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Lush & Plush Trends from Fabric.com: Minky and Satin Baby Blankets

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Recently, movie star and trendsetter, Nicole Kidman was photographed holding baby Faith wrapped in a plush pink baby blanket with a lush satin ruffle. Dozens of commenters on the photo demanded to know where she got that adorable blanket. Nicole's not telling, but no worries because we have an even cuter design you can make yourself. It's part of our new S4H Series sponsored by Fabric.com: the lush-est, plushest, most trendy fabrics for Fall and Winter. Mar Bella Minky and rich satin combine today for this double-sided beauty!

Fabric.com has a wonderful selection of the absolutely gorgeous Mar Bella Minky and it's all on sale! In fact, there are so many pretty Mar Bella patterns to chose from, we had to make our design double-sided. Minky is rather slippery on the back, and with wrong sides together; we knew there could be a problem with our layers shifting. However, we didn't want to add any quilting stitches to hold the layers together as we felt it would take away from the beautiful look of the motifs. Instead, we came up with a clever solution: there's a secret layer of flannel in between the two layers of Minky. The double-napped flannel keeps the two layers from shifting and adds a little extra oomph and insulation as well.

As we mentioned in our previous Flannel Pillowcase tutorial, make sure you pre-wash your flannel. Otherwise, it could shrink up more than the Minky and cause your lovely blankie to twist and turn.

Big, big thanks to all the friendly folks at Fabric.com for helping us bring this series to you. We have a great group of projects, tips and product reviews to get you working like a pro with flannel, Minky, faux fur and faux leather. They've also provided us with a wonderful Great Giveaway Gift for one lucky Sew4Home fan.

If you haven't visited Fabric.com before, scoot on over there today. They offer free shipping on orders of just $35 and more. When you combine that with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, free return shipping and the ability to order swatches, you have a no-risk way to shop online for fabric and more.

Sewing Tools You Need

  • Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome HD3000)
    NOTE: You will be sewing through a number of slippery layers, make sure you have a machine with a good feeding system, like the 7-piece feed dog on the Janome HD3000.
  • Ruffler attachment (optional... but a super-cool time saver)

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Amounts shown below are for ONE blanket. Multiply as needed for twins, triplets and beyond.

Getting Started

  1. From the front fabric cut ONE 35" x 35" square.
  2. From the back fabric cut ONE 35" x 35" square.
  3. From the cotton flannel fabric, cut ONE 35" x 35" square.
  4. Using a small glass or cup, round each corner of each layer (front, back and flannel).
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  5. From the ruffle fabric, cut EIGHT strips 6" x width of fabric (WOF). Trim off the selvedges.
    NOTE: We used the rule of thumb that says your ruffle needs to be approximately 2½ times the length of the edge to which you're applying the ruffle. Since our quilt will be 34" square when finished, we multiplied 34" by 4 to get 136".  Then we multiplied 136" by 2.5" to get 340". Finally divide this new total length by your WOF to get the number of strips you'll need. In our sample, that meant dividing 340" by 45". This equaled 7.56, which we rounded up to 8. We wanted a 2½" finished ruffle, so we knew our ruffle strips would need to be 6" to account for folding the strip in half plus a ½" seam allowance. After all this math-noodlin', we cut EIGHT 6" x WOF strips. Sewn together, this gave us approximately 352" of ruffle fabric to work with. If you are new to this technique, you can check out our tutorial: Gathering & Ruffles Made Easy .

