project

{creating a baby blanket}

So, due to this craft taking me so long and also the minor fact that I forgot I had scheduled this post until a month ago…I am posting it a week late. Sorry!

I decided to try my hand at some sewing!

I always forget how much I love sewing until I am doing it again.

And then I am inevitably reminded by my bobbin why I don’t do it more often…

I have been seeing baby quilts like these ones pop up all over my Pinterest lately.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 4.05.16 PM.png

That top right one especially caught my eye!

And I just LOVE the mixing of crochet with fabric!

Since I can sort of do both of these things successfully I decided to give it a try.

I had some moda fabric* my mom had bought in a set; but only used one of the fabrics for Little Bear’s baby blanket, that I have been super excited to use! This project seemed like the perfect fit! *not the same fabric; but these are precut, 5″ squares and super cute!*

I went out and picked up some cream colored yarn to use because I thought it would be a good match with my fabric. And then I got to work cutting my squares.

I have not quilted since I was much younger and I did that with my Gramma, so I was not in charge of any cutting. This was probably the scariest part of this project for me. I thought for sure I would mess it up!

I cut five inch squares and managed to get twelve out of each fat quarter.

There were eight different fabrics in the set, so I had ninety-six squares in the end.

Once the fabric was all cut, I had to cut five inch squares of batting to put with each of the matched squares. This cutting was much less stressful for me.

{creating a baby blanket} cut & ready

Finally! All the cutting is done!

Now I can get to the fun part!

{creating a baby blanket} ironing

Just kidding. I have to iron first…

Let’s just say there is a reason I don’t buy clothes that require ironing.

Instead of trying to make it perfectly imperfect and randomly match squares together, I decided I wouldn’t be able to make it look just right. So, I paired up the fabrics.

This means I’ll have forty-eight squares once all sewn together.

Now for the sewing!

Time to pull out my trusty sewing machine.

{creating a baby blanket} matched up

I put the squares together, patterns facing each other, and then put a square of batting underneath.

{creating a baby blanket} sewing with gap

Then I stitched them together, being sure to leave a gap so I could flip the square right side out.

{creating a baby blanket} gap

If you look closely at the top, you can see the gap I left to be able to flip the pocket right side out.

{creating a baby blanket} quarter inch

Once they were flipped, I sewed around the square again, creating a border about a quarter of an inch in and stitching the gap shut.

{creating a baby blanket} quarter inch2

Here’s what the border looks like once completely stitched around.

{creating a baby blanket} no more sewing

Now, all the sewing is done!

Time for the yarn! But this part is just sewing a blanket stitch, with yarn. Not scary at all.

*fast forward to the next morning after typing that previous sentence*

I was wrong. So, so wrong to think I had a handle on this part. I got three and a half stitches in, only to realize I was definitely not using the right kind of yarn for this. Novice yarn purchaser here. Upon further research I found the yarn I bought was a 4 and what I should probably be using is a 1.

So, one fun spontaneous trip to the craft store with two boys in tow later, I was back in business!

{creating a baby blanket} yarn

This is the yarn* I ended up using and it worked well! *not the same color; but the same brand*

To make three scallops on each side on the squares (not including the corner scallops) you will need thirteen stitches per side.

{creating a baby blanket} sewing with yarn

I made a little cheat sheet to pin to the squares to make sure i space out my blanket stitch correctly. I stitched around all four sides, putting three stitches in the corners. They are roughly a quarter inch apart.

I say roughly because apparently I am not so good at cutting and/or sewing squares. Work in progress here!

Things I have learned from sewing with yarn:

  1. it sucks.
  2. yarn likes to get tangled and knotted.
  3. it hurts your thumb.
  4. and did i mention it sucks?!

{creating a baby blanket} knotting yarn

Have I mentioned how much sewing with yarn sucks?!

It just wants to knot!

{creating a baby blanket} thermal thimbles

After many hours of my fingers slipping on the needle I went on another trip to the craft store and bought some thermal thimbles which I just love to say, because I am weird.

*click on the image to purchase them for yourself!*

Here’s what they look like when not in use!

And let me tell you, they definitely help! Now it only takes like forty-five minutes to get through one square…

{creating a baby blanket} done blanket stitch

After hours and hours and HOURS of blanket stitching. Over two thousand stitches with dumb, horrible, impossible to stitch with, cute, soft yarn.

Definitely glad to be done with this part of the project.

{creating a baby blanket} lay out

Here’s the layout I chose for the quilt!

Now, on to the next step!

This next yarn part I was a bit hesitant about – the crocheting.

I know the basics; but am definitely not a pro crocheter or anything.

I used a 5.50mm crochet hook for this project. Mainly because it’s what I have. It worked great!

