Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Up and Away Blanket

I told you I would find a solution for those freak softies, right?  Up, up, and away we go!

These delightfully big-headed softies look lovely floating in my beautiful balloon.  Okay, so this is a combination of your standard fleece blanket and a quilt.  I wanted it to be warm, I wanted it to last through the toddler phase, I wanted it to be interactive, and I wanted it to be safe.

I used the ballon from this fabric as the inspiration for my blanket.
First, I found some scrap batting from an old quilt project.  I measured some baby soft fleece fabric to match it, with a little hanging over each end.
Then I basically used the same method I used for my coffee cozies and carboy cover.  I stitched up the long sides, flipped it inside out, and stuffed the batting in.  Then I cut the balloon and basket, and turned the ends under so I could applique them on!
batting stuffed in, balloon pinned on
Anyhoooo, so then I stitched the balloon and the basket on, sewing through all layers.  I stitched it all by hand, because my machine couldn't handle the thickness of all the layers (I had REALLY thick batting).  This is kind of like quilting because not only does it applique on the balloon, but it also secures the batting to all layers, which will help keep things from bunching up and rolling around in the blanket.
For the basket, I used two pieces of fabric, and topstitched the rim of the basket before attaching it to the blanket.  Then I just folded the edges under and stitched both pieces on to the blanket, again stitching through all layers.

Then, I went to the top and bottoms and cut the edges into 1-2 inch strips and tied them together, like you would on a normal fleece blanket.  This still finishes the edges and seals in the batting, but gives the blanket a less "quilty" feel.
The hard part was deciding how to do the ropes that attach the balloon to the basket.  Of course I couldn't attach real strings because it would be a strangling hazard to a small child.  So I rummaged through my craft drawers until I found this:
Fabric Pastels.
They are basically like iron-on crayons.  So I free-handed some lines, and then ironed to set.  Easy Peezy.  And here is the finished blanket:
Since the basket is a pocket, the baby will be able to keep all of his precious stuffed animals with him when he finally starts walking and decides to drag my blanket everywhere with him.  (Yes I have that much faith that this gift will be so popular).  To start him out, I added my little softie buddies. Ta-da!

Now for a photoshoot!

Please check out the link parties button to see what great parties I am linking to this week!
Also linking to Us and Them


Steph @ Crafting in the Rain said...

So cute--and I love the pocket!

silly eagle books said...

Oh, I love this! I just made a hot air balloon art piece for my sister in law--this blanket would go perfectly with it. ;)


Ladybird Ln said...

Just darling, so sweet! What a great idea! I found you at HoH!


Chris said...

Very cute! Thanks for sharing with Us and Them this week! Chris