Tag Archives: blanket

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

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Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

I’m back with a few more Twig + Tale leaf blankets from the Tropical Leaf Collection–this time Monstera Leaf blankets!

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets
Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

Previously, I made the large: Fan Leaf, Elephant Ear Leaf, and Banana Leaf child size blankets for other people from this collection, but I have had my eye on the large Monstera Leaf blanket for me!

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

Instead of making just one for myself, I made one for me and one for a friend. Since I now have a beloved monstera plant of my own adorning my sewing space, I thought I needed a similarly cool blanket.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

I looked through my stash for likely fabric candidates and came up with some good finds! For me, I chose a heavyweight golden twill, originally from Fabric Mart, that I used in this duffle bag project and, to go with it, an olive green blanket remnant given to me long before I started sewing seriously.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

For my friend’s blanket, I chose a lighter weight ivory twill (also from Fabric Mart), originally destined for the aforementioned duffle bag, but not used, and a lightweight olive twill first used for these pants.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

Maybe the ivory isn’t so practical if this blanket gets spread on the ground, but it looked so good with the olive twill, that I had to go for it. And it felt great to put those awesome fabrics that had been languishing in my stash to good use. I was also able to use the rest of the package of cotton batting I had gotten for those first three leaves. I just had to piece it a little on my friend’s leaf. To do that, I simply overlapped my scraps and sewed with a zigzag stitch. Then I trimmed the pieces to the sewing lines. I think I did this before cutting the leaf out so I wouldn’t accidentally make it smaller when I sewed my scraps together.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

Five large leaf blankets from one full size package of batting is pretty good! In case you’re curious, this is the batting I have been using, bought on sale at Joann Fabric.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

I made my blanket first. I like to layer my fabrics just as I want to sew them (two main fabrics right sides together and the batting on top or underneath) and then cut out everything at once. This can be a little tricky if you have barely enough fabric, so it’s best to go slow and double check yourself. It was definitely harder to maneuver the thicker fabrics I chose than it is to sew these blankets in thinner fabrics, but I tried to be patient and I got the job done. There were a few points where I didn’t have my layers quite perfect and I think I sewed a bit too close to the edge and got some fraying when I turned the blanket to the right side, but I can live with that.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

I think this blanket shape is slightly harder to sew than the other three I have done, although it’s still definitely something you can do, even if you don’t have much experience–just don’t rush it, and make sure you follow the directions on clipping your seams and whatnot. The instructions that come with this collection are excellent.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets
Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

The second blanket (olive and ivory) with thinner fabric was much easier to manipulate, and since I was back in the groove, it went faster.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets
Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

This is one of those addictive projects where you tell yourself you’ll do just one step more, and then one more, and one more until you find you are finished. It’s so hard to stop once you start! And there’s no fitting, unlike clothing! ūüėÄ I was not as careful with clipping my internal curves on this blanket, so I got a few puckers when I turned it out to the right side, but oh well.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

Lesson learned for next time (hopefully, haha).

On both blankets, I drew my quilting lines freehand with chalk by looking at the pattern. That has worked well for me–it’s nice to know the drawing classes I took in college are being put to good use. ūüėČ Once the blankets have been quilted, I throw them in the wash to remove the chalk marks, and they are done! No matter what little areas I feel I haven’t done quite right, when these blankets come out of the wash, they always look so great! And these monsteras were no exception. I LOVE how they turned out! The shape is so cool and the quilting looks amazing and really brings the blankets to life. I am SO happy with them.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

So, what do you use one of these blankets for if you, like me, want to make one but are not child size yourself? Since I usually sleep with a fan on, I have used mine to cover my shoulders as that is a part of me that gets cold sometimes; plus, the blanket looks awesome on our bed. I suspect my friend may occasionally use hers to sit on outside as she is a huge nature-lover and spends lots of time outdoors. I noticed that this shape, without batting, would make a pretty cool tablecloth, although it doesn’t fully cover our table, so it would be more decorative. These also make nice baby blankets, floor coverings, and towel substitutes (for sitting on rather than drying off, although I guess your fabric choice would dictate that).

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

Even though there is a part of me that also wants to make the Paw Paw leaf and the Lily Pad blanket so I can say I’ve made them all in at least one size, I did get the North American Leaf Blanket Collection (both child and doll sizes) for Christmas, so it’s more likely that I’ll make one of those into a baby blanket for a friend. That Maple Leaf blanket would be perfect. And someday I’d like to make some of the doll size blankets for home decor or gifts. I’m so glad I tried this pattern. I can’t say enough good things about it–it’s just so much fun. I hope you try it if you are looking for something like this.

Twig + Tale Monstera Leaf Blankets

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Super Fun Sewing: Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection

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Super Fun Sewing:  Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection

Hi, everyone! My “one month” blogging vacation turned into two months, and is threatening to become three, so I thought I had better break the ice and get a post written!

Today’s project is super fun. Have you seen the Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection from Twig + Tale?

Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Elephant Ear and Banana Leaf Blankets from Twig + Tale’s Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection

I came across it when searching for an interesting pattern to make for a nature-loving friend’s new baby. This pattern collection is one of three leaf blanket collections from Twig + Tale. It comes in two children’s sizes and four doll sizes for each of the six leaf shapes in the collection. You can buy just the children’s blankets, just the doll blankets, or a bundle with all the sizes. I bought the bundle. Here is the line drawing of the shapes:

Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Line Drawings from the Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection by Twig + Tale

So far I have made three of the large child-sized blankets: the banana leaf, the fan, and the elephant ear. The patterns lend themselves to using new or scrap fabrics, so you have a lot of options. I bought quilting cotton from Pintuck & Purl for the elephant ear leaf, since that was going to be a gift, and searched out scraps in my stash for the other two blankets, which were for one of my kids. For batting, I chose an inexpensive Pellon cotton batting from Joann Fabrics that was large enough for several blankets.

Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Large Elephant Ear Blanket from Twig + Tale’s Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection

These blankets were the perfect project after a bathing suit I had just completed that required a lot of fiddling to get the look and fit I wanted (hopefully something that will get blogged in the not-too-distant-future). There’s no fitting with these blankets, which are like mini-wholecloth quilts and are, in my mind, “quilting light (lite?)”–i.e. a great way to dip your toes into the idea of quilting. While not exactly the same as a quilt, you do get to try out pin basting all your layers together and quilting everything together as you sew the veins of each leaf.

Helpful tip for non-quilters: try out curved quilting safety pins for the pin basting–they’re easier to use than regular safety pins.

Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Curved safety pins make pin basting easier.

The process doesn’t take very long once you get started, and I found it fast and fun enough that I didn’t want to stop until I had finished each blanket. The directions are filled with lots of great tips, so you will learn something and have success whether you are a beginning sewist or more advanced. The only place I really deviated from the directions was that I sew a line of topstitching around the edge of each blanket after turning it right side out, which also serves to close up the hole where I turned everything.

Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Fan Leaf Blanket from Twig + Tale’s Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection

I also have to note that while I don’t love PDF’s in general (I’m a paper pattern lover through and through), this PDF was REALLY well-done and impressive. The table of contents is clickable, as are the links that point you to the various places you can find Twig + Tale on the web and get pattern support. The PDF includes inspirational ideas and tips for using scraps and even saving paper as you work with the pattern. It’s clear that a lot of thought and planning went into creating this–enough so that I would try other patterns from this company, even if they are only available in PDF form (their Women’s Trailblazer Vest is really tempting me).

The best part of all, though, is when you finish sewing each leaf and look at it for the first time as a finished object: it is SO COOL!!! It really looks like a leaf, and seeing it in whatever fabric you chose just looks so good. I think my favorite of the three that I sewed was the banana leaf, made using scraps of canvas and poly/cotton vintage sheets that I pieced together. I just love it!

Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection
Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection

This particular one is going to be used outside quite a lot, and those scraps are perfect tough fabrics for the job. Yay, stash-busting!

I’m not often excited enough about a pattern to want to try most of the options right away, but I really want to make more of these blankets. I had to take a break to do a few other projects, but I think I *need* a monstera leaf for me…and maybe a paw paw. I kind of think we might need some of the doll-sized blankets, too, for stuffed animals as well as for other uses around the house. Maybe monstera leaf pot holders? Who knows? Time will tell if I really do go back to this pattern, but I’m still excited about it, so that’s a good sign. I’ll report back if I do.

DIY Baby Gifts: Flannel Blanket

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Awhile back we talked about baby gifts.  I want to share one of my go-to baby gifts with you today:  flannel blankets.

DIY Baby Blanket with Pattern and Branch

These blankets are very easy to make (perfect if you are a beginner), and are also very well received.¬† When I had my children, we were given a mound of blankets, but these blankets, made by my Mom and grandmother, were the ones we used the most and were some of my favorites.¬† You can make them in various sizes, but the sizing I’ll give you is great as babies pass out the infant stage, but still need to be swaddled, nursed, or just tucked into a stroller or car seat.¬† The other thing that I love about them is that since flannel has a nap to it, it sort of grips itself, which is excellent if your baby likes to be swaddled or you need a non-slippery blanket for a mom to throw over her shoulder as she nurses.¬† If you live in a warmer climate, you can also make these out of old sheets or a sheeting material or half flannel, half sheeting.

DIY Baby Blanket with Pattern and Branch

Made by Sue Schwabauer from high quality flannel.

DIY Baby Blanket with Pattern and Branch

Made by Sue Schwabauer from quilting cotton and high quality flannel.  The bottom blanket is a smaller size perfect for a newborn.

DIY Baby Blanket with Pattern and Branch

These are made from an old sheet (top) and a crib sized duvet cover (bottom).

Now that I’ve talked these up so much, let’s get to the directions!

Materials:

  • two lengths of cotton flannel fabric (one for each side), approximately 44″ wide, 1.25 yards¬†long (The goal is to make the blankets approximately square.)

