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Lush & Plush Trends from Fabric.com: Minky and Satin Baby Blankets

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Recently, movie star and trendsetter, Nicole Kidman was photographed holding baby Faith wrapped in a plush pink baby blanket with a lush satin ruffle. Dozens of commenters on the photo demanded to know where she got that adorable blanket. Nicole's not telling, but no worries because we have an even cuter design you can make yourself. It's part of our new S4H Series sponsored by Fabric.com: the lush-est, plushest, most trendy fabrics for Fall and Winter. Mar Bella Minky and rich satin combine today for this double-sided beauty!

Fabric.com has a wonderful selection of the absolutely gorgeous Mar Bella Minky and it's all on sale! In fact, there are so many pretty Mar Bella patterns to chose from, we had to make our design double-sided. Minky is rather slippery on the back, and with wrong sides together; we knew there could be a problem with our layers shifting. However, we didn't want to add any quilting stitches to hold the layers together as we felt it would take away from the beautiful look of the motifs. Instead, we came up with a clever solution: there's a secret layer of flannel in between the two layers of Minky. The double-napped flannel keeps the two layers from shifting and adds a little extra oomph and insulation as well.

As we mentioned in our previous Flannel Pillowcase tutorial, make sure you pre-wash your flannel. Otherwise, it could shrink up more than the Minky and cause your lovely blankie to twist and turn.

Big, big thanks to all the friendly folks at Fabric.com for helping us bring this series to you. We have a great group of projects, tips and product reviews to get you working like a pro with flannel, Minky, faux fur and faux leather. They've also provided us with a wonderful Great Giveaway Gift for one lucky Sew4Home fan.

If you haven't visited Fabric.com before, scoot on over there today. They offer free shipping on orders of just $35 and more. When you combine that with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, free return shipping and the ability to order swatches, you have a no-risk way to shop online for fabric and more.

Sewing Tools You Need

  • Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome HD3000)
    NOTE: You will be sewing through a number of slippery layers, make sure you have a machine with a good feeding system, like the 7-piece feed dog on the Janome HD3000.
  • Ruffler attachment (optional... but a super-cool time saver)

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Amounts shown below are for ONE blanket. Multiply as needed for twins, triplets and beyond.

Getting Started

  1. From the front fabric cut ONE 35" x 35" square.
  2. From the back fabric cut ONE 35" x 35" square.
  3. From the cotton flannel fabric, cut ONE 35" x 35" square.
  4. Using a small glass or cup, round each corner of each layer (front, back and flannel).
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  5. From the ruffle fabric, cut EIGHT strips 6" x width of fabric (WOF). Trim off the selvedges.
    NOTE: We used the rule of thumb that says your ruffle needs to be approximately 2½ times the length of the edge to which you're applying the ruffle. Since our quilt will be 34" square when finished, we multiplied 34" by 4 to get 136".  Then we multiplied 136" by 2.5" to get 340". Finally divide this new total length by your WOF to get the number of strips you'll need. In our sample, that meant dividing 340" by 45". This equaled 7.56, which we rounded up to 8. We wanted a 2½" finished ruffle, so we knew our ruffle strips would need to be 6" to account for folding the strip in half plus a ½" seam allowance. After all this math-noodlin', we cut EIGHT 6" x WOF strips. Sewn together, this gave us approximately 352" of ruffle fabric to work with. If you are new to this technique, you can check out our tutorial: Gathering & Ruffles Made Easy .

