A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??


I love making baby quilts for my friends when they are expecting a new arrival, but sometimes there is just not enough time. I have so many projects that are unfinished, so many ideas for crafts I could do to decorate my new house, not to mention chasing my son and dog around most of the day, that making a quilt sometimes just isn’t in the cards, but I still want to make something special. There is something about receiving a homemade gift that is different. You can feel the time and love that went into it. And, I want my friends to know that I cherish them enough to make them something from my heart.

 

My solution was to crochet or knit a blanket. It went faster, baby yarn was relatively inexpensive, and it was more portable than a quilt. I could take my project on road trips with me, and I could sit in front of the TV and work on it when I wanted to spend time with my husband. But, no offense to any crocheters or knitters out there…it was just missing something.

 

I think I found an even better solution.

 

I turned my knitted or crocheted blankets into “quilt tops.” First, the “top” needs to be blocked. Depending on which stitch type you use, this is more or less important. The knitted, Entrelac blanket shown above needs to be blocked very well.
The tendency of the Entrelac stitch is to stretch rather easily and you will notice your backing will pucker a lot, and your quilt will not be anything close to square, if you don’t take the time to block it. The crocheted blanket pictured here needed minimal blocking just to square it up. I then back them and bind them just like they are a quilt. There is no need for batting. The heaviness of your knitted or crocheted top usually ensures the blanket will be warm enough. I use minky fabric for the backing, and flannel lined satin for the binding. These are the perfect combination for a baby to snuggle up with. I do tack the backing and top together in a few spots just by hand with a needle and thread. I cut my binding very wide (sometimes up to 10”), which makes it quite difficult to work with, but I like the look of the wider binding, and it gives the babies more to hang on to. I attach it exactly like a typical quilt binding.

 

Problem solved! These blankets are quicker to make than quilts, they are less expensive (although in the Entrelac example I did splurge and buy very nice, but kind of pricey, yarn), they are easier for a beginner crafter or nonquilter, and they still have the same something special about a homemade gift. The perfect quick weekend “quilt”!

 

Questions and comments are welcome as usual. I’d love some feedback on these blankets. Also, if the demand is out there, I’m considering putting together a tutorial on Entrelac knitting. Let me know what you think!

 

Enjoy,

 

Nikki, In Stitches

Added Later: When I wrote this post, I thought the “quilted” aspect of these projects would be the main focus.  I am so happy so many of you like this idea.  Thank you for all of your emails and comments.  I am surprised by the overwhelmingly large number of requests for patterns for these blankets.  It means a lot to me that so many of you enjoy my projects.  Please check back for them soon.  I am starting the pattern writing process within the next few days, and hope to get the instructions up soon after.

 

Added Even Later:  If you’d like the pattern to knit the Entrelac Blanket shown above, it can be found in the following post:  You Asked For It.  The crocheted blanket pattern can be found in:  Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

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64 Responses to A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

  1. Emmy says:

    These are beautiful!

  2. Sarah says:

    The one in the top photo is SO cool! Is this at MY level of knitting (aka kindergarten)? I am not ready for real quilting yet but I really think I would try this…please post MORE! :)

  3. Dee says:

    I saw your blanket on Ravelry. It is so unbelievably beautiful!

    I love it!

  4. shellian says:

    Hi! I saw your lovely baby blanket on Ravelry, but I’m not sure how to access the pattern – am I missing something?

    A co-worker is having a baby later this year and I would love to surprise her with this blanket – it is so beautiful and looks so soft and comfy.

    I appreciate your creativity and skill!

    love,
    shelly

    • nikkiinstitches says:

      Hi Shelly,
      The technique of backing and binding can be applied to any knitted or crocheted baby blanket. If you have a favorite pattern in mind, you can spruce it up with “quilting.” If you are interested in the Entrelac (multicolor) blanket I have pictured, I have had a lot of requests for an actual pattern, and will be putting one up in the future.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Nikki

  5. Jennifer says:

    Do you sew the blanket down to the fabric in any place other than the edges, for example a traditional quilt has quilting throughout the blanket to attatch the two fabrics?

