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Mystery Baby Blanket

Mystery Baby Blanket

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Select Materials for the Blanket
I only have two requirements when selecting yarn for a baby blanket. It must be machine washable and I prefer it to be soft. I selected 12 balls of Fiddle De Dee cotton in shades of white, pale yellow, and green. It meets both requirements. For this blanket I also purchased batting (pre-sized for a baby blanket or wall hanging) and 2 yards of flannel cloth for the quilt backing.

Step 2: Square Size and Stitch Selection
All squares will be 6" x 6". I like the simple elegance of plain, textured fabric, so I decided to use simple stitch patterns for my squares. I decided on stockinette, garter stitch, and seed stitch.

Step 3: Knit 30 Squares
At this point the blanket was still a mystery to me in terms of what the finished size would be. I ended up knitting 30 squares. Weave ends for all 30 squares and press each square with a hot iron. (Note: The First-Time Quiltmaking book had specific instructions for pressing versus ironing.)

Step  4: Arrange the Squares
At first I had planned to arrange the squares in random order. However, all of the quilts in the book were arranged in clear patterns and I decided that looked a lot better than my random squares. I actually had to knit three of the squares over in different colors to establish a pattern, but the end results were definitely worth it.

Step 5: Stitch the Squares to Form the Quilt Top
Use the Mattress Stitch to connect all the squares. I stitched each square together to form horizontal rows and then attached the rows to form the blanket. Seam all ends.

Step 6: Assemble the Quilt Backing
Cut the batting to the same size as the quilt top and cut the backing material so that it is slightly bigger to allow for seams. Stitch the two together by hand or with a sewing machine.

Step 7: Attach Quilt Top to the Backing
Hand sew the backing  (with right side facing you) to the wrong side and inside of the quilt top. Note: Be careful to leave the very edge of the quilt top available so you can pick up those stitches later to complete the border.

Step 8: Knit the Border
Pick up stitches on one side of the blanket and knit every row for three inches. Repeat three more times. Seam all ends.

Step 9: Tie all Layers of the Quilt Together
Attach one safety pin to each square of the blanket to hold them together. With yarn in a contrasting color and a darning needle, thread the yarn through all layers of the blanket at the corner of each square. Snip the yarn and tie with a square knot. Trim all ties to the same length. I decided to add ties to both sides of the blanket instead of just one.

Time: I knit this in three weeks from start to finish. Of course, the whole obsession thing probably contributed to the early completion.

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