Making a keepsake memory blanket can be quite daunting however if you use the correct techniques and have the right equipment you can create a beautiful blanket to treasure forever.
I’ve included some tips I use and for you to think about:
Cutting equipment - To ensure that your blanket is even and that your seam lines match up you have to make sure that your squares are even in size. To do this you will need either very sharp long bladed fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat.
Interfacing - For the best finish on a blanket you will need to line your fabric using interfacing. Stretchy fabrics need stability to keep the seams in line. You can buy different thicknesses of interfacing, light, medium or heavy. I tend to use light for my blankets as they provide the stability without making the fabric too stiff. You can purchase this in most craft shops or online. If the fabric you are working with is all polyester cotton then you won’t have to necessarily interface, but I tend to interface all of my blankets regardless.
Sewing machine - You can hand sew your blanket however it is very time consuming and is far quicker and more even if you use a sewing machine. It is really important to have a machine with a walking foot so that the machine will glide over the fabric. The sewing needle is also important, you need to have the correct size and type of needle for the fabric you are working with, for example jersey fabrics if your blanket is made from a child’s baby grows, you would need a ball point needle. This prevents snagging on the fabric.
Plan your blanket - It is very important to plan your blanket before you start cutting up your precious clothing pieces. Lie your clothes out on a surface and take a look at the different colours, patterns and images that you would like to include. Decide on the size of the squares, this will be important when you are trying to incorporate particular images on clothing items. I tend to use either a 3.5 inch square or 6 inch square. If you have an image which is bigger than the rest of the squares you can still include but have it span over 2 – 4 squares. You can also overlap loose bits and have them overhang the row of squares below, I love doing this!
Adding the backing - Its important to have your backing lie flat when you are attaching to your memory blanket, especially round the edges. I always lie my completed patchwork blanket on a slippery floor or worktop. A laminate floor or large dining table is best, this allows the fabric to slide. Lie your backing fabric down and place your patchwork blanket on top. Then from the top pin with safety pins at equal intervals down to the bottom. Turn in your edges and fold over all around the edge, then pin flat ready for sewing. Finally sew close to the folded edge all around the blanket to finish.
So these are my tips for making your own memory blanket I hope that they help you, if you read this and think that you would like to have a go, I recommend that you have a practice with some less precious clothing or bedding, like a duvet cover first before taking the scissors to your precious items, or ask a more experienced seamstress to make one for you.