    • nikkiinstitches says:

      Jennifer,
      Yes, I do tack the two layers together in a few places…maybe every six inches apart. (I’m not very exact about it because you can’t see the stitches.) I use a color thread to match the Minky, and I just do it by hand, with a needle and thread. Your handsewing will disappear in the yarn on the top, and if you take your stitches small enough, they will be barely visible on the back, as well.
      Let me know how the project goes!
      Nikki

  6. Jenn says:

    Thank you for your tips, I was able to successfully join the knitted blanket with the material purchased for it and the little girl is thrilled.. she carries it around everywhere. Thank you again for your tutorial and additional information!

  7. Kelly says:

    I LOVE this idea soooo much. I just finished up a baby blanket that I want to add a backing to. I wasn’t planing to use a minky fabric, but the satin fabric….any thoughts on that?? Should I just use the minky and move on?? LOL! Also, my blanket has scalloped edges on the top and bottom (it was a lacework knit baby blanket…I think it’s called a fan type of pattern)…any advice with that? Obviously I can’t put a binding on the scalloped edges…do you think I’ll need a binding at all if I just sew the backing straight up each side of the blanket? Am I just crazy to think I can do this? Your response would be greatly appreciated. :) Thanks!

  8. theresaB says:

    Ok, I’ve been searching and searching to see if anyone had tried this. . . hooray, you’ve done it!

    One question. . . do you think this is at all possible with a full sized afghan? I’d love to make these for Christmas gifts in a bigger size. Cold Colorado nights and one of these lovely crocheted quilts would be divine!

  9. Kelly says:

    Nikki, just wanted you to know I got your response, thank you so very much!!! I have decided for the blanket I’ve recently completed, I am not going to put a backing on it…it would just be too complicated with the scallops on the edges and such. But I will def. keep this in mind for another project!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this!

  10. LaurieN says:

    Hi
    The blanket on the top with the pink and blue in it, how did you do that part? Is it crocheted or is the white part crocheted? I’d love to know how to make that design. Is it ok if I ask?

  11. We know this is a little over a year old, but we love this; it is so cute! Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and love for the art of quilting through your wonderful blog. Check out the American Quilter’s Society blog at: http://www.aqsquiltnews.blogspot.com/

    Keep up the beautiful quilting!

  12. Jessica says:

    Nikki,

    Thank you so much for posting this blanket pattern. I just finished my own version of the Entrelac knitted blanket with a minky back. It turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. samantha says:

    I love this pattern ! I was wondering if you have any articles posted specifically on backing and binding a quilt ? I’m very new to the hobby and have no idea where to even start ! Also how long did this take you?

  14. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Jaredsfa2009/entrelac-baby-blanket

    I have backed and bound the blanket…and let me tell you, I am in no way a quilter…Quilting is a lot more difficult than i thought…In fact I can say without a doubt that the quilting was harder than the knitting for me…I think i measured stitched and frogged, measured stitched and pulled the stitches SEVERAL times…until I was happy with it… I still am not completely happy with the binding…and I am still worried that the stiches may unravel in the wash…but in the mean time, I FINISHED!!!

    • Jared! You are being way too hard on yourself!
      I think it looks great!
      Where did you find that green minky? I usually can only find it in a few colors, usually pastels. That green is matches perfect!
      Nikki

  15. pamindallas says:

    Not sure if you are still reading this or not but I just finished this and it was really fun to do.

    How do you recommend blocking? Do you put the blanket on rinse cycle in the washing machine on gentle and stretch it out?

    • Pam,
      So you happy you liked making the blanket!
      I’ve actually just finished up making one myself, and blocked it yesterday. I’ll tell you how I do it, but please know….blocking is my least favorite thing to do, and I always do it the very lazy way!
      Since I use yarns that are machine washable and dryable, I figure pressing the blanket with an iron is an acceptable blocking method. I do put a hand towel between the back of the blanket (I press from the wrong side) and the surface of my iron. I place a few pins in my ironing board marking how wide I want the blanket to end up, and use them as guides as I’m pressing. This helps keep my blanket square (or helps make it square if it has ended up a little wonky).
      Does this help??
      Nikki