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

The ruffle

  1. Sew all eight 6" strips together end to end. To do this, place two strips right sides together and stitch along the 6" edge, using a ¼" seam allowance. Repeat to create one long strip. Press all seams open.
  2. Fold and press this long ruffle piece in half lengthwise wrong sides together.
  3. Hem one end of ruffle. To do this, turn one end under ¼" and press, turn under again ¼" and press, and then sew in place close to the folded edge.
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    NOTE: This is a LOT o' ruffling, which is why we opted to use the a ruffler attachment for our Janome machine. These contraptions look intimidating but are easy to use. Most machine manufacturers offer something similar to what we show, and the Janome version is actually made to fit both Janome machines as well as machines from other manufacturers. It comes with pretty good instructions of how to set the ruffle depth and insert the folded fabric. If you don't have a ruffler attachment, you can ruffle the traditional way with two lines of machine basting. With this much length, it's good to do the machine basting in easy-to-work-with sections of about 18" or so. Again, you can take a look at our tutorial: Gathering & Ruffles Made Easy. Janome also has a good video tutorial on their Ultimate Ruffler.
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  4. The satin fabric we used for our pretty ruffle can be very slippery, so it is best to pin the raw edges with the head of the pin facing to the raw edge side of the ruffle, and with a pin set about every 3-4". This will help keep the satin fabric from twisting and torquing as it is fed into the ruffler. Be sure to remove pins as you feed the satin fabric into the ruffler!
  5. Gather the entire length of the ruffle to the approximate length of the four sides of the quilt (136"). Leave some extra length for overlapping to finish the ends. No need to have an exact measurement, just give yourself plenty to work with.
  6. Starting with the hemmed end, and with the back of that hem against the right side of the blanket (wrong side to right side), pin the ruffle to the BACK fabric. Align the raw edges of the ruffle with the raw edge of the fabric.
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  7. When you have about six inches remaining before the beginning and the end meet, lay out the end of the ruffle so it overlaps the beginning by about 2½".
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  8. Cut off the excess, then hem this end in the same manner as you hemmed the other end. If you've used a ruffle attachment, you'll need to switch back to your regular presser foot.
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  9. Overlap the two finished ends so the ruffle lays flat and finish pinning.
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  10. Machine baste the ruffle in place around all four sides.

Assembling the layers

  1. Machine baste the flannel square to the wrong side of the blanket FRONT fabric using a ¼" seam allowance.
    NOTE: Your corners should be rounded at this point. Remember that step from above. I happened to take this photo prior to my "rounding."
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  2. Carefully pin the extra ruffle fabric away from the corners so it does not get caught up in the stitching when the quilt top is sewn on.
  3. Layer the flannel/front fabric and the ruffle/back fabric right sides together. The ruffle is now sandwiched in between the layers.
  4. Pin in place, using plenty o' pins. Leave a 3-4" opening along one side for turning.
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch through all layers around all four sides, remembering to leave that 3-4" opening for turning. Stitch slowly, smoothing the layers as you go; this will help insure your ruffle stays flat.
  6. Clip all four corner curves. Then, trim the flannel/front fabric close to the seam, but be careful not to cut into your stitching. DON'T trim the ruffle/back fabric.
  7. Turn quilt right side out, pull out the ruffle, and press from each side.
    NOTE: Use a pressing cloth/towel and low heat as the Minky does NOT react well to direct or high heat from an iron. It will ruin the nap and any embossing in the fabric.
  8. Use a long, blunt-end tool to round out the corner curves; a long knitting needle or chopstick works well.
  9. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Finger press. Pin in place.
  10. Hand sew the opening closed with a small whipstitch. Minky is great for hiding hand stitching; it simply disappears into the nap.

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Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson

Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina 530 and the Brother SQ-9000.

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Comments (61)

michelabelle said:
michelabelle's picture

since i'm new to sewing, i'm finding this project extremely challenging but a great learning experience. i did purchase a ruffler foot -and immediately broke it since i didn't install it properly. i managed to install the second foot properly and go to town on the ruffle. but the satin ravels so much it's a white hot mess! if i were to ever attempt this project again, (which is highly unlikely) i would use a side cutter foot on the satin, prior to putting it through the ruffler. i also noticed that the ruffler foot doesn't like going over seams, so i have to go back and hand stitch some pleating where it missed. i've been working on this blanket on and off (mostly off!) for a couple of weeks. i like to take frequent breaks in order to prevent myself from having a massive meltdown. it really is a great project although i can't wait to finish!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ michelabelle - good for you for hanging in there - especially as a new sewer. I'm sure it looks wonderful!

Ananasa said:
Ananasa's picture

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for your inspiration and creativity!

Ananasa.com- Home For Handmade 

LeAnn said:
LeAnn's picture

Will this work if you serge the layers together and use pre-ruffled satin binding?  Seems like that might be easier???

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ LeAnn - We haven't tested that option but you could certainly give it a try. Many in our audience do not have a serger, so we focus our instrucitons on sewing machine options only.

Jessjp said:
Jessjp's picture

I've been thinking about this for 2 days now, and maybe its just my baby brain, but the ruffle is sewn to the back of the fabric, then when pinned, it should be folded over the front of the material? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how the ruffle will end up out side the blanket.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jessjp - here's the key step to pay attention to:

Layer the flannel/front fabric and the ruffle/back fabric right sides together. The ruffle is now sandwiched in between the layers.

Then, you stitch the layers together, leaving an opening along one side, turn it right side out through that opening, and your ruffle will pop out in position within the seam. 

Jeannie C said:
Jeannie C's picture

Just wanted to add that plain minky when quilted with large embroidery single- run stitche designs ,it comes out beautiful on the minky.

Krista K said:
Krista K's picture

I used this project as an excuse to finally buy a ruffler foot for my machine, and boy, was I glad I had it.  The blanket turned out beautifully, and I have bought supplies for two more blankets, but learned a lot the first time around.  The minky is fairly stretchy and I had some difficulty with the flannel and minky not lining up despite pinning.  Next time I will lay it out on the floor like a quilt and pin throughout the piece to ensure less shifting.  Also, I ended up  with some of the original stitching showing on the ruffle, and will take a much smaller seam allowance when sewing it onto the blanket initially.

Mommy to the 4th power! said:
Mommy to the 4th power!'s picture

ive noticed when sewing minky's that the more you pin the better it is, and idk if you can with this project (im sure you could) but i use zigzag stich and it gives room for the minky to strech... :) happy sewing.

J. said:
J.'s picture

A couple of things: first and most important, blankets are still not recommended for infants-- 

Second, it's the new millennium. We don't need to color-code babies any more. (Really? Pink and blue? *snort*)

That said, this is a cute project for a toddler's bed!

Sara said:
Sara's picture

Hello J - Even though we don't put blankets in baby's beds anymore, we still wrap them up when we take them out, and lay a blanket down before we put the baby down on the floor or couch, and protect our laps when we're wearing our good clothes. Blankets will always be necessary! Pink ones, blue, orange, purple, green...

norma v said:
norma v's picture

the term color coding sounds like you think babies are things...

J. said:
J.'s picture

That's the point--I think they are people. Girls can be dressed in blue and boys can wear pink! The idea that they can't is outdated and disrespectful of basic, unique personhood.

norma v said:
norma v's picture

the term color coding sounds like you think babies are things...

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ J. - thanks for your input - Baby choices are extremely personal.

Sew4Baby said:
Sew4Baby's picture

This is just gorgeous! I am 22 weeks pregnant and can't wait to make this for my baby daughter! Just wondering if you pre-washed the minky. And once completed, how would you suggest washing it? One last question - any suggestions on what to do with the extra fabric? The minky is 60" wide so I was thinking of a matching burpcloth (or two- at 10x17 each and buying an extra 1/2 of the flannel). Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Sew4Baby - the recommended washing instructions for the MarBella Minky is to machine wash in cold and tumble dry on low. We do traditionally recommend pre-washing for projects. I've included a link below to our most recent tutorial about pre-shrinking/pre-washing. Minky is not necessarily super absorbant; it's really all about being cuddly... so maybe not the best for a burp cloth. Maybe you could just make a second, smaller blanket for a friend ;-)

http://sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/simply-color-vanes...

b said:
b's picture

Or you could make a tag blankie to match!! I love making them,, so fun!!

Sew4Baby said:
Sew4Baby's picture

Thank you so much for your reply! I just received the Mar Bella fabric from Fabric.com and wow - it is absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous! I am so glad I went with your recommendations. While waiting for my order, I practiced ruffling with my Brother machine and gathering/ruffler foot on some scraps of bridal satin. I sewed a 1/4" seam along the long raw edges of the satin, right sides together like a long tube. Then I pressed the seam open, turned it right side out, pressed the sewn edge flat and fed it through the ruffler. I had no issues with fraying and it came out beautiful. Admittedly, the pieces were shorter, but I'm  just wondering why you don't suggest this? (or even just pressing the raw edges of the satin to the inside & top stitching the edge prior to ruffling)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Sew4Baby - thanks for the suggestions; we always like to hear the alternatives our visitors use. We don't consider there to ever be only one way to approach a project! What we always try to offer is the easiest an/or most common way to approach a technique. Thanks again.

Sew4Baby said:
Sew4Baby's picture

I just finished this blanket and it came out beautifully! The two layers of minky with the flannel in between make this blanket incredibly warm and so plush & thick. It was quite challenging, but all of the wonderful tips helped immensely. The ruffling foot is a must. Also, basting the edge of the satin made a huge difference in reducing fraying and slippage.

Working with minky is quite challenging, but the results are so worth it. I used a ton of thin, long pins throughout and still had issues with slipping. In the end, double-sided tape along the edge and a generous seam allowance provided the best results. I am considering buying a walking foot for my Brother machine as well, as I can use it on other projects.

I promised my hubby I'd make him a larger-sized throw for the couch - sans the ruffle. One of the biggest problems I'm having is getting the materials, as it seems to sell out quite quickly on Fabric.com.  Thank you sew4home for providing such fantastic step-by-step instructions and helpful pics free of charge, love love LOVE the results and LOVE your site! 

SewHappy@Home said:
SewHappy@Home's picture

For those who have a serger, why not serge the satin so it doesn't ravel?  I would even try using the serger ruffler although I don't have one.  This looks like a beautiful blanket.  I have made baby blankets using flannel on one side and minky on the other side and have had it quilted.  The minky is a solid color and it looks just fine.  My daughter wants one (she's 30) and I am having trouble finding a number of the MarBella coordinated fabric.  I saw an add forMarBella in a recent Fons & Porter magazine and they used quite a number of the coordinating Minye fabrics.  It was beautiful.

Connie D said:
Connie D's picture

Just finished this.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  The satin frayed and slipped a lot, I ended up basting it after folding to hold it together for the ruffler.  I had a lot of problems with the ruffler.  In the end I had a lot more ruffle than I needed, like 8 feet more, so I'm not sure what I did wrong.  The end result was ok, the Minky is very nice and soft, but I dont think I would try it again.  

Catherine L. said:
Catherine L.'s picture

Thanks so much for this tutorial!  It was a tough project since I'm a sewing amateur and have never ruffled before, but I managed to get it done in about 4-5 hours.  The ruffles drove me crazy!  I used the same satin from Fabric.com and frayed like crazy which made things so much harder as the frays would catch under my feed dogs or elsewhere.  I kept trimming the fray and more would appear.  My ruffles turned out much less ruffly and more wavy, but still pretty (I also used the Janome ruffler attachment set to 1 and depth of 6).  I also had some seam ripping after attaching the ruffles to the minky because the minky would bunch in and I didn't realize it.

I was also confused by the 2-1/2 inches of overlap on the ruffle.  Looking at your pictures, it seems more like the two hemmed ends overlap each other.  I would say that next time I would do as little overlap as possible - but I would be suicidal to try this project again!

Still, it was a good learning experience.    The Mar Bella minky is so plush and beautiful and the end result is a very thick, luxurious and hefty blanket.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Catherine L - Good for you for hanging in there through the entire process and glad to hear you ended up with a beauty of a blankie! Our ruffle really did overlap by the 2-1/2". The photo below step #7 is the better image to see the overlap. The photo below step #9 is a bit of an optical illusion, it looks like just the hems overlapping, but that is actually a part of the ruffle. Again - so glad you ended up with a success.

