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Self-Binding MINKY Baby Blanket…(with applique)

When Chloe was about 8 months old, she flew with me to California for my grandma’s funeral.  Just the 2 of us.  While there, we had some time to kill one afternoon, so 2 of my sisters and I walked the long hallways of the mall.  I was pushing Chloe along in her stroller and suddenly, she became sleepy and fussy.  I realized she needed a nap, STAT.  She wasn’t a fan of sleeping anywhere other than her bed, in her really dark room.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen here in the long hallways of the mall.  My sisters and I entered Pottery Barn Kids to look around a bit, while Chloe continued to fuss.  I tried all of my normal tricks but nothing was working.  In the back of the store, they had shelves of these super cuddly Minky Blankets and out of desperation, I grabbed one from the shelf and let her hold it.  Right away, she pulled it up near her head, nuzzled her face right into it, and drifted off to sleep.  Ha.  You better believe I overpaid for that super snuggly little blanket right then and there.  Since that day, Chloe has slept with that pink-on-one-side-white-on-the-other Minky Blanket for every nap and for bedtime at night.  In fact, one night it took extra long to find that darn blanket and I realized I needed a back-up.  Done.  I bought a duplicate blanket, several months later…..because no other blankets consoled her like that pink/white Minky one did.  (Believe me, we tried on several occasions to trick her with a similar one.  Nope, she’s no dummy!)  So those two blankets have been on rotation for over two years.

 

I know every child is different but there’s something about Minky that is just so cuddly and soothing.  So, with this little guy who’s on his way (about 5 more more weeks until my due date…wahoo!), I knew I wanted to save some money and make one for him myself.  Plus, there are so many really cute Minky Fabric prints nowadays too!

 

Oh, also, a friend of mine brought over a darling flannel baby blanket the other day (thanks Lindsay!) that had self-binding around the edges, and it reminded me that I still have never tried that technique on a blanket.  So I added that right in and WOWEE…….I’m so glad I did, because it turned out darling with this minky!  Oh, and it was a little faster than adding your own binding.  Extra cool!

 

And for fun, I added this little appliqued ‘BOY’ to the front.  But you can leave that off or add any ol’ shape you want.  But check out those mitered corners……it’s all one continuous piece from the back.

Pretty. Darn. Cool.

 

 

 

And I’m sure you’ve run your fingers across Minky Fabric before…….but in case you haven’t, ahhhhhhh, it’s the softest type of fabric you’ll ever touch.  Like, triple teddy bear soft.  And those little bumps on the backing of this particular minky?  I love it for babies.  Such a great texture.

 

 

 

And yeah, minky fabric is pretty pricey.  But still, the cost of making this was still cheaper than buying more “emergency” blankets from Pottery Barn.  And the color selections are so much better when you make your own.  PLUS, there’s just something fun about making something yourself that you know will be loved and cuddled and snuggled.

 

 

 

I know, I know…..I’ve already made so many simple blankets but I think I’m officially done.  (Find all the other baby blankets I’ve made in my baby tutorial section.)  Truly, you can never have enough.  And they all have their own purpose — some are for swaddling, others for warmth, some work well for nursing, others are used simply for cuddling.  I love them all.  (Plus, that means less time washing laundry. :) )

 

 

Okay, let me show you how fun and SIMPLE these are!

 

 

Supplies:

  • 1 yard of front fabric, minky
  • 1 yard of backing fabric, minky
  • fusible adhesive (only if you add the applique)
  • a wide ruler, with a nice 90 degree angle
  • lots of pins

**Note: you can use flannel fabric instead……and it would work just as well!

**This amount of fabric will result in a blanket that is about 30 x 40 inches…..with some leftover minky for another project.

 

Before we begin, I bought my minky at fabric.com.  They have a whole bunch of minky fabric to choose from.  They also ship for free when you order more than $35, which is pretty easy to do when you’re shopping at a fabric store.  Also, search around online for a coupon, they almost always have one running.

 

Oh, and if you’ve never sewn with minky, let me share a few helpful tips:

  • It’s polyester, not cotton, so it has some stretch to it…but generally only in one direction. (i.e. it stretches left to right but not up and down.)
  • Use lots of pins while sewing with minky and that will help keep the fabric in place.
  • This stuff sheds a good amount, so just be prepared.  But I have definitely sewn with worse……so it’s not horrific.  Just be prepared to vacuum when you’re done! :)
  • It is more of a medium weight fabric, so it’s pretty warm.  And crazy cuddly!
  • Because this fabric is synthetic, it will melt under the iron.  So if you absolutely need to iron on it (like applique), ALWAYS place a piece of fabric between your iron and the minky.
  • Ironing can flatten the fluffiness of the minky, and can ruin the minky that has those little raised dots, so never leave the iron on for too long.
  • It machine washes/dries just fine.
  • Works great for pillows, stuffed animals, slippers, etc.

 

 

Okay, enough about that, it’s time to cut your fabric.  Minky has a stretch one way but not the other.  Be sure that you have the stretch going the same way for each of your fabrics and cut to the dimensions listed below.

