Monday, August 16, 2010

Sewing: Minky and Satin Luxe Blankets


When Scarlett was born I made Audrey a Waldorf doll to give her when she came to visit us at the hospital for the first time. I loved the idea of giving her something special to mark the occasion, and thought perhaps with a cuddly doll she could mimic mommy and the new baby. I love how the doll turned out and Audrey played with her at the hospital, changing her outfits a few times, but then didn't really take to the doll thing... She's really a stuffed animal girl, not a doll girl. I like to think at some point she'll appreciate the handmade doll from mom however.

So you would think I would be busy making Scarlett her own Waldorf doll to receive when she comes to meet this new baby sister, but I just didn't get started early enough. She would probably enjoy it more than her older sister did and I love the idea of a handmade doll for each of my girls, so maybe for Christmas.

But I still wanted to have some handmade gifts to give the girls at the hospital. One of those crazy nesting mom things I guess as balloons and bubblegum would probably do just fine. I bought fabric and thought I would make Heirloom Cut Chenille Baby Blankets for each of them, but time was so short and I have been juggling several nesting projects at once so I put off those more time consuming projects and last week came up with what I thought was the perfect solution: Minky and Satin Luxe blankets! Relatively quick and incredibly soft and cuddly. I imagine them cozying up to these gifts immediately and wearing them out with use, which will be just fine. I'll do the cut chenille blankets for another time...
So here they are, in paisley and zebra print. Not surprisingly for me, I went to the fabric store last week with thirty minutes to find the perfect fabrics for the two blankets. Though they had an impressive selection of minky it was more difficult than I thought. I wanted at least one side to be in a fun print rather than a solid but didn't see the perfect thing. I think this combo is fun, though it is trendier than what I would usually pick. Looks kind of out of place next to my other projects, but Audrey likes her animal prints (goes along with the stuffed animal thing I think).  There was really no competition for the pink paisley and zebra duo so I went with the green version for the second blanket. I'm not sure which of the girls will get which blanket--maybe I'll have Audrey pick first as she's more likely to have a preference, or at least more likely to be able to clearly vocalize it!


The minky paisley print fabric in chocolate and mint, is from Shannon Fabrics.  Shannon Fabrics also manufactures the coordinating Silky Satin zebra print satin. Is it just pregnant me or does this fabric induce hunger? It reminds me of my friend, Sue's, amazing chocolate mint brownies. If I stare at it too long I may have to call her and make a request!

Here are links to the pink paisley fabric in chocolate and pink, and coordinating zebra print satin.

I used this tutorial from Less Cake More Frosting to sew the blanket. I was so happy to find some instructions for this wrap around border that made sense to me. The satin was a bit of a nightmare to work with however (the tutorial uses cotton fabrics)--it took forever just to cut a square piece. Not sure I did. I decided rather than ironing all my seams I would leave them and go for a softer, shabby look, which would also hopefully camouflage my off-square imperfections in the construction! I also opted for a straight zig-zag stitch to finish, rather than something more decorative, since there is already so much pattern.

One other confession: I goofed and cut the pink minky square smaller than I intended. I wanted to make the blankets as large as possible with the 1.25 yards I purchased of each fabric, so I cut the first (green) blanket with a 45 inch square satin piece and a 37 in square minky piece, planning for a smaller satin border than the tutorial. I had the same thing in mind for the pink version but after cutting the satin I accidentally cut the minky at 33 inches. It was late at night and it felt a bit like a disaster. Thank goodness my husband said, "why does it matter?" He's usually that deadpan realistic. And I thought after a minute, "why does it matter?" I ended up with a blanket that is the same size but has a wider satin border. Turns out I like both versions just fine.


These gifts are surprises so I had Pooh act as surrogate for the photos and now the blankets are both wrapped and packed in the hospital bag. A friend said, "isn't a new baby sister gift enough?" and she is right, but I hope my girls think these are fun too.


Jon said...

HI Annalise
I follow your blog daily and am amazed at the beautiful things you create for your girls and family. I am trying to contact you re the Fiesta Forty invitations that I want to do for my husbands birthday- I now cannot download the powerpoint on Scribd as they have been archived and I am wondering if you could email them??? I know this is a HUGE ask but as a big fan from Australia I would love to recreate something a little like the amazing birthday you created!!! Thanks Ozjane

VK said...

I love minky and have never seen satiny fabrics that match this well. I think it is great to have such different smooth textures on one blanket. I usually just try to find something that matches fairly well, but now I'm going to have to look it up and order it online.
You always have great projects and ideas.

Anneliese said...

Ozjane, I'm sorry you weren't able to download the Fiesta Forty invite template. I just went to Scribd and couldn't see that it is archived--I was able to download this morning so I hope that it's working. Your email address didn't come through with your comment but if you will let me know what it is I'd be happy to help you get a copy of the template. Thanks for reading from Australia!

Susan said...

These are spectacular! I have to find a baby to make one for now! :) I noticed the link to the satin is only in bulk, are you able to just by a yard or two?
~Susan @ Living with Punks

Jane said...

HI Anneliese

My email is I cannot wait to make the invitations... I am ALSO going to start on a baby cloche and cardigan- that lilac/ grey shade is simply stunning- I am so inspired! Ozjane

Tasha Horsley said...

you are such a great mom to do that for your girls! i think it's such a great idea for helping them feel special too when so much attention is going to the new baby. the blankets are beautiful! i'd like to snuggle up with one too! :)

Emily said...

Such gorgeous blankets!! :)

Krista said...

I love these blankets that you've made using minky & satin. I've tried it before but I always run into a problem with the fabrics 'walking' while I'm sewing them together. They end up being so far apart that I can't match them up. Any suggestions?

Anneliese said...

@Krista: I think this satin is nearly impossible to sew with! There must be some good tricks out there but the only thing I can recommend is to do a good job pinning before you sew so that things don't get too far off track.

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