They don’t make baby blankets with ninjas on them, unfortunately, so I made my own with mitered corners and minky fabric.
Here’s what you need to make your own!
- your own stencil graphic – I made my own freehandTemplate (This template has been downloaded times.)
- The template is a compressed .zip file. Click here for instructions to extract.
- framed fabric
- framing fabric – sized 10" bigger all the way around the framed fabric, i.e. 10" longer on the length and 10" longer on the width
- sewing machine
- thread in matching or contrasting color
- batting, if desired
- interfacing… or reuse a dryer sheet like I did!
- buttons if you want button eyes
- felt or other materials for your ninja
Here’s what I mean by ‘framed fabric’ and ‘framing fabric’.
You can choose any size you want, but I had to plan for it based on the fabric with that was cut off the roll. The framing fabric is 10" bigger on both sides than the framed fabric. The batting size, if you choose to include it, is approximately 5" bigger on both sides than the framed fabric, but you don’t have to worry about cutting it out right now. That can be done later.
First, let’s start with the little ninja.
The ninja needs eyes, otherwise, how will he see his enemies? I found two buttons that were sized for my ninja’s eyes. I drew his eye-opening and cut that out from standard white paper based on the button sizes I chose. Then, I drew a ninja freehand and cut that out too. The paper drawings became my stencils.
Pin the stencils onto your fabric of choice. I made the Ninja body out of standard black cotton fabric and the eyes out of a skin colored felt. Poor little ninja. Cut along the stencil.
Then, I hand sewed the eye opening to the black ninja using a simple back stitch. This wasn’t my ninja, but a backstitch example I did on another project.
…and used a simple cross-stitch secured the button eyes.
So now, the little ninja is ready to go. I pinned him to the corner of the framed fabric to get him ready for the sewing machine. Since my framed fabric was turquoise minky, I added extra pins to prevent stretching. I also used a dryer sheet as the backer to give the ninja more support. (I didn’t have interfacing lying around so a dryer sheet worked well for this.)
The sewing machine was set up with a zig-zag stitch. Test this on a scrap piece of fabric first to make sure it’s the size you want. Sew around the perimeter of the ninja, removing the pins as you go. I stayed up to the end, but didn’t stress if it shifted a little since I used matching black thread. Here’s a tip: to round a shape like the ninja, I often stopped my sewing machine with the needle THROUGH the fabric, lifted the sewing foot and physically turned the blanket. Make sure your needle is down through the fabric when you do this to hold the fabric in its place. I definitely didn’t sew this straight through, just turning everything. This helped me ensure that the fabric didn’t bunch up and gather or cause the stitch to come off the ninja. Ta-da! Here he is.
Now, it’s time to make the actual blanket.
Lay the frame fabric and framing fabric with their right sides facing each other. Match one edge, but keep them centered and pin along the edge. Sew along here leaving your selvage size at the ends, i.e. if you want a 1/2" like I used, leave 1/2" at either end. In this picture, I pinned both opposite edges, but you can do one at a time.
Keep sewing edge to edge for the remaining sides, but leave about a 5" opening on the last side to make sure you can fit your hand through. It was tricky making sure the fabrics were straight so use pins to help you.
You’re ready to make the clean mitered corners. Keep the blanket inside out and bring your corner together. The fabric might not be perfectly matched, but that’s OK. The two sewn edges will meet up (keep the framing fabric on the outside) and the framing fabric makes a nice sharp corner.
Fold the point at which the framing fabric makes a perfect corner down to the edge of your ‘sew line’.
Pencil along the triangle you just folded to the edge of the ‘sew line’. Then, sew along those markings in each corner and cut the excess away. Repeat for the remaining corners.
Turn the blanket inside-out through your opening and check out those corners!
At this point, if you’re using batting, it’s time to size it up. Lay the batting on top of your blanket and cut it to size. Be careful not to cut the blanket you just spent all that time making.
The next part is tricky. You have to stuff the batting and make sure it reaches all the edges and corners. I didn’t say this was a labor of love for nothing! Here’s my blanket with the batting stuffed. I pinned everything in place.
Hand sew your opening shut once the batting is pinned how you want it. You can use the machine too, but I like the stitches hidden.
Then, sew either a contrasting or matching stitch line along your framed fabric to hold the batting in place and to finish the blanket!