Blanket Throw

Materials

All fabric quantities based on 45" fabric

  • Old woollen blanket
  • 1.2m of Bondaweb
  • Fabric paints in rose, lavender, white and silver
  • 1m of fine cream netting
  • 2 reels of silver thread
  • Cream quilting thread
  • Monofilament thread
  • 1.5m Thermolam compressed fleece
  • 1.5m of backing fabric
  • 30cm white cotton or calico for the binding
  • 1 pack decorative pink wool or thread

Useful equipment - plastic to cover work surfaces,baking parchment, iron, apron, rubber gloves, foam brush, mixing plates or paper plates

Finished Size

43 x 53in (110 x 135cm)

Skill Level

Intermediate

Preparation

Hot wash the woollen blanket adding fabric conditioner to the final rinse, and then tumble it dry. Remove it from the machine once dry and lay it flat.

Cut

  • Eighteen 8in squares from the blanket
  • Five 8 3⁄4in squares from the blanket and slice them diagonally for the edge triangles
  • Two 61⁄2in squares from the blanket, cut diagonally for the four corner triangles
  • Twelve 8 3⁄4in squares of netting
  • Twelve 8 3⁄4in squares of bondaweb, mark with a pencil the direction of the paper before you cut each square.

If you wish, cut one or two more squares of Bondaweb to experiment on at this, and subsequent, stages.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Painting the Bondaweb
Figure 2
Figure 2: Draw the heart shape
Figure 3
Figure 3: Peel off the Bondaweb
  1. The coloured squares are made from painted Bondaweb. It has a wonderful property of crinkling vertically when wet. Place the bondaweb glue side up, onto a large, flat sheet of polythene. If you wish the patterning to run in the same direction, match up the pencil marks made earlier.
  2. Squeeze out some of the pink, white and silver paints onto a plate. Keep the colours separate at this stage. Wet the foam brush slightly and dip it into the pink paint. Brush some of this strong colour down one side of six sheets of Bondaweb. Do not rinse the brush, simply wet it and this time dip into the pink and the white and brush again. Add a little of the pink paint into the centres as the hearts will be cut from these. Finally, wash the brush and dip into the silver, adding the last stripe of colour on the right. Figure 1.
  3. Repeat with the remaining squares. Keep the brushing free and easy and vary the order in which the colour is painted if you prefer.
  4. For the six lavender and silver squares use the lavender paint. Leave all the squares until they have dried completely. Use the template to cut out heart shapes from each one. Do this neatly as the hearts will be used around the edge of the quilt. Fold each square from corner to corner and draw a simple heart shape. See Figure 2.
  5. Use leftover paints to paint the strip of white cotton or calico to use later for the binding. Press when dry to set the paint.
  6. Add the colour to the blanket squares as follows: Place the first square of blanket onto half of the silicon baking paper and place a square of coloured Bondaweb, face down onto it. Lay the other half of the baking sheet over it and press with a hot iron. Make sure that you keep the iron moving for about a minute. Fold back the top layer of silicone sheet and allow the Bondaweb to cool before being tempted to peel the backing off. It is a good idea to press them all first and peel them later once you have checked the web has adhered well. Figure 3.
  7. Place a netting square over each coloured square and iron as before. Avoid having the iron too hot in case the netting melts, use the silicon sheet to protect your iron.
  8. Using the silver thread, satin stitch around each heart. Use the darning foot to free machine quilt the background of each one.
  9. Assemble the quilt as shown in Figure 4. Layout the squares and make sure there is a balance of pink and lavender squares across the whole top. Join into diagonal lines starting with the corner triangle. Press each seam open to reduce bulk. (Make sure your ironing board and iron are still protected with the silicone sheet). Sew the rows together and press the seams open.
Figure 4
Figure 4: Quilt Layout

Borders

  1. Measure the length of the quilt and cut two strips of blanket 6in wide to this length plus 1in. Pin and sew in place. Press seams open. Trim off the excess.
  2. Measure across the width of the quilt and cut two 6in wide strips of blanket to this length plus 1in. Pin and sew in place as above. Press.
  3. Lay the throw onto a flat surface and space the pink and lavender hearts around the edge, varying the angle of each one. Once you are happy with the arrangement press in place with a hot iron. Peel the backing once cool. Cut out 12 heart shapes from the netting and iron one onto each heart using the silicone sheet as before. Make sure you keep the silicone sheet clean between hearts to prevent the painted Bondaweb contaminating the next heart. Sew around the heart and free machine embroider as before.

Finishing

  1. Due to the thickness of the blanket this is not suitable for hand quilting. Tape the backing to a flat surface WS up and place the wadding on top. Smooth it flat before covering with the pieced top. Safety pin to hold the layers secure.
  2. Using cream quilting thread and a walking foot, quilt ‘in the ditch’ of all the seam lines. Machine around each heart too. Use a straight machine stitch to sew around each one about 1⁄8in from the edge.
  3. Use the pink Fantasy ribbon to link the hearts with a loopy design. Leave about 3in free before applying it using the invisible thread and free motion stitching, using our photograph as a guide. Cut the ribbon between each heart and sew in. Alternatively apply using a cording foot on your machine Figure 5
Figure 5
Figure 5
Figure 5
Figure 5: Adding the ribbon

Binding

  1. Cut four 3in strips from your painted cotton. Fold in half lengthwise and press.
  2. Trim the backing and wadding to within 1⁄4in of the blanket. Pin the raw edges of the binding onto the RS of the quilt and in line with the blanket edge. Sew, using a walking foot. Fold to the back and pin from the front. Sew in the ditch with invisible thread. Repeat with the three remaining sides. Folding the corners in neatly on the last two sides.

Other Ideas

  • If the blanket is already quite thick, miss out the wadding and add a backing.
  • Use the same technique but cut different shapes from each square of Bondaweb, for example flowers or letters to make a name for a childs quilt.
  • Simple teddy shapes would be nice for a floor blanket for a baby. Look in your kitchen cupboards for cookie cutters and use as templates.
Finished Throw

First published in Popular Patchwork February 2003