Monogrammed Baby Blanket with Mitered Corners
Last week I posted some pictures of a flannel baby blanket I made for my cousin and her new baby. I’ve made a few of these now, and decided to write my first tutorial on the subject. They are a great gift and go together pretty quickly. Happy Sewing!
- 1 1/4 yards (45 inches) backing fabric (the polka dot)
- 1 yard (36 inches) front fabric (argyle)
- optional 6″ square scrap for monogram
- monogram template (mine is just a plain piece of paper)
- rotary cutter, ruler and self healing mat or scissors
- pinking shears (optional)
- marking pencil
- iron and ironing board
To get started cut your fabric into two squares. Make sure to trim off any printing on the selvedge edge that would peek through your seam allowances. The backing and binding is a 45″ square and the front panel is a 35″ square. (You can make it a little smaller with 40″ and 30″ square panels.) Measure carefully and cut straight on the grain. After you have cut your pieces, fold them in half diagonally to make sure you are all square at the corners. This will help insure your blanket doesn’t get any weird puckers at the end. Being square and straight is more important than the size. Just try to keep a 10 inch difference between the two panels. A rotary cutter and ruler make this really easy, but you could also use scissors.
Adding the Monogram: On the wrong side of a scrap of fabric trace the outline of a monogram. (If your monogram has a specific direction it needs to go, like say an E, trace the mirror image, so when you flip it over to the right side it is going the right direction.) You could freehand your letter (or flower, or turtle, or whatever. There is a lot of options here) or you can use a die cut as a pattern, or print a letter in your favorite font from your computer. I just drew mine with a ruler and a pen.
Using pinking shears, cut your letter out. If you don’t have pinking shears, you could just cut it out with regular scissors. After you sew it to your fabric, you could clip the edges so it would fray like a rag quilt when it is washed.
Pin the monogram to the bottom right corner of your front panel. Mine is 3.5 inches from each side. Use lots of pins. You don’t want it to end up all wonky as you are sewing.
Starting in one corner, sew on your monogram without breaking your line of stitches. I used the inside of my presser foot as a guide from the edge. You could use matching or contrasting thread, depending on the look you are going for.
When you get to the corner and need to make a turn, stop and then manually move your needle to the down position before lifting the presser foot. Then you can make a clean pivot and keep things tidy on top.
If you have a corner like this one at the top of the M, you’ll need to mark the spot to turn, because you are going to sew past where your presser foot can guide you. I marked my sewing line in little black dots here.
Ta-da! Finished monogram. Be sure you back stitch at the beginning and end. Now it’s time to sew your two panels together. Mark the center of each side of each panel with your fabric pencil. Starting in the center of each panel, pin right sides together, matching up center points. By starting in the middle of each panel and working your way out, you’ll reduce your risk of getting weird puckers, and of the blanket squishing up in one corner. (I am not usually a pinner, especially on long straight seams, but your miters will be neater if you do. Trust me.)
You should end up with some floppy corners like this. That’s good. That is going to be the mitered corners and the binding.
Now start sewing. Start at the center of each side and sew from the middle out to 1/4″ away from the corner on the front panel, and end with a backstitch. Repeat on 3 sides. On your last side, leave a 6 inch opening in the center to turn your blanket through.
Lay the blanket out flat. The back panel is going to fold over the front piece, which is the self binding. Now, it’s time to make those mitered corner’s.
Here are where your stop points should be, 1/4 inch away from the edge. Lay your first corner so that it looks kind of like this, and then fold your side seams together, making everything as smooth as possible and matching the stop points.
Once you fold the seams together, it should like kind of like this. The smoother you make everything now, the less bunchy things will be at the end. Which means less unpicking.
Now on to those corners.
Mark a line from your stop points to the folded right edge, making a 90 degree angle. This is where we are going to stitch. After you mark your line, pin the stopping point side to keep everything together while you stitch.
Start at the stop point and sew to the folded edge of the binding. That is the miter, so sew carefully. If you want to check it, sew with a long basting stitch first (I totally did this the first few times I made this blanket), then turn it inside out and look at your handiwork. It’s much easier to do any unpicking now. Finish all four corners in this same way.
Trim off those floppy corners to make nice tidy miters. Trim all of your threads. Then lay your blanket out flat again.
Check your bobbin thread. Top stitch all the way around the front panel. (I set my machine to a longer stitch to do this.) If you have a pretty decorative stitch you could also use that. Use the inside of your presser foot as a guide to make sure you catch the seam allowances on the inside.
And now you have a beautiful blanket to keep or to give away. Mine ended up being 38 inches square (starting with 43 inch and 33 inch panels.
*** You are welcome to use this tutorial to make blankets for yourself or to give as gifts, but please do not sell blankets made from this tutorial. If you post pictures of a blanket you made using this tutorial, please link back to this site. I’d love to see your pictures. But please don’t post any part of this tutorial on your blog. Thank you. ***