Thursday, October 15, 2015

Play ‘n Snuggle Mini Blanket Tutorial

Hi! Sherri from Thread Riding Hood, back again this month with another baby-related tutorial, this time using Sew Sisters' Cuddle from Shannon Fabrics. Seriously, this stuff is SO SOFT! Not being an avid quilter or blanket-maker, I admit, I haven't worked with Cuddle a lot. Whenever I pick some up it makes me think it should be a more regular thing. I'd love a blanket big enough for me - and Sew Sisters stocks a ton of colours. (Check out my September Double-Gauze tutorial - a baby swaddle blanket with a hood. It comes in a matching doll size too!) I think the Play 'n Snuggle Mini Blanket would make a great baby gift and I hope you like it too! This mini blanket reminds me of when my kids were little and I incorporated all of their favorite baby things into the design. A corner with ribbons for playing, a knot in one corner for teething and a looped cord - to attach a soother or toy. It's the perfect size to hug and not too big to bring out on trips. Bonus, it keeps that soother attached and not on the floor!
The Play 'n Snuggle finished size is about 20" x 22". Since Cuddle is extra-wide, this project only requires a 20" cut (just over 1/2 metre) of Cuddle. If you'd like to make it with a contrasting colour on the back, you will need two 20" cuts. With that much Cuddle, you will have enough to make two mini blankets. They sew up quickly, you can cut and finish one in less than an afternoon!

With tips on how to sew Cuddle and simple sewing supplies, this project is easy enough for beginners! Here we go...

Safety First! When sewing for babies there are a few things to remember, long ribbons or cords can be dangerous. Short ones, like in this toy, are rarely a problem. That said, you still don't want your child (or someone else's!) swallowing them. I recommend the following:
  • Ribbons should be double stitched to secure well, as indicated in this tutorial.
  • Ribbon and twill tape ends should be treated with a fray-deterant such as Fray Check. Synthetic ribbons can be melted carefully over a lit candle.
  • Ribbons should be solid colours or have a woven pattern. Screen printing will come off easily when babies mouth the toy.
Optional Walking Foot:
  • A walking (or even) foot is a great sewing machine add-on that is highly recommended when sewing Cuddle fabrics. If you have one, please go ahead and use it for this project.
  • However, I made a point of sewing this blanket entirely without a walking foot on my Janome Skyline S5. I wanted to make sure it could be done and it was not hard at all! You'll just need to add a few more pins and have a little more patience.
More resources for sewing Cuddle:
  • Print the Template: Download the Corner Template using the link in the Materials listing. Print out the pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the page, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size. Cut out the template on the outer gray line
  • Prepare the Ribbon/Twill Tape: Use Fray Check or another fray deterrent method to seal all raw ends of ribbon and twill tape.
  • Cut two pieces of Cuddle 20" x 22" each. Place them on your cutting table, right sides together (RST), matching all edges.
  • Place the corner template in one corner matching the edges as seen in the picture below. Trace the corner and cut along the traced lines.

