Jumbo, reversible receiving blankets are a snap to make, and they make a great gift…
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I had a baby shower to go to this weekend, and I was only too happy to make a couple of jumbo, reversible receiving blankets. They’re one of my favourite baby gifts to make and give.
If you have little ones, you likely have lots of receiving blankets. I had loads when my boys were babies: I bought some of them myself, I received many as gifts, and the hospital sent me home with several. My all-time favourite however, was a huge, double-sided number that a friend made for me when my second son was born.
It measured one meter by one meter, and being so big and double-sided, it was really cushy and cozy – perfect for swaddling him up as he grew, or tucking in around him in the car-seat or the stroller as the weather got chilly. This photo will give you an idea of how big the blanket actually is. I set a “Little People” car on it to give you some perspective.
It makes a great crib blanket, or floor blanket, but my very favourite use for it was wrapping Andrew up after the bath. It was big enough that I used it that way until he was 2 or 3.
Ok, I’m going to walk you through making one of these. And I’m going to assume you’re new to the sewing scene, and make things as simple as possible.
What you’ll need:
- 1 meter of fabric for front of blanket
- 1 meter of coordinating or contrasting fabric for back of blanket
- spool of thread to match front fabric ( I like to use a colour that will “pop”)
- spool of thread to match back fabric
- scissors (a rotary cutter and cutting mat are also handy if you have them)
- iron/ironing board
Before you do anything, PRE-SHRINK your flannel, by machine washing and drying it. Iron it too. NOW you’re ready!
Lay your fabric out on a flat surface with both of your fabric pieces right-sides-together. Like this:
Now, with your pieces together like this, trim to 1 meter by 1 meter (or 3 feet, 3 inches x 3 feet, 3 inches). Don’t worry about being exact. You just want it to be about that size. You can use scissors to do your cutting, or a rotary cutter/mat will make the job a little faster and easier.
See that strip that I’m trimming off? Hang on to that. We’ll be using it later.
Once you have your fabric cut, pin your edges together, and move to your sewing machine.
Stitch around all 4 sides of your blanket, leaving an opening about 6 inches long, about half way down one of the sides. You’ll use this opening for turning the blanket right-side-out.
Snip your corners so they won’t be bulky when you turn your blanket. You’ll see what I mean in this next photo. (don’t snip through your stitching!)
Now, flip that blanket right-side-out through the opening. Then reach in through the opening, and poke the corners out so they’re nice and square. With a warm iron, go all around the blanket, pressing your edges so they’re nice and crisp. When you get to the 8 inch opening, just turn the unfinished edges to the inside, and press in place.
Pin the hole shut. At this stage, I pop 2 or 3 pins per side all around the edges of the blanket, to keep everything in place during the final step.
Now it’s time to put a nice chunky zig zag all around your blanket, about 2 inches in from the edge. (I set my zig-zag dial to #3 for this). To lock your stitches in place when starting and stopping your stitching while zig-zagging, set your stitch length dial at this setting:
Your fabric won’t move at all. It will stay in one place while your needle moves right and left, leaving a nice little locked stitch that looks like this: (see the nice, neat knot of thread where the pink and yellow flowers overlap?)
I fold it in half, and stitch it closed with a zig-zag. Then I roll the blanket up, folding it in a way that a bit of the reverse fabric peeks out the top (don’t ask me how – I just mess around until I get it right). And then I tie a bow around the blanket with that strip of fabric!
How pretty are these?
You can find the tutorial for the bibs here.
And a sweet little book and a homemade card complete the gift.
Happy Sewing! If you make some receiving blankets of your own, I’d love to see them! Feel free to link up your photos on my Happy Hooligans facebook page!