Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snuggle up, Princess

It is now too warm in Arizona for winter blankets on the bed, but it is too cool to go without any form of covering.  I noticed that my daughter was trying to huddle under a tiny blanket left over from when she was a baby.  (I think that was more  because the blanket was decorated with Tigger and less because she was really cold.)  Still though, she definitely needed a new larger blanket.  We went to the fabric store the next day to pick out what she wanted. When I asked her what kind of fabric she wanted she said, "pink."  Alrighty then,  pink it is.  She carried the bolts of cloth to the cutting table herself.  She was so cute!

I had only the vaguest of ideas about how I was going to complete this project so I bought two yards of two coordinating fabrics.  When I got home and saw just how large the finished blanked would be, I changed gears and formulated a solid plan of action.

With the exception of making the crown applique, I made this entire blanket in one afternoon.  It came together very quickly.  A few things slowed me down:  I got a lot of  "help" from my daughter.  (She wanted to sit on the chair behind me while I sewed.)  My sewing machine cannot sew very fast.  I needed to keep it going at a fairly slow speed so that I did not have difficulties when sewing the appliques.  Also, I do my best work in the morning, but I was in charge of the playgroup this week, so my morning was out.   Still, super easy and really fun!

Here is what you need to make this project:

  • Two coordinating fabrics, 2 yards of each.  
  • matching thread
  • Wonder Under
  • freezer paper
  • flashlight with a tripod or a helper who will stand really still

First, get rid of 18" of fabric off each piece.  (You may recognize this photo from the Yo-Yo Many post.  This fabric is not going on my bed.  I just wanted to show the cutting process I used.)  The extra pieces were going to become appliques. 

Choose a pattern you want to use for your applique.  I found a cute clip art crown and printed it out as large as I could on a sheet of paper.  Then I found a fun font (Matisse) and printed my daughter's name using a large font size.  I used different techniques to make the crown and letter appliques. 

This is how I made the crown applique.  

I wanted the crown to be much bigger than I could make on my home printer so I used a fun enlargement trick that anyone can do.  *This does need to be done either at night or in a dark room (the darker the better).  I took my photos during the day, but I did the tracing at night. 
  • Cut out your pattern.  
  • Tape it to some sort of support.  (I used a butter knife.)
  • Stand the pattern up somehow.  (I used a glass of crayons, but pie weights, beans, marbles, and Legos will all work too.)
  • Tape a large piece of freezer paper (dull side out) to the wall or window.  
  • Shine a flashlight behind the supported pattern.  
  • Adjust the distances between the pattern and the flashlight until the desired size is achieved.
  • Trace the outline of the shadow on the paper.  
  • Go over the outline with a Sharpie marker. 
Print your design on cardstock for a sturdier pattern. 
This was not completely flat, but I wasn't that picky.  Using multiple skewers would make the pattern flatter. 
I adjusted the distances back and forth, up and down before I got what I wanted.  You don't want the light source to move at all because as it moves, the shadow moves too. 
Watch where you are going with the pen instead of the tip of the pen.  Your tracing will be more accurate. 

Attach the pattern to the fabric.

Cut a piece of Wonder Under slightly larger than your pattern. 
Iron the Wonder Under onto the wrong side of the fabric.  Leave the paper backing on for now. 

Trim the fabric around the Wonder Under. 
Position the pattern design on the piece of prepared fabric.
Iron the freezer paper onto the right side of the fabric. 
This is very thick.
Cut out your pattern.

The freezer paper/flannel/Wonder Under sandwich makes a very stable cutting medium. 

Peel off the freezer paper.  
Peel the paper backing off the Wonder Under.  You may need to warm the paper with the iron first. 

To make the applique letters, I used a different technique. 
  • Print out the letters of your chosen font on very large on sheets of paper. 
  • Tape the sheets of paper backwards to a bright window or light box.
  • Hold a piece of Wonder Under paper side out up to the letters.
  • Trace the letters onto the paper. 
You must reverse the image of the letters before you trace or else your letters will be backwards once you have attached the Wonder Under to your fabric.  

Attach your Wonder Under patterns to the wrong side of your fabric. 

Here you can really see that the letters are in reverse although the "H" and the "E" are upside down and the "C" and "O" don't matter. 
Cut out your letters.  

Fold and snip the inside of the circle.
Then trim the rest of the inside.

Now all of your appliques are complete.  Lay them out and admire your handiwork.  


 Position the appliques onto the blanket pieces and press with a hot iron to attach.  

Here goes the crown. 
To position the letters, begin with the letter in the center and work outwards.  
I suddenly want Baskin Robbins Rainbow Sherbet!  MMMMM!
Use a zig-zag stitch to sew around the edges of your appliques.  

Set your stitch width to two and your stitch length to 2.5.
Here is my "helper" checking on her blanket in progress!
Here is the name applique with the stitching around the edges.
Pin the sides of the blanket right sides together and sew around the edge leaving a six-inch space to turn the project right side out.  Leave a 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

Clip the corners and turn the blanket right side out.  Use a pin to pull the corners into a sharp point.  


Press the edges of the blanket lightly and sew a decorative stitch around the edges of the blanket to secure the sides.  

A large zigzag is as decorative as my ancestral sewing machine can manage!
To secure the center of the blanket, "quilt" around the edges of the appliques.  I used a straight stitch 1/4" outside of the applique.  

Outside the crown.
I just did a loose stitch around the outside of the name.  
My daughter loves her new blanket.  When I was tucking her into bed last night she said, "thank you for making this for me, Mommy."  That was the cutest thing ever.  It made all of her "help" worth it!


The Atomic Mom said...

Ok, you win the mother of the year. I would have just bought a blanket! :)

Kristie said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!! You did the best job and I loved the post and the pics and YAY!!!! It turned out SO cute!!! You ROCK!!!!

Dr Sonia S V said...

Such a lot of work you have put into this one. Lucky child you to have such a loving mum
Cheers from Bangalore ,India
Dr Sonia S V
ENT Surgeon and Avid Crafter