  16. Nikki,

    I just completed the Entrelac Baby Blanket and it is gorgeous, like a pile of sherbet clouds! I found an adorable fleece backing fo it but now am struggling to find a binding. From my research, it looks like you made your binding from cut fabric. Is that correct? How did you do the flannel-lined satin? How do I determine how much to purchase? My finished blanket is 40″x48″. I downloaded the directions for the Green Tonal binding, but I love the idea of a wide edge for the baby to hold and rub. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Katherine

    • Katherine,
      I’m so happy you love your blanket! Thanks so much for sharing! I can absolutely help you with your binding questions.
      Yes, I use flannel backed satin for the binding. I will be honest and tell you, it is NOT the easiest fabric to work with. Even with the flannel backing, it still slides everywhere. Use lots and lots of pins!
      In order to get a nice, wide binding that babies will love to snuggle with, you need to cut your strips 8 1/2 inches wide. I know…that sounds huge, but if you follow the directions I have posted for the green tonal binding, this will work out to be about a 2 inch wide binding. NOTE: When I attach the binding for this project, I do increase my seam allowance to 1/2 inch, rather than a 1/4 inch that you would use for a typical quilt.
      As far as how much to buy….I always buy way more than necessary and throw the rest in my stash, but I’m thinking you are going to need 5 or 6 strips, each 8 1/2 inches wide. So that would be 42 1/2 inches to 51 inches…a yard and a half, then??
      I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! I love hearing from my readers!
      Nikki

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  19. Geraldine Carter says:

    I love the different color blanket. I know how to knit. I hope I can learn how to make it for my grandchildren when they have babies.

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks so much, Geraldine! You can definitely learn to make it! And don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need help!

  20. Lori says:

    Nikki,
    I LOVE this idea! I had crocheted a blanket for my first grandchild. Sadly, although full term, she was stillborn. I have kept the blanket stored away. I just learned that my son and daughter in law are expecting again! I wanted to somehow add to the blanket I had made for my granddaughter, and give to this new baby as a gift from ‘her’. This is the perfect solution! Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t wait to add to it and finally wrap a baby in it!

    • Nikki says:

      Lori,
      Your story has touched my heart. I’m so happy I could be a part of such a special gift for your family. Thank you so much for sharing!

  21. Karen says:

    I am excited to make a knitted blanket with a backing. You say it is important to block the blanket. I have blocked small counted cross stitch pictures by wetting them and pinning them to a board until they dried. How do you block a knitted blanket? It seems that the same process I use for Cross Stitch would not work for a knit.

    • Nikki says:

      Karen,
      I’m so excited that you’re going give this idea a try!
      In full honestly, I am not a blocking expert. It’s one of those things where everyone has opinions and favorite techniques, so I’ll just let you know what I do…and it seems to work! I turn my blanket over, so the wrong side is up. (I usually work on an ironing board or a large flat surface.) I work from one side of the blanket, across to the other, and as I move, I repeatedly measure, to make sure the blanket is the same width as I go. I press the blanket with my iron, and I always use a pressing cloth. I don’t actually let the iron touch the blanket. One advantage to using the ironing board, is if your blanket is not really staying put to the width you’d like, you can pin it in place. Just be sure your pins don’t rust!
      I hope this helps! If anyone has a different method they’d like to share, please do!!

      • Karen says:

        When you press your blanket. What setting do you use on the iron? Do you use steam?

        So, just pressing the blanket will keep it blocked while manipulating it to put the backing and binding on?

        I am just trying to picture the process. You have the blanket laid over the ironing board and you are done pressing. Do you put your backing on while it is still on the ironing board? If not, won’t it streatch all out of shape again while working to get the backing on?

        Perhaps you could post a how to with pictures on your website. Thanks for your reply.

        • Nikki says:

          Karen,
          Most people would tell you now to use steam because the combo of heat and water could cause your yarn to shrink. Considering this is a baby (and therefore washing machine) friendly project, that will be laundered many times, I add in a bit of steam. I know…people are probably very upset right now…but I’m just being honest! ;-)
          After it’s been pressed on my ironing board, I pin baste it on the floor, just like I do a typical quilt. You can see my tutorial for “making a quilt sambo” here: http://www.nikkiinstitches.com/a-quilt-sambo/
          Let me know if that helps!

