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Create this soft, silky lovey security blanket to help your sweet little bonbon sleep more soundly!
Inspired by a Valentine quilted table runner on Pinterest, I imagined the heart-shaped ends as an adorable lovey security blanket for my granddaughter. Belle still wakes a few times at night, and I thought that maybe a lovey blanket would help her sleep more soundly. She recently passed the one-year mark, so it’s safer now for her to have items like a blanket in her crib.
Not all children need a lovey security blanket to sleep well. But many benefit from it. For those who seem to sleep best on mommy or daddy's lap, the parent may have become the lovey. This article by Heather Turgeon with sleep.org sheds light on what a lovey is, how to use a lovey, and the practicality of having at least two that are identical or very similar.
1. The first thing I did was make a pattern for the heart shape. I have a heart-shaped plastic basket, so I used it as the initial pattern on a piece of newspaper. It was only 10 inches across, though, and I needed 14 inches. So, using a ruler, I added two inches all around.
You can use the time-tested childhood method of making a heart by using the fold of your newspaper. Draw a half of a heart freehand, cut it out, and trim it until you’re happy with the overall shape when you unfold it.
2. Lay your pattern on the silky fabric, pin it (or draw around it), then cut it out.
3. Crochet the sheep bodies and weave in the ends with your yarn needle.
4. Use the sheep head template to cut out two heads from the
black felt. Also cut eight legs. Make the baby sheep head and legs a little smaller than
the mommy/daddy head and legs.
Cut out some decorative hearts to place around the two sheep.
5. Now take a few minutes to artfully arrange the sheep and hearts on the silky material. Make a quick sketch on paper, if needed, to remember where you placed each item for your design. Be sure to place the decorative hearts far enough away from the edge to allow room for your binding.
6. From the iron-on adhesive, cut matching pieces for your decorations, except the white sheep bodies. (I didn't use the adhesive for them.) Follow the manufacturer’s directions to adhere your decorative elements to the silky heart.
7. Hand-sew each item in place with the blanket stitch, using thread or embroidery floss.
If you have mad sewing machine skills, you may prefer to machine-applique your design pieces. Check out this machine-applique baby blanket with my granddaughter’s initials.
Use the newspaper pattern to cut out a heart from your fluffy fabric. It should be the same size as the front silky heart.
I used Spray 'n Bond to affix the front heart to the back one (wrong sides together), so the fabrics wouldn't slip when I sewed them on the machine.
On the sewing machine, straight-stitch the front to the back. A half-inch seam allowance should be fine. Then go around again, this time with a 3/8" seam allowance. Use a zigzag stitch to alleviate fraying.
For the final step, sew the blanket binding around to cover the raw edges. Use a machine to sew the bias binding to the heart.
Bias binding is necessary because you can make it lie flat around curves without creasing.
I shopped all over for a 1-inch bias binding in a design to complement my sheep and satin heart, with no luck! So, I found a couple youtube videos for how to make my own. This first one shows how to apply the bias binding, but the one by the National Quilter’s Circle shows how to make bias binding from fabric of my choosing. Each presenter shows how to attach your binding to the project, but their method for doing the ends is different. Do whichever works best for you.
Your local quilt shop can be a great source of help, if you’re new to bias binding. Just ask! Betty at the quilter’s guild here answered my questions and even helped me cut and sew a length of binding in the workshop at the back of the store.
All that remains is to introduce the lovey to your sweet bonbon and train him or her to find sleepytime comfort with it. Then maybe you can get a little more sleep too!