  • Trace and cut each of the other two corners, placement can be however you'd like.
  • Do not cut the fourth corner, it remains square.
  1. Attaching the Ribbons/Twill Tape: With the blanket Cuddle fabric right sides together, pin all straight sides and the knotted corner curve. Use a lot of pins, mine are placed every 1" to 1 1/2".
  2. Lay out your ribbons so they are evenly spaced around the ribbon tag corner. I found it helpful to mark my placement along the fabric edge with a removable fabric marker.
  3. Fold all ribbons in half and insert the folded edges in between the layers of Cuddle. 1 1/2" of the ribbon will be between the layers and 1" will stick out from the corner. Pin, making sure the ribbons are straight.
  4. Insert and pin the twill tape on the soother corner with the same method. If desired, fold the ribbon in a loop (see photo) instead of folding it in half.
  5. Outer Blanket Edge: Mark a 4" opening along one long straight edge. I like to mark the opening by using a double pin.
  6. Stitch around the entire blanket with a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving the opening area un-sewn.
    • When you reach the square corner, sew all the way to the edge and back stitch. Remove the fabric from your machine and fold over the sewn seam allowance. Begin sewing again at the edge. This will produce a tidy, strong corner.
    • TIP: If the Cuddle starts to gather up while you are sewing, lift the presser foot to relieve tension on the fabric. Replace the presser foot to continue sewing.
  7. Turn only the ribbon and twill tape corners Right Side Out to check that the ribbons are placed as you would like them. If necessary, unpick your seam, straighten the ribbon and re-sew.
  8. Safety First! Turn the blanket RST again. Use a wide zigzag stitch to sew around the ribbon and twill tape corners within the seam allowance. This will make sure they are doubly secure.
  9. Top Stitching: Turn the blanket Right Side Out through the opening. Push out the corners and edges. Use a turning tool to flatten the folded edges of the square corner inside the blanket so they lay flat. (Don't you LOVE that nice square corner?!)
  10. Turn the edges at the opening under and pin all the way around the blanket. I pinned parallel to the edge because I found it seems to hold the edge in place better.
  11. Top stitch around the edges with a scant 1/4" seam. Use a longer straight stitch if desired. This will close the 4" opening. However, if you'd like, you can use a slip-stitch or ladder stitch to secure the opening as well.
  12. Optional "Quilting": Mark a sewing line 2" from each edge with a ruler and a removable fabric marker. Draw a smooth curve under the knotted corner and a square corner at the soother corner. Pin well along the line.
  13. Stitch along the quilting line. Remove markings.
  14. Knotting the Corner: Pull the knotted corner fabric together and tie a very large half knot. (Loop it around and bring the corner under and then through the loop.)
  15. Pull the corner tight, then pull the knot towards the corner. You will find that the knot will get smaller. Continue to repeat - pull the corner tight and then pull the knot towards the corner - until the knot is the correct size. It took me 6 or 7 times to get the knot small enough.
  16. Attaching a toy or soother: Place the twill tape loop through the toy/soother. Bring the loop around the toy/soother and pull to tighten. Reverse the action to remove the toy/soother.
Congratulations! You have finished your Play 'n Snuggle Mini Blanket.


We're giving away half a metre each of the Cuddle fabrics Sherri used in this project!
For a chance to win half a metre of Cuddle Dimple - Dark Lime and half a metre of Cuddle Solids - Turquoise by Shannon Fabrics leave a comment on this post. 
Winner will be chosen Monday, October 19.
Good Luck! 

Many thanks to Sherri from Thread Riding Hood for this great tutorial! 


Katrine D said...

This little blanket is so cute, and the tutorial comes just in time as I was going to send out a welcome gift to my cousin's new baby. The Cuddle fabric looks sooo soft. Thank you for the chance to win some.

Chris R said...

I love this fun and quick idea! I have two granddaughters born this summer just two weeks apart and I would love to win this fabric to make blankets for them!

Unknown said...

What a sweet project... friends have a new grandbaby coming in November ~ this will be perfect!

deb said...

Such a cute little blankie, I'm going to be an auntie in January and I think she would love one of these!

Denise said...

Would love to make this... so cute! Lots of new babies this coming so this pattern would be lovely!

Debbie Rogowski said...

I love this pattern, I was a bit confused on what a 'soother' was LOL. I wasn't sure I want to put an open loop on one corner, safety reasons. But I'm thinking that with a pacifier there it would be convenient or it can be cut to be another taggie. All in all I love it!!

tac73 said...

This is a wonderful tutorial. Thank you for sharing it and for the opportunity to win the fabric.

nettiejdear said...

So adorable and looks incredibly snuggly!!!

Pine Point Cathy said...

What a wonderful cuddle size, with all the toys. Thanks for the chance!

Sue said...