Anne said:
Anne 's picture

How come you didn't use a double satin bias for the ruffler? just curious as im new to sewing and would love to make this. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Anne - the packaged satin binding is much thinner. We wanted a beefy ruffle.

Sewing4fun said:
Sewing4fun's picture
Thanks so much Liz! Crystal clear now. I can't wait to get started.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Sewing4fun - Ha! You are not confused at all... I should have added some better notes in there, which I have done and you can see if you refresh the page. I took that photo earlier on.... before I have done my "rounding" -- so all the layers should indeed be rounded. And, I've improved the steps below to show that you are indeed stitching curved corners and rounding out curved corners with your chopstick. Okee dokee... you're good to go. Thanks for clarify for ME smilies/cheesy.gif
Sewing4fun said:
Sewing4fun's picture
Clarification for the easily confused, please! We are told to round the corners of the fabric using a glass. Then in step 1 of assembling the layers the picture shows pointed/straight corners. Step 6 says clip corners on the diagonal, but that doesn't seem in line with having rounded corners. Can someone explain what I'm missing here? I'm sure it's obvious! Thanks smilies/smiley.gif
KariSwan said:
KariSwan's picture
I just finished one for our friends.... it turned out wonderful....
Kala Y said:
Kala Y's picture
Love, love, love this blanket. I used flannel on one side and minky on the other just because I didn't have two types of minky at the time. I used a gathering foot which ruffled the satin and sewed it onto the flannel all in one step, no pins required! (I did baste the satin strip ahead of time, just to make sure nothing slipped)

Thanks for the tutorial!
Elaine M. said:
Elaine M.'s picture
I just finished one blanket and decided after the old school ruffling that I HAD to have the ruffler foot. I just got it in today and now I no longer loathe satin!! These blankets are true works of art and I've gotten several requests for them since posting the picture of the one I made! Only problem: now I want one for my own self!
Cherise Lane said:
Cherise Lane's picture
I saw that question and response but I was not sure if that answer applied to my fabric combo. I think I will just use all minky because I don't want to quilt into the minky and I definitely don't want the blanket to lay funny. Anyway, thanks for your response and thanks for the comprehensive tutorial.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Cherise Lane - as I responded to @ NoelleQ below - the "flannel trick" described above is one for layers that are inherently slick on the wrong side, like the Minky. Making this project from cotton and/or flannel and regular batting is a whole different ballgame. With either of these fabrics, you shouldn't need the "flannel trick", however, bear in mind that the main reason we did our trick was because we didn't want lines of quilting through our beautiful Minky. If you use a fusible batting, you may still be able to get away with no quilting, but I can't guarantee it. Once your blanket it completed, if it shifts easily, I would recommend a few lines or quilting or a few hand tied points across the blanket. Also, as I mentioned in @ NoselleQ's response - here's a similar tutorial with batting and quilting:

http://sew4home.com/projects/bed-linens/622-baby-gifts-pretty-bird-ruffl...
Cherise Lane said:
Cherise Lane's picture
Hi there!

Is it possible to do this blanekt with minky on one side and then cotten woven or flannel fused with fleece interfacing on the other side? If so, would I still need to put the double napped flannel in between the two layers?

