December 2, 2013 by janomecanada
Inspiration Count Down
If you have signed up for any sewing or quilty type newsletters, you are seeing lots of inspiration in your email box these days. Cute, easy, FAST gifts to make for loved ones. My inner list of good intentions is growing. Time to stop reading and GET SEWING!
This weekend’s email newsletter from Quilter’s Connection delivered a quick and easy traveler’s pillow/blanket. A mini duffel style bag contains a lightweight fleece blankie, simply trimmed and finished with a blanket stitch.
The Humble Blanket Stitch
Looking at the project directions, you are instructed to make a simple carry bag and fill it with a fleece blankie.
Fleece is so easy to work with as it does not fray. You can leave it unfinished, but why not add a finishing touch with a lovely blanket stitch?
Looking at the J1250, there are three options for this stitch, numbers 31,32 & 33. This stitch can vary in length, with and the number of passes that the needle makes to add to the bulkiness of the stitch. The sample above, stitched on fleece and cotton, shows three different stitches, with the third stitch repeated at a wider width (increased from 2.5 to 7mm wide.) HINT: When using the blanket stitch, try experimenting with different variations before stitching your project – at first glance, we choose stitch 33 at a wide width to finish our blanket edge, but after practicing, we went with stitch 32 at 5mm wide.
Blanket Bliss Tips
A few tips for finishing your fleece edge:
- Try using a heavier thread (we used Sulky cotton 30 weight) or a wool thread (like Auifil’s lovely lana) for more impact
- Wind the same thread in the bobbin as on top
- The base of the stitch should be done just off the outer right edge of the fabric. This allows the threads to wrap and rest on the outside edge of the fleece
- Gently guide the fabric under the foot, but do not tug too much on the fleece, or it will stretch and give a wavy ‘lettuce edge’ finish
- Either round your blanket corners, or carefully pivot around them, watching for when the needle drops to pivot the fabric
- Test stitch on your selected fabric. You may need to adjust the tension slightly higher to pull the heavier thread up from the bobbin and have the stich finish nicely on the edge
A fleece blanket is a quick-to-finish gift. Adding an applique can make this a more personalized project. We found this tutorial at Oz Material Girls to be a helpful guide for blanket stitch applique.
If you like sewing with this cozy fabric, you can find all sorts of fun fleece sewing projects in the book “Sew What! FLEECE” (Storey Publishing) by Carol Jessop & Chaila Sekora. This book has all sorts of projects and neat finishing tips.
Happy Holiday Sewing!