Today I am sharing a simple mitered, self-binding, baby blanket tutorial for a quick and easy project finish.
This is in honor of a drive for Project Linus called Luke’s Loves, and part of a series coordinated by Kim West of A Girl and a Glue Gun. Be sure to visit Kim for links to a whole series of tutorials for blankets as she spreads the word about Project Linus and specifically the Luke’s Loves. More on those two things following this tutorial.
This blanket works great in flannels, and cottons. (I used a Cuddle/minkie fabric for the center panel to make it extra snuggly, but I wouldn’t recommend minkie for both front and back because the minkie is a little trickier to work with.) I would also recommend pre-washing all fabric (and ironing) before making this blanket. (This tutorial was originally created for the Shannon Fabrics Cuddle blog, but I am finally re-posting it on my own blog.)
- 1 1/4 yards backing/binding
- 7/8 yard of contrasting fabric
- Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
- sewing machine and basic sewing notions
- an ‘erasable’ ink pen
- a walking-foot for a sewing machine is also handy if you have one
1. Cut backing fabric into a 40″ x 40″ square and contrasting fabric into a 30″ x 30″ square. Fold your squares diagonally to make sure they are truly square pieces.(If your yardage is not quite wide enough, you can cut your squares smaller, just keep the back 10″ bigger than the contrast fabric.)
2. Place your contrast fabric, right sides together and centered in the middle of your cotton square.
3. Find the center of one side of your Cuddle fabric and one side of your cotton fabric. Pin at the center and then pin edges of Cuddle fabric to the edges of the cotton. Don’t pin all the way to the corners of the Cuddle fabric – leave about 1 inch on either end un-pinned.
You will have a 5″ space of left-over cotton fabric on either side.
4. Repeat on opposite side and then on remaining two sides.
When you are done pinning you will have floppy outside fabric corners.
5. Using a ruler, mark a small dot 1/4″ in from both edges at all four corners.
6. Sew all four edges together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. On one side, leave an 8″ opening for turning blanket right-sides-out. I highly suggest using a walking-foot if you have one to avoid any stretching or puckering.
As you are sewing each side, pull the next side out of the way and sew seam until you get to the marked 1/4″ dot. When you get to the quarter inch dot lift the needle and turn the blanket. Pull the side of the outside/backing fabric you just sewed away and start sewing the new side of backing fabric to the center conrast fabric beginning at the 1/4″ dot.
The corners will look like this after sewing, with the floppy outside corners still open.
7. To make the mitered corners pull the center fabric away from the outside fabric. Start with one corner and pull the corner ‘flap’ taught, matching up raw outside edges to create a triangle. Fold the center fabric in half diagonally on itself, matching up intersecting seams for that corner on top of each other. This should create a 45 degree angle next to the triangle ‘flap.’ Line up a ruler with the folded edge of the center panel fabric and mark a line starting where the seam ends and draw to the outside folded edge of the backing fabric.
I’d suggest putting a pin in to hold everything together while you take it to your machine.
8. Starting at the 1/4″ endpoint of original seam, sew directly on the line to the edge of the folded backing fabric. Trim excess triangle ‘flap’ 1/4″ away from the new seam and discard.
9. Flatten and press new seam open. (While you’re at it, press the other seams away from the center fabric so that it will lie flat when you turn it right sides out.) Repeat process with remaining 3 corners.
10. When all four corners are mitered, turn blanket right-sides out. Carefully shape the blanket including the self-binding cotton edge so that the blanket is square. Press outside edges flat. Tuck edges of center fabric square toward the outside/backing fabric. Pin open edge together.
11. Top stitch all the way around the outside of the center fabric, at the same time closing the opening used for turning. Top stitch around the outside blanket edge to give it a crisp finish. I also choose to draw a 12″ square in the middle of the center fabric with an eraseable pen and top stitch on that line as well to keep the center portion of the quilt from shifting when it’s washed.
And there you have it. The first time you try this method it will probably take a little bit of time and effort to get things right, but I guarantee after that first time, you will be able to whip these suckers out for all your favorite new babies in no time.
I am re-sharing this tutorial today in honor of the Luke’s Loves blanket drive on behalf of the charity Project Linus. Kim of A Girl and a Glue Gun has a dear friend who lost a child, Luke, at 2 years old. Every year Luke’s family, in honor of this sweet boy who loved his own blanket, makes a goal to donate 200 blankets to local centers that provide resources for children in need.
Project Linus gives blankets to children who have been traumatized or are in need. They prefer handmade blankets/quilts because of the love that goes into them. They need to be at least 36″ x 36″. Crib-size quilts are most in need. You can also find out more about Project Linus on Facebook or their website, to find local chapters collecting donations.
Kim wants to help Luke’s family reach (and exceed!) their goal of 200 quilts donated to Project Linus. (You can send the quilt to Luke’s Loves or donate it to your local chapter.) If you make a blanket or quilt inspired by Luke’s Loves share with Kim. You can link up your blankets here or tag them on Instagram with #lukesloves.
Here are a few more very simple quilt tutorials, perfect for quick quilts to donate to this very worthy cause: Fast Four Patch quilt, Simple Stripes quilt, Easy Charm Squares quilt, and Star Baby Quilt Tutorial.