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

The ruffle

  1. Sew all eight 6" strips together end to end. To do this, place two strips right sides together and stitch along the 6" edge, using a ¼" seam allowance. Repeat to create one long strip. Press all seams open.
  2. Fold and press this long ruffle piece in half lengthwise wrong sides together.
  3. Hem one end of ruffle. To do this, turn one end under ¼" and press, turn under again ¼" and press, and then sew in place close to the folded edge.
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    NOTE: This is a LOT o' ruffling, which is why we opted to use the a ruffler attachment for our Janome machine. These contraptions look intimidating but are easy to use. Most machine manufacturers offer something similar to what we show, and the Janome version is actually made to fit both Janome machines as well as machines from other manufacturers. It comes with pretty good instructions of how to set the ruffle depth and insert the folded fabric. If you don't have a ruffler attachment, you can ruffle the traditional way with two lines of machine basting. With this much length, it's good to do the machine basting in easy-to-work-with sections of about 18" or so. Again, you can take a look at our tutorial: Gathering & Ruffles Made Easy. Janome also has a good video tutorial on their Ultimate Ruffler.
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  4. The satin fabric we used for our pretty ruffle can be very slippery, so it is best to pin the raw edges with the head of the pin facing to the raw edge side of the ruffle, and with a pin set about every 3-4". This will help keep the satin fabric from twisting and torquing as it is fed into the ruffler. Be sure to remove pins as you feed the satin fabric into the ruffler!
  5. Gather the entire length of the ruffle to the approximate length of the four sides of the quilt (136"). Leave some extra length for overlapping to finish the ends. No need to have an exact measurement, just give yourself plenty to work with.
  6. Starting with the hemmed end, and with the back of that hem against the right side of the blanket (wrong side to right side), pin the ruffle to the BACK fabric. Align the raw edges of the ruffle with the raw edge of the fabric.
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  7. When you have about six inches remaining before the beginning and the end meet, lay out the end of the ruffle so it overlaps the beginning by about 2½".
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  8. Cut off the excess, then hem this end in the same manner as you hemmed the other end. If you've used a ruffle attachment, you'll need to switch back to your regular presser foot.
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  9. Overlap the two finished ends so the ruffle lays flat and finish pinning.
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  10. Machine baste the ruffle in place around all four sides.

Assembling the layers

  1. Machine baste the flannel square to the wrong side of the blanket FRONT fabric using a ¼" seam allowance.
    NOTE: Your corners should be rounded at this point. Remember that step from above. I happened to take this photo prior to my "rounding."
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  2. Carefully pin the extra ruffle fabric away from the corners so it does not get caught up in the stitching when the quilt top is sewn on.
  3. Layer the flannel/front fabric and the ruffle/back fabric right sides together. The ruffle is now sandwiched in between the layers.
  4. Pin in place, using plenty o' pins. Leave a 3-4" opening along one side for turning.
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch through all layers around all four sides, remembering to leave that 3-4" opening for turning. Stitch slowly, smoothing the layers as you go; this will help insure your ruffle stays flat.
  6. Clip all four corner curves. Then, trim the flannel/front fabric close to the seam, but be careful not to cut into your stitching. DON'T trim the ruffle/back fabric.
  7. Turn quilt right side out, pull out the ruffle, and press from each side.
    NOTE: Use a pressing cloth/towel and low heat as the Minky does NOT react well to direct or high heat from an iron. It will ruin the nap and any embossing in the fabric.
  8. Use a long, blunt-end tool to round out the corner curves; a long knitting needle or chopstick works well.
  9. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Finger press. Pin in place.
  10. Hand sew the opening closed with a small whipstitch. Minky is great for hiding hand stitching; it simply disappears into the nap.

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Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson



Comments (78)

Kala Y said:
Kala Y's picture
Love, love, love this blanket. I used flannel on one side and minky on the other just because I didn't have two types of minky at the time. I used a gathering foot which ruffled the satin and sewed it onto the flannel all in one step, no pins required! (I did baste the satin strip ahead of time, just to make sure nothing slipped)

