Today is my stop on the Riley Blake Designs Union Jack Blog Tour. When I saw these fabulous panels, I knew immediately I wanted to make soft, hand-tied blankets. I made three of them on a Sunday, and had a hard time keeping kids and cats off of them before they were finished.
Blankets are a huge part of play time in our house. They're capes, forts and magic carpets.
They're surf boards, horse tea party backdrops and picnic blankets.
This is the Union Jack Squares Panel in blue. Colton claimed it. Finished size is roughly 39 x 58". I made an identical version for Annabel with the Union Jack Squares Panel in orange. The smaller Union Jack Panel in blue measures 36 x 44". All the Union Jack fabric is available here at Hawthorne Threads. It is all backed in Soft & Fluffy Fabrics in Ivory (59" width) available here at Joann's. Let's get started!
Prewash all fabric. Iron the Union Jack panels. Spread the Soft & Fluffy fabric out right side up on a large, flat surface. Place the panel right side down on top, flattening and squaring it up as you go. Slide a large cutting mat under it.
Trim the edges to even out the fabric panel and square up the backing. The cut should be 1/2" from the edge of the blue and red print. Before moving the cutting mat, pin along where you have just cut.
Pin, pin, pin and then move the mat. The Soft & Fluffy tends to stick to the mat a bit along the cut edge, so leaving the mat in place helps enormously while pinning. There's a tutorial for my Zakka-inspired pin cushion here. It's filled with crushed walnut shells.
By the time I got to the second long side I realized I could use the mat at an angle for one long cut. There will be some fuzzies stuck in the cutting mat. These can be easily removed with the rough edge of a dry sponge. The kids had fun 'cleaning' the mat!
Following the edge of the print, use a walking foot if you have one to sew a 1/2" seam all around the blanket, leaving a 4-5" gap to turn right side out. If you're using a regular foot, add additional pins and go slowly. Remove the pins and turn right side out. Press edges flat. On a large, flat surface (I found this part easier to do on a smooth surface instead of a carpet), flatten, smooth and straighten the blanket into a nice rectangle. Pin the edges and the center of the blanket.
Topstitch along the edge of the fabric panel, roughly 1/8" or whatever you're comfortable with. Make sure to carefully stitch the opening closed.
The smaller blanket does not have ties. I hand tied the larger panel blankets with embroidery floss in coordinating colors. I laid the blanket out on the floor, pin basted and tied one in the center of each Union Jack. There are many good tutorials online on how to hand tie a quilt or blanket, such as this one here at Craftsy.
We are big fans of Paddington. This pop-up book was brought to me when I was little by friends of my parents who were visiting from London. The bear has also been with me for many years. Who wouldn't love a bear in wellies who innocently gets himself involved in all sorts of mishaps? I made the large, flanged floor pillow in flannel a while ago. The tutorial can be found here.
Don't forget to check out the rest of stops on the Riley Blake Union Jack Blog Tour!
Tuesday 4/1 – Paula at The Sassy Quilter
Tuesday 4/8 – Karin at Leigh Laurel Studios (you are here!)
Thursday 4/10 – Marni at Haberdashery Fun
Thursday 4/17 – Molly at Rose and Odin
Tuesday 4/22 – Amanda at Jedi Craft Girl
Thursday 4/24 – Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt
Tuesday 4/29 – Julia at Riley Blake Designs
Thursday 5/1 – Ginny at Darling Adventures