You can definitely quilt a knitted blanket. If you are torn between knitting and quilting, why not put the two together?
Quilting can be long and tedious work but creates wonderful blankets when finished. If you can knit fast, you can create a knitted quilt instead.
The first thing to do is knit square blocks or half-squares (triangles) to build your quilt top. Square blocks would be easier to join and would take less time. Knit using the best yarn you can think of to make a warm blanket.
Then, you can arrange your knitted blocks to create the overall design of your knitted quilt. You can still be as creative in blocking your knitted blocks as you do when arranging printed or colored fabrics for your quilt tops.
Take the time to block the knitted squares carefully to avoid puckering or deforming your final quilt. Make sure that the edges of your quilt top are straight to make it look close to a square.
After blocking the squares, lay them out according to your desired arrangement. Then you can sew the seams together using mattress stitch.
Of course, a quilt will not be complete without its layers. A knitted quilt top will surely be heavy and warm enough that there is no need for batting. You can use any fabric as backing material that goes well with your knitted blanket.
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How do you block knitted blanket squares?
You can block your knitted blanket squares by either wetting or steaming. To achieve the best look for your blanket, blocking each of the knitted squares is advised.
Note that blocking your knitted squares first can help you get the right dimension that you want for your patchwork blanket. It can surely enhance the appearance of your knit stitches.
It is also a great idea to block each square after you finish knitting, so you will not need to block a huge square blanket after you finish knitting all the squares.
When quilting a knitted blanket, you need to join the squares together after you have completed all the blocks. A valuable tip that experienced knitters do is to leave very long tails after finishing a square. These yarn ends will be used to join the squares together.
Follow these simple steps in blocking a knitted square:
- Soak the finished square in cold water.
- Drain excess water from the knitted square.
- Place the knitting on a dry towel.
- Transfer the knitted square to a foam mat and pin the edges.
- Allow your knitted block to dry.
- Store in a safe place after drying.
Soak the knitted square in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. Make sure that all the parts are submerged under the water. The knitting should be wet thoroughly and evenly.
Transfer the soaked knitted square to a colander, then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to drain the excess water.
Transfer your knitting to a dry towel and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. The dry towel will soak up a little more excess water from the knitting. Use a white towel or a similar color to your knitted square in case the yarn bleeds.
Move your knitting to a foam blocking mat and adjust according to the proper size. Then, pin the edges of your knitted block using T-pins or sewing pins.
Make sure that the stitches at the center and the edges of your knitted block are straight and even. Use a ruler or tape measure as your guide to make the edges straight and have the right measurement.
You can also use your yoga or exercise mat for blocking your knitted squares if those are what you have around the house. If you have no foam mats available, blocking your knitting on any flat surface will still work.
Air-dry your knitting. When the sun is out in winter, dry your knitting in front of a heating vent. You can try using a small fan to dry the block faster.
When your knitted block is completely dry, store it in a safe place until you have finished all of your knitted squares, ready to seam into a warm knitted blanket.
How do you flatten a knitted blanket?
You can flatten a knitted blanket by steam blocking. But it is advised that you block your finished pieces first before seaming them into a large blanket. By steam blocking, you flatten and set the shape of each knitted block.
You will need a steam iron, an ironing board or any flat surface, and some pins. More experienced knitters usually use steam blocking as it is unsafe if you do not know your way using a steam iron.
Read on for some tips on how you can flatten your knitted blanket by steam blocking.
- Never touch your iron to the knitted item you are blocking. Your yarn might melt, or the shape of your knitted piece might get ruined, and there is no turning back.
- Hold your iron around one inch above your knitting when steam blocking. It is enough distance for the steam to get into your knitted item and allow it to stretch or loosen up to set it into its right shape and dimension.
- You can use pins to set your knitted block into the right measurements before giving it some heat from the steam iron to avoid scalding your fingers as you steam block.
- Do not touch the knitting right after steam blocking. Allow it to cool down and dry it completely to retain the shape and size that you want.
- When you are done blocking all the knitted blocks using the steam iron, make sure to turn it off and unplug the socket. Allow the steam iron to cool down, and remove the water to avoid mildew from building up if you will not use it right away. Properly putting away your steam iron helps avoid untoward incidents.
- When your knitted pieces are completely dry, store them in a safe and dry place where they will not get bunched up and ready to be sewn into a knitted blanket.
- Measure your backing fabric. Your backing fabric must be larger than your knitted top quilt by a few inches. Cut the backing fabric, then place it right side down the floor.
