Friday, July 1, 2011

The Flannel Receiving Blanket

A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets
This is one of my favorite gifts to give to first-time mothers.  As many of you know, babies seems to make frequent messes.  A new baby can go through several blankets and several outfits a day.  I love to give a bundle of these flannel blankets to new mothers: they are so soft and snuggly, you can make them in a wide variety of colors and prints, they are light (so they don't take much room), they are easy to wash, and they make great swaddlers.  Oh, and did I mention...I made these five in one afternoon?

I went to Joann's on Wednesday and it was my lucky day--all the snuggle flannel prints were on sale for 50% off!  Score!  (By the way, the sale is still on for another week)

So I bought all these cute prints.  I also love making these and using different stitches on the edge.  Each person who gets these gets a unique gift because I use different stitches and different fabrics each time.  I thought the triple stitch zig-zag went great with this heart argyle pattern.

A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets

I like how the diamonds in this stitch echoed the square design on this flannel.

A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets

I am always a sucker for a scallop edge.

A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets

This wave reminded me of the cycle the flower circles make in this flannel.

A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets

Who doesn't love hearts?  This was a big hit at the shower.

A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets
A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets

Materials (for 1 blanket)
  • 1 yard each of coordinating flannel
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Pen/Marker (or rotary cutter and mat)
  • Measuring tools (like a pattern board)
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Iron (optional)
***This pattern uses the envelope method just like the wedding blanket, and the softest blanket.***
  1. Wash and dry fabric before beginning.  Flannel shrinks quite a bit, so you want to get that out of the way before you sew.  I iron the fabric before I begin because it is easier to work with.  The edges can get squishy when you wash and dry.
  2. Cut your flannel pieces to 34" wide, and I keep them as long as the selvage widths (about 40").  If the two pieces were not the same original width, cut down to the smaller one.
  3. Round your corners by either cutting around the bowl using the rotary cutter, or marking with pen/pencil and cutting with scissors.
  4. A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets
  5. Lay your two flannel pieces right side together, pin around, and sew around using 1" seam allowances.  I like to use larger seam allowances to allow for imprecise cutting (this saves me time).  I also want a larger seam allowance, so when I sew around the edge at the end, it catches the edges.  These blankets can get a lot of wear, and I don't want a seam ripping and all the fabric fraying.  Leave about a 4" gap to turn the blanket right side out.
  6. Before you turn your blanket right side out, cut off some of the selvage on each corner (cut down to about 1/4").
  7. Clip around the corner with the scissors (like we did on the flap of the school-time messenger bag).
  8. Turn your blanket right side out, flatten the edges either with your finger, or the iron, and pin all around.  Be sure to get your gap edges to match up with the rest of the blanket edge.
  9. Sew a decorative stitch (you could use a plain zig-zag, or a straight stitch if you don't have any decorative stitches, or try the twin needle) 1/4" from the edge all the way around.
A sewing tutorial for making flannel receiving blankets
We have so many pregnant friends right now, I am going to stock up on flannel, so I can whip some of these up for everyone.  I don't think you can ever have too many blankets.


  1. aww so beautiful!!! i love them

  2. That is a really good baby gift idea! :) Love the prints you used!

  3. I love flannel and also make them up for new moms, but I'm really loving your fancy stitches, makes them that much more special!

  4. Very cute! The one with the little hearts is adorable!

  5. thanks so much for linking to "Tell me Tueday!"

  6. How awesome.. LOVE LOVE this.. So super cute.. Great post.. I'm loving your blog & Officially following you via Made By You Mondays @skiptomylou. : ) ) .. Hope you can stop by sometime.. I'm Marilyn from ;)) TY

  7. Cute fabric! I like the decorative stitch on the edges too! I'm always looking for ideas in ways to use those fancy stitches!

  8. what a cute and easy gift. I love the prints you chose.


  9. What lovely gifts! I love all of the handmade receiving blankets I ... received! I like the plate idea too, and the decorative edge darling, I wish I had a machine that did hearts!

    Thanks for showing off! I am a new follower!


  10. I have three piles of flannel fabrics and I couldn't figure out what to do with them. And now, I think I know the answer! My sister-in-law is due in late September and I better start doing those blankets for the new baby in the family :)

  11. Super cute!! Have you used a twin needle for edging before? Wouldn't it leave a funky stitch on the back, since there is only the bobbin, or maybe I'm doing something wrong??? Thanks for your help!! Kym :)

  12. Thanks for all the nice comments!

    I haven't used a twin needle for edging on the blanket, but I did use if for the edging on this reversible bag

    It leaves one side with the two straight stitch lines, and the back has this funky zig-zag looking stitch. I think that's kind of cool. Many decorative stitches look different on the back, but it is a personal preference.

  13. This is EXACTLY the tutorial that I was looking for! So easy, simple, and cute - and I love that you give thorough instructions for novice sewers (like me). :) Thanks!

  14. Just made one. Looks great and hides some of my beginner mistakes well. Thanks!

  15. This is awesome...going to make some for my sister's shower gift!

  16. These are AWESOME! Wondering what kinda of sewing machine you have that has all those GREAT stitches? If you could email me back at to let me know that would be GREAT! I have been wanting to get a new sewing machine but havent found the right one just yet but this one would be a GREAT one to look into for just the stitches! Thanks again


  17. I was looking for this, but a question I have is does it bunch in the middle after washing? Do you sew a line or circle in the center to not have it do that?

  18. I love the softness of a flannel receiving blanket.

    Perfect gift for the new mom.


  19. I too make these blankets for every baby shower I go to, and they are always a big hit. I usually buy 1 and a third yards of each flannel, one yard for the blanket and the other third cut in half makes two nice size burp cloths to match. It doesn't cost much to make six blankets with a dozen burp cloths. Thank you so much for sharing, I love your site :)


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