 

 

Now, if you want to applique something on the front, now is the time to do so.  (Here are some other applique ideas I used on my Knit Receiving Blankets, if you want some different templates.)  Oh, and just like the Knit Receiving Blanket Tutorial, I ironed fusible adhesive to the wrong side of some of the extra minky scraps.  Then, I printed out “BOY” from the computer, cut out each letter, and then traced them MIRROR IMAGE onto the paper side of the adhesive.

 

 

Then I peeled the backing off and ironed them onto the lower right hand corner of the front blanket piece.  (Remember to use a piece of fabric between your iron and your minky.)  Just be sure that when you’re deciding where to attach them, that you remember there will be a 1/2 inch less of fabric around the edges for a seam allowance.  Then zig-zag stitch around the edges.

 

 

Next, you want to find the exact center of each 4 edges of both the backing fabric and the front fabric.  And then place a pin there to mark it.  (The dots below represent a pin.)

 

To find the exact middle of each side, the easiest way is to fold each side in half, and place a pin right at the fold.

 

 

Here are all 4 pins in place.

 

 

Then, place your backing piece and your front piece together, with RIGHT SIDES together.  Be sure that the fabrics are both laying the same direction, with the front fabric smaller than the backing fabric, all the way around.  Match up one of the sides of your 2 pieces……however, they obviously are different lengths.  So, match up the center pins of both pieces and then line up the edges.

 

 

Starting at that center pin and working your way outward, pin the two layers of fabric together.  (And before pinning, make sure that the backing fabric extends beyond the front fabric by 4 inches at each end.  If it’s more or less, one of the layers has stretched a bit.  So, adjust the fabric layers a bit until it’s only 4 inches at each end.)

 

 

Now, it’s time to sew.  Beginning at that center pin, sew the two layers together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance in one direction, stop, and then start at the center pin and then sew in the other direction.  (Doing so will keep the pull of sewing the same and will keep your overhang of the backing fabric more consistent.)

 

 

However, when you reach the end (at both ends), stop a 1/2 inch before you reach the end of the top fabric edge.

 

 

Repeat with the other 3 sides — line up the corresponding sides (with right sides together), match up the center pins from both layers, pin the rest of the side from the center outward, and then sew in place from the center outward.  Just be sure to stop sewing 1/2 inch before each end. 

 

When you reach a corner that’s already been sewn along the neighboring side, just keep the excess fabric out of the way and sew right up until 1/2 inch before the end.  It will look like this.  Perfect.  (The flap on the corner is out of the way for the seam to be sewn along the bottom.)

 

 

Along one of the sides, leave about an 8 inch opening for turning your blanket right side out.  (Leave the opening on one of the sides that doesn’t stretch as much.  It will help later on when closing up that hole.)


 

When you’re finished sewing all of your sides, your backing fabric will overhang around all four sides of the front fabric…..plus you’ll have four corners that look really wonky, like the one below.  That’s okay!

 

 

To create your pretty mitered corners, pick one corner to start with.  Grab the backing fabric and fold it in half diagonally, ignoring the front fabric and letting it just hide on the inside of the folded outer fabric.  You should now have a triangle shape with a fold along the diagonal edge and 2 even layers of raw edges along the flat horizontal edge (at the bottom).  If the very tip of the triangle is a little off, that’s okay…….just be sure that the 2 edges along the bottom where you sewed your front and back pieces together, are nice and evenly matched up.

 

 

Now, it’s time for marking your seam.  Grab a wide ruler that has a nice 90 degree angle (or you could use a piece of printer paper) and line up the very end with the diagonal fold of the triangle.  Move your ruler along that fold until it directly lines up with the very end of the horizontal seam that you created to sew your layers of minky together.  Draw a line with chalk or marker.

 

 

Before moving your minky an inch, pin those layers in place, so that you’re sure you’ll be sewing right where you need to.  (That minky stuff is slinky and you don’t want it to move and mess you up.)

 

 

Then sew along your line and trim away the excess fabric.

 

 

Repeat with all 4 corners.  Then, turn your blanket right side out through the opening you left along one side.  Gently poke out each corner and then you’ll notice your blanket take place.  And go ahead, marvel at those corners……aren’t they cool????

 

 

Place your blanket on a hard table, counter, or floor and evenly distribute all the edges and make sure everything is laying perfectly flat.  Pin the two layers together, right where the 2 fabrics meet.

 

 

Oh, and at the opening, pin the top layer of fabric under a 1/2 inch…

 

 

…and then pin in place.

 

 

 

Now, sew all the way around the fabric where the two layers meet, zig-zagging the layers together.

 

 

After you’re done and you notice you’re blanket isn’t laying perfectly flat…….place a layer of fabric over top and iron your blanket very gently.  Don’t leave it on too long or you’ll crush the minky.  But ironing for a second or two will help flatten out some of the bunching, if you have any.

 

 

 

And that’s it.  How cute is that!

 

 

Now, it’s time to let your little one snuggle right in.  Or wrap that blanket up and use a baby gift.  So perfect!

 

-Ashley

Have you tried any of our other blanket tutorials? You’ll love these:

 

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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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