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How to Make a Ribbon-edged Reversible Blanket

Hi friends! Today I have another quick and pretty blanket project for you - a reversible blanket with a ribbon edge. This blanket is very quick and a beautiful gift for recipients of any age or gender.



Making this blanket combines speed and beauty with a fun touch! I like to make blankets with this extra tactile sensation because I love to see the recipient's fingers rubbing on the ribbon as they sleep or relax. It's a subconscious motion that touches my heart!



Using a ready-to-use blanket ribbon makes this project a snap!

The materials you need are:


  • (2) pieces of coordinating fabric (cotton/flannel combo or cotton/cotton or cotton/plush)

  • (2) packages of prefolded ribbon binding that is packaged in 4 yd increments minimum.

  • Sewing machine and matching thread



Get Ready to Make


This blanket really is quite simple to make, so I just have a few tips as I explain the process.


First, I use 1 yard cuts for baby size, 1-1/2 yards for kids and average throw size, and 2+ yards for tall people. The great thing is you can customize this according to the height of your recipient.


Next, the binding ribbon I prefer is this ready-to-use packaged pre-folded 2" satin ribbon. You can find these in the craft section at you "buy everything here" store or at most retail chain fabric/craft stores. This ribbon is wider than most bindings, but it adds a lovely textural element to your blanket. There are probably other options or you could make your own if you want a skinnier binding. Also make sure to choose a color that coordinates nicely with both of your fabric choices.


Last, there are 2 decisions to make: round corners or square? And we will need to extend the length of ribbon (unless you are doing 36"x36" blanket), so do you want to make a miter joint or butt joint?

Making Time


We will start by laying out your fabric and trimming it. You can do both pieces at once so they match perfectly or do them separately.

  1. Press each fabric (unless its polyester/minky/plush).

  2. Lay one fabric with the wrong side (not printed side) facing up.

  3. Lay second fabric with right side (printed side) facing up.

  4. Trim edges to same size. You don't really have to trim the selvages off since they will be covered by the ribbon.

  5. First decision - trim the corners - round or square. If you are a beginner I recommend square because it is easier to maneuver the ribbon.

  6. Put a few pins down the center to keep everything in place while we add the ribbon.



Due to this situation (pictured above) it is now time to join the ribbon. The easiest way is a butt joint which is a straight seam, but I will review the miter joint also because it is tricky.


A butt joint or end-to-end seam is simple to make:

  • Lay the two unfolded ends (of different ribbon pieces) with the right sides together,

  • Sew 1/4" from the edge - remember to lock stitch your starts and stops.

This will make your seam a straight vertical line.


A miter joint or bias seam is a little trickier (but not much):

  • Lay one piece of unfolded ribbon end with the right side facing up,

  • Lay the second unfolded ribbon end with the wrong side facing up and perpendicular to the first piece.

  • Align the edges as best you can (its ok to have extra at top and side) and pin.



  • Then stitch diagonally (locking starts and stops) from the top left corner to the bottom right corner where the ribbons meet.



  • Fold it over to check alignment before cutting the excess. The tricky part is that the fold crease is slightly off-center and the ribbon is slippery, so I often find the edges and fold crease are not quite lined up. As long as the difference is less than 1/4" off it will be fine.

  • So when you are happy with how it looks then trim the excess ribbon off to 1/4" away from the stitching and press the seam open with an iron on satin/medium heat setting.



My last tip (suggestion) is to cut off at least 12" from your first piece if you have just a small gap (a few inches) that required the additional ribbon edge. This will give some distance between your 2 seams and not make it very obvious that you needed only a small piece.


It's All about the Corners


Once the ribbon is in one long piece it's time to tuck the blanket fabrics into the ribbon. Pin to hold it in place.



This needs to be done around the entire perimeter of the blanket before sewing, so now it's time to address the corners.


As I said earlier square corners are a little bit easier to do in advance (but they are harder to explain). If you have wrapped a present or bound a quilt then this folding technique should be familiar.





**Before we start - I put on my ribbon in a clockwise fashion and that is also the direction that I sew it on. This is important because you want the direction that you tuck the ribbon (for either type of corner) to leave the top (overlapping) ribbon going in the same direction as you sew so that it doesn't flip. If this doesn't make sense now (and while you read) it will when you sew.




As I am tucking the fabric in, the "done" ribbon is in my left hand and the ribbon I am maneuvering will be in my right hand. When it is time to go around the corner, the ribbon will be bending to the right to go around the corner. Don't pull it super tight yet.






  • Hold the ribbon at the corner with your left hand and then tuck the "wrinkle" of fabric that was created by the bend with your right hand.

  • Tuck it all the way in so that the overlap is a diagonal line. (in the middle picture you will be tucking the top ribbon down into the side ribbon)

  • The ribbon edges should meet up nicely on the front and the back.

  • Pin in place.

  • Repeat for each corner. See below:




If you have questions, you can ask me in the comments or almost live by using the "Let's Chat" button.


Now it's time for ROUND corners - easier to explain but a little slower to do because you basically tuck the ribbon as you sew.



For rounded corners, you can tuck the blanket layers into the ribbon and keep it as tight as possible. You want to feel the edge of the fabric along the inside of the folded edge of the ribbon. This will cause excess ribbon along the outer edges as you can see. Pin to keep the ribbon and fabric in place.


You can make little ribbon tucks in the ribbon edges before you sew (remembering to keep tucking from the right so the top edge is on the left side of the tuck), but this requires lots of pins and may slip. I do this while I sew instead.


Once your edge is pinned all around it's time to sew. Do NOT sew the ends down because the raw edges need to be concealed and that is coming up next. Sew a straight stitch or fun decorative stitch 1/4" away from the ribbon edge. It should catch the bottom edge since it's pre-folded.



As you can see below, here is the process of sewing down those rounded corners which I hope makes the tucking thing clear. you want the direction of the tuck to be the same as the direction you sew to prevent your foot from pushing the ribbon over as you sew. Don't forget the bottom tucks as you sew! Hopefully the ribbon edge stays nice and aligned, but if the tucks cause a little view of the ribbon underside; it's ok - nobody is going to look that closely.



Finish by Tucking the Ends


To enclose the raw ends, I prefer to leave the starting end flat against the fabric and fold the short ends of the tail end under and sew the tail end over the starting end. This will leave a straight seam (like the butt joint).


If you want an angled seam (like the miter joint) then fold the tail end edges inward diagonally. Once you have folded the tail end and enclosed the starting end just sew until you get to where you started and lock-stitch. Your done!



Final Touches


Since there are 2 fabrics that are only attached at the edges making this blanket, the fabrics could shift or balloon when being used or after washing. To prevent this from happening I put in "stay" knots. This works really well and is unnoticeable.


I simply put thread through both layers and tie a knot. There are 2 ways to do the knot - a square knot or a single knot holding both ends at the same time. Here is a quick video showing my method:





I love to see your work! I hope you have enjoyed making blankets with me!


Share your progress on social media by tagging me @polkadotpeepquiltsetc on Instagram or Facebook. Follow me on either platform for more quilty fun or sometimes cooking, family adventures, or other tidbits.


Merry Christmas!


Until next year - Be blessed my friends,

Tara

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