Monday, July 23, 2007

Crocheted-Edge Blanket Tutorial

( Edit: Click here to see more of finished blankets and more edging variations. )

Because I've had a number of people ask me how I make the baby blankets with the crocheted edging, I decided to post a tutorial-of-sorts here. I am not going to show how to crochet, but will tell how I make my blankets. If you don't know a few basic crochet techniques, you can learn from a library book, other book, or online.

1 yard of flannel
size 10 crochet thread (available at craft stores or Wal-mart)
size 8 steel crochet hook
optional: serger

  • Start by squaring off the yard of fabric into a 36" x 36" piece.

  • Fold the fabric so that all four corners are together, one on top of another.

  • Use a small plate as a template to draw rounded corners. Cut along the traced line through all four layers. (I used my rotary cutter to cut directly through all 4 layers of the fabric).

  • You may stitch a narrow hem, or just serge around the fabric like I did.

  • Poke the crochet hook through the edge of the fabric and begin crocheting a single-crochet stitch around the blanket. If you serged the edge, narrowly turn it to the back one time as you crochet, encasing the serged edge. If you stitched a narrow hem around the blanket, just encase that hem as you crochet.

  • Continue crocheting around, using any edging pattern you desire. For most of my blankets, I use a simple 2-round, picot stitch edging, as follows:

  • Round 1: single-crochet, chain 2, single-crochet, chain 2. Repeat until you are all the way around the blanket.

  • Round 2: Slip stitch into the beginning single-crochet. Chain 4, slip stitch into the same single-crochet (picot formed). Slip stitch two times into the chain-2 loop. Slip stitch into the next single-crochet. Make picot. Repeat all the way around. Fasten off.

Round 1: single-crochet, chain 2

Round 2: picot stitch
You don't see the serging because it was turned to the back as I crocheted along.

That's it! If you make any of these blankets, I'd love to see pictures!


p.s. I like to make a matching burp cloth with the scrap piece of flannel that I cut off when squaring up the blanket. I listed this finished set in my Etsy store.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Update on Me!

Hello all my blog's been a while since I've posted. I'm glad that Mom has been keeping the blog up though. She's been a lot more productive then me when it comes to sewing! She always inspires me.

Life has been busy and full lately. Who could sew when they have such a cute baby to play with?

Elliot is now 5 months old, and sooooo adorable.

Tonight he was laying on the floor while I was cutting buttonholes and actually playing "peek a boo" with me. He kept pulling his blanket over his face and when I would ask "Where's Elliot?" He would pull it off and smile at me. I thought that was pretty amazing for a baby his age. I even got a video of him doing it on my camera because Justin wasn't home and I knew he wouldn't believe me unless he saw it. =)

Today I went to Hancocks because I had $10 burning a hole in my pocket...I had so much fun. I got several different 1/4 and 1/2 yards pieces of coordinating fabrics...pretty rose prints that were 60% off. Not sure what they are destined to be yet, but I'm sure I'll be able to think of something. Also got a piece of peach fabric to make the ties for a vintage pillowcase apron. I've made several of these and they are beautiful. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good pictures soon.

Right now I'm working on a bunch of tea-cozies. I found some beautiful prints at Hobby lobby and have 12 tea-cozies cut out and partially sewed. I'm hoping to be able to sell them in some of the tea-shops around here and on Etsy. We'll see. I'm praying that they'll sell, because I certainly don't need 12 tea cozies!

I did sew a skirt for myself last week...I found this awesome fabric clearanced for $3 a yard and made a quick, bias cut skirt to wear to my brother-in-law's wedding this last weekend. I hadn't sewn anything for myself since I was pregnant, so this was fun. I love how the fabric has white embroidery all over it. I like the texture and depth it gave the fabric.

Here I am with my handsome husband. He was a groomsman in the wedding.

That's all for now!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Dorothy Bag

I think I'm on a purse kick--sewing them, that is. The funny thing is that I'm still using my boring, old, brown leather purse that I used all last winter. Tomorrow I purpose to clean out my purse and move the stuff over to my new handbag---the Amy Butler "Dorothy" purse!

