Cutesy Doll Blanket

So our niece has a birthday coming up and I promised to make a new blanket for her doll. Using only what I had to hand, I settled on a pink/cream theme. The grey fat quarter you see in the image was used to applique letters to create the dolls name. I skipped this part of the tutorial as it wasn’t originally going to be on there and so I never took photographs of that part until the entire thing was completed. Sorry 🙂 For those who want to know… I do mention it at the end.

Anyway! Here goes…

What You’ll Need (applique bits have been omitted)
3 Fat Quarters (I used three from the Twinkle Twinkle range here)
Backing Fabric (I used an off-cut piece of thin cotton sheeting I had lying around)

Bias Binding
Rotary Cutter, Mat and Ruler
Soluble Pen

First gather the materials listed above.
We need to cut up each fat quarter into strips. I simply laid the fabric flat and marked in 5cm increments across the top, bottom and middle. Be sure to use a soluble marker for this so it disappears. Then using a rotary cutter simply cut out the strips. So you’re left with three piles of 5cm wide strips. I found the last strip to be slightly short, so be careful with the measuring 🙂
Now take two strips (different fabric) and place them right sides together, pin them together on their shortest side.
Sew the two together. There are a LOT of these strips, so pinning each one soon became annoying and as the area to sew is so small I found it was easier to simply hold them together and careful place them under the machine to sew them. Once you’ve done a few you’ll get the idea.
Keep sewing each strip to the end of the last until all your strips are connected. You’ll be left with a pie of what looks like a really confusing mess 😉
At one end of that mess, cut off about 15cm of the strip and discard it. This just helps to avoid having your seams all in the same place. Untangle the mess you created. You need to be in a position to take both ends and place them right sides together so we can move on to the next step, but you need to untangle them properly to avoid the fabric being twisted once you get to the middle.
With both ends together (right sides facing one another), pin the longer edge. Just like the previous sewing step, I found that eventually it was easier to simply hold the fabric together rather than pin it, but pinning gives you the ability to check this out both ways for yourself. Then simply sew these together down the entire length of the fabric.
Once you get to the end, you’ll notice the fabric has folded. I marked this with pins in the photograph so you can see where I need you to cut. Basically from the open end all the way over to just before the stitching.
Once it’s cut, you can open it out and see that you now have two strips together… lots more to add! Simply follow the previous step again and again until your quilt looks to be the right size for you. Each time this will get quicker, firstly because it’s repetitive and you’ll pick it up easily anyway, and secondly because each time you do this, you’re shortening the entire process by half.
You can see here that once all the strips are sewn together, you’re left with a lovely “jelly roll” style quilt, without the need for buying an expensive jelly roll! At this point, it’s a good idea to go off and press the quilt top flat. It will make the following steps easier and give a better finish.
Now place your backing fabric right side down on a flat surface. Add your wadding (I used the 2oz wadding here), then carefully place the quilt top on top of these right side up. Just a note about the wadding and backing fabrics… I always cut them too big, I don’t want to be wasteful, but find it’s better to have a little more than needed so the edges can be cut off cleanly before the binding goes on. Pin these three pieces together at several points.
I had my machine set to a stitch size of 3 for quilting the pieces together. Always work from the centre outwards as this will allow you to continually tug the fabric/wadding/backing to ensure the whole thing remains flat. As shown in the image, work from the centre outwards. I simply stitched in the ditch (where your fabric pieces were previously joined).
Now time to trim those edges. If you cut your backing and wadding to the exact size you needed you can skip this. I just laid it on a flat surface and used a ruler and rotary cutter to straighten up all the edges.
Once they’re all straight, it’s a good idea to run stitches around the outside of the entire quilt. This will keep all the pieces together and avoid the backing or wadding being missed as you sew the bias in place (speaks the voice of experience, unfortunately!!!).
Fold your bias tape in half and slide your quilt into it. Start half way down one side of the quilt and leave about an inch of bias hanging off (I’ll explain later).
Once pinned, you can start to sew the bias in place. Again, I used a size 3 stitch for this. I also used white thread but pink would have worked, too! If you don’t want to pin the bias in place you can always hold it as you sew whilst making sure as it gets to the front of the machine foot, its already had the quilt put inside it.
As you get to the corner, you’ll need to trim a little of the fabric to get rid of the bulk. Once removed, the bias is pliable enough to curve around easily. Once you get to the end, cut the bias tape (leave about an inch again). I forgot to take photographs of this so will try to be clear… lay both ends of the bias tape flat and mark where the two need to meet in order to sit flat. Now lift them away from the quilt and hold the two together so your marks join. Sew down the mark at an angle and snip off the excess. You should now be able to place the last bit of the quilt inside the bias and sew it in place as you have done the rest. Apologies for the lack of pictures for this step. If anyone has a problem, please feel free to get in touch.
So… the quilt is done… or I thought it was. As I mentioned at the beginning, I decided to add on an appliqued name “plaque”. I simply drew out the name in large letters (you could always print out letters using a large font if that’s what you prefer). I then transferred those to different pieces of material from the 10x10cm range we sell here, and appliqued them all onto the grey fabric. The entire thing was then folded under by about half an inch on all sides and top stitched onto the blanket.
As you can see, the underside of the blanket has a lovely quilted finish to it, too.
And Doug the Doorstop seems to like it 😛 You could also make this larger, simply use more fat quarters.

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