When I buy flannel, I’m often planning to make several blankets.¬† I usually wait until J0-Ann Fabric has a sale on flannel, and I buy several yards of a print that will work for boys or girls.¬† Then I buy the same amount of yardage in a solid or another coordinating gender-neutral print.¬† At other times, I’ll buy several yards of a “girl” print and several of a “boy” print.¬† My Mom usually gets her flannel at an independent quilt store, and there is a big difference in¬†the feel of the fabric.¬†¬†I have also recycled sheets¬†and crib sized duvet covers, making nice summer-weight blankets.¬† Those are just a few different fabric strategies that you can try depending on your budget and requirements for the kind of blanket(s) you want to make.

  • thread color of your choice, contrasting or matching
  • self-healing mat, lipped ruler, rotary cutter (and Kevlar¬†gloves¬†if you want to be EXTRA safe)¬†or fabric scissors and measuring tool of your choice
  • pinking shears or other fabric scissors
  • sewing machine or needle and thread for hand-sewing

Directions:

  1. Prewash and dry your fabric.¬† You want any shrinking to happen before you sew it up.¬† I don’t use a dryer sheet when I’m drying fabric in case I ever want to use it with something like Heat ‘N Bond or another fusible, as I’ve been told it won’t adhere well if you’ve used a dryer sheet.
  2. Measure the width of your fabric after it has been washed and dried.¬† For the last blanket I made, the width (including the selvage) was about 42″.¬† I typically buy flannel that is around 44″ wide.
  3. ¬†The goal for this step is to even up the ends of your fabric, so if you have a method you like, use that.¬† If you don’t have a favorite method, you can try what I do.¬† Fold each piece of fabric in half, matching selvages.¬† I often have to scoot mine around a bit to get the selvages to match up without wrinkles.¬†¬†Smooth your fabric out and lay it horizontally on your self-healing mat with the folded edge or the selvages lined up with one of the horizontal measurement marks.¬† (You can cut each piece of fabric separately or lay one on top of the other once they are smoothly folded and cut them at the same time.)¬† Then, take your clear, lipped ruler, and place the lip over the top edge.¬† Line up the right side of the ruler with the vertical measurement mark on the mat that is closest to the end of your blanket.¬† Holding the ruler in place with your left hand (gloved in Kevlar, possibly), use the rotary cutter to cut off the excess fabric and make a straight edge.¬† Do the same for the other end of your fabric.¬† You want the length of the fabric to be similar to the width, but this doesn’t have to be exact, so don’t worry if it’s an inch or two different.¬† Now you have two squarish piece of fabric that are (in theory) the same size.

    DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

    This picture is slightly different from the description in #3, but I wanted you to be able to see the tools I described and the way the fabric is lined up on the self-healing mat.

  4. Unfold your fabric and match both pieces with right sides together.¬† Somehow, mine are never truly the same size, so I pick a side or two and line them up as best I can.¬† Like I said, it doesn’t have to be exact.¬† Just try to smooth out any wrinkles as you go so that you don’t have one piece of fabric that is flat and one piece that is bubbly or lumpy when you finish.¬† DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch
  5. Using a straight stitch and about a 0.5″ seam allowance, stitch around the blanket, leaving¬†about 8″ unsewn in the middle of one edge.¬† Unless your blanket edges all match up perfectly (which mine never do), you may have a side (or two or three) where you are just sort of guessing at the seam allowance.¬† Just do your best to keep your stitching parallel to one edge with something like a 0.5″ seam allowance.¬† As long as it is generally straight, it doesn’t have to be perfect.¬† DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch
  6. Using your pinking shears or fabric scissors, trim around the edges where you have sewn in order to even the layers up and reduce bulk.¬† You can also clip diagonally at the corners when you are trimming (just don’t clip into your sewing).

    DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

    Trim around the edges.

    DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

    Clip the corners.

     

  7. Turn the fabrics right side out through the opening you left on one side.  I usually use a pin to pull the fabric at the corners out into points.

    DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

    Turn your fabric right side out.

    DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

    Use a pin to pull the corner fabric out to a point.

     

  8. Smooth everything out and fold the edges in at the opening.¬† You can pin them together if you like.¬† I usually don’t, but do what makes you comfortable.
  9. Using a wide zigzag or decorative stitch, stitch around the outside of the blanket, staying fairly close to the edge (especially as you sew over the opening you used to turn the fabric right side out).  You want to catch the fabric at the opening in your stitching.  I think I used about a 0.5 or three-eights inch seam allowance, but as I said, the main thing is to stay close to the edge.

    DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

    I used a wide zigzag stitch for this blanket.

  10. Next, fold your blanket into thirds and mark those thirds with a pin.  DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch
  11. Stitch down the blanket from one pin to another (I don’t draw a line, I just start at one pin and aim for the bottom one.) with a straight stitch.¬† You want to end up with two parallel lines running down the blanket to anchor the two pieces of fabric together so they don’t bunch up.¬† You can get creative with how you do this.¬† I think my Mom has sewn a heart or other shape to the middle of the blanket rather than stitching parallel lines, which accomplishes the same thing.¬† When I do the two lines of stitching, I often get a little bit of fabric that bunches up at the bottom, even though I try to make sure the fabric feeds evenly.¬†¬†¬† DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch

Congratulations!  You did it!  Now fold or package your blanket to give to that special baby in your life.

DIY Baby Blanket tutorial with Pattern and Branch