      • Gail says:

        I have a little rescue dog, Toby who lies on the couch ever night with us while we watch TV. I made blanket similar with all different colours of Red Heart yarn I had and lined it with a fleece lining (a Mickey Mouse print LOL. I did a row of sc and then dc all around the edges of the blanket before lining and sewed the lining to the sc row. I tied it in a few place on some of the corners to keep it in place with crochet cotton. While this would work for a baby blanket, it is fine for the dog and the ties haven’t come undone through numerous machine wash and dries :)

  22. Jenna says:

    Hello-

    I have knit the top part of the blanket, and I have bought some awesome pink flannel and ribbon for the other parts, but I am trying to figure out what I need to do. I have looked over both tutorials twice (Bound and Determined and this one), I need to sew my knitted piece by hand to some soft of binding?

    • Nikki says:

      Jenna,
      So sorry you’re having trouble finding my tips for backing and binding your blanket!
      There are a few tips in this post, but you can find my full how-to for backing a quilt here: A Quilt Sambo.
      And yes, you are going to layer your knitted piece and your pink flannet, baste them in place, then sew on the binding…but all of that’s in the post I just mentioned!
      Keep us posted!!

  23. Michelle says:

    Thanks for such wonderful instructions! I’ve been looking for exactly this all afternoon! One question – do you baste the edges of the backing and top together before binding, or do you just tack the top to bottom as in quilting and then attach the binding?

    • Nikki says:

      Michelle…I do both!
      I tack the center of the top to the bottom every maybe 4 – 6 inches. I also baste around the entire thing, close to the edge, before I attach the binding…it just makes sewing on the binding a lot easier.
      I hope this helps!!

  24. Terri says:

    Hi, I love the enterlac but can it be made in squares vs the rectangle? I am making a scarf now but would like to do a baby blanket next.

    Thanks,

    • Nikki says:

      Terri,
      Are you referring to the individual blocks of color in the blanket? Those end up being a little more rectangle because a knit stitch is wider than it is tall. The only time I’ve been able to get them really square is when I made the same blanket, but used Tunisian crochet. The pattern (and some help for those that are unfamiliar with Tunisian crochet) is on my blog here: http://www.nikkiinstitches.com/tunisian-crochet-entrelac-style-baby-blanket/

    • Gail says:

      Me again – for Toby’s Blanket the squares were done in mitred knitting. I would think you could this same type of blanket in squares as well – just work out the width you want and knit it until it is a square. You could either sew the squares together or knit them on. I did read that if you work the squares in a long knitted strip and sew along the edges that the knitted strip is not as stable (stretches) while the sewn on strips don’t stretch out of shape. Hope this helps :)

      • Nikki says:

        Gail! Such a simple technique…thanks so much for sharing!
        PS…I’ve always had better luck sewing my knit squares together. Not only is it more stable, but I like the look better, too. If you graft them together with a Kitchener stitch, the sewing blends right into your knitting and is invisible!

  25. Misty says:

    Hi,
    I was just wondering if you or anyone else has a suggestion for the color closest to the blue (nestle)? I have been looking everywhere for this color, apparently it has been discontinued as of fall 2010.

  26. Pookie says:

    I love what you have done. Just beautiful. I am making a blanket…knitted… With the back knitted as well. The front is squares and pattern says to stitch through batting and backing around each square. What thread and stitch do you think I should use. I’ve never hand quilted before. Any help would be great.

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks so much, Pookie!
      I’m very interested to see your finished blanket! Please send pics our way!
      As far as how to “quilt” it….
      Since both the top and bottom are quilted, you don’t have to stress about the neatness of your stitches. They naturally get hidden by the loft of your knitted pieces. I typically just use a spool of thread from my sewing machine stash…a neutral color just in case a rare stitch is visible. I use two plies. And would use just a medium stitch length. When I do my blankets (knit on one side, fabric on the other) I actually just tack them together every few inches. I don’t actually sew a long line of stitches. But I’m not sure if that would work so well with both sides knitted.
      I hope this helps and again, send pics! We’d love to see!

  27. Allegra Parker says:

    Hi

    Im a crocheter and i would love to learn to line the back of my crochet blankets… Do you have a tutorial or step-by-step instructions on how to do this?

