Quilting for Quality

When sewing baby blankets and baby quilts, basic blanket and Quilt Guidelines can mean the difference between a valuable heirloom and a blanket destined for the dog’s bed.  Following a few simple directions should help you enjoy the creative process, and be proud of your accomplishment.

The most crucial decision to consider as you prepare to sew a quilt will be the cloth type and quality of the fabric. The fabric should be soft, warm, and long-wearing, while also being hypo-allergenic, safe for babies, and easy-care.  Buying quality materials will result in a quality quilt or blanket.  Along with the usual quilter’s cottons, you can incorporate into your quilt heavier weight flannel, non-pilling fleece, warm waffle knits, heavy weight jersey as well as other soft, natural fabrics.   You shouldn’t use fabrics which may prove allergenic (no down or feathers, fur, etc.).    Be sure not to purchase the cheap, discounted fabrics for sewing your blankets and quilts. This fabric is not durable and won’t last long as a blanket. 

It requires a small amount of fabric for a baby blanket or quilt and good quality cotton flannel is quite affordable, therefore even choosing the “good stuff” is not prohibitive. A good rule to consider would be – if you would use this particular fabric to create a quilt for your own child, then it is the right material for use in this project.

Think of this quilt as the absolute only quilt this child will receive then you will consider how important your efforts are.  If it is the only one the baby will have as he grows,  you’ll want it warm, soft, and cozy.  If you intend to sew a quilt, please make sure it is firmly constructed and most important of all, that it has no buttons, snaps or other decorative embellishments which could be a hazard to youngsters if they are pulled off the quilt, or put in the mouth. Appliqués are welcome, as long as they are attached to the quilt securely. Don’t depend upon fabric glue to safely hold your decorative applique – glues are a simple start, but be sure to finish the appliqué by securely sewing it to the quilt. Simple, colorful, soft and warm is all we need!

If you want your blanket to be super-easy, and very soft, purchase polyester fleece panels. These are available in many colorful printed designs, are simple to finish by simply sewing or by zig-zagging the raw edges. One fleece panel makes a beautiful blanket for a toddler, or can be tucked into the seat of a car seat or around the legs of any young child. Solid fleece (without a printed pattern) is often found on sale and creates a marvellous blanket too, either for an older child, or cut into smaller blankets.  Also, two layers of non-pill fleece can be quilted together to make an especially light, soft and warm blanket for a baby.

For easy quilts, you can purchase quilt tops with juvenile themes and they’ll generally be approximately crib sized when completed. You can also sew your own quilt tops from colorful squares, strips, or any other design you wish, to use up your leftover fabric pieces. Just make sure the material you use is pre-washed, durable, and soft. We recommend you purchase commercial quilt batting for the stuffing in your quilt, but if you are sure the material is clean and in like-new condition, you can utilize mattress pads, large towels, or used blankets as a lining inside your quilt.  For warmth, you could purchase a standard bed-sized blanket and divide it into baby- or kid sized blankets to use as your quilt lining layer.  Again, make sure the fabric you use is not allergy causing – don’t utilize an old wool blanket, for example, as the middle layer inside the quilt.

So, remember, the most important guide lines to consider for your blanket and quilts are child safety, hypo-allergenic nature, cleanliness, and that the fabric be of good quality, soft and warm.  If you would like it for your own child, it’s the perfect material for your blanket or quilt.

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