The binding technique used below was chosen at the suggestion of our friends at Pendleton's Woolen Mill Store. Their wool felt binding is cut in exact 1½" strips, and being wool felt, it will not ravel. The edges are a beautiful finish as-is... no need for hemming. The technique is one they teach in their classes at the Woolen Mill Store. It creates a neat, blunt corner and is really the easiest of all binding options. Even if you've never attempted binding before, I KNOW you can create a beautiful finished blanket just like ours!
Pendleton's Woolen Mill Store provided the gorgeous Chinook fabric used for the blanket as well as the felt binding. They have been nice enough to package up kits in several color options for sale online at their ebay store. Just in time for Father's Day. Look for the project name: Sew4Home Project - Stadium Blanket.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC4030)
Fabric and Other Supplies
For the Blanket:
- 1¾ yard of 60" wide wool blanket fabric: we used Pendleton's lightweight jacquard Chinook blanket fabric in navy/camel
- 7 yards of binding: we used Pendleton's 1½" felt binding in burgundy
- All purpose thread to match body of blanket
- All purpose thread to match binding
- ½ yard 54" wide canvas or similar fabric: we used white canvas duck
- ¼ yard heavy interfacing (sew in, not fusible)
- 3/4 yard of binding to match or compliment blanket: we used Pendleton's 1½" felt binding in navy
- 2 yards polypropylene black webbing
- 2 buckles (adjustable on both ends)
- All purpose thread to match canvas
- All purpose black thread to match webbing
- All purpose thread to match binding
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Cut the wool blanket fabric to a 60" x 60" square.
- Cut the binding into four equal strips. Each strip should be approximately 63".
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- The finished blanket will be reversible, but for the sake of these instructions, you need to pick which side you want to be the "right" side of the blanket. That way, you won't get lost in the instructions.
- With blanket right side up, pin one strip of binding ¼" from what will be the top edge of the blanket. The head and tail of the binding can extend out beyond the fabric as it will be trimmed flush with the blanket fabric after stitching.
- Thread your machine with binding colored thread in the top and blanket colored thread in the bobbin.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, sew the first strip of binding to the top edge of the blanket. Be sure to back tack at the beginning and end of the seam to secure the stitching.
- Press the binding up, away from the blanket.
- Fold the binding over to the back of the blanket, aligning it just beyond the previous stitching line, and encasing the raw edge. Make sure your fold is even along the length of the blanket. Press in place.
NOTE: Remember -- the unsewn edge of the binding that you are wrapping around to the back is your finished edge, because this beautiful wool felt is perfectly cut and will not ravel. If you want to use a different type of fabric that might ravel, you would need to have a piece twice as wide folded in half, raw edges stitched down first and then the folded edge wrapped to the back. For a tutorial using this binding technique, take a look at Woodland Delight: 9-Pocket Door Caddy for Jewels and Lingerie .
- On the right side of the blanket, place pins 'in the ditch' of the binding seam line, which is just below your original seam line. You will remove the pins as you sew your seam.
- Re-thread your machine with blanket colored thread in the top and binding colored thread in the bobbin.
- Using a straight stitch, sew 'in the ditch' - again, this is right along and just below your original seam line. Stitch in the ditch along the entire length of the side. You'll be catching the finished/cut edge of the binding on the back side of the blanket.
NOTE: You can sew in the ditch with a regular presser foot, you just need to be very careful placing your foot on the fabric and aligning your needle. Then, sew slowly and keep your fabric along running along a needle plate guide line. Janome, our signature sponsor, has a wonderful Ditch Quilting foot that would be great for this project. It has a handy guide that runs along the previous seam to keep the ditch stitching perfectly straight.
- Trim the end of the binding off at each end so it is flush with the side of the blanket.
- Repeat to bind the bottom edge of the blanket.
- Repeat to apply binding to the left and right sides of the blanket.
- Remember to allow the binding to extend beyond the finished edge at the beginning and ending of each seam.
- The trick is to be ultra-careful with your wrapping and pinning of the binding, so when you stitch in the ditch you catch the back with a nice, straight and even seam.
- Carefully trim ends to make blunt, square corners.
- Cut ONE piece of canvas fabric (white canvas duck in our sample ) 20½ " x 9½".
- Cut TWO pieces of interfacing 9½ x 4½".
- Cut TWO 9½" strips of binding (1½" navy wool felt in our sample) .
- Cut ONE 11" strip of black webbing.
- Cut TWO 22" strips of black webbing.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Pin the two pieces of interfacing to the wrong side of the canvas piece at each end, aligning the 9½" sides.
- Thread your machine with thread to match the canvas (white in our sample) in both the top and the bobbin.
- Using a ¼" seam, stitch all the way around each piece of interfacing.
- Fold in each interfaced 'wing' and press flat.
- Unfold the wings and apply binding to each end of the canvas piece using the same 'stitch in the ditch' method explained in blanket instructions above.
- Optional team appliqué: If you'd like to customize Dad's tote with a team logo, appliqué this in place now in the center on the right side of one wing.
- With the right side of the canvas up, fold in the bound wings. Each wing folds in to the center 4". Pin in place.
NOTE: As you are looking at this folded and pinned piece on your work surface, the middle canvas section should be right side facing up. The two 'wings' should be wrong sides facing up. In other words, you are seeing the 'back side' of the binding. The folded-in wings will become the tote's pockets.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch along the top and bottom, securing the pockets in place.
- Trim the bulky ends of wool binding close to stitching and turn the pockets right side. Press pockets.
- Fold in and press a ¼" inch hem between the two pockets.
- Finish all four ends of the two 22" strips of webbing by turning the ends under 3/8". Use a zig-zag stitch to secure and remember to back tack at the beginning and end. Be sure to turn under in the same direction on all the ends.
- Find the center point of each of the two 22" strips of webbing.
- Mark this center point with a straight pin.
- Find the center point of the canvas/pocket assembly and mark with a pin on each side.
- Lining up these center marking pins, lay the packet assembly piece right side down on top of the two webbing pieces and pin.
- Stitch the pocket assembly piece onto the webbing, staying as close as possible to the outside edge of each webbing strip.
- Turn the piece right side up.
- Find the 11" webbing piece. This will become the carrying handle. Slip one end of the 11" webbing strip underneath each side of the sewn webbing strips right at the marked center points. Pin in place and then test it out. It shouldn't need to be any longer, but if you'd like a tighter handle, simply trim one end to your preferred length and then re-insert that end. Once it's just how you want it, securely pin both sides in place.
- Sew close to the inside edge of the webbing on each side. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seams and also backstitch over the handle ends to strengthen this stress point.
- Attach the buckles to each end of the side webbing strips following the manufacturer's instructions that come with the buckles.
- Roll up blanket, adjust strap tension, and snap in place. It's ready to tote to the next big game.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Julia Chapman
Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina activa 210 and the Brother NX-250.