How to Make a Super Simple Lightweight Blankie

Preprinted panel backed with flannel.
Using a preprinted panel is a great way to make a super simple quilt. And if you want just a lightweight cover, you don’t even need to add batting! With a little help, even very young children can make this easy blankie. All you need is a preprinted panel and a piece of flannel that is a little bigger than your panel.
  1. Prewash and machine dry the panel and the flannel. You want to make sure that neither shrinks later.
  2. Iron the panel. If your panel looks out-of-square, grab opposite corners that need to be brought into position and give a gentle stretch. Once you have the panel pulled square, trim the edges, if needed.
  3. Iron the flannel and then lay it right side up and smooth it from the center to the edges.
  4. Lay the panel right side down on the flannel and smooth it from the center to the edges. The flannel will ‘grab’ the panel and help hold it in place.
  5. Pin along the edges of the panel to secure it to the flannel.
  6. Sew around the perimeter of the panel ½-inch from the edge, leaving a 6-inch opening on one side. Trim the flannel even with the edges of the panel and cut across the corners diagonally close to the stitching to reduce bulk when you turn your blankie.
  7. Turn the blankie right side out through the opening. Reach inside and poke the corners out nice and square with your finger or the tip of your scissors and then iron a crease on all four sides. Be sure that the edges of the opening are folded neatly to the inside.
    Close-up of opening sewn closed.
  8. Stitch around the perimeter of the blankie ¼-inch from the edge and your blankie is done!

Top 2 Kid-Friendly Ways to Quilt a Quilt

While piecing is usually fun for kids as they get to watch the quilt take shape, finishing a quilt is often a challenge, especially for a young child with a short attention span. In fact, finishing is often a challenge for adults, too - that's why we have so many UFOs (unfinished objects) that need attention. Face it - sandwiching, quilting and binding can be tedious. So what to do?

The Martingale blog has a great post on How to Quilt a Quilt that lists six quick ideas, including:
  1. Tying by hand
  2. Tying or tacking by machine
  3. Hand quilting without a hoop
  4. Hand quilting with big stitches
  5. Free-motion quilting with simple repeat patterns
  6. Allover free-motion quilting
For kid-friendly quilting, I recommend tying by hand or hand quilting with big stitches. Either of these methods will produce quick results and your child's quilt will be done in no time - but for the fastest, easiest quilt finish, you can't beat simple ties.

How to Tie Your Quilt

  1. Lay your sandwiched quilt out flat and smooth. If using a bed (my personal favorite!) or carpeted floor, slip a large piece of cardboard under the part of the quilt you're working on so the needle doesn't catch on the bedding or carpet.
  2. Thread a yarn needle with crochet cotton or yarn that coordinates with your quilt.
  3. Stitch through the layers every 4-6 inches. It's best to start in the middle and smooth the quilt layers as you work toward the edges. For extra durability, you can form a double stitch by putting the needle back through the layers and then bringing it out again in about the same spot.
  4. Tie each pair of yarn tails into a snug square knot and then trim the tails to about an inch or so.
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