Love Shannon Fabrics cuddle fabric! I have made a cuddle blanket for our 7 week old granddaughter already. This tutorial comes just in time as she has a cousin born 4 weeks later (Aug.&Sept.) and I'd love to win more Shannon fabric to make these cuddle blankets for them!
Thanks for the chance.
sbq5105 at gmail dot com

LauraMichelle said...

Nice. I bet any baby would love to be cuddled up in that.

Unknown said...

This looks amazing. Very easy to follow tutorial. Any baby would love to cuddle with this.

Emily C said...

How cute. I love that you added that little loop to attach it to the pacifier, so that they can't drop the pacifier on the ground.

Tara said...

I would LOOOVE this for a project!!!! <3
taraz9 at excite dot com

Unknown said...

Lovely idea with great instructions!

Unknown said...

I love the details on this busy blanket. I wish I had this tutorial 5 years ago! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway opportunity.

Katy M said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial, I'd love to make one of these for my baby due in January :)

Dawn said...

Cute blanket, I know someone having a baby that would love this. dawnm1993(at)gmail(dot)com

OhioLori said...

This is the coooolest idea!!! Thanks so much for the Tutorial!!!Want to make for our new Granbaby!! Thanks too, for chance to win delicious Minky!!! Yum! Sooo snuggly for sure! :)

Kathy E. said...

This is a great tutorial for an awesome project! I can see making several of these and keep them until it's gift-giving time for friends who are having babies (or grand babies). I haven't sewn with Cuddle before, but now I'm willing to try!

Vicki H said...

Excellent tutorial. I am going to make one for the next shower I'm invited to. Thanks.

Sandy said...

I Love Minkie! It is So Soft!

Unknown said...

As a first-time mom due in February, I LOVE the idea of handmade toys for babies.
I'll definitely be making at least one of these for our babe (and probably a few for friends who are also expecting)!

Unknown said...

As a first-time mom due in February, I LOVE the idea of handmade toys for babies.
I'll definitely be making at least one of these for our babe (and probably a few for friends who are also expecting)!

MSO said...

I love this design. I have tried to incorporate more than one thing in a small blanket, but never have been as pleased as I know I will with this design...the secret seems to be in the shape. I am so excited to have found this blog!! :>) MS

Barb said...

I think that we all need a blanket in Cuddle Fabric - no matter how big we are. Thanks for the chance.

lynnie said...

I want to be a Grandma so badly- and wouldn't this be a perfect project made from cozy Cuddle Fabric. Maybe if I make one ahead of time- it will give them a hint???

Unknown said...

I am expecting twin grandsons soon and would love to make these for them!

claire ross said...

Very cute and perfect as a beginner project ( suits me ! )
Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

Rose Santuci-Sofranko said...

That is totally CUTE! And that fabric looks so soft! Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist @

lindawwww said...

Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I'm going to make a cuddle quilt for the next baby shower I attend!

lin.web.28 at gmail dot com

Susan MacGregor said...

Wow, how simple could that be to make. Perhaps a soft blanket for mom too? Yes, more fabric will be required :)

Lúcia Elaine Bittencourt said...

Vou ser vovó.... e adoraria presentear o bebê com um lindo cobertor feito com muito carinho e amor! Quero ter a sorte e felicidade de ser a ganhadora! SIGO E AMO ESTA PÁGINA!

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Great idea and good tutorial.

Unknown said...

I think now is the time to start my first blanket . The material looks gorgeous. Maxine

Michele T said...

What a neat blankie pattern and your tutorial is top notch!!! I need visuals when following a pattern so this is perfect!!!

Gollymolly said...

Great tutorial and lovely fabric to make it, thanks

Unknown said...

Perfect timing for my niece's fist baby...and great colors aince she doesn't know what she is having. Would love to win this and get right on it. Thank you.

Dody said...

Wonderful idea. I'm expecting a new grandchild in March! Thank you!