This beautiful “Hankie Blankie” is a wonderful baby shower gift and a perfect receiving blanket for a christening ceremony. Designed by Sheryl Capps and featured in The Best of Sew Beautiful Christening Gowns, the blanket is fast and easy-to-make, yet so elegant that it’s sure to be treasured as a family heirloom. Follow the directions below to recreate this blanket:
• Nine 12-inch square white handkerchiefs with a rolled hem edge
• 4-1/2 yards white 1/2- to 5/8-inch-wide lace insertion
• 6 yards white 1-1/2-inch-wide lace edging
• 80 wt fine Madeira cotton thread for machine heirloom sewing
• White embroidery thread of choice
• Pale pink, white or pale blue embroidery thread for center block
• Size 60 or 70 machine needle
• Blue Tip #11 needle for machine embroidery
• Tear-away stabilizer for machine embroidery
• Blue wash-out marking pen
• Sulky® KK2000 temporary spray adhesive
• Embroidery designs of your choice. (The machine designs pictured are from Janome America PC Design Card 1002, Heirloom Collection.)
NOTE: Please read all directions before beginning. Finished blankie measures approximately 40-inch square including lace edging.
Soak all handkerchiefs and lace in warm water to pre-shrink. Roll in a towel to extract most of the water and hang to dry. Set lace aside until completely dry. Pressing lace while wet with water or starch will generally cause it to stretch. While the handkerchiefs are still slightly damp, press on cotton setting. Spray handkerchiefs with starch and press. The handkerchiefs should be very crisp for embroidering, so reapply starch if needed. Then apply spray starch to the lace, and allow it to dry completely; press carefully.
1. Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer and mark center horizontal and vertical lines to denote center. TIP: Place over a grid ruler or pressing board and align cross marks of hoop on grid lines, then mark to achieve a perfect straight line (fig. 1).
2. Fold each handkerchief in half vertically and horizontally and crease to mark.
3. Spray Sulky® KK2000 on tear-away stabilizer inside hoop only (fig. 2). TIP: Clean hoop with alcohol and a cotton ball to remove sticky residue once all machine embroidery is complete.
4. Place handkerchief in hoop with right side up and aligning crease marks to blue cross marks on stabilizer. To align, fold handkerchief in half and match cross marks (fig. 3). Unfold and finger press handkerchief flat onto sticky stabilizer.
5. Place hoop in embroidery unit and select desired design. Stitch out embroidery and unhoop. Remove stabilizer from wrong side.
6. Repeat steps 1 – 5 for hooping each handkerchief, selecting a different design for each of the eight other handkerchiefs stitching each using white thread. Embroider the last, center handkerchief with pale pink thread for a girl, pale blue for a boy, or white for a gender-neutral blanket. If desired, add the child’s name and birth date.
7. Clip all embroidery threads, remove stabilizer and press each handkerchief well.
1. Arrange handkerchiefs in the manner you want to sew them together (fig. 4).
2. Attach lace insertion vertically between first and second, and second and third handkerchiefs to create top row (fig. 5). To sew lace to handkerchiefs, butt lace insertion edge to handkerchief edge and set machine with a zigzag stitch wide enough to catch handkerchief hem edge and header threads of lace (L=1.0; W=2.5) (fig. 6). Repeat for center row and bottom row.
3. Join top row to center row using one long strip of lace insertion. Join bottom row to center row in the same manner (fig. 7).
4. Gather lace edging by pulling a header thread. Butt gathered lace to outer edge of blanket, and set machine with a zigzag stitch to roll and whip in same manner as used for lace insertion joins.
5. Before giving as a gift or wrapping baby in blanket, wash blanket by hand in warm water. Soak to remove all starch and sticky residue. Press while damp. Blanket will be soft and gentle to baby’s skin.
Find more inspiration for christening gowns and accessories in The Best of Sew Beautiful Christening Gowns.