Thanks,
Cherise
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ silvermom - thanks for letting us know about your "gathering experience." We used the heavier satin because we wanted the heft of the ruffle to match the thickness of the two layers of Minky. We did use the ruffler and didn't have a problem, so it's good to know you had some challenges without it. I would echo your suggestion of a lighter weight satin if you aren't able to use a ruffler.
silvermom said:
silvermom's picture
Just so people know... it is virtually impossible to make the ruffles without the ruffling or gathering attachment for your machine. I did not want to purchase it for one project, so I basted the satin. I purchased the exact fabric recommended from fabric.com and the satin is too heavy to baste and gather... especially two layers of it! My thread kept breaking as I was trying to gather the satin. I used Guetermann thread (so it wasn't the cheapo kind). I basted in 15" segments to make the gathering easier and it still didn't help. I ended up cutting off all of the basting and pinning little pleats and tucks going different directions to salvage the ruffle. I think the recommended satin is too heavy.... this is fabric you use for wedding gowns! I would go with a much lighter fabric for the ruffle next time.
NoelleQ said:
NoelleQ's picture
Perfect! That's exactly what I needed to Know. I LOVE fabric.com! Thanks a bunch!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ NoelleQ - the "flannel trick" described above is one for layers that are inherently slick on the wrong side, like the Minky. Making this project from linen and regular batting is a whole different ballgame. I would recommend quilting stitches through all the layers. You might try a combo-instruction project, incorporating the above project with our ruffled baby blanket tutorial, which features lines of quilting:

http://sew4home.com/projects/bed-linens/622-baby-gifts-pretty-bird-ruffl...

I like the Kyoto natural bamboo batting and I think it would be quite nice with a linen. You can find it at Fabric.com:

http://www.fabric.com/eco-friendly-organic-boutique-kyoto-bamboo-soy-sof...

Warm & Natural's battings are also nice and also available at Fabric.com:

http://www.fabric.com/SearchResults2.aspx?Source=Header&SearchText=warm+...



NoelleQ said:
NoelleQ's picture
I have a question, when making these kind of blankets with two pieces of fabric sewn together is there no need for "quilting" or tying the layers down? I want to try making this blanket with two pieces of linen fabric and a light batting in the center. Will the batting get clumpy in the wash? Is the trick to use flannel in the center so the pieces sorta stick? Is there a batting you recommend for a project like this?
Tmbunch@hotmail.com said:
Tmbunch@hotmail.com's picture
I would love to buy one from someone that makes these blankets!
Email me!
mike.debby@hotmail.com said:
mike.debby@hotmail.com's picture

We make these blankets all the time, and personalize them.  If you are interested, look at our blankets on facebook - the giggling goose. 

A Video will be better. said:
A Video will be better.'s picture
A video will be a much better step-by-step Tutorials.
Shirlee Saunders said:
Shirlee Saunders's picture
Working on my fourth blanket now. One was a full size one for my daughter's bed. Sure glad I read this. Love the flannel in between the minky layers idea. Can't wait to try it.
08ibelieve said:
08ibelieve's picture
I've been making these blankets since my granddaughter was born, over a year ago, and giving them as presents for all the newborn babies of friends of my son & DIL. I've made over a dozen so far, and have also made adult size throws for those cold winter nights. There waeen't any ideas like this out there, so after trial & error, I made up a pattern very similar to this one. I get all my supplies from Fabric.com. I use satin blanket binding instead of trying to use that slippery satin for the ruffle. It is the right size & one package will cover a 32" square blanket (I also round the edges of the blanket). I run a basting line down the raw edges of the blanket binding & pull for the gathers, but an attachment would work well. If you use polyester thread, pulling the ruffles is a breeze. I fold over the ends & press the satin & overlap one edge into the other when they meet, instead of hemming. The end result is very polished. I love your rosebud minky, which is one-sided, and they will stick together without any stitching. Other than ironing the blanket binding before I start, there is no more ironing. I machine baste the ruffle to the right side of one of the minky pieces before I sew the fabric together & that keeps the ruffle in place. After I pull the minky to the right side of the fabric after sewing the back & front together (with the ruffle sandwiched in-between, I sew around all the edges 1/4" in from the ruffle. This holds everything in place & closes the opening I left to pull the the fabric out. I add a name tag & I'm done. I've also made these with football team fleece on one side & minky on the other—a big hit with the Dads!
murphy! said:
murphy!'s picture
Love the idea of the flannel! I just made one with a satin back and had a horrible time! If I had used flannel, I believe it would have helped.

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