Design inspiration credit for this lovely blanket goes to a friend who made a similar blanket for one her grandchildren. It was such a hit (in Paris no less where this daughter lives) that she shared the technique with us and we developed it into an easy, step-by-step tutorial you can size up or down. The slightly puffy border is created with a cleverly seamed faux flange, which sandwiches an extra-wide Seam allowance. The secret ingredient is the super soft Crushed Cuddle plush fabric that gives the edge of the blanket added loft.
Shannon Fabrics is an industry leader in all things soft, importing and distributing many types of fabrics; including super soft Cuddle, fabulous faux furs, Embrace double gauze, terry cloth, silky satin, and other novelty fabrics. We’re focused this week on their huge variety of Cuddle plush fabric in solids, prints, and with embossed designs. There are 96 colors just in their solids category (96 bolts of Cuddle on the wall, 96 bolts of Cuddle…).
This is a very fast, easy, and fun project and the finished blanket just begs to be wrapped up tight. If you are new to sewing or are teaching someone to sew, this would be a wonderful, beginner friendly project.
As you’ll see below, we used bulk to our benefit in this design. An un-cut, super-wide Seam allowance is what provides the subtle loft to the perimeter. It creates an irresistible edge for squeezing and cuddling. “S” is for Sew4Home, Soft and Snuggly!
A special inner Lining of flannel helps keep the layers from shifting, working in tandem with the quilting seams and the faux flange itself. It’s a blanket that can be laundered frequently without losing its shape or softness.
We love the preppy look of our Plaid Cuddle with the rich Crushed Soft Cuddle, but the combination options for your soft blanket are nearly endless. For the best result, make sure at least one of your Cuddle layers has a extra fluffy Nap.
Our blanket finished at approximately 50″ x 50″. You could certainly reduce or enlarge the starting cuts for a smaller or larger result.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot (we used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on the Janome Skyline S7)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1¾ yards of 60″+ wide Cuddle plush fabric or similar in a pretty print
- 1¾ yards of 60″+ wide Crushed Soft Cuddle plush fabric or similar in a coordinating solid
NOTE: As mentioned above, for the best result on the puffy faux flange, you need a Cuddle with a longer, fluffy Nap that can add the extra depth to the sides of the blanket.
- 1¾ yards of 60″+ wide double-brushed flannel in white
- All purpose Thread to match fabric
- All purpose Thread in a contrasting color for Hand basting
- See-through Ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight Pins or clips
- Gripper-style quilting gloves; optional but helpful for stabilizing the layers as you sew
- Hand sewing Needle
- Pre-wash the flannel and Press flat prior to cutting. Cuddle does not shrink but flannel does. We recommend pre-washing any fabric used in combination with Cuddle so your finished project does not warp when laundered.
- From EACH of the three fabrics (the Print Cuddle, the Soft Cuddle, and the Flannel in our sample), cut ONE 60″ x 60″ square.
- We used a Rotary cutter for our Flannel and Soft Cuddle.
- For the Print Cuddle, because we have a strong directional motif with our pretty plaid, we used shears to Fussy cut along a stripe within the motif.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- This is a big project with a lot of layering. You need a large, clean surface on which to work. A clean floor (hard surface, not carpet) is often the best option.
- Place the Flannel square down first. Make sure it is as flat and wrinkle-free as possible.
- Place the Soft Cuddle square down next, Right side up.
- Using a Hand sewing Needle and contrasting Thread, baste these two layers together. Work from top to bottom and back up again. You don’t need dense basting, just enough to help secure the layers.
- Place the Print Cuddle square down on top of the two basted layers, Wrong side up.
- Pin together all three layers, keeping your Pins about 3½” – 4″ in from the raw edges all around.
- In addition, Hand baste through all the layers about ½” in from the raw edges all around.
- We also added a few lines of Hand basting through the center of the blanket layers.
- We used intersecting Pins to mark our corners.
- Our Janome Skyline S7 has great machine markings that go beyond the Needle plate onto the throat of the machine. This gave us a handy guide to follow at the 4″ mark. If you do not have appropriate markings on your machine, use a fabric marking pen or pencil to draw in a guide line on the top layer (the Wrong side of the Print Cuddle) at 4″ in around the entire perimeter, pivoting at each corner for a 90˚ turn.
- Attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine’s fabric feeding system.
- Thread the machine with Thread to best match the blanket in the top and Bobbin.
- Lengthen the stitch to 3 – 3.5mm.
- We also put on our quilting gloves to help stabilize and move the layers through the machine.
- Stitch around all four sides through all layers 4″ in from the raw edges. Leave an 8″ – 10″ opening along one side for turning Right side out. Lock your Seam at either side of this opening.
- Remember to pivot at each corner.
- Using a see-through Ruler and Rotary cutter, Trim each corner on the diagonal, being careful to not cut into the Seam.
NOTE: As described above in the introduction, it is the extra wide Seam allowance that creates the puffy faux flange that is the design trademark of this blanket. However, you still need to Trim away some of the bulk at the corners or they will look bigger and “bunchier” than the sides of the flange.
- Gently pull the blanket Right side out through the opening.
- Using your fingers, reach in through the opening and adjust the giant Seam allowance so it lays flat all around and fills in at the corners.
- Turn in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn Seam and pin closed.
- Hand stitch to close the opening, hiding your small stitches within the Nap of the Cuddle.
- Topstitch 3½” in from the seamed edge around all four sides, pivoting at the corners. We again recommend a Walking or Even Feed foot and a lengthened stitch. We used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7 and a Stitch length of 4mm. We also continued to wear our quilting gloves for additional stability.
- Mark for the final three quilting rows, which run the length of the blanket. First find the exact center. This will be one row, then measure approximately 13″ to the left of center and approximately 13″ to the right of center. We say approximately, because it’s not critical – just evenly space the sections. We adjusted as needed in order to follow along lines within our plaid.
- As above, attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine’s fabric feeding system. Thread the machine with Thread to best match the blanket in the top and Bobbin. Lengthen the stitch to 4mm. And, as an added help, put on your quilting gloves to help move the layers through the machine.
- Stitch along each of the three marked lines. Go slowly, keeping the layers as flat as possible. As with any quilting, always stitch in the same direction for each line to minimize shifting.
- Remove any remaining visible basting threads.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild