Level: Easy (if you crochet)
Moderate (if you must learn crocheting)
If you want to pamper a new mother and baby with a beautiful, hand made gift that becomes the most treasured gift of all, make a very special receiving blanket. This blanket is so much more than just a receiving blanket. Every mother melts when she opens this gift.
What makes it even more special is a customized crocheted edging. It then becomes a gift of yourself. This is, after all, the reason we like to make hand made gifts - to let the person know that we thought of them enough to make something special that took time, thought, and love to create.
While stitching around the edge of this ample flannel blanket, I like to think of the love bestowed upon the new baby who will sleep under its warm protection.
1 1/3 yds. printed cotton flannel
1 1/3 yds. coordinating printed cotton flannel
Crochet hook size 6 or 7 (optional)
1. Purchase 1 1/3 yd. each of two baby print flannel fabrics. There are so many available in the fabric stores that it will be hard to decide your two favorites. I like to use one colorful and busy pattern on one side and a coordinating print for the other side that is less patterned and colorful.
2. Wash both fabrics in hot water and detergent, then dry in the drier. You know it will be washed many times in the future and this insures that the flannel will be especially soft and pre-shrunk before it is sewn.
3. Measure the width of the flannel from selvage to selvage after washing to determine how large of a square you can make. Most fabrics vary in width but try to make as big of a square as the fabric will allow. It will be necessary to mark the four corners with a square object to use as a sewing guide after putting the right sides of the fabric together. Pin the two layers together and sew around all four sides but leave a small opening to allow for turning the blanket right side out.
4. After sewing the two layers together the seam will be trimmed and the corners clipped and then the blanket can be turned right side out.
5. Use a pointed object and poke out the corners and then carefully press the four edges of the blanket so that the seams lay flat. Hand sew the opening closed.
6. Cut a very long thread of crochet cotton and thread a sharp, large-eyed needle with a double strand. If you thread the two cut ends through the needle you can use the loop at the other end as a knot.
7. Begin along one edge and sew a blanket stitch with this doubled thread with the stitches spaced approximately 1/2 in. deep and 1/2 in. apart. When you reach the corner take three stitches in the same hole and the corner will look as even as the sides.
8. When you run out of thread you will need to end the one and begin the new thread. Do this as neatly as possible. I work with an especially long thread so I don't have to start and stop very often.
9. The blanket is usable now but if you can crochet and would like to spend the extra time, it looks very special when a narrow edging is added. I use a small crochet hook and crochet into the loose edge of the blanket stitches. I put 3 single crochet stitches in one space, then 1 double crochet, and a triple crochet, and another double crochet in the next space. Repeat the pattern. Be sure to secure the ends by weaving them in and attaching them firmly. This blanket will be used daily and needs to be very washable and sturdy.