There is a baby on it’s way in the immediate family, and of course I needed to make that baby something. I’ve been collecting and holding on to random scraps of fabric lately, thinking that *someday*, surely I will be able to use it for some cool project – which turned out to be this one! (ok, here is a confession: It’s not lately that I’ve been holding on to scraps, it’s always. I’ve just started anew since moving to Chicago).
Re-purposing things gives me such a thrill, rivaled only by the glee of getting use out of every little piece of something, like scraps of fabric (or lengths of yarn, or every drop of shampoo, or leftover food. Yes, I am very thrifty. And it makes me very happy.) And for this baby-blanket I certainly got to do that!
I think perhaps this is the quilt where I got the idea of doing long strips of scraps for a blanket, and I am quite certain that a couple of her other quilts have been both a direct and an unconscious inspiration. I’m really drawn to this woman’s mix of traditional methods with a modern and graphic look. At any rate, I gathered all my fabric scraps first, picked out the ones I though went well together, and started cutting them into 3 inch wide strips, that I then cut to random lengths. I then sewed the pieces together in a fairly random order, until the strips were long enough. The teal-colored heavy jersey for the background was in an oddly shaped piece, but I managed to get six rectangles out of it – two for the shorter sides, and four to go next to the scrap-strips. Next came sewing all the strips and long rectangles of jersey together. In my enthusiasm for starting the blanket, I wasn’t terribly accurate in cutting the pieces of fabrics with straight lines and 90 degree angles. It would have been a little easier to sew it all together if everything matched up, but it worked out alright anyways.
After the top layer was all done, I added three layers of a rib jersey to make the blanket nice and soft. I decided to use that instead of the traditional quilt batting, since the loose batting might shift during machine washing, which I thought would be important for a baby blanket. (I’ve never used quilt batting, so I might be wrong about this one!) Also, I had lots of that jersey on hand, which meant I had everything I needed to make the blanket right away. To hold the layers together, the boy and I (he’s the co-designer of the blanket) settled on a sort of sun-burst looking pattern – something that would be linear, like the strips of scraps, without being neither horizontal nor vertical. For the binding I ended up making bias tape out of a cotton I’d also used for some of the scraps. It’s nice when things actually match sometimes! The bias tape was surprisingly nice and easy to make, but wow – it took a really long time to hand-sew it on.
And finally, as a little finishing touch, I embroidered a little message on the back: