Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sewing: The Ultimate Cuddle Blanket (Tutorial)


 
Last year for Christmas I made my husband the Ultimate Couch Blanket. It was a big hit. In fact it has been fought over and in use non-stop for a year now--by everyone but it's recipient! He never really gets the chance to use it because someone else has always snuggled in before him.So I thought it was time for more blankets!

 
This year I have made each of our girls an Ultimate Cuddle Blanket. A bit smaller than the adult-sized couch blanket, it is still one that they can grown into for years. It's perfect for the couch, bed, sleepovers, and pretending to hibernate in a cave. It's even big enough for two and it is super luxurious...

 
Each of these Ultimate Cuddle Blankets are about 48"x60" (some more some less depending on the width of the different fabrics) and made with the same incredibly soft minky. I used different minky fabrics for the front side and on the reverse they all have the same minky shag I fell in love with in the Ultimate Couch Blanket. I can't get over this stuff.


And of course, they all have the giant "foot pocket" on the shaggy side. No toes sticking out from under the blanket.
 
 
It's hard to show the pocket easily, but it's 36" high and the width of the blanket (about 48") with some stitching in the middle of the opening to keep it from falling open and hanging down. It will certainly keep our little girls' toesies toasty and could practically serve as a sleeping bag while they're small.
 
 
I am so relieved to have these three finished and under the tree. And I even get to share them with you before Christmas because my girls are too little to snoop around online. Can you guess which girl is getting the Dalmatian print?


As crazy as it sounds, if you can get your hands on some minky you could pull off one of these by Christmas. Or file this away for an upcoming occasion. I made these a bit differently than the original (Ultimate Couch Blanket) so you could look at both tutorials and decide which you prefer. Click through to read the full tutorial.

Fabric sources:

ULTIMATE CUDDLE BLANKET TUTORIAL

You'll need:
  • 1 1/2 yards of a minky fabric of your choice
  • 1 1/2 yards of a minky shag for the reverse side
  • 2 yards of minky shag to form the pocket (so that's a total of 3 1/2 yards shag...)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Lots of pins!
To make the blanket refer to the illustrations (easier than trying to get the whole blanket in the photo frame!), photos and instructions below. The illustrations are numbered and correspond to the numbered instructional text, with some photos thrown in.

1. Stack your 1 1/2 yards of printed minky and your 1 1/2 yards of shaggy minky right sides together. You may need to trim to make these pieces the same size. Or, if your shaggy minky is much larger you could refer to my Ultimate Couch Blanket tutorial which includes links for making a self binding. Pin together.
 
 
 
2. Stitch around the perimeter of the blanket using a .5" seam allowance. Leave a 5" opening for turning right sides out.
 
3. Turn right sides out and stitch your opening closed.
 
4. Take your 2 yards of shaggy minky and fold it in half so that you have a rectangle measuring 48" wide by 36" high. This assumes your blanket started out 48". If not, trim the width accordingly. The pocket doesn't have to be exactly as wide as your blanket but you don't want it wider...


5. Stitch around the 3 sides of your pocket using a .5" seam allowance, but leave a 5" opening for turning. Turn right sides out and stitch the opening closed.

Now lay your blanket out shaggy side up. Lay your pocket on top of the shaggy side so it is at the bottom and all the edges are aligned. Pin in place. You may want to use large safety pins.

 
On the right side (patterned side) of blanket pin the layers of the blanket together all around the perimeter.
 
 
Now stitch around the entire perimeter of the blanket using a 1" seam allowance. In addition to being a nice top stitching detail this will attach the pocket. The perimeter of the pocket will be free for the distance of your seam allowance but I like this look because it creates even more fluffy shag.
 
 
Now, one final detail is to stitch a square at the top of the pocket opening to hold up the pocket (otherwise the weight of the minky will cause it to hang down). To do this, lay out the blanket and smooth it so it is as square and flat as possible. Use a couple safety pins to pin together the blanket and pocket layers at the top center of the pocket.
 
 
Now stitch a square that is roughly 2"x2". Or, if you want the stitching to blend in a bit you can stitch a shape to match the pattern of your minky as I did in on Ultimate Couch Blanket.
 
 
Your Ultimate Cuddle Blanket is ready to go. Wrap it up! Or wrap up in it. Either way there are sure to be smiles.
 

22 comments:

Tammy said...

Beautiful! I love snuggling on the couch under a blanket.

Elasha said...

Oh wow. I'd have been tempted a few weeks ago -- but will file this away for next year! Gorgeous! This is a great gift idea.

Charity said...

Oh, so soft and cozy looking! I want one for myself! My daughter would love one too though, she is always dragging her blanket around and trying to tuck herself under it. =)

Oak Pond Creations said...

This is beautiful! Thank you so very much for sharing this tutorial. Merry Christmas. Hugs and Happy Crafting! <3-Kim

kate said...

that DOES look like the ultimate cuddle blanket! i want one!

Heather said...

I couldn't bring myself to rush this through for Christmas, but I think this will be a perfect gift for my niece's Februrary birthday!

MiShellie Made said...

I love this tutorial as well as that for the Ultimate Couch Blanket, but I'm intimidated by the shag. Is it difficult to work with? If so, any tips?

Anneliese said...

@MiShellie Made: Good question about the shag. When I was working with the fabric right-side out, such as in the top stitching step, I found I preferred sewing with the shaggy side down because it would occasionally get caught in the sewing machine foot. Other than that, it behaves pretty well. I did take the time to "tuck in" the shag inside the seams when sewing the pieces of minky together so that more if it was hanging out after turning the fabric right sides out. It isn't necessary but it makes for a shaggier blanket. Give it a try!

MiShellie Made said...

Thanks for the tips Annaleise- I think I'll be trying this out very soon!

cheryl said...

Annaleise, these are so fantastic!! I'm going to buy some fabric to try one out next week! I do have one question... how does the super shaggy minky hold up after washing? Does it get matted and knotty, or does it stay silky and soft?

Anneliese said...

@Cheryl: I've been advised to wash this shag in cold water. I washed my husband's Ultimate Couch Blanket in warm and it is still super soft but isn't quite as silky. I didn't realize the difference until I ordered new fabric for these Cuddle blankets. I haven't washed the cuddle blankets yet but I'm anticipating that they'll wash beautifully and stay silky with cold water.

Laura said...

Hi, my name is Laura..I have two questions about these beautiful blankets. How many yards do you order? Is there a lot of waste when you are done cutting?

Thanks. I am really enjoying your blog.

Anneliese said...

Hi Laura,

You order 1.5 yards of a patterned minky and 3.5 yards of the shaggy minky. The only waste is any width you may trim if the two minky fabrics aren't the same width--a few inches at most. Thanks!

Custom Belt Buckles said...

These are so fantastic! Next week, I'll use one to purchase any fabric!

missy said...

These are beautiful can I ask you the Aprox cost to make and\or time involved. Thx

Anneliese said...

@Missy: These blankets didn't take that long to make. Pinning is the most time-consuming part. I would say no more than an hour or two. As you've probably found if you've been looking, Minky is expensive. I think these blankets were probably around $50 each. I know the larger versions were between $75-$90. I hope that helps.

lorit507 said...

I am looking for the Minky Frosted Zebra Coral and Fabric.com doesn't have it anymore and can't find it anywhere else. I am so disappointed. boo hoo for me. I wanted to make one for my daughter for Christmas.

Betty said...

I love your blankets and thank you for the tutorial. I have a question, do the two "sides" seperate and shift (especially after washing) since the blanket is not quilted?

Anneliese said...

@Betty: The layers of fabric can separate when we are using them but the pocket stitching and edge stitching makes this pretty minimal.

Mars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mars said...

My first Minky!! What can i say but BLOODY HELL!!! I too have used the shaggy (a little ambitious I know) Ive have had to unpick the whole thing because it was so crooked OMG!!! I re positioned it, pinned until i ran out of pins and ill start again tomorrow :( ive also used a walking foot, any other suggestions?

regards
Marietta

Lovingmyfamily Beeler-Letze said...

I am goimg to make a couple of theses. Look so comfy and warm. A nice snuggle blanket..

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