                                                  *click on the image to purchase them for yourself!*

You’re going to make three passes around the square and then move on to the next one.

{creating a baby blanket} pattern - 1

This is the first pass. The grey dots are the blanket stitches and the pink lines depict the crochet stitches. You will just crochet one stitch into each blanket stitch that you so painstakingly stitched in and two into the two corner ones. As shown with the pink lines.

{creating a baby blanket} pattern - 2

This is the second pass. The grey depicts the stitches already completed. The light pink, longer lines are treble stitches and the slightly darker pink lines are chain stitches. This will create your scalloped edge.

{creating a baby blanket} pattern - start

To start the scallops after the crochet stitches you chain four, treble stitch, chain two, treble stitch, treble stitch, chain two, and attach to the appropriate crochet stitch. Click here for a helpful video.

{creating a baby blanket} pattern - 3

Now you are ready for your third and final trip around the square! Again, the grey parts are past stitches, pink are the current ones. For this trip around you chain five, crochet into the top of your scallop, and then chain five again. Unless it is the corner, for the corner you chain six instead.

Make sense?

One down, forty-seven more to go!

I know it looks complicated and daunting at first; but I promise it’s not! I got the hang of it much more quickly than I thought I would.

Here’s what the start looks like…

{creating a baby blanket} starting crochet

Not time consuming at all.

Although, I do think this is more fun than the endless blanket stitching.

She writes only ten squares in…

I assure you I was singing a different tune come square thirty!

Something amazing happened while I was crocheting these! I finished a skein of yarn while simultaneously finishing up a square. *mind blown*

{creating a baby blanket} woah

This will never happen again. And yes, I am easily amused.

I had to take a picture because I just couldn’t believe it.

Anyway, moving on…

I think one of the best parts about this type of quilt is that it was such a portable project! I was able to take this with on our spring break trip to Wisconsin (yes I am a crazy person who left the sunshine and went north, to the cold and snow, for spring break), I took it with to swim lessons, and I took it with to the doctor’s office. I just love multitasking!

{creating a baby blanket} it travels

AND I could listen to audio books while crocheting in say the doctor’s office! SO MUCH MULTITASKING!

{creating a baby blanket} cat

Also, I must say, crocheting with littles might be worse than crocheting in a room full of kittens.

{creating a baby blanket} finished squares

I did it! I finally finished all the squares! Yay!

Due to the fact that I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to crocheting I decided to just wing it when joining the squares together.

I decided to go row by row, placing the two squares I am joining face to face (just like we did when sewing the squares together) and basically crocheted them together. To do this I went through every third stitch and did a basic crochet stitch. I could have sewn them together or crocheted into every stitch; BUT to be honest I went with what would be quicker here. And I was not disappointed!

{creating a baby blanket} pattern - joining

After joining the squares and creating eight rows I then moved on to joining the rows to each other. I used the same process as above. I can honestly say sitting with a blanket on your lap in eighty degree weather almost got me to actually turn the air conditioning on. Almost. Not ready to admit I’m living in the south where AC in April is the norm.

{creating a baby blanket} gilmore girls

But I did enjoy some Gilmore Girls while crocheting in the heat!

As I joined the rows I cam to the sad realization that I wasn’t happy with how the edges looked once the rows were joined. So while joining the last row I decided to go around the whole blanket with a crochet stitch to create a more uniformed border.

{creating a baby blanket} rough edge

This is what it was looking like as it was coming together.

{creating a baby blanket} smooth edge

So, I crocheted the border and I just think it helped smooth out the edges!

Once I finished the border, it was time to tuck in all the yarn tails. So many yarn tails. It took quite a bit of time; but it really cleaned up the look of the quilt.

Since I am gifting this baby blanket, I decided to wash it and air dry it before mailing it. I mostly wanted to do this just in case it all fell apart in the washing machine.

I was definitely scared to press start on the machine and it was a stressful thirty minutes while I waited for it to run it’s cycle.

Moment of truth here.

ANNNNNDDDD!

*insert drum roll here*

{creating a baby blanket} finished

Voila!

It didn’t fall apart!

{creating a baby blanket} finished full

Here’s a more spread out view.

Time to get it in the mail and ship it off to my friend!

All in all I used nine skeins of this yarn to complete this project. And I just barely broke into that ninth one. I needed it for less than a foot of the final border. Of course.

It took me five trips to the craft store, countless hours, and some really sore fingers; but I did it! And I will probably never make another one.

*click on any of the supplies or links and it will send you to where you can purchase them! these are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase my blog will make some money and then i can keep on blogging! so that would be awesome!*

What do you think?! Anything you would have done differently?! Any helpful tips that may have made my life easier during this process?! What’s your favorite show to watch while crafting?!

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