanket, you may notice how the two layers don’t stick together. We can’t have that!

Flip the blanket over so that the flannel side is facing up. Smooth out the flannel so that it is completely smooth across the entire blanket. Baste it together with the front. I used pins to baste mine together because I’ve found that safety pins can fight with flannel, and it was just quicker!

Place the blanket, flannel side up, under your walking foot. Quilt it in any way you wish! You can do as little as two lines of quilting, or as many as your bobbin will allow. I did one line of quilting down each of the white flower paths to keep it simple but purposeful. I followed the wavy flowers so that the blanket front would have soft wavy lines running down it. Because these lines of quilting will not be held in place by binding, be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of them!

When you’re done, give the blanket another swift pressing and wrap it up with a cute bow. It’s sure to be a useful and cherished gift!

  • KOALA!!

    Yay!!! I can’t wait for Kendra to get this!!!!!! I will be sure to send along pictures of baby girl enjoying the blanket. You are awesome, as usual 🙂

    • Thanks, Koala! I’m excited to see her all wrapped up in it!

  • LizzyRose

    I can do this!!! Thanks so much for the instructions. My Great Granddaughter will love it. Its a beautiful quilt for boys or girls.

    • Wonderful! I’m glad the tutorial will come in handy for making gifts. If you take any pictures of quilts you make with the tutorial, please let me know. I’d love to see them!