Receiving Blanket Quilt Ideas
Repurposed Receiving Blanket Nap-Time Rag Quilt
Do you know a child getting ready for preschool or kindergarten? Have you thought about sending along a personal item to school? Something special that will bring a bit of comfort, especially for the little ones who aren’t used to being away from home. Here’s a perfect back-to-school solution for your young student, a receiving blanket nap-time quilt.
As young kids prepare for school, parents strive to fulfill the student supply checklist. There are always lots of fun new items everyone loves to select. Brightly colored bundles of sharpened pencils, pristine boxes of crayons, patterned folders and notebooks, all pack the aisles as shoppers fill their carts. There are also some opportunities for a special item or two that will add a more personal touch. Surrounded by an entirely new environment, something simple and familiar can make a big difference.
Receiving blanket quilts are a great idea for young kids just beginning school. Seeing a quilt being made just for them is very reassuring. Besides, learning how to make a nap-time quilt from receiving blankets is quite easy. If you have small children in the family, chances are you also have a stash of receiving blankets. Here is a perfect receiving blanket quilt idea that will start school off with a big smile!
Memory Rag Quilt from Receiving Blankets
Making a memorable receiving blanket nap-time quilt may help to ease you child into their new routine. If your child is going into daycare, a simple quilt made with receiving blankets will offer plenty of comfort. Your child’s old receiving blankets are familiar and probably have some favorite prints that young children like and recognize. Best of all, it’s an easy upcycle project that will put those unused receiving blankets to good use.
How to Upcycle Receiving Blankets into a Nap-Time Quilt
Repurposed Receiving Blanket Nap Quilt Ideas
Receiving blankets are lightweight and generally 100% cotton which makes them wonderful for quilting. Many are flannel and have been washed into a soft and snuggly piece of fabric, making them perfect for a nap-time quilt. Upcycled receiving blankets will keep your child warm and comfortable during a nap. Plus creating a specially designed nap-time quilt just for them will bring many smiles when they are away from home.
Another option is to purchase novelty flannel prints filled with favorite characters, and then use your receiving blankets for the backing. Or, for children who prefer a heavier blanket, simply use a heavier weight flannel by the yard for the backing layer for a more substantial covering. The beauty of receiving blanket nap-time quilts is how customizable they are!
Receiving Blanket Nap-Time Quilts Aren’t Just for Toddlers
As your kindergartener begins school, they will likely have a scheduled daily nap time. Going to school is a huge adjustment filled with lots of busy activities. A bit of quiet time is definitely beneficial to everyone. What better way to adjust to this new school experience than with a bit of comfort from home? A comfy nap-time quilt made especially for your child is a perfect choice.
Many schools use vinyl mats for nap time. One of the most popular is KinderMat. There are blankets available to purchase made specifically for these mats and they are perfect for kids transporting their own mats. If your child’s school provides mats already, you only need to supply a blanket, or a receiving blanket nap-time quilt that you made.
Repurpose Flannel Receiving Blankets into Rag Quilts
Flannel Receiving Blanket Pattern for a Nap-Size Rag Quilt
Turning upcycled flannel receiving blankets into a rag quilt is a simple task, especially since rag quilts are the easiest quilts to make. They only require basic sewing skills and are a quick finish. You should be able to complete this small quilt in less than a weekend.
Using flannel receiving blankets will make the softest rag quilt with fluffy frayed edges. First, wash your receiving blankets and check for any worn areas or stains. Mark those spots with a safety pin so you don’t include them in your quilt.
Easy Nap-Size Rag Quilt
The receiving blanket size used in this nap-time quilt is 24” x 24”, which is about the smallest size available. Some may be a bit larger which can also be used. This receiving blanket pattern requires 8 small receiving blankets.
If you prefer to purchase new receiving blankets, just be sure they are 100% cotton flannel for best results. You may also buy 2 yards of cotton flannel if you want to include specific prints or characters. This is a very flexible pattern customizable to exactly what you child needs.
This nap-size rag quilt is designed specifically to fit a purchased nap mat. Finished, the quilt measures 24” x 44”. You may certainly alter the size if other dimensions are required. This Rag Quilt Cutting Chart Free PDF Download is a quick yardage reference for any size rag quilt.
DIY Simple Receiving Blanket Rag Quilt Pattern
How to Use Baby Receiving Blankets to Make a Quilt
Beginning with 8 receiving blankets size 24” x 24” or larger, start by cutting squares for the quilt front and back. You may choose to use different fabrics for each side or mix them up together. Once cut, pairs of squares are sewn together into rows which are then sewn to complete your rag quilt.
