Welcome Quinn

Emily, 20 weeks pregnantI can still remember laying my small hands on my mommy’s belly and feeling the strange movements of the life growing inside. I remember my parents bringing her home, and then a few weeks later, boarding a plane to travel overseas. I remember her drooling all over the place, biting my right eyebrow (I still have a scar), and dragging her around like she was my own personal doll. How strange that the little girl I remember is now expecting her second child, a little girl named Quinn. It’s so precious to welcome the first girl of this generation, knowing that Quinn and her mommy will do all sorts of fun things, just like my sisters and I got to do with our mom growing up. Emily will get to have mommy and daughter tea parties, play dress-up, and put Quinn’s hair in pig-tails for her first day of school. They will go shopping together and argue about clothes, make-up, and curfews. I giggle when I think about my brother-in-law Mark’s reaction when his baby girl starts to date. And then one day, in the not to distant future, Emily will open a worn, tattered jewelry case and remove a beautiful stand of pearls, given to our nana from our granddad when she gave birth to their little girl, our mom. She will place these pearls on her daughter’s neck on her wedding day, just as her mother did for her, and her mother did for her.

So you see, the whole “girl” thing is a big deal in our family; in fact, Emily and mom went shopping for girly things right after the sonogram. Being the mother of 2 boys, I was extra excited to make something girly for the newest member of the family (boy things just aren’t as cute). I have always knitted blankets for my nieces and nephews, but wanted to try something new with this baby. I decided to make a rag quilt, and originally found this cute Baby Rag Quilt at Do It Yourselves Divas. I liked the concept, but wanted to change it up a bit to fit my needs. Here’s what I came up with.

Pinkalicious Baby Blanket

Supplies:

  • 7 coordinating colors/patterns of flannel. Choose the 1 pattern that you like the best – you will need 1 yd of this. The remaining 6 patterns, you will need 3/4 yd each.
  • 2 yds white flannel
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • measuring tape
  • washable marking pen
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Optional: rotary cutter, quilting ruler, rotary cutting mat

Total Time: 1/2 – 1 day (depending on sewing skills)

Directions:

1. First, make sure that your fabrics are folded in half lengthwise (selvage to selvage) with wrong sides together. Many fabrics are approximately 45″ wide, which leaves you with a span of fabric around 22″ after it’s folded in half. For my quilting ruler of 24″, this is just perfect. Iron fabric smooth, ensuring no wrinkles between the two layers. Square up the left end of the fabric so that it’s at a 90 degree angle from the fold.

2. Start with the fabric you like the best (the ones you have 1 yd of). For our purpose, we will call it your main fabric. With the fold closest to you, measure 6″ from the left edge of your fabric using your quilting ruler or measuring tape. Make sure that your left and bottom edges of your fabric line up with the horizontal and vertical markings on your ruler. You can mark this with your marking pen and then cut with scissors, or just use your rotary cutter. Personally, I use the marking pen and scissors. I know, I know, it takes more time, but a rotary cutter accident years ago left me a little nervous, and I’ve refused to use them ever since. If you do want to use a rotary cutter, here’s a video on how to cut strips. You will need a total of six 6″ strips.

3. Repeat the same cutting steps with your remaining 6 fabrics, cutting three 6″ strips from each fabric.

4. Now, take one 6″ strip from each pattern. You will fold each strip in half lengthwise (making sure edges are together) and cut the strip in half, leaving two 3″ strips. You can also use your rotary tool and quilting ruler to cut your 6″ strips in half using the same method you did earlier. This will leave you with four 6″ strips and two 3″ strips of your main fabric, and two 6″ and two 3″ strips of your remaining fabric. Place 2 strips of same fabric and width together for a set. At this point you need to decide which fabric will be your binding fabric. I choose the light pink you see below. Pull that fabric out and cut the 6″ strips into 3″ strips and set aside.

5. Next, you will need to cut eleven 6″ strips of the white flannel. Cut four of these strips into 3″ strips. You will have a total of seven 6″ strips and eight 3″ strips.

