Sunday, March 7, 2010

Green Blankie

My daughter still sleeps with a blankie.

She is 32 years old.

And married.

She had asked me to make her a new blankie, as her current one is looking rather tattered. In the past, the task of making her blankies has always fallen to her grandmother, but now that she is 'over 30', her request for new blankies has fallen on deaf ears (I wonder why? :) ) .

So I decided to make her one. I had made her son, my grandson, one for Christmas, but she explicitly stated that she wanted hers puffy...and would like it to NOT be heavily quilted. Tied would be nice.

Well, there is NO WAY I am gonna TIE a quilt!
Not. gonna. happen.

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But I would QUILT one!



To make it extra puffy like she wanted, I decided to use THREE layers of batting...one layer of cotton WARM AND NATURAL sandwiched between two layers of GLORY BEE I low-loft polyester batting. While the cotton batt can have 8-10 inches between the stitching, I wasn't sure about the poly, as the label didn't say (I have had this batting in my stash for a hundred years; perhaps they didn't label them in the dark ages). Anyway, I decided 3-6" would probably be good spacing.

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The fabric I used was intended as a quilt BACKING...it was 108" wide. That seemed perfect to me, although I have never bought this kind of fabric before. I measure off the length of the quilt and snipped the edge, then tore across the fabric. To my dismay, this fabric was so far off grain that by the time my rip reached the opposite selvedge, I had lost nearly 6"! Yikes! So I had to add a strip on one end so the blankie would be long enough...72" long was my goal.
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I made this pillowcase-style, putting right sides together and sewing around the edges, then after adding batting, I would turn it right-side out. Well, because the fabric was so out of grain, this looked like a big mess. I ironed and pulled and blocked and ironed and pressed and sprayed and pressed some more. It was better but not straight.

Good enough.

I layered this atop the 3 layers of batting and stithced around the edges again. Then I took it to the serger and serged off the excess.


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This is what it looked like after adding the batting, but BVEFORE turning right side out. You can see all the grain pulls. If I had this to do over, I would NOT tear the fabric across the grain, but just cut as it came off the bolt!
You can see the seam where I had to add a piece to add length. I left an opening in this seam for turning right side out so the batting could be attached to the entire perimeter.


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Once right side out, I used the sewing machine to stitch 5/8" from the edge all the way around the blankie. This keeps the seam from rolling to the front or back and provides a finished edge look.





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Here is the opening in the seam that was used to turn this...I stitched it closed by hand before taking this to the quilting frame.





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I use large corsage pins to pin this blankie to the leaders on the HandiQuilter. Then I quilted a loose vine-like swirl...no leaves...trying to keep it open and well-spaced.
The quilting went very fast...well, if you don't count that I ran out of thread on the second row and had to run to the store.
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And don't even THINK about how the second-to-last row was next to impossible to finish...the thread kept breaking.
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I changed the needle, I changed the tension, I adjusted the HEIGHT of the frame relative to the machine bed...I don't know what finally made the difference but finally it started 'behaving' again, and the quilt was finished!
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I mean, "blankie".
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Actually, the official name is "foot-pocket blankie".
Most people know these as a 'quillow'...the quilt that folds up into a pocket to become a pillow.

But my daughter sleeps with one foot in her blankie...and it is NEVER folded up!

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Now it was ready to remove the blankie from the HQ and start working on the pocket.













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This is how it looked right off the frame...no flash. It is puffy!








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I made the pocket accordian-style, to allow a little more ease along that upper edge. That is the weakest link...the pockets usually tear away from the blanket at the upper end. If I had thought about it ahead of time, I probably could have added some interfacing on the inside where the pocket was to attach...but I would have had to be really accurate to put it in the right place (or make the interfacing really BIG!).


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The pleats on the sides of the pocket were edge-stitched before the pocket was sewn to the blankie.
I used a bar-tack to reinforce the upper edge.

My tea cup doesn't go with the blanket...it is just being used to hold the pocket open for these photos!

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To wrap this gift (her birthday), I just stuck it in a brown paper bag with handles.
Then I made a gift-card/hang-tag.
I had a few other gifts to wrap also and had already put them into purchased bags....these bags had leopards on them.
You know how gift bags usually come with a little folded card on the handle?
Well, I removed one of those to use on my hang-tag for this plain bag.
I used some Heat and Bond as the base, and covered it with fabric...a scrap from her blankie, plus some scraps from my repetitive consequences quilt.
I cut the little folded-card (from the purchased bag) in half and layered it onto the card.
I sewed an eyelet in the corner and used a leather punch tool to make the hole (this was the first time I ever used that tool and it was very cool! I will use it more...).
Then I chose several colors of embroidery thread and zigzagged over them to make the cord.
A wooden bead on each end and, voila!
A hang-tag for the blankie!



Now all the gifts look like they 'go' together!


Happy Birthday, Kelly!




5 comments:

Sew4Fun said...

Nice job! You are certainly getting your money's worth from that quilter.

Marilyn said...

Lucky Kelly, to have such a good mom.

ettam said...

You are so clever! My son slept with a blankie for many years, but he did give it up well before his 21st birthday.

pamelac858 said...

Trish,
Remember how I told you that our sons look alike? Well, now I think your daughter is mine because I sleep with 'blankies', too!
My youngest son and his wife gave me one for Mother's Day a few years back, and my oldest daughter gave me a fleece one she got at a bazaar - it's cream with black sewing machines on it. Because hotels in Europe tend to be very hot with no A/C and the only coverings are usually heavy duvets, the blankies have been great to travel with.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. LOL
Pam
PS Does it count that I don't suck my thumb? :)

Trish said...

LOL! I don't think DD sucks her thumb, either... too funny!

 
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