When I was expecting Audrey, my mother's-in-law (and now my!) good friend, Sallee, gifted me a pile of plain cotton flannel swaddling blankets, which she had embroidered with a few little flowers. Such a simple gift, and I loved her handmade touch, but I had no idea how much I would use them. I think I used one every day until I was finished swaddling Audrey and then used them for her little sisters. (Thank you, Sallee!)
So as I was putting together a gift for my sister-in-law I thought about including this great basic, with a handmade flourish inspired by Sallee's. I picked a polka dot garland--some felt polka dots in various shades of blue and grey stitched down in an asymmetrical curve.
To make, I bought enough flannel to form a square (44"), and finished it with a turned hem. I like to zigzag the edge because it makes it easier to turn, and then turn it under twice and stitch down with mitered corners. You could also of course buy a plain flannel blanket--the appliques are such a cute and simple way to make it unique.
To make the polka dots I cut felt circles that vary in size from that of a quarter to a dime. Then I played with their arrangement in one corner of the blanket until I liked them way they looked, and stitched down.
I love the way this turned out. It was such a quick way to personalize the staple flannel swaddling blanket. And hopefully it's a gift my sister-in-law will find useful. I would have liked to make a whole stack of them, but I ran out of time after working on another blanket, which was a bit more complicated. I'll be sharing the tutorial for it next. (There's a little hint in the photo above.)