I made this blanket to go in a LSU-themed baby shower gift basket I did for two of my friends for their little girls. You can visit that post to see everything I put inside the basket!
To make the wild and crazy baby blanket, I started with 1 yard each of 2 different cotton fabrics that I bought from Hobby Lobby. One was purple leopard print and the other was orange tiger print. You will end up making TWO baby blankets with this method.
First, lay the fabrics out horizontally on top of each other, with the right sides both facing up. Trim your fabric to 30″ x 40″. This will give you a generous sized baby blanket that can be used through the toddler years.
NOTE – if you would like to make matching Reversible Car Seat Strap Covers, you will need 7″ from the yard of fabric, so trim the fabric to 29″ instead of 30″. That extra inch won’t matter, I promise!
Now, making sure the upper and lower pieces of fabric are even and stay together, cut 4 random diagonals from the top to the bottom. This will give you 5 uneven strips. Try to keep at least 3-4″ at the most narrow side. You can cut more or less than 4 diagonals, but I really liked the way the 5 strips came out. The pieces weren’t too small or too big. If you need a little help figuring out where to cut, you can use tape.
Once the strips are cut you will swap every other strip between the upper and lower fabrics. You should have 2 identically opposite sets of pieces. They should look like this:
Being careful not to mix up the pieces, sew the diagonal strips together for each blanket top. I use a 1/4″ seam for this. If you don’t have a 1/4″ quilting foot, get one…it will so make life easier when you are piecing things! You will end up with 2 blanket tops that look opposite.
Next, layer your blanket tops together again, with one under the other, but both with right sides up (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THEY BOTH FACE UP!). Match up the seams the best you can. This will take you a few minutes…be patient. The better you did your 1/4″ seams, you did the better they will match up! Notice how the orange and purple sections are opposite?
I ironed mine out a little. But be careful with the iron on the green self-healing mats, they warp if you keep it in one spot too long. I pinned the blanket tops together once I had them all even and matched up.
Now trip the edges and take as little off as possible to make them exactly even. FYI – my purple fabric stretched way more than my orange fabric.
Once the blanket tops are all trimmed, measure the narrow side and divide by 3 to make 3 strip sections. If your measurements don’t divide evenly, just make the section in the middle a little larger. My fabric was about 29.5″ so I decided to make sections of 9.5 on the outside and 10″ in the middle. Get them as close as you can but don’t freak out over it because you will never notice at the end if there is a 1/2″ difference.
Cut 3 strips across from the left to the right side (as shown below).
Once you cut your strips, unpin the blanket tops and swap the middle strips between the upper and lower blanket tops. See the pattern now? Both blanket tops will be oppositely identical!
Sew the 3 pieces for each blanket top together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. When finished, trim the edges, add some 1/2″ inch ric-rac and you are done the tops! This is what it should look like:
After that, I backed it with a piece of black minky with dots (I love this fabric…it’s soooo soft!). It came out so cute! Sorry, but I don’t have a final picture of it all sewn together and stretched out by itself!
NOTE – I used to sew absolutely everything with a 1/4″ seam allowance, but I found that a 1/2″ seam allowance works much better on the outsides when you are making things like blankets where have to turn them in. When you go to do the 1/4″ top stitching you will catch the edge below and I just think it holds and looks better. I much prefer sewing them together rather than binding them with bias binding.
One extremely helpful tool you probably saw that I used here is a 48″ aluminum ruler. I have a plain old yard stick but I find that I am always hacking into the wood with my rotary cutter. So, I bought the aluminum ruler online for under $20 when I ordered my giant 4′ x 8′ cutting mat for my sewing room. I love it and use it all the time.
Until later, happy sewing!
I’m linking up to these parties:
Sunday: Homemaker on a Dime, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table and Dreaming, Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer, The DIY Showoff; Monday: Craft-O-Maniac, Lines Across My Face, The Girl Creative, Skip to My Lou, Making the World Cuter, Cherished Bliss, Dittle Dattle, Sew Chatty, Pinkapotamus, The Gunny Sack, Ask Anna; Tuesday: Tip Junkie, Kurtz Corner, Sugar Bee Crafts, Today’s Creative Blog, A Diamond in the Stuff, Hope Studios, Oops I Craft My Pants, Ladybug Blessings, Reasons to Skip the Housework, The Blackberry Vine; Wednesday: Laugh Love and Craft, Lil’ Luna, The Trendy Treehouse, Women Who Do it All, Savvy Southern Style, Sew Much Ado, Someday Crafts, Blue Cricket Design, Ginger Snap Crafts, Polka Dots on Parade, Sew Woodsy; Thursday: Craft, Scrappy, Happy, Somewhat Simple, Passionately Artistic,House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, My Repurposed Life; Friday:Romantic Home, Lolly Jane Botique, Ooh Baby! Days of Chalk and Chocolate, At the Picket Fence,Fingerprints on the Fridge, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Happy Hour Projects, Tatertots and Jello,Sassy Sites, Remodelaholic; Saturday: Be Different Act Normal;