I want to share a little story with you.
When I was pregnant with my oldest son back in 2010 my best friend threw me a gender reveal baby shower. I had the ultrasound tech write the gender on a little card and seal it and then I mailed it off to her.
She was allowed to tell the guests but they had to wrap the presents in a way that wouldn't reveal the secret.
She made a cake and the color of the inside revealed I was going to have a boy. Very memorable party!
I'm not too great at remembering things these days with 7 kiddos running around, but I will never forget that day. 😊
>>> This blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Just think of it as you helping me keep my fabric hoard stocked up! 😉
One of the gifts I had received was a pair of handmade flannel baby blankets. These were a nice generous size, not like the tiny receiving blankets at the store. I swear I could only use those for maybe a month with all my babies.
These particular blankets are 40 x 40 inches. I still have them and have used them through 3 babies. In fact they are big enough that my youngest is still using them!
I thought it would be fun to show you how to quickly make one... or a few! Whether for your own baby or for a friend, you can make a quality keepsake everyone will love. ❤
You will need these supplies:
This project is considered Easy or Beginner.
First things first:
First you will want to wash your fabrics to get them to preshrink. Since flannel is 100% cotton it will shrink slightly. And also be aware that darker colors may bleed.
Be sure to wash on hot to get maximum shrinkage and dry on high.
Once the fabric is laundered the fun can begin!
You'll want to iron the fabrics and be sure to cut off any fraying that has occurred. Don't panic, this is expected.
I have found that washing the fabric on delicate seems to cut down on this. I use a front load machine.
Flannel usually comes in any length by 42 inches wide. If you are hoping for a square you'd want to get two pieces cut at about 42 X 42 inches to account for the shrinking and fraying. This will be what we'll use for this example. It will finish at approx. 40 x 40 inches.
My cutting mat is only 36 inches long so I fold my fabric in half to cut.
Take one of your lovely pieces of fabric and cut it to 40.5 x 40.5 inches (Or any size you want). The extra half inch is your seam allowance as explained in a few more steps.
Note: We shape only one piece so we have a little wiggle room when aligning and pinning it below.
Next decide if you want rounded corners or not. I like rounded corners so that is what I am going to do.
Fun Fact: Rounded corners hide slight imperfections!
Cut all corners at the same time by simply folding your fabric in half then half again (as shown above) and cut the corner opposite the folded edges.
A bowl or cup can do the same thing my fancy circle cutter can.
Now We Pin:
Once you have one side cut out and shaped it's time to pin. Place your fabrics so the top or printed sides are touching each other.
Pin all the way around. This is also the point I would pin in a tag between layers.
I put a pin every inch and a half or so. Orient your pins however works best for you but this is the way I've always done it. I also remove them after most of the sewing is done rather than stopping to pull them along the way.
Ready, Set, Sew!
Start your stitch in the middle of one side at about a quarter inch from the finished edge and work your way around.
Note: Your stitch allowance is affected by how close to the edge you are. Your blanket will be about as wide as the stitch-to-stitch measurement.
Sew all the way around stopping 3 or 4 inches from where you started. You want to leave a gap for turning the blanket right side out.
You can remove the pins as you sew or, as I do, sew over them. I rarely hit a pin.
Trim & Turn
Time to trim the excess off the edges. Cut halfway between the stitch and the edge or about 1\8th of an inch. Avoid trimming down the gap, you'll want it the full 1\4 inch.
Your blanket is starting to take shape!
Helpful Hint: A very sharp pair of scissors makes a big difference here!
Now use the gap in the stitching to turn the entire blanket right side out. Don't forget to push out the corners with your corner poker outer thingy. A butter knife works well for this too or anything that can get in there to give you nice crisp corners.
Try not to push too hard! Flannel tends to tear easy if put under too much pressure.
Finally take your fabric back to the ironing board and iron it again so you have nice crisp edges. Be sure to turn under the edges at the 3 to 4 inch gap for a cleaner look and easier finish stitch.
Pick the stitch you would like to use as the finishing or top stitch. I like to choose something decorative to add a little pop of fun but a straight stitch is perfectly fine as well.
These are a few examples of top stitches I have used in the past.
For a straight top stitch I would lengthen the stitch to about a 4-5 on the dial.
Start close to, or on the gap. I usually try to start on the edge of it and stop in the middle of it.
And voila! You did it! You just made a super cute over-sized receiving blanket! Good job you!
I do hope you found this tutorial helpful! These blankets make great sentimental baby shower gifts that will last for years. They also work great as a car seat blanket or even for tummy time on the floor!
Have a tutorial you'd love to see? Let me know down in the comments or shoot me an email! I'd love to help you where I can! ♥