Saturday, November 17, 2012

The travel blanket

As promised, here is the tutorial for the travel blanket.  If you have ever made a "quillow" the procedure is much the same.

Couple of notes:  the handles are a little bulky and you may end up fighting with your sewing machine.  I could not get my Brother to move the fabric so I ended up doing the handles on my big girl, Jenny.  Before I stitch the handles in place, I use a pin about an inch below the edge running parallel to the seam line to hold the handle edge completely straight.  You don't want the handles to be stitched on an angle.  I am sorry that you can't really see my stitching lines since I was using black thread on black background fabric.  I used my walking foot for most of the construction.  One last thing - the disgusting cutting mat is the one I use for cutting fleece and batting and has seen better days!

As I mentioned yesterday, you will need a yard of polar fleece.  (If you want to use a contrasting or coordinating piece for the pocket you will need additional fabric - 14" square.)  Trim and square up all the outer edges with a pinking blade in your rotary cutter.

Cut 14" from the bottom of your fleece.  You can use that for the pocket or use a 14" square of coordinating fabric for the pocket.  (If the blanket is for an older child, you may want to just leave that extra 14" on the bottom.  You can customize the length of the blanket to the height of the child.  You will need the fabric, however, to be 36" across.)

From the 14" piece that you trimmed off, cut a piece that is 14" long by 3".  That is your handle (which is also optional).

After cutting the fabric, make the handle by folding the fabric in thirds.  No need to worry about the exposed unfinished edge because the fleece will not fray.  Stitch on the edge of the handle to secure the raw edge and then stitch the same stitch width on the opposite side.  This flattens the handle and gives it more of a finished look.

Find the center edge of your blanket edge and mark with a pin.  Pin the raw ends of the handles 2-1/2" from the center pin on either side.

Sew the handles in place and then layer the pocket (again find the center point of the pocket and match with center of the blanket top) and sew from one end to the other.  I used a 1/2" seam for the bottom and sides of the pocket. I also backstitched at the beginning and end of each stitching line.

The pocket is stitched along the top edge and then down each side.  Leave the bottom of the pocket open.

To fold the blanket, place it pocket side down and fold the left and the right sides in to line up with the side stitching lines of the pocket and then fold in half bringing the bottom edge up to the top edge.

Fold that section up in roughly thirds - just enough to line up with the top and bottom of the pocket.

Turn the whole thing over, reach into the bottom of the pocket, hold the inside top corners of the blanket and flip the pocket over enclosing the blanket.  I needed a camera crew to show you the flipping so I found this demonstration on YouTube that shows the basic premise.

Joann's has had polar fleece on sale lately and I was able to pick up my fabric for about $6 a yard.  Start to finish the blanket takes about an hour to make.  It is a fast, easy and inexpensive gift and I love the way mine turned out.  I am sure the grands will enjoy them and I am willing to be some Mommy's are going to want them, too!


  1. Pop over to my blog and you'll see that I've awarded you the Liebster Award because yours is a blog that I enjoy.

  2. Wow - you're talented Suzan - and how on earth do you maintain 3 blogs???


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