We all know how time goes by so fast, especially when your babies are, well, babies. That first year is truly a whirlwind of excitement and new memories, but it can also be over in the blink of an eye. So today we’re going to talk about making a baby blanket that is the perfect backdrop for all those memory photos that you’ll want to capture before they escape!
By now you all know what a fan I am of Chemica’s QuickFlex HTV that I get from SewingMachine.com. Not only is it super stretchable for these knit blankets, but it’s also really smooth for baby’s skin. So grab your navy blue QuickFlex and the baby blanket from Kids Blanks. If you have one, grab a ruler and a household iron, too.
So the basics of this tutorial involves adding HTV to a baby blanket, right? It may seem easy, and with a little help it is, but setting up the file and aligning the HTV on these blankets is no joke! But don’t worry, we have some helpful tips along the way to make it as painless as possible. First, let’s talk blanket size. These blankets are 30” x 40”, so I started by increasing my page size to accommodate the oversized dimensions for designing. With the size in place, I went ahead and typed up my blanket text and designed the layout.
To get ready for cutting, go ahead and reduce your page size to the size of the HTV. Since I already cut into my sheet for the baby knit hat, I reduced my page to 12” x 14” to compensate. And make sure you turn on the Cut Border so you can see just how much room you have.
Now if you have Designer Edition, this part just got a whole lot easier. The question is, how do you get all that text arranged on the HTV sheet, will it all fit? The answer is Yes and we’re going to use Nesting to do it! Go ahead and open the Nesting menu on your toolbar in Silhouette Studio. Using your drag box, go ahead and select all the text on your screen, make sure Use Cut Area is selected and increase your Rotations to 16 (max). Click Nest.
See what happened? Silhouette Studio arranged all those pieces to fit onto your 12” x 14” cut area! Unfortunately if you don’t have Designer Edition, you would need to do all this manually. Just something to consider if you are on the fence about upgrading!
While your text is all nice and nested, you still need to mirror it to get ready to cut on HTV. Select all the text, right-click on your mouse and choose Flip Horizontally.
Now that we’re ready to cut, open the Cut Settings menu. Make sure that your design lights up in red, indicating that the cut lines are turned on.
Scroll down and select the Material Type: Heat Transfer Material, Smooth. When the menu expands, check your settings and make sure you have these settings. The thickness should be the only thing you will have to update manually for QuickFlex.
Blade: 2 | Speed: 8 | Thickness: 10
Just cut and weed like normal, then it’s time to move on to working with the blanket!
Unless you have a large work table, I like to do my oversized projects on the floor to have ample working room. Go ahead and fold your blanket in half. Iron the folded edge. Repeat again by folding inwards on both the long and short side, until you have quartered the blanket into sections. Ironing each fold will help to create a crease to us when aligning the HTV in just a moment.
Now unfold the blanket and look at your handiwork. Since your blanket was pre-folded, you probably have a lot of these fold lines already.
Go ahead and fold it back in half, since we will be working with one half at a time. Cut apart the HTV numbers and text, but keep them within arms reach of the blanket. Start setting out the numbers and text with the top and bottom of the blanket. Use the ruler as a guide to help you align, and keep an eye on your gridlines to help even more.
Next, go ahead and lay out the numbers 10, 11 and 12 a few inches above the “months” text. This is where you’ll see the fold/crease lines come into play to help keep everything in prospective.
To help with the spacing on the two middle lines of numbers, I laid out the middle numbers next.
Now you have a guide for each row and can line up the other numbers.
Now believe it or not, this part is easier if you use an iron versus a heat press. I lifted the blanket off the floor and lost about half my numbers. The good thing is that QuickFlex is a quick press, meaning that it’ll be easy to use with a household iron, to at least tack it down. That’s what I did, I used the iron to get a basic adherence between the HTV and blanket, then lifted it up and moved to my heat press. After pressing, turn it over and do the same with the name (easy compared to aligning those numbers!). Once you’re done, this is what you should have!
If you’d like a copy of this baby blanket file, be sure to head over the the Facebook Group to download a copy!