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Hand-Embroidered Baby Blanket Tutorial

Updated: May 15

If you've been looking to DIY your own baby gift or make something special for your little one, you've come to the right place! Today, we're making a flannel and minky baby blanket with a chain-stitched name. Check out the video tutorial for more in-depth explanations.


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More about Supplies

My favorite baby blankets are usually made with flannel and minky! However, you can use whatever types of materials you would like for this quilt. I am essentially using the same techniques as I explain in the Hand-Embroidered Swaddle Blanket, but using a different stabilizer that I think works better for heavier fabrics.

For this blanket, we will be maximizing the one yard cut of flannel fabric by sub-cutting it into 36" x 42". We will cut our minky fabric the same size. Since it has a wider width we will have plenty of extra for a matching project such as a lovey.

Tips for Cutting Minky Fabric: I know how scary it can be using minky fabric! It shifts so easily, especially while cutting and sewing. If you're using a fabric with a pattern (the minky that I'm using has a herringbone design or others may have dots), know that the patterns are created straight. To cut your minky fabric and know that your are cutting straight, follow along one of the row of patterns all the way up the fabric. We also know that the selvages are straight. I keep these edges on so that I have a trusted straight edge to work with while cutting!

Measuring For Your Name

I always use Canva to create names on personalized items. But how do we know what size to make our name? This is usually an eye-ball game for me. Considering the size that my fabric is, I then determine how big or small I'd like my name to be. For this particular project, I knew I wanted my name running along the bottom long edge. With my ruler, I concluded that 11" would be the perfect size for a name here.

If you don't want to go through the trouble of using the computer/printer to create your can skip these steps and use your water-soluble mark to write your name on your stabilizer! My handwriting is definitely not pretty, so I always opt for the computer here!

Using Canva to Create a Name

Next, we will walk through the steps on how to use Canva to create and print our name. Check out the tutorial video for a walk through on Canva!

  1. Do a quick search for an 11" x 8.5" paper. This will pull up a Flyer (Landscape). Open a blank document here.

  2. Add a Text Box and enter in your baby's name.

  3. Next, we will find which font you'd like to use. Here are some tips: try searching for 'calligraphy' or 'handwritten' in the font section to pull up some great options! I am using the Heavenfield font on my blanket.

  4. After selecting your font, click one of the white dots in the corner of your name and drag it to make it bigger. As you do this, notice the black box on the right side. Inside, it displays the size of your name in inches! Cross reference this to the size name you'd like. For simplicity's sake, I usually choose to fit my name onto one page to avoid having to split my design and print multiple pages.

  5. Once you're happy with your name, download your page as a PNG then print it.

Preparing to Embroider

Next, we will follow a few simple steps to get ready to embroidery our flannel fabric!

Side Note: Sulky Sticky Stabilizer is printer friendly. You can actually print on to this from your computer and embroider! My printer ink bleeds unfortunately so I do not use this functionality. However, I always like to share with others! Definitely do a test first...but if it works for you, this is a great option and saves a lot of time!

Transferring the Name to Stabilizer: Using your water-soluble pen, trace the name on to the fabric side of the stabilizer. I use a tracing pad for this but an open window works just fine.

Preparing Your Fabric: Peel off the paper backing on your stabilizer and carefully adhere it onto your flannel fabric. Press down really well and in all directions. I opted for the bottom right corner on the long side, but choose where ever you'd like! Keep in mind: we will be using a 1/2" seam allowance so don't get too close to the edges. I used a ruler to make sure I lined my name up straight.

Get Your Needle & Thread Ready: I will be using all 6 strands of embroidery floss for this project. Thread your embroidery needle. Cut about 36" of thread and then double knot the end so that it's big enough that it won't be pulled through the flannel.

Hoop Your Work: Once your fabric and thread/needle are ready, the last step before we begin embroidering is to hoop our work! I am using a 12" embroidery hoop found in this inexpensive set. Make sure that your fabric is nice and smooth (not too tight and not too loose).

Tips on Chain Stitching

For a tutorial on how to chain stitch, see this week's video. For this blog post, I thought it would be more helpful to list out some helpful tips about chain stitching not covered there!

  1. As cliche as this sounds- practice makes perfect. There, I said it. But it's so true! The top question that I am asked is how I make my stitches consistent and the answer truly is practice. It's almost like a muscle skill to move your needle down the same amount of space each time. *For help with this, consider marking 1/8"-1/4" dots down your drawn name lines (with a water-soluble pen of course), so you know where to place your next stitch. Eventually, your eyes will do it for you!

  2. Tension is the second trickiest thing, next to spacing consistency. Pulling too tight or leaving your stitches too loose can be detrimental. There's nothing worse than spending hours hand-embroidering only to unhoop your work and it looks bad. Practice with different types of tension to see what works best for you. *Tip: If you see that your chain stitch looks a little off, use the back of your needle to help form your stitches. If you gently pull on the right side of your stitch, you will be able to pull it a little tighter.

  3. Don't worry about what the back of your work looks like!! For starters, it will be covered up inside the blanket in this project. But even if it's not, most people don't notice the back, only the beautiful name on the front!

  4. Consider using an adjustable embroidery hoop stand. This is a new revelation for me! I have always tried to hold my hoop in-between my knees on the couch so I can use both hands to sew. I discovered this hoop and I can work so much more efficiently! I put a weight in the bottom so I can stand and sew, or it's adjustable and you can sit on the bottom and have your work in front of you while you sew! Find it here.

Sewing the Blanket Together

Now comes the fun part! We will be sewing our flannel and minky fabrics, right sides together, then turning it out. For the following steps, we want to make sure that our fabrics are as smooth as possible.

  1. Place the flannel fabric on the floor, right side facing up, and smooth it out completely.

  2. Lay the minky fabric on top, right side facing down, and match up all sides/corners. Make sure your fabrics are completely smooth and free from wrinkles.

  3. Using your curved safety pins (or any straight pins), pin the two fabrics together throughout. Make sure not to get too close to the edges or you may sew over one!

  4. Next, take binding clips and clip around the perimeter of your blanket. Leave a 6" - 7" opening on the opposite side as your sewn name for turning right sides out later. I use two sets of clips here to signify where I should start/stop.

  5. Using your walking foot and a 1/2" seam allowance, sew around the edges of your blanket. Don't forget to leave the opening instead of sewing back to where you started.

We're almost finished! Next, clip the corners to reduce some of the bulk here. Be careful not to clip into your seam allowance. Once this is finished, remove all safety pins.

Turn your blanket right sides out and poke out all of the corners. Next, clip the opening of your blanket closed. We will sew over this! Topstitch around your blanket using a matching color thread.

Tips: Use you thumb and first finger to roll the seams so that they're even. We don't want the backing fabric showing through on the front and vise versa to the back. Use your walking foot as a guide to create an even sewn line! Just match the edge up with the edge of your foot.

We're finished! I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. Find me on Instagram @southernsewingcompany and tag me in your creations! Sign up for my newsletter by clicking here to be notified of future blog posts and tutorials.

Until Next Time...


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