About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

This is not just an ordinary  quilt, oh no! This is an awesomely warm cozy MINKIE quilt  to make over a weekend. It is made from minkie an incredibly soft fabric that is also very warm.  It is also made with high pile fleece and flannel.  I made it with several different textures to soothe the spirit.  It has a pocket on the back to keep a book and stuffed  animal in as well as keeping your hands warm.  This size is suitable for any age, for babies, children, or adult lap quilt.   It is great to keep in the car or use as a lap quilt or while sitting at the PC.  Any receiver will cherish a hand made quilt like this because quilts are becoming a thing of the past.  The cost will  depend largely on the fabric choice.  Minkie is approximately $10.00 a yard and high pile fleece is about $8.00 a yard.  But if you have a Hobby Lobby in your area, they offer a 40% off coupon on any regular priced item almost every 2 weeks in the Sunday newspaper.  Batting for this size was $6.00.  If you have the book and stuffed animal and omit the batting that cuts down the cost considerably. This quilt is durable and will last years through many washings.  A great investment in my opinion.

I began making quilts more often after my younger brother passed away from cancer several years ago.  I mention this because as a baby he used to always carry his blankie around with him.  A few years before he was ill, I made him a quilt for Christmas.   He was in Dallas receiving treatments and as we were visiting he brought up the quilt that I made him and said:  (as a tear rolled down his cheek) that it had brought him much comfort.    For hundreds of years quilts have brought comfort and warmth to all ages of people while they were cold, sick, or just relaxing. I have made over 300 lap quilts (in memory of him) and given them to someone that needed comforted.    

Step 1: Supplies

This quilt measures: 57X57 (finished size)
I made 9 inch blocks 18 of flannel and 18 of high pile
You will need to figure what size pocket for the back side of the quilt for the book and stuffed animal, be sure to allow extra,  as it is better too large than too small.  My pockets finished measurements are:16 wide by 8 long.

You will need: 3 different coordinating fabrics.  (If you are a beginner I would recommend flannel or cotton fabrics because it takes some sewing experience to mix different fabric blends.  Allow extra fabric for pattern repeats. For beginners I also would not recommend plaids or checks because you need to make sure the print was printed correctly on the fabric.  I have found flannel plaids and checks are often printed wrong at the factory and it is difficult to make it look nice for a quilt.    If you are a beginner it is a good idea to check washing instructions for fabrics you choose because you want to mix fabrics that will wash together.  I wash this quilt in cold water, gentle cycle and low dryer heat.  I purchased the Minkie and high pile fabric at Hobby Lobby using their 40% off coupon and brought my brother with me and  used 2 coupons.  They offer a 40% off coupon on any regular priced item about once every 2 weeks.  Their add is always in  Sunday's  newspaper or online.  I purchased the flannel at Walmart. 

1 1/2 yards of Minkie
1 1/2 yards flannel
2 yards of high pile fleece double sided (it was single layered)
1 roll batting,  Low loft (I bought full size) so I had extra because I use it a lot.  If this will be a crib quilt I would omit the batting because this quilt might be too heavy for a small baby. 
Matching thread
Contrasting crochet thread 
Hand sewing needles
Large eyed/ large needle for crochet thread
Large sewing pins
Seam ripper
Small gauge
Long straight edge ruler
Sewing machine
Marking pen
Stuff animal

Step 2: Pre Wash Fabric

Anyone should be able to make a quilt with these instructions.  It is always important to pre-wash and dry all fabric before you cut them.  Iron when necessary.  I am a believer in pressing everything I make if it is cottons or flannels.  Frequent pressing of all seams insures better results. 


Hints on making your quilt shine!  Be patient, cut accurately and square, sew straight and even seams.  Take the time to correct any noticeable mistakes.  Make sure the ends of your fabric are square before cutting out your blocks.  Don't iron fleece or minkie. It is very important to cut no more than  2 blocks at a time.
Measure 9X9 blocks using your straight edge.  You will need 18  plain blocks and 18 printed blocks.
Cut out your pocket for the back side of your quilt. The size you make will depend on the size of book and stuffed animal you choose for your project.  Allow for the seams and thickness of your book and stuffed animal.

Step 4: Laying Out Your Blocks and Sewing Them Together

I prefer laying out all cut blocks on a bed (in the order I will sew them together) to ensure,  I don't make any mistakes.  It is more time consuming but when you have to rip out seams because you sewed them wrong it is very frustrating.  I prefer sewing two blocks together pressing the seams and trimming excess thread.  (If using all cotton) and replacing them on the bed and then sewing two more pressing and so on until I have sewed all the blocks together in two's.  Then I go back and sew four together.  At this point you want to pin right sides together at the seams and sew, trim and iron replacing them on the bed until four are all sewed together.  Continue  pinning seams together and sew until every block is connected. 

Step 5: Sew Pocket to Right Side of Quilt Backing

 If using fabric other than high pile fleece, hem all sides of your pocket.  I would turn it down 1/4 of an inch pressing the hem and turn down another 1/2 inch pressing in the hem.  I would do the same for the top side of the pocket except,  I would make the final turn down a full inch.  After it is pressed pin and sew in the hem.  Mark center of your quilt backing and center of your pocket, placing the right side of the pocket to the right side of the quilt backing.  I allowed a 10 inch drop from the top of the quilt backing.   Sew pocket to quilt back leaving the top edge open for pocket opening.

Step 6: Layering the Layers

I have a small work area when quilting so I lay out a sheet on my carpet making sure all wrinkles are out.  I lay the quilt backing right side to the sheet centering it on the sheet making sure it is square,  and pin it,  beginning at the ends working all the way across.  Then I go to the bottom end and do the same while tugging lightly to make sure there are no wrinkles or loose fabric and then the sides.   Next  I place the batting over the quilt back and trim to fit.  Next I center the quilt top (right side up) over the quilt back and batting making sure it is evenly centered over the batting.  Then I pin the ends slightly tugging so all the wrinkles are out. 
Next I begin turning down the sides about 1/4 inch and over again about 2 inches.  Pin into place working all the way down.  Next work the other side and then the ends.

Step 7: Tying the Quilt

I use a long craft table to tie my quilt.  I start in the center and work out.  See picture.  This step you tie in the center of the block making sure the fabric has no wrinkles.  Tie a double knot where the corners meet.  Leave about 1/2 inch thread and trim working all the way across. 

Step 8: Hem All Edges

Next you hem all the edges.  I prefer hand sewing because I think it looks better but you can sew the hem by machine.  Place your book and stuffed animal in the pockets.
Your finished! 

Oh yeah I wanted to make this quilt with large monkeys but could not find a large monkey print.   Too bad I didn't have the Singer all in one sewing machine or I would have embroidered the monkey blocks and had what I really wanted.  I think this quilt would have turned out better using white high pile fleece but that was not in the fabric selection either.  I chose the beige  (the only color available) because I really wanted to create different textures to soothe the spirit. 

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