Monday, December 12, 2011

Mitered Corner Baby Blanket Tutorial

Well it has been longer than I thought since I last posted on here!  My how the holidays do keep us all busy!  We got our house all decorated on December 1st and the tree was done on the 2nd.  I had serious doubts as to whether this would get done that early this year!  My husband is really the driving force there though.  He loves Christmastime and loves for the house to be decorated.  He actually wanted to begin decorating the first weekend of November, and I said no!

I am now 24 weeks pregnant with our little bundle of joy, and this little one will be a boy.  I am in good health and so is the baby, which was my main concern but we are all tickled to get to experience the fun of having a little boy in the house.

On that note, I have been preparing for this new arrival.  I have always wanted to learn how to make a mitered corner baby blanket.  I just never took the time to figure it out before now.  So I surfed around blogland and found a tutorials on this technique.  With no intention of criticism I have to tell you that there are some very good instructional lessons in blogland, and a few that are downright confusing and lacking in information.  From all of them I took my lessons, and figured it out.  I hope that you will find this tutorial to be one of the less confusing ones, and that you can have success in making these super easy and fun baby blankets.

Before you begin I will say that you can use cotton fabric, flannel fabric, Minkee fabric or a combination of a couple of these.  My baby is going to be a spring baby so I went with a center fabric that is soft flannel, or Minkee and the main back fabric that is a cotton.  For winter babies you may want both pieces to be flannel for warmth.   This blanket went to a friend of mine who is having a baby girl later this month.

What you will need:
40" square of the main fabric (this will be the back and come around the sides to finish it)
30" square of center fabric
Thread to match
WOW!  That's easy right!  You can make this any size as long as the main fabric is 10" bigger square than the center fabric.  I like mine to be a bit bigger because I use receiving blankets for everything from a makeshift changing pad, to a nursing cover, to a rain cover for baby.  I find the bigger size more useful as the baby grows and moves more.  It just covers more "real estate" :)  So if you have a piece of fabric that is only a yard and is just perfect for the main fabric, use it.  Make the center panel 25" and the main fabric 35".

  1. Press and cut both fabrics to the appropriate square size.  These must be square!  It won't work well if they are even a little off.  To check the square of the fabric, fold the square in a large triangle in half, then fold in half again to make a smaller triangle.  If all the four points match up perfectly at the points of the triangle, then your fabric is square.  They should not have any fabric overlapping at the folded edges.  If it is not square, unfold and double check the measurements on your cutting mat.  
  2. Fold the larger square in half to make a big rectangle, then in half again to make a smaller square.  Press at the folds.  Repeat and fold the smaller square, then press.
  3. Unfold the squares.  With right sides together, on one side of each square match up the pressed folded mark of the smaller square to the larger square and pin.   Then pin all the way across.  They will not match up on the ends.  That's the way it should be, don't worry about the overlap of the larger square.
  4. Begin 1/4" in from the edge of the smaller square, and sew a 1/4" seam all the way down the side of the two pieces of fabric.  Stop 1/4" from the edge.  
  5. Now repeat steps 3 and 4 on the opposite side of the squares.  It is easier to pin then sew one side, then continue on to the opposite side once that is done.  It will help keep your blanket more square in the end.  If you pin it all, then sew all the sides in round, it can end up sort of wonky in the end.  It won't lay flat if that happens, trust me.
  6. Repeat steps 3,4, and 5 on the opposite two sides of the squares.  But on one side, be sure to leave a 5" opening in the middle of the seam.  The opening must be in the middle of the seam, not at the end of the seam.  If you did it wrong, unpick a 5" opening in the middle, then sew the end of the seam.  Trust me here! The picture shows it right side out, do not turn your blanket yet!
  7. Lay the blanket out flat on a table, on your cutting mat, or even on the floor.  Hey I'm not proud, I admit I sometimes crawl around on the floor if it means the job is going to get done.  Try to get the smaller square centered on top of the larger square.  The larger squares edges will fold over to create the finished edge of the blanket.  Try to make sure those edges are about even in measure.  The points at the corner will look floppy and strange- that is a "good thing"!
  8. Choose a floppy corner, and pinch together the edges facing you.  Fold over the floppy part that sticks up to one side.  It should naturally create a 45 degree angle where the fabric comes together.  Press down the fold and give it a bit of a crease.  Then fold it over to the other side and give it a crease.  This will help in the next step, so you are sure to be marking the correct direction of the angle.  I skipped this step once and seriously regretted it.  I ended up with the angle going the wrong direction, and it all looked more like a giant flat pillow, than a blanket.  It all had to be unpicked, trimmed down and started over-what a mess.  

    Now do step 8 again with another corner.  I do it this way, so I don't have re-lay the blanket over and over to get it all straightened for each and every corner.  Two corners at a time saves a little time.
    Bring together the two seams of one of your corners so the center square fabric is getting folded into a triangle inside the main outer fabric.
    Note where the ends of the sewn seams are.   I have a pin in that spot.  This is where you will begin your mark and where you will begin to sew in a minute.  Lay the ruler on your triangle fold and line up a straight line with the folded edge of the fabric.  Mark the triangle flap with a pencil line as shown.  You can pin it if you want.  Repeat with the other corner.  
Sew along the drawn line.  Then be sure to check how the blanket lays.  It should lay pretty flat with the little sewn triangle flaps poking up and a nice 45 degree sewn seam.   Trim 1/4" or so away from the sewn line.  Turn your blanket right sides out.  Lay it all nice a flat.  Then press the edges and the center really well.  For the opening, press under the seam 1/4".  Then sew all around the blanket along the seams.  I used a decorative stitch, but you can zigzag it, or straight stitch it if you wish.  Just be sure the opening gets sewn closed.  I also like to sew a big "X" through the center to keep the fabric from shifting when it gets washed.

And you are all done!  Enjoy!

Here are a couple of other ones I made.  These are for my baby.  I love the book "The Little Engine that Could" so I had to have this fabric!  My mom read that book to me a lot when I was little.  The other one has the superhero kids on it--I got that one because of my husband's love of superheroes.

See how cute my dotty fabric goes with other fabrics?  Love that!