Thanks for the tutorial!
Elaine M. said:
Elaine M.'s picture
I just finished one blanket and decided after the old school ruffling that I HAD to have the ruffler foot. I just got it in today and now I no longer loathe satin!! These blankets are true works of art and I've gotten several requests for them since posting the picture of the one I made! Only problem: now I want one for my own self!
Cherise Lane said:
Cherise Lane's picture
I saw that question and response but I was not sure if that answer applied to my fabric combo. I think I will just use all minky because I don't want to quilt into the minky and I definitely don't want the blanket to lay funny. Anyway, thanks for your response and thanks for the comprehensive tutorial.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Cherise Lane - as I responded to @ NoelleQ below - the "flannel trick" described above is one for layers that are inherently slick on the wrong side, like the Minky. Making this project from cotton and/or flannel and regular batting is a whole different ballgame. With either of these fabrics, you shouldn't need the "flannel trick", however, bear in mind that the main reason we did our trick was because we didn't want lines of quilting through our beautiful Minky. If you use a fusible batting, you may still be able to get away with no quilting, but I can't guarantee it. Once your blanket it completed, if it shifts easily, I would recommend a few lines or quilting or a few hand tied points across the blanket. Also, as I mentioned in @ NoselleQ's response - here's a similar tutorial with batting and quilting:

Cherise Lane said:
Cherise Lane's picture
Hi there!

Is it possible to do this blanekt with minky on one side and then cotten woven or flannel fused with fleece interfacing on the other side? If so, would I still need to put the double napped flannel in between the two layers?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ silvermom - thanks for letting us know about your "gathering experience." We used the heavier satin because we wanted the heft of the ruffle to match the thickness of the two layers of Minky. We did use the ruffler and didn't have a problem, so it's good to know you had some challenges without it. I would echo your suggestion of a lighter weight satin if you aren't able to use a ruffler.
silvermom said:
silvermom's picture
Just so people know... it is virtually impossible to make the ruffles without the ruffling or gathering attachment for your machine. I did not want to purchase it for one project, so I basted the satin. I purchased the exact fabric recommended from fabric.com and the satin is too heavy to baste and gather... especially two layers of it! My thread kept breaking as I was trying to gather the satin. I used Guetermann thread (so it wasn't the cheapo kind). I basted in 15" segments to make the gathering easier and it still didn't help. I ended up cutting off all of the basting and pinning little pleats and tucks going different directions to salvage the ruffle. I think the recommended satin is too heavy.... this is fabric you use for wedding gowns! I would go with a much lighter fabric for the ruffle next time.
NoelleQ said:
NoelleQ's picture
Perfect! That's exactly what I needed to Know. I LOVE fabric.com! Thanks a bunch!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ NoelleQ - the "flannel trick" described above is one for layers that are inherently slick on the wrong side, like the Minky. Making this project from linen and regular batting is a whole different ballgame. I would recommend quilting stitches through all the layers. You might try a combo-instruction project, incorporating the above project with our ruffled baby blanket tutorial, which features lines of quilting:


I like the Kyoto natural bamboo batting and I think it would be quite nice with a linen. You can find it at Fabric.com:


Warm & Natural's battings are also nice and also available at Fabric.com:


NoelleQ said:
NoelleQ's picture
I have a question, when making these kind of blankets with two pieces of fabric sewn together is there no need for "quilting" or tying the layers down? I want to try making this blanket with two pieces of linen fabric and a light batting in the center. Will the batting get clumpy in the wash? Is the trick to use flannel in the center so the pieces sorta stick? Is there a batting you recommend for a project like this?
Tmbunch@hotmail.com said:
Tmbunch@hotmail.com's picture
I would love to buy one from someone that makes these blankets!
Email me!
mike.debby@hotmail.com said:
mike.debby@hotmail.com's picture

We make these blankets all the time, and personalize them.  If you are interested, look at our blankets on facebook - the giggling goose. 

