February 5, 2012

Two-layer baby blanket

When I was in China four years ago, I met up with Knox alums Chip and Sarah Weed Chandler, there for a State Department stint.  It was Sarah who took me to the fabric market in Beijing where I bought Chinese silk brocade.  What a great time we had! When I was back at their apartment, I noticed a well-used blankie used by her then 2-year old son, a simple two layer match-up with top stitching around the edge and that was it.  Sarah said it was the most used baby blanket they had--good for wrapping up the child, but also handy to lay out on the ground for a picnic.  After finally making up one myself last week, I wrote her yesterday to check on what materials were used in her blanket.  She confirmed that a combination of regular cotton with flannel was her favorite (that's what I used in the blanket above), though she also had cotton/cotton (too thin) and flannel/flannel (not as comfortable).  She mentioned that they had just retired a couple of the blankies after 7 years of use; they wear well, and get softer with each wash.

So, I will be making more of these!  It's a nice way to use fabric that is so nice you hate to cut it up--like the Alexander Henry pears and apples above.  I had just a little over a yard of that fabric, so this blanket is 38x42.  Next time, I'll buy 1-1/4 yd of each fabric, to make it about 42" square.  The only challenge to making this is to get the cotton and the flannel just the same size, given the different "give" of each fabric.  For sure, pre-wash the fabrics, as flannel shrinks more than regular cotton.  For this blanket, I cut them to pretty much to size, then laid them together on my cutting table, trimming up the edges to make them even.  Next time, I'll do the size-matching on the design wall instead; I think that will give me a better match.