Blankets from Very EZ to Somewhat EZ

Ahhh blankets! How great it is to cover up with a soft and fluffy one.

This one is the easiest possible: get a piece of fleece and just serge around the edge. You don’t even really have to finish a fleece blanket; it won’t ravel, but the serged edge makes it look nice and done.

Serged-edge fleece blanket

It’s possible to find a remnant of fleece that is a yard or more, which will give it to you for 1/2 price! Cheap and good!

This one is adapted from my go-to receiving blanket, see the free pattern on youcanmakethis.com. This one is made without an edging at all. I used flannel for one side and minky for the other, which made for a little uneven seaming. To compensate, I used a roller foot for the machine, and pinned the edges together prior to sewing. Sew with the minky layer on top, keeping the pinned edges aligned until you get right up to removing the pins: the roller foot will not let the fabric stretch. Once turned inside out, I like to top-stitch the edges with the flannel side on top: I like the triple-stitch in a 4.5 or longer stitch length for a nice prominent top-stitch. I added a little embroidery motif on the plain but fluffy side to go with the flannel fabric.

minky-flannel receiving blanket

This one is my second attempt at free-motion quilting, another baby quilt of a non-standard size similar to the one I made in a November Post, Epic Remnants.

embroidering a lotus on the plain block

I started with some cotton collegiate sport fabric (which caused my husband to question my allegiance. I hope another trip to genuflect before the bull gator in front of Ben Hill Griffin stadium is not on the agenda) for the backing. I wanted large blocks for the front, like my previous project, so most of them ended up 12″ square, except for a shorter row. It’s ok. It’s ok. I ended up with some pretty uneven cutting lines so a lot of it had to end up getting sheared off anyway. It’s not a standard size project. I chose a shade of yellow flannel from JoAnn’s and some Wilderness Tan flannel from fabric.com for the contrasting blocks. To embellish the plain yellow, I added a machine embroidery lotus motif, symbolizing peace as in “please go to sleep now so I can get some things done” and the baby’s name. I used a layer of Warm & Natural Needled cotton batting in between the top and backing. I love it; the fabric sort of adheres to this batting like static cling.

The difference between this project and Epic Remnants, is that I used a new free-motion foot this time.

left: spring-action foot, right: free-motion open-toed foot

The spring-action free motion foot has a spring on it and you don’t have to manually set the + and – on the machine settings to do free-motion sewing; the foot just bounces over the fabric. It made for a much less labor-intensive sewing session. Although I did find a cheap set of 8 Dritz Quilting finger grips to wear while machine-quilting. They are sticky plastic finger cots with grips on the finger pad side and holes for ventilation on the top, fingernail side, to keep your hands from getting sweaty with them on. All pinned together, I started machine quilting from the middle, rolling the side that would come in contact with the inside of the sewing machine.

Machine quilting with spring-action free motion foot

I used the stipple motif, which is just stitching around and moving the fabric sandwich here and there, pivoting and turning where you feel like it. It’s possible to find errors in this but I hope that cuteness will more than make up for them.

finished little free-mo quilt

I used extra-wide double-folded bias tape in goldenrod for the binding, and finished it with a hearty top-stitching. This blanket had a few more steps than the first one, but it wasn’t a gargantuan task like say, a Queen-size pieced quilt would be. Maybe I’ll tackle a bigger one some day…

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