A Video will be better. said:
A Video will be better.'s picture
A video will be a much better step-by-step Tutorials.
Shirlee Saunders said:
Shirlee Saunders's picture
Working on my fourth blanket now. One was a full size one for my daughter's bed. Sure glad I read this. Love the flannel in between the minky layers idea. Can't wait to try it.
08ibelieve said:
08ibelieve's picture
I've been making these blankets since my granddaughter was born, over a year ago, and giving them as presents for all the newborn babies of friends of my son & DIL. I've made over a dozen so far, and have also made adult size throws for those cold winter nights. There waeen't any ideas like this out there, so after trial & error, I made up a pattern very similar to this one. I get all my supplies from Fabric.com. I use satin blanket binding instead of trying to use that slippery satin for the ruffle. It is the right size & one package will cover a 32" square blanket (I also round the edges of the blanket). I run a basting line down the raw edges of the blanket binding & pull for the gathers, but an attachment would work well. If you use polyester thread, pulling the ruffles is a breeze. I fold over the ends & press the satin & overlap one edge into the other when they meet, instead of hemming. The end result is very polished. I love your rosebud minky, which is one-sided, and they will stick together without any stitching. Other than ironing the blanket binding before I start, there is no more ironing. I machine baste the ruffle to the right side of one of the minky pieces before I sew the fabric together & that keeps the ruffle in place. After I pull the minky to the right side of the fabric after sewing the back & front together (with the ruffle sandwiched in-between, I sew around all the edges 1/4" in from the ruffle. This holds everything in place & closes the opening I left to pull the the fabric out. I add a name tag & I'm done. I've also made these with football team fleece on one side & minky on the other—a big hit with the Dads!
murphy! said:
murphy!'s picture
Love the idea of the flannel! I just made one with a satin back and had a horrible time! If I had used flannel, I believe it would have helped.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ okiemom - you don't sew the two ends together, you overlap them, which is why we recommend the extra length. Both the edges are finished and stitched and the small overlap disappears into the ruffling.
okiemom said:
okiemom's picture
When you hem the last end of the ruffle- how do you sew them together- why do you need 2 1/2 inches of extra overlap?

Megan SewChem said:
Megan SewChem's picture
I wish this tute had come a few months ago when I was trying to figure this blanket out. I did figure it out after two times and it's a fantastic seller in my shop! I use satin all of the time and I've found that because it slips so much and frays, I serge the satin closed and then ruffle it with my ruffler. The ruffles come out perfect and the satin never slips. SOOO much easier than taking the time to pin it all. Great tutorial and great minky, too!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Edna 2 - The ruffler was set to "1" and the depth set to 6 for the satin ruffles.
Edna 2 said:
Edna 2's picture
love the tutorial, and I'm curious to what setting did you set your ruffle attachment at, mine has several but I don't want to run short on ruffle fabric it i choose one that gatners alot. Thank you
IslandLady said:
IslandLady's picture
Great tip about using the double-napped flannel. smilies/smiley.gif
Regina M. said:
Regina M.'s picture
tThese are the most gorgeous baby blankets I have seen anywhere!! I recently made a minky blanket for a friend and wish I had known your brilliant trick for layering in the flannel. Mine turned out ok with minky on two sides, but it draped oddly. I plan to use this minky and your flannel technique for another chum who is pregnant. The color and beauty of your satin ruffle awesome! Can't wait to try it.
Nicole Ferguson said:
Nicole Ferguson's picture
Beautiful!! Now I want to make one...except we don't need more blankets around here and no babies coming soon...I may just have to make one to have on hand just in case smilies/smiley.gif
BizzyMom said:
BizzyMom's picture
I, who love to make baby blankets, LOVE this!! Thanks for the tutorial!! smilies/smiley.gif
Kat Dellinger said:
Kat Dellinger's picture
Beautiful! I am 20 weeks pregnant myself and we're not finding out the sex until the birthday smilies/smiley.gif. Just ordered several yards of unisex minky for a couple of blankets & a crib sheet. Thanks for the great tutorial!
tpill02 said:
tpill02's picture
simply gorgeous!.....will have to get a ruffler attachment to make one of these.


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