February 17, 2012

Patchwork hemstitched blanket

I've been working on some customer orders for hemstitched blankets and this one was very different. The top layer is pieced flannel patches interspersed with minky patches. It was so adorable that I was willing to give it a try even though as a general rule my hemstitcher does not like either fleece or minky fur. On top of that, the seam allowances are difficult to sew through with the piercer.

As usual the left needle thread would break every inch or so and the right needle just merrily went along. I had to pull out an old, time consuming trick to get things to work. I unthreaded the left needle and stitched with just the right. This only leaves one half of the holes stitched open. Then I flipped the blanket upside down and stitched the other half from the reverse side of the blanket. It can sometimes be tricky to do this because extra care is needed to align the needles and piercers. Luckily, things lined up as they should.

Another problem that occurred is that the minky stretched while stitching, so the corners are not as nice and square as I would have liked. But all in all, it did come together really well.

One thing that I expect to happen is the flannel to shrink and the minky to not shrink. This could cause ripples. If you plan making a pieced minky/flannel blanket, you will probably want to wash and dry the flannel a few times on warm just to remove as much shrinkage as possible. Of course, flannel doesn't look as nice once it has been washed a few times. But it is something to consider.

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