Saturday, April 7, 2012

Frustrating Yet Fulfilling

Neighbor is a NICU/OB nurse at the local hospital. A month or so ago, she brought home this little baby blanket and said that she was going to buy a sewing machine! She grew up sewing with her mom but had never had her own machine. She decided that this project was the perfect reason to get back into the hobby. You see, the NICU uses flannel blankets like this one to cover up the tiny babies to keep them warm, and then the family gets to keep it when Baby can finally go home. The nurse that used to make them has moved away so several of the nurses volunteered to make more. I immediately jumped on the bandwagon - I have a habit of hording the flannel I bought at the JoAnn's Black Friday $1.50/yd sale and I tend to pick up a lot of flannel remmants. It was time to put 
them to good use!

It's a simple project - cut the pieces of flannel or cotton and batting, sew around them, wrong sides together leaving an opening and then turning it right side out. The previous sewer used a decorative stitch to close up the hole and quilt rectangles in the middle. Most of mine were cut at 18" x 26" and I mostly used one layer of Warm and Natural batting. In a few blankets, I used two layers of batting. It is a very versatile project, with no set dimensions or instructions - so it works with any amount of flannel that you have in your stash! I think it would be fun to do some with a little bit of quick patchwork, too. Mine ended up a little smaller than the example, but Neighbor said that they'd still work perfectly! It's probably a smart idea to check with your local hospital to see if they do have regulations on sizes and such.

Here is about half of my contributions. Aren't they pretty, all folded up together? My machine was giving me problems - frustrating! I'm sure all I needed was a new needle, but did I have any on hand?! Nope. (That has since been fixed... lots of new needles in my sewing case!)

So, instead of using a decorative stitch, I sewed a straight stitch all around the outside and then I sewed designs - hearts and stars! The really thick ones (aka more challenging ones) only got a straight stitch rectangle in the middle. I used my walking foot the entire time, which helped my blunt needle a bit...

I was so happy to get two bunny ones made before Easter! Hopefully, some little baby girl can sleep soundly underneath it this weekend.

 This was my first time quilting with a design; I'm quite proud of myself for trying something new!

I still have some flannel left so I can make bibs and such for some upcoming, summer babies (friends and cousins!). It was very fulfilling to sew several of these baby blankets, knowing they'll keep babies warm in the NICU!


  1. I love making quilts for preemies but this one is so simple and soft. Going to try your method, what size do you make?
    Betty Lou

  2. Wonderful project and so needed. The quilting you did is perfect. I too am interested to know what size you made these?

  3. These look great! I have been knitting lots of premie blankets, but that takes a lot of time. I too wonder what size yours are.

  4. This is a great idea and I'm sure that the recipients will feel so blessed to have a homemade (and cute!) blanket!

  5. Nice job! I am sure these will be servicable as well as pretty.

  6. What perfect little flannel quilts with such a special purpose! They look great! Thanks for sharing!
    Quilting at the River Linky Party Tuesday

  7. Wow, nice job getting all those together. They sure are sweet.

  8. Such a worthwhile and rewarding project!!! The heart and star quilting looks awesome...

  9. Those look great! What a wonderful project!