This project was so fun to sew! I've found the AB patterns to be a bit tedious in the instructions, but I love their style. I sewed this bag as instructed, but I added a magnetic snap instead of a velcro closure. I only wish I had also added a pocket to the interior. I can never have enough pockets in a purse, and so I made a matching zippered pouch to use as a detachable "pocket."

The fabrics I used came from my stash. If I recall, the interior fabric is from Amy Butler's Ginger Bliss line. I'm not sure about the outer fabric, though. To give the bag more stiffness, I did use an inner lining of heavy cotton twill. I like how this inner lining adds just a bit more weight to the purse but yet allows it to retain its softness.

Simply, I like everything about this bag!

I think this pattern may be discontinued. At least I can't find it on the Amy Butler website.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To rest upon such a lovely pillow. Oh, happy pillow, happy sleep.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Comfortable as an Old Pair of Jeans

Yes, this bag was recycled from a pair of old, comfortable jeans. I loved the shabby chic rose fabric that I recently used in a pink baby quilt, and I knew I had to use the fabric scraps in this bag. The way the faded denim contrasts nicely with the rose fabric delights me. :-)

I started out using Vogue pattern 8098 but I made several modifications along the way. This pattern was not an easy one, and I even found a mistake in the instructions--it is impossible to turn the purse strap right sides out if constructed according to the order given in the pattern directions. Although the pattern was difficult, I am pleased with the end result. The bag has a zippered pocket on one outer side and a pocket with a pale pink snap on the other side. I added another zippered pocket to the inside as well. One can never have enough pockets in a bag!

When I first started sewing this purse, I originally intended to use it as a small diaper bag for Emily. However, since Emily should soon be out of diapers, I think I may use it for a purse or a knitting bag instead. Or I may list it at Etsy. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but in the meantime I'm going to enter it in the Bag Month contest at

happy sewing, Ruth

Teaching Ellen to Sew

This summer I intended to spend one day each week with Ellen to teach her to sew. It has not happened regularly, but yesterday we did sew together. While I worked on a handbag, Ellen made a pillowcase! This is the second pillowcase that Ellen has sewn, and she did a fabulous job on it.

We used instructions from a 4-H extension office in Utah (link here) that were very detailed and clear--perfect for a young girl learning to sew. The instructions give options for a contrasting border edge and a contrast trim. Ellen chose to do the contrast trim, but not the contrast border. She was happy with her pillowcase and expressed a desire to make more for gifts. I'm going to encourage her all I can--I have a future seamstress in the making! :-)


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Another Crochet-Edged Blanket

This time I made a matching burp cloth to coordinate with the receiving blanket. I actually bought this fabric when I was expecting Emily, but it never got finished for her use. I love the colors and the polka dots!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Organizing my Fabric

I have needed shelves in my sewing room closet ever since I moved in there, and yesterday I finally got a unit! I am so excited! Okay, it's not the prettiest thing, but it will hold a lot of fabric. After checking prices on closet shelving at Lowes, I thought this shelf was relatively cheap when I saw it at Sam's.

This afternoon I started going through my fabric stash which has been in plastic containers for at least 6 years. I worked a good number of hours, and I haven't reached the end yet. I've gone through most of the woven cottons and cotton blends, but I've only just started the knits and dress fabrics. I haven't yet touched the fleece and bottom-weights.

I don't think it's all going to fit on the shelves.

Purge, purge, purge....that's what I must do.

Oh, I must tell you about the fabric folding method I used. I first read about this in a library book by Lois Hallock, and then I recently came across it again on a few other blogs. Basically, I folded the fabric around a 6.5 inch ruler to make nice even (well, sort of even) piles of fabric. Instead of me trying to explain it, just go to the happy zombie blog for a nice tutorial.

After all the fabric folding, I'm tired, but sooooo excited to think that I may finally be getting a
little organized in my sewing room!