Last Minute Gift Idea to Make: A Cozy Christmas Idea To Sew… Or Not!


It’s Not Too Late To Make A “Love Blankie!”
Nothing says love like handmade gifts! Whether for a new baby, a niece or nephew, your significant other, or even a fellow friend with an invisible disability – EVERYBODY gets cold during the chilly winter months and everybody deserves to have their own personal Blankie! (Yes, even YOU! – so make one for yourself too!)

You can sew either by machine or by hand… or not at all. Directions for two different types of sewn blankies and one non-sewn follow. The “Faux Quilt” is actually a REAL quilt – you just save yourself the work of piecing the quilt top! It is the most attractive, expensive, and time consuming. Figure on at least a few hours if doing by machine – and longer if by hand.
The Fleece & Flannel Blankie can be made very inexpensively in an evening or less. The Decorated Purchased Blankie give you an opportunity to show your sentiment and creativity in a different way altogether. Expense and effort will depend on what blanket you buy and what you decide to do.
Whatever you decide, you will have the joy of knowing your special person can wrap themselves up in your love all winter long. And fabric shopping for the perfect print or design, color, etc. for your special person is just pure fun!
“Faux Quilt” Blankie – Around $30 adult size approximately 56″ X 69″ (using a coupon for 40% off); half that for baby or small child. NOTE: If you are making this for a person over 6 feet tall, it will be a little more)
Fleece & Flannel Blankie – $20 or less adult size; $15 or less for baby or small child
Decorated Purchased Blankie – It just depends on what you choose!
“Faux Quilt”
NOTE: This is a HEAVY and very warm blanket. If you want a lighter blanket, eliminate the cotton batting “filling.”
– 2 yards pre-quilted fabric (this is fabric sold by the yard that is actually made up of fabric squares in various sizes pieced together by machine – like a real quilt top. This is NOT just plain quilted material that I am referring to. It is sold, I know for sure, at Hobby Lobby stores for about $12.97 a yard. IF you take in your trusty 40% off weekly coupon (available free for signing up online for their e-newsletter at you can use it and save lots.
(NOTE: If you are making this for a person over 6 feet tall, you probably want to do 2-1/2 yards of each fabric).
– 2 yards any type of flannel of your choice.
– 1 package 100% cotton quilt batting (If you are going to make several blankets eventually, you are wiser to buy a queen size or king size and cut the size you need from it. Otherwise, buy the twin bed size).
– Usual sewing notions – machine thread, safety pins, scissors, iron and ironing board
– 1 spool of hand quilting thread your choice of color
– 1 darning or other heavier needle with a big enough eye to thread easily for hand sewing.
To me, the hardest part of this sewing project is laying out the material on the floor when I don’t have a huge table available. So, while you’re having your fabric cut, ask the person to trim the flannel piece to measure 3″ narrower in width than the prequilted material measures. Then have her trim off each end 1.5 inches as well. By doing this, you are having your fabric precut to allow for the prequilted fabric to be used as self-binding for your blanket.
(I would advise prewashing and machine drying the fabrics before you begin to avoid shrinkage problems later).
1) Lay prequilted material on large table or floor, right side down.
2) Batting will need to be trimmed to form a rectangle that is 1.5 inches smaller on all four sides than prequilt piece. (Or, same exact size as flannel piece!) Lay batting on top of prequilt.
3) Lay flannel piece on top of batting, right side UP.
4) Safety pin all layers in rows across piece about 8-10″ apart. When you are done safety pinning, turn the piece over and check for any areas that are not flat and smooth and adjust pins if needed.
5) With machine or by hand, run a couple of tacking stitches with prequilt side facing you on corners of the seamed blocks in the prequilt fabric. You can also tack in the middle of blocks if you’d rather. Just make sure your tacks aren’t more than about 6 inches apart at most for stability of the batting.
6) Press under 1/4″ on prequilt piece, all around. Press under another 1/4″ on prequilt piece, all around. Then fold the prequilt pressed edge over edge of quilt and pin in place onto flannel side. Stitch binding in place close to fold. Trim threads, remove pins, and you’re done! Tell the lucky recipient to wash in cold water and tumble dry low.
Fleece & Flannel Blankie– 2 yards each (2-1/2 for persons over 6′) fleece and flannel fabrics. (or 1 yard for baby size)
(OR you could do two different fleeces, or two different flannels – in a solid/print combo, for instance.)
– Sewing notions as above
1) Have the two fabrics cut so that they are exactly the same size rectangles OR trim them yourself to match.
2) Place the two fabrics with right sides facing together. Pin around edges.
3) Sttich a 1/2″ seam all around, leaving one 10″ section unsewn for turning.
4) Trim close to stitching on each corner before turning.
5) Turn, pick out corners with a sharp pin.
6) Press seams and blanket. Press 1/2″ seam allowance on turning opening.
7) Slip stitch turning opening closed.
8) If desired, you could make a decorative stitching pattern sewing the two layers together as you would for a quilt.
No-Sew Decorated Blankie
Purchase the blanket type and size of your choice. A solid color would probably work the best.
Now here’s where the fun starts! Your creativity and the comfort factor are the only limits How about having each person write a personal message with a different fabric paint for a “Miss You” blankie for a person who’s moved far away? You could purchase sew-on lace appliques or print photos onto fabric sheets and and glue them on with washable fabric glue. Do the same with small crocheted doilies or other fabric motifs, satin or poly ribbon, etc. Be sure to check the clearance shelf in your fabric department for remnants and discontinued products!
Article submitted by: Sheila Talley,, © 2008

  • Brenda G

    Wish there were pictures too

  • Annjette

    This is great. I love it.
    I tie fleece blankets, by stacking the two layers, cutting a fringe all around both, & tying the fringe edges. The corners are cut out, & the fringe width can be by choice (I use 1 inch) the fringe length can also be by choice (4 inches works nicely.) When each fringe all around on the front is tied to it’s corresponding fringe piece on the back: the quilt is done. You can sit down to tie the fringes. I safety pin the two layers together before cutting, & this keeps them together while tying.

  • All three of these projects sound great! One thing about the faux quilt — those instructions will also work if you have a quilt top inherited from a relative who made lots and didn’t make them into quilts. My dad’s mom made so many that she had two or three per kid in the extended family, but I never got one of them. This just reminded me of it.
    For the decorated blanket idea, Blick carries a cool product: Pentel Fabric Fun pastel dye sticks. They are a lot like oil pastels in feel and come in a set of 15 colors — well chosen from an artist’s point of view. You can draw or write anything with those. If you goof up, just wash the blanket in the washing machine and it comes out. If you got it just right, cover the designs with a sheet of printer paper and iron to heat-set them and make them permanent. The set isn’t very expensive and is enough to do art over an entire blanket. White or a very pale color is best for the Fabric Fun crayons, they’re not very opaque and colors would tint it.