    • Nikki says:

      Allegra,
      I have a few tips and tricks stashed in posts around the site, but I’ve tried to list as many as I could here.
      Let me know if you have any questions!
      I tape the layers to my floor…the backing, and then the batting (if you think you need it….it’s not necessary!). I then pin baste the finished top to that. (Block it really well so that it’s nice and square!)
      I then hand tack all the layers in place maybe very 5 or 6 inches. Think of it as an old fashioned style quilt that is “tied.” I just use sewing thread and a needle. Clip the tack close your top and you’ll never even see that they are there. This just keeps all the layers together, and prevents little fingers from getting stuck in the yarn top.
      Then I untape all the layers and take it to my sewing machine. (Note: the top is still pin basted to the bottom.) I machine baste all the way around the edges. While I’m sewing, I remove all of the pins.
      Then I attach the binding, just like I do a quilt. I know you said you aren’t a quilter, so here’s a link to a tutorial that I did on how to attach it to your blanket: http://www.nikkiinstitches.com/bound-and-determined/
      I know this is a ton of info, so please! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  28. Nicole says:

    Hi Nikki,

    I absolutely love this pattern, and I’ve finished the knitting and the blocking, but I’m having a hard time understanding how to back the blanket. I’m a total newbie to quilting and I’m worried about damaging the stitches in the knit top. What’s the best way to do this backing? The top is about 30×35″ — would I still need to cut the fabric in half (I have 3 yds) and then sew it back together?

    Sorry for what I’m sure are silly questions — but thank you in advance for the help!
    -Nicole

    • Nikki says:

      Nicole!
      No silly questions here! I’ve learned most of this the hard way…by trial and error!…so I know exactly how you feel!
      No, you do not need to cut your backing fabric. (The instructions there are to cut it because of the size of the quilt.) Since yours is about 30 x 35, you can back it with a single piece. I’m assuming your fabric is standard size, so it’s probably somewhere around 40 – 42 inches wide. That will give you enough extra around the edges!
      Please don’t hesitate to ask any other questions you have along the way!

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  30. Lexie says:

    So I am new to crocheting and absolutely love love love the idea of backing it! BUT I have never done this before. Do you have any tutorials on how to back my blankets???

  31. Sheila B. Fine says:

    I am knitting an entrelac scarf of maroon and white. I am having a problem with the opposite color showing thru on the right side when I join a new color. How do I remedy the previous color not showing on the right side?
    Many thanks.

  32. Linda says:

    I made that entrelac baby blanket and it turned out amazing, I am now trying to put a flannel backing on and put a edging on and cant figure it out, please help me with putting on a outer edging

  33. Mavis Jock says:

    Hi Nikki, I have just completed blanket and its beautiful. The instructions were very clear, thank you. I am thinking a quilt backing would be a little heavy for a baby, also too complicated for me, so will be using something else. Is it OK to use satin blanket binding? and also I have had bad luck with ironing anything knitted, it seems to flatten the garment and I like the bumps in this blanket. Could I just stretch it a little. Stretched the size is 38×33.

    • Nikki says:

      Mavis,
      That’s exactly what I use! I buy flannel backed satin by the yard, and cut it myself, but if you can find it pre-cut…go for it!
      As far as ironing your piece, yes…it does “flatten” it a bit. It’s usually just temporary, but I completely understand what you mean about not liking the look. Just be careful stretching. You want it to stay “stretched” or your backing and binding will bunch when it goes back down in size!

  34. Derbra says:

    I just finished the entrelac knitted baby blanket. I used baby sport weight acrylic yarn so do I still need to block it before I add the backing and binding?

    • Nikki says:

      Debra,
      It couldn’t hurt, but it’s really up to you. This blanket pattern doesn’t have much stretch to it, so it’s not going to warp. Some people ALWAYS block. Some only do it when they have to. <—- That would be me!

  35. Rita says:

    As with many things, I just happened to see you website and I am so pleased with all the information. I love knitting but have never had any luck with entrelac. I definitely will try this baby blanket. I am happy you are available for questions. I hope you post a tutorial on entrelac. I do quilt and I love the idea of backing the blanket. Thank you.

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