Since we have less than 10 weeks until Mini M&M is due to arrive, I knew I wanted to make something from her board for the winter 2013 Pinterest challenge. I’ve been feeling braver with the sewing machine lately, so this weekend I tackled a tag blanket — you know, one of those mini blankies for a baby that has ribbons all the way around it for little fingers to explore.
I made mine in the shape of a sunshine in yellows, oranges and hot pink to coordinate with her nursery colors. It’s not perfect, but it sure is a happy little toy that I have a feeling she’s going to like.
The two pins that inspired me were this basic ribbon blanket tutorial …
… and this turtle-shaped tag blanket that was recently sold on Etsy.
Here’s exactly what I did, in case anyone wants to sew one for their little sunshine:
sun rays template (PDF)
sun face template (PDF)
1/2 yard fabric for the sun rays (I used this yellow plaid)
1/2 yard fabric for the back (I used yellow minky dot)
1/4 yard fabric for the sun face (I used a quilter’s yellow polka dot)
1/4 yard white fabric to line the sun face
various colors, widths and textures of ribbon
white felt and thread for the eyes
black felt and thread for the pupils
hot pink felt and thread for the mouth
needles and straight pins
Print four copies of the sun rays template, cut them out, tape them together to make a full sun, and use that to cut your sun ray fabric and your backing fabric. Print the sun face template and use that to cut one circle of sun face fabric and two circles of white liner fabric, along with two white felt eyes, two black felt pupils and one hot pink felt mouth. Then cut the different types of ribbon into 5-inch pieces for a total of 16 ribbons.
Sew the eyes, pupils and mouth onto the sun face by hand.
Pin the sun ray fabric and the backing fabric right-sides-together and sew them together on the machine with 1/4-inch seam allowance, unpinning as you go, leaving one sun ray open. (Since I used minky dot fabric for the back, I set my stitch length to 3.5 and my tension to 5, and I tried to go slowly and carefully around the zig-zags.)
Snip off the very tips of the sun rays and turn the whole thing right-side-out through the opening. If your rays are all puckered up like mine were, iron them flat. (If you’re using minky dot fabric, iron with the coolest setting only on the non-minky side. Never iron minky directly.) Hand-stitch the open sun ray closed.
Stack the circles for the sun face in the following order: one white circle, the actual sun face (face-down), and the other white circle. Fold the ribbon pieces in half and iron them creased. Arrange them around the sun folded-side-in between the bottom white circle and the sun face, leaving about a half-inch piece of each ribbon sticking out the perimeter. Leave at least an inch and a half between two of the ribbons so you’ll be able to turn the face right-side-out.
Pin the ribbons in place and sew around the circle (leaving the aforementioned gap) with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Back-stitch over each ribbon and then continue so that each ribbon is sewed over three times. Turn the sun face right-side-out and hand-stitch the gap closed. Finally, stack the sun face on top of the sun rays and sew all the way around.
Although the sun rays are still a little puckered (I guess because the minky stretched a bit as I sewed?), the mouth is a little off-center, and I wish I could tweak the spacing of the ribbons, I’m still really happy with the way this came out. Matt reminded me that I shouldn’t stress so much over my craftsmanship since it’s going to end up in a slobbering mouth anyway, haha!
Thanks to Sherry, Katie, Megan and Michelle for hosting the Pinterest Challenge this time! Check back soon for nursery updates.