- Tape your backing fabric on the floor using masking or transparent tape to make it lay flatter. You can tape at the middle, then the corners, and along the edges. Smooth out the fabric.
- Place the knitted quilt in the center of the backing, right side up. Take a stitch at one corner in the middle of the quilt with some of the yarn you used to knit the blocks and a sharp needle. Then, stitch at each corner on the quilt from the middle to the edges. Make sure that your stitches catch the backing fabric. You don’t need to cut the thread after stitching at every corner.
- Once you have finished stitching every corner, turn the blanket over and check if all your stitches have gone through the backing.
- You have the choice to tie the knots on the surface of the quilt or at the backing. For a more homogeneous look, it is better to tie them at the back. Make sure the knots are securely tied. It would help to tie the knots two to three times. Then, trim the yarn strands to a length of one to two inches from the knot.
- After tying the knitted quilt top to the backing, the edges have to be joined. Cut the backing fabric to within an inch of where you can sew it down. Fold the edges and pin them into position.
- The ladder or mattress stitch is useful to attach the backing to the knitted quilt invisibly. Stitch through the edge of the folded backing. Then, take the same stitch a little further, this time on the knitted quilt. Continue making these stitches along the edges of your quilt.
- When you get to the corners of your quilt, make sure to fold and stitch directly on the corner to get a crisp edge.
- Continue sewing the knitted quilt to the backing until you have covered all the edges and corners of your blanket.
How do you edge a knitted blanket with fabric?
A fabric edging can be used on a knitted blanket by hand-sewing using the ladder stitch. It will make a plain knitted blanket look more interesting and attractive.
You can choose from a variety of fabrics to use as an edging. Some sewists use printed fabrics or shiny satin fabrics to add more creativity to a knitted quilt.
You will need the fabric for edging, wadding material, fabric scissors, a tape measure, a needle, and thread.
Here are some steps you to attach a 1.5-inch fabric edging to your knitted blanket:
Cut the fabric and wadding strips
Cut the wadding into 1.75-inch-wide strips. Measure the length of each side and add 4 inches each to account for the turning at the corners.
For the fabrics, cut into 4.25-inch-wide strips. Similar to the wadding, measure the length of the fabric edging based on the length of the sides of the blanket and add 4 inches each.
Even out the knitted edge
It is important to straighten the edge of your knitted blanket before sewing the woven fabric to avoid deforming the final shape of your blanket.
You can pin the edge of your knitted blanket on an ironing board with the right side facing up. Measure the edges of your blanket so that the dimensions are the same. Then, place the fabric strip with the right face down on the knitting edge. Put the wadding on top of the fabric edging.
Measure 2 inches from each end of the strips. Pin the layers together.
Sew on the fabric strips
Sew the layers together using a quarter-inch seam allowance. You can hand-sew or use the sewing machine to make the process faster.
Fold the fabric strip around the wadding
Press the fabric and wadding strip up from the knitted blanket and turn it over so that the back of the fabric and knitted blanket is facing you.
Fold the 2-inch extra length at the ends of the strips up at a 45-degree angle to form pointed corners.
Then, sew the fabric to the back of the knitted blanket using the ladder stitch. Sew on all four sides of the blanket, leaving the pointy corners loose.
Sew the corners of your edging
To finish your knitted blanket with a fabric edging, sew on the pointy corners together using the ladder stitch.
How do you back a knitted patchwork blanket?
You have two options to back your knitted patchwork blanket; back it with knitting or with fabric.
If you back it with knitting, you need to use a thinner and lighter yarn in a complimenting color to your knitted quilt top. Knit a square or a rectangle the same size as your completed knitted blanket. Then, using the single crochet stitch, join the two layers together.
When using fabric to back your knitted quilt, you will need fabric, some pins, a needle, and thread. Same as backing a regular fabric quilt, measure your fabric to be larger than the size of your knitted quilt. You can add an inch or a half-inch as seam allowance on all sides of your backing.
Hand-sew the backing to the knitted quilt with the wrong side to the wrong side. You can sew the blanket layers with a sewing machine, but it will be more challenging on a knitted blanket.
Sewing by hand and tying is the best and most convenient way to join the layers together for a knitted quilt.
Here are the steps to attach the backing to your knitted quilt top:
For a knitted quilt, you can choose to add batting or not. If you think your knitted quilt is dense and warm enough, you can add a backing and your knitted patchwork blanket is complete.