6. Take 2 strips of 6″ coordinating fabric and 1 strip of 6″ white flannel. You will place one piece of printed fabric facedown, place a piece of white flannel on top of that, and then place the coordinating fabric face-up on top. This will make a kind of flannel sandwich with your fabric. Next, pin your fabric together and sew a straight line down the center of your strip (3″ for 6″ fabric, 1.2″ for 3″ fabric). This will hold your fabric sandwich together. Note: at this point you can sew all your strips into fabric sandwiches and then lay them out in a pattern you like the best before sewing them all together to create your quilt. I like to just fly by the seat of my pants with things like this and see what I create, so I just made the strips and quilt as I went. Choose whatever method works best for you.

7. Choose a 3″ set that will coordinate well with the 6″ strip you just finished. Make another flannel sandwich using the white flannel. Sew a straight line down the center of your strip. On the 3″ strips, you will sew 1.5″ from each edge. Next, take your 6″ strip and your 3″ strip and place them together. It doesn’t matter what side at this point, because the right-side of the fabric is facing out on both strips. Pin them together lengthwise and stitch together using a 1″ seam allowance.

This is what the back side of your sewn strips will look like

8. Next, you will flip your blanket over so that the seam allowance is facing up. Take your scissors and cut small slits in the seam allowance, about 1/2 inch apart. Make sure that you do not cut deep enough that you cut through the stitches that you just made.

This is what it will look like when you place the quilt on it’s back.

9. You will continue a 3″-6″-3″-6″-3″ pattern until all your strips are used. When you are sewing your strips together, you will need to be aware of which way your seam allowance is facing. For this blanket, the seam allowance should always face to the front. The last

Brown set (to be sewn on) is added to blanket on the back side (wrong side) of the blanket on top. Note that the seam allowances are not seen.

Printed set (to be sewn on) is under brown set (on wrong side/back of blanket). Note top of blanket (right side) with seam allowances showing.

Here’s what it looks like when your done piecing the blanket together.

10. The next step is to bind the edge of the quilt. I admit, this is not my favorite part and if I could find a binding fairy that would do this for me, I would happily pay for it every time. The first step is to square your corner and cut off any extra fabric from the sides (note the uneven edges of the strips in our almost done quilt above). Trust me when I say this step is essential and must not be skipped. After you have trimmed your quilt, it is now time to bind. Take the two 3″ binding strips that you set aside earlier and place them together (do not put white flannel in between strips at this point. Next, sew ends together so that you make one long 3″ strip. At the seam, fold the edges together so that they meet. Pin in place. Now you need to get out your iron. Carefully fold edges together on your entire strip, and iron in place, pinning together as needed. You will need two 3″strips that are not sewn together and two of the longer 3″ strips.

Binding after ironed

11. Next , take your binding material and place on one edge of your quilt as shown below. Personally I chose to do the top and bottom edges first and then finished with the sides. For the top and bottom, use a binding strip that has not been sewn together, for the sides, use the longer sewn together strips. Next, you will fold the binding material in half and sew the binding to the quilt, as close to the edge of the binding material as possible. Note: Do not sew 1/2″ from each edge. The binding will be longer than the quilt on the edges, so don’t worry.

12. After you have sewn the binding to the quilt, it is now time to finish the edges. First, you will need to trim the edges of your binding till they are leaving only 1″ from the edge of the quilt. Then you will fold it over until it is even with the edge of your quilt as shown below, folding the side edge first, and then the top/bottom edge (see below).

13. Pin the edges together and sew the edges together diagonally as shown.

Quilt edges ready for sewing

Finished binding edges

That’s it. Your done sewing. Now all you have to do is throw the quilt into the washer and dryer. Note: the first time you wash and dry your quilt there will be LOTS of string left over in your washer tub and dryer vent. Trust me when I say your should not wash it with anything the first few washings.The more you wash and dry your quilt the more the edges will fray and the cuter it will be.

The finished quilt

Don’t you just love it!!! I think it turned out really cute and I can’t wait to see my new little niece wrapped up in it. It’s so quick and easy and such a great gift for any new baby. If you decide to make one, I would love to see pics.

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