Not only is this simple rag quilt easy to sew, but it does not include batting as do most traditional rag quilts. You may read more about rag quilts with batting in this post.
What makes this rag quilt method so easy is sewing the front and back together at the same time. Each pair of squares are placed with their wrong sides together. When two sets of squares are sewn to form a row, the back fabrics face each other with the front fabrics to the outside. This will result with a smooth quilt back and the exposed seam to the front of your quilt, which is exactly what we want.
Once the quilt is completely sewn together and a narrow border added, small clips are made along those seams. Those clipped seams are what will create the fluffy frayed edges when your new quilt is washed and dried.
Flannel Receiving Blanket Pattern for a Nap-Size Rag Quilt Tutorial
Receiving Blanket Quilt Pattern Tutorial
Finished Quilt Measurements: 24 x 44 including a 2” border.
- Sewing Machine Needles size 11 or 12
- Rotary Cutter, Self-healing Mat & Ruler
- Walking Foot keeps your top & bottom fabrics even while sewing
- Rag Quilt Spring Snippers A MUST to make clipping those seams easier
8 cotton receiving blankets (extra if you need to cut out some stains) or 2 yards of 100% cotton flannel fabric. Receiving Blanket Size used for this pattern is 24” x 24”.
How to Make a Simple Nap-Size Rag Quilt from Receiving Blankets
How to Cut Receiving Blankets into Quilt Squares
You will need 50 squares of fabric cut into 5” x 5” blocks for the front and for the back, for a total of 100 fabric squares. Cut each 24” x 24” receiving blanket according to the diagrams below. One receiving blanket will be cut into twelve to sixteen 5” squares plus the extra pieces will be used for the borders. Since some receiving blankets have large, curved corners, you may not get sixteen squares from each one. Just be sure you have a total for 50 squares for the front and 50 squares for the back.
With a rotary cutter and mat, you can easily cut up to 4 receiving blankets at once. If heavily creased, first iron them so your squares will cut evenly.
Cut 4 Layers At Once
Layer 4 receiving blankets on your cutting mat, lining up two adjacent sides together. This will give you a corner to work from which will keep your blocks square. Trim off the sewn edges from the two adjacent sides you lined up. Turn and place that cut corner on the corner of you cutting mat grid, keeping all four layers together evenly.
Next, measure 20” from the side you trimmed and cut the remaining blanket edge off. Turn your ruler in the opposite direction, measure 20” to that side as well and cut away the blanket edge. These narrow strips you cut away will be used for the border. The remaining 20″ x 20″ square will be cut into quilt blocks. If your receiving blanket had a large, curved corner, your corner block may not be cut to the exact size needed. Don’t worry, as there will be extra blocks cut.
Make three cuts across your 20” x 20” square spaced 5” apart creating four rows. Make three cuts across you 20” x 20” square in the opposite direction also spaced 5” apart. You will now have sixteen 5” squares plus two border strips.
How to Sew Receiving Blanket Squares into a Nap-Time Rag Quilt
Sew Receiving Blanket Squares into Rows
Stack your cut squares into two piles, one for the quilt front and one for the back. Mix your fabrics within each pile so not too many of the same prints are sewn side by side.
Begin by taking one square from each pile and placing them with the wrong sides together. Set the pair of squares aside with the front fabric facing up. Take the next square from each pile and do the same. Place these two pairs of blocks together with their back fabric facing each other. You will have a stack of four fabrics with the front fabrics facing outward on the top and bottom.
Using an even feed walking foot, sew a ½” seam from top to bottom. Without cutting your threads, feed in the next set of four squares to be sewn. Continue chainstitching until you have 10 pairs of blocks sewn into a long strip as shown in the photo.
Returning back to the first row, open your blocks with the right sides facing up and the back fabrics facing down. Place the next pair of blocks behind the previously sewn row with the back fabric facing each other. With the front fabric facing up, sew a ½” seam allowance from top to bottom. Continue chainstitching the remaining 9 blocks.
Each of your 10 rows now has 3 blocks each. Continue adding two more blocks to each row in the same manner as above. Your finished quilt will have 10 rows with 5 blocks each.
Sew Receiving Blanket Squares into Rows
When sewing your rag quilt rows together, be sure to sew your seam open. That mean that two layers of the seam allowance will be sewn on each side of the seam. Pin the seam together with the seam open for easiest sewing. Sew a ½” seam allowance across the first row from one side to the other. Continue sewing all 10 rows together in the same manner.
Why Use a Walking Foot for Rag Quilting
An even feed walking foot is a wonderful tool for quilters. Many quilters only use a walking foot for quilting lots of straight lines. But they are indispensable for rag quilting.
A walking foot helps to feed the top layer of fabric at the same rate as the feed dogs move the lower layer. When you have lots of layered fabrics, it’s very easy for the layers to shift and slide around. Once you get to the end of your seam, you’ll find it very difficult to keep your edges even.
Using a walking foot also helps to keep the weight of the fabric moving along evenly. Whereas a regular pressure foot will just let the layers slip where they want. That creates a lot of stress on your hands. I definitely recommend that you use a walking foot for every step of this project.
How to Make a Border to Your Receiving Blanket Quilt
Begin by cutting your extra receiving blanket strips into 3” widths. Divide them into two piles of strips, one for the front and one for the back. Or mix it up so all the prints are visible on both sides.
Select your first pair of strips and place them with right sides together. Sew a ½” seam allowance along the short 3” edge. Then add another strip and continue until your total strip measures at least 140”. Do the same for the border backing strip, too.
Next place both strips with wrong sides together. It’s likely that your strip seams will fall at different intervals. This will keep the front and back seams from lining up together. If your first seams are lining up, flip one of the strips around so the seams are offset. If your seams still line up, cut a 6”-8” length off one strip. It can be added to the other end later if needed. It’s not critical that the seams don’t line up, but it will create unnecessary bulk in that area.
Start by sewing down the center along the entire length of your layered strips. Return to the top and sew a scant ½” seam down both edges. A scant ½” seam means that it is just shy of ½” inch. This is done here so the stitching will not be visible on the quilt back after the border is attached.
How to Attach a Border to Your Receiving Blanket Quilt
Rather than cutting your border into shorter lengths for each side, the border strip will be attached to one side and then trimmed. Since the border strip is pre-sewn, it won’t stretch while you’re sewing and that will keep your borders even.
Place your border strip along one quilt edge with the quilt backs facing together. Pin the seams open. With the border strip on the bottom and the quilt top facing up, sew a ½” seam allowance along the length and just past the edge of the quilt. Your ½” seam should be just inside the pre-sewn seam on your border. When you open up your finished border, you shouldn’t see any of the previously sewn seams on the quilt back.
How to Trim Border Strips
Lay your quilt top on the cutting mat, opening out the border. Line up the border and the quilt sides straight along the guidelines. Place your ruler in line with the quilt edge and cut the border in line with the quilt.
With the sewn border strip opened out, place the remaining border strip along the next side of your quilt. Remember to keep the quilt top facing up and the border strip facing down. Pin the previous border seam open as well as the other seams you sew across. Sew along the length of the quilt side and trim evenly at the end. Continue adding the last two borders in the same manner.
The 140” border strip should be enough to go around your entire quilt. If you come up short due to seam allowances variances, just add on more pieces. You should have a few 5” blocks left over from your quilt top. Trim them down to 3” x 5”. Sew them to the end of your border strip until it’s the length needed.
Finishing Your Receiving Blanket Quilt
With the borders attached to your quilt, sew one last ½” seam around the entire outside quilt edge. Simply sew along the previous seam, keeping the border seams open as you sew. This second row of stitching will reinforce the outer edge.
The next step is to clip your seams in order to get those fluffy frayed edges rag quilts are known for.
What Are Rag Quilt Scissors
This brings us to the importance of a very sharp pair of rag quilt clipping scissors. Rag quilting requires a lot of clipping. These spring tension rag quilt scissors make the job so much easier. The beauty is that the spring in these scissors cause the handle to slightly bounce back after each cut. This eliminates undue stress on your hands from repeatedly opening and closing the scissor handles. Your hands can get tired very quickly without this wonderful bit of help.
How to Clip a Rag Quilt
Now get your super sharp scissors and a good movie because this next step will take a while. Along every seam, clip ¼” into the ½” seam allowance, approximately ½” apart, including the outside edges. It’s a lot of clipping, but this is what results in the frayed edge that gives the rag quilt its name.
Be sure not to cut into the seam allowance with you clipping. This will loosen where the blocks are attached. If it does happen, reinforce the seam by resewing that portion with about 2” on each side of the clip.
The Final Touch
Now let your washing machine do the rest of the hard work for you. Run your finished quilt through a complete cycle with a good long rinse. Since this is a small quilt, add an extra towel to move your quilt around a bit more. If you have time, add a 2nd rinse for good measure. The agitation of the cycles will loosen the cut threads allowing them to slip out easily.
Next give it about 20 minutes in the dryer along with the towel. Empty the lint trap so it doesn’t get overfilled. Then let it dry thoroughly in the dryer to collect all those threads. Take it out, give it a good shake, and trim any knots or threads that may have developed along the seams.
You now have a beautiful rag quilt for snuggling. Watch out though, everyone else will want one too!