Backing your Blanket – Amanda’s Tutorial
Hello my darlings!
Amanda here! Actually managing to do something I’ve said I’ll do….the tutorial for backing your blanket!
We’ve had 8 weeks of fun making Eleonora’s beautiful Picnic by the River blanket. Hasn’t it been lovely?
Some of you will be very happy with your blankets as they are, especially if you’ve been very good and woven all your ends in. For some of us that weaving in bit is unbearable….or is it just me?
Making a backing for your blanket is a great way to hide all your ends but it also makes it more substantial…less likelihood of being poked in the bottom by a thistle during your picnic!
So here’s a little blow by blow tutorial of how I back my blankets.
1. Make sure your loose ends are all tied off. I do this by tying the ends in pairs. Just tie them with the nearest other end so that all your ends are secure. Don’t cut them too short. I cut mine to about 5cm.
- 2. Lay your fabric out (on the floor or a big table). It doesn’t matter which way up it is but I lay mine right side down. Smooth it out carefully by stroking it with your hands from the centre out.
- 3. Lay your blanket on top and pat it smooth. Make sure it’s nice and square. Cut the fabric around the edge of your blanket so that they are exactly the same size.
- 4. Get your iron out and press a 3.5cm turning all the way around your fabric. I’ve got one of these nifty little hem measures but you can just as easily use a piece of cardboard, cut to a 3.5cm strip.
- 5. When you reach the corner make sure you make a neat job of the turning. I’m going to show you my nifty mitred corner technique…this is very useful in curtain making too, but you do need to do this ironing part very neatly.
- 6. When you’ve pressed all the edges of your fabric, come back to one of the corners…any will do. Unfold your turnings and you’ll see where the lines are ironed into the fabric.
- 7. Fold the corner over and line up your ironed lines exactly with each other.
- 8. Carefully iron the turned over corner, making sure the lines are matching, as you go.
- 9. Turn your edges back over and you’ll find you’ve made a beautiful mitred corner. I always find this extremely satisfying.
- 10. Lay your fabric, right side up on the back of your blanket. Pin all the way around the edges. I made sure that the fabric edge lay on the same row of crocheting around the blanket. This helps you to keep it straight.
- 11. Thread a bodkin with some of your blanket yarn. I chose green but you can choose whichever colour you fancy.
- 12. I’m making little anchors all over the blanket, to fasten the blanket to the fabric. I’m doing this at the junction of the corners of your squares. You can see my bodkin, showing where I’m making an anchor.
- 13. Push your bodkin through from front to back, making sure that you’ve gone through the fabric at the back and come back through to the front a couple of millimetres away. Make a knot at the front and cut the ends to a couple of centimetres, making a little tuft on the front and a small stitch on the back of your blanket.
- 14. I chose to do a central anchor in the middle of the entrelac central panel. You can chose where your anchors go and how many you do. The more you do, the more stable your blanket will be.
- 15. Once you’ve sewn all your anchors it’s much easier to sew the edges of your fabric down. I used a cotton thread and a normal sewing needle. You’ll notice that my cotton doesn’t match very well…it was all I had handy and as it won’t show, I just went for it.
- 16. Fasten your thread to the very edge of your fabric with small over and over stitches. Push your needle through a centimetre of the blanket. I didn’t go right through to the front of the blanket but pushed my needle amongst the middle of the yarn so the stitch didn’t show on the other side. Coming back through on the fabric side, I did a tiny stitch (about 1 mm) then did a centimetre stitch through the yarn behind. I carried on around the blanket this way, with a tiny stitch on the fabric side and a 1cm stitch hidden in the yarn on the blanket side.
When you’ve sewn all the way round fasten off with a few over and over stitches and Voila! You’ve finished!
You can machine wash your blanket on a 30 degree wash and hang outside in the fresh air to dry. You can also iron the fabric side on a cool setting.
Ok! Who’s ready to picnic?!?!
Loads of love, Amanda, Moo, Hazel, Nyree and Julie xxxx