Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Minky Baby Blanket

So, you know the whole 5 love languages thing?

So, disclaimer, I've never read the book. I have the book. It's on my shelf. Haha. But I know the general principles.

Basically, we're all wired differently. I think this is a pretty universally accepted truth, yes? So, in that same spirit, we show and receive love differently.

Well, I'm not sure what my receiving language is, but I think my giving is gifts. I love to make things for people. It's a reminder for me to pray for the recipient and his/her specific situation and I think that knowing that time was spent on something is an affirmation of love for that person. (There's some selfishness in there, too, I will admit. I like to make. I also like when the things I make are appreciated. I'm human.) But, moreover, I like to show my love that way.

Anyway, our friends' little guy had to have some pretty serious surgery this summer. He came through it like a champ and is doing fabulously well. Praise God! But, I wanted to give him and them a little cuddly something to hang onto in the hospital.

What better than a cuddly blankie when you're not feeling good? Plus, every baby and little guy needs a good blankie. Am I right?

So, I got some minky and some flannel from JoAnn's and went to town.

The little guy's dad plays bass and guitar, so I had to get some musical flannel. Plus, aside, if Mr. Gardener and I are blessed to have children, I definitely got a glimpse into the future when we visited the hospital. They asked Mr. Gardener to play some lullabies on the guitar, which was sweet. But, obviously, lullaby means a sweeter version of Gimme Shelter followed by some Black Sabbath. Yes? No? hahaha

Anyway, I had never sewn with minky before so I looked at some tips online. Got some thoughts and went to town.

So minky. Sucker sheds like a dog in summer. Be prepared. Clean your machine afterward. Have your vacuum handy. Just saying.

It's also very stretchy. So I approached the initial blanket construction a lot like basting a quilt.

After I cut the top and bottom to the approximate size I wanted (really was determined by the width of the flannel minus selvedges - I think it was 45", but I can't remember for certain), I taped the minky to the floor right side up with masking tape.
Then I laid the flannel right side down on top.

One of the tips I read online, which I totally agree with, is to pin the minky like crazy. Pin, pin, pin. 

It builds character.

You will probably live through the pinning.

Then I trimmed the excess minky. For me, it was tremendously easier to trim down at this stage. It was forced to stay more in place and was more accurate.

Then I sewed the pieces together (right sides together) with a 5/8 seam allowance, using my little strip of washi tape on the side as a guide.

While I'm sure you can use a regular foot, I used my even feed foot (or use your walking foot if you don't have a built-in even feed), which I believe made a HUGE difference. It was so much easier with the stretchy fabric. I also recommend keeping the minky on the bottom. I think it feeds through the machine more easily.

Sew, sew, sew, making right angles at the corners.

Leave a space for turning the work on one of the sides and backstitch at both ends so you don't pull out your stitches while turning. Probably 10 inches or so should do.

Before you turn, clip your corners to reduce bulk, but be careful not to clip your stitches.

Turn inside out, tuck in the area that you left open for turning, and topstitch, being careful to catch the open area in topstitching to stitch it closed. I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance and readjusted my washi tape guide accordingly.

Don't forget to backstitch!

There you have it! Wash and gift.

Snuggly baby blanket all around, and it really only takes about an hour to do if you have some basic sewing skills. Once you've made a couple, I actually expect it might take less time.

Easy, loving gift for a friend.

How do you like to show your love? Do you have gifts you love to make for others?

Happy crafting!


  1. This is bright and cheerful! I bet it is as snuggly as it looks :D

    1. Thanks! It's super snuggly! I think I may have to use minky more often.

  2. Lovely idea, just the right thing for someone going through a hard time. Yes, have read the 5 Love Languages - couldn't figure out which one my hubby is, and he decided I was all of the first three so gave up reading it as he was worried I'd end up being all five and that would be just too much to handle LOL!