Kaya is such an awesome dog that she deserves an equally awesome dog blanket. And this is a dog blanket is so easy to make – no quilting or backing fabric required!
Kaya is my friend Cristin’s best pal who comes daily with her to work. And Kaya and Cristin also volunteer in the Sit Stay Read program for Chicago Public Schools — basically, kids read books out loud to dogs which has been proven to boost the children’s reading skills. Kaya listens attentively to the kids while sitting on her red and black doggy bone blanket. Adorable.
The trick in making this easy and cute dog blanket is buying pre-quilted diamond double-faced fabric (available in lots of colors) — that way it’s already quilted and automatically reversible too.
This dog blanket has a strap too with a VELCRO Sew-On closure so you can roll and carry it anywhere. Almost makes me want to get a dog myself. Almost.
Supplies for making a dog blanket:
- 1-1/2 yards of pre-quilted diamond double-faced fabric
- 1 yard cotton fabric to make your own custom double fold 1″ quilt binding — or you can buy double fold 7/8″ quilt binding – it will save time but will be less cute because it only comes in solid colors
- VELCRO Sew-On tape
- Good fabric scissors
- Glass head pins
- Air soluble fabric marking pen
- Rotary fabric cutter, ruler and self-healing mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine
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How to make a dog blanket:
First we’re going to make your custom binding. Because this blanket has no curves on it, there’s no need to spend the time to cut bias strips (which are strips cut on a 45 degree angle). Instead you’re going to cut 4″ strips perpendicular to the selvage (which is the edge of your fabric with the writing and stuff on it) to make 1″ double-fold quilt binding. This means that a 4″ strip will end up making a 1″ visible edge around your dog blanket.
Once you’ve cut your 4″ strips, you’re going to connect them all together. Place one strip face up. Now place the other strip face down to make a corner like below. Draw a line from corner to corner using an air soluble fabric marking pen.
Pin and sew along the line.
Here comes the ironing part. You can either hand-iron the strips or use the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker. For this project, Cristin and I ironed it — well, mostly Cristin. Watch your head, Cristin! My craft room ceiling is low.
First iron the seams open and trim them down to 1/4″. Then iron your quilt binding in half.
Stop! OK, I have a confession. While writing up this post I realized that I made a mistake making the quilt binding. Crap. That’s what I get for sewing on autopilot, ha. You really only have to fold your quilt binding in half — not half and half again like I did for this dog blanket — and that will not only take less ironing time but also give you a double-folded fabric binding edge around your blanket for better long-term wear. Next time I bind a quilt, I’ll detail out the “real quilt binding method” …but in the meantime you can either use my binding method below or check these quilt binding diagrams and you can either use my method below or theirs. Either way, your dog blanket will turn out awesome …just could have had a bit less ironing on the custom quilt binding step and this is not a project that you’re going to need to last decades anyway.
Live and learn, yes? Anyway, let’s continue..
Open it up and iron the raw edges into the center fold. It will look like this:
Square off your pre-quilted diamond double-faced fabric so that you have a nice, straight rectangle by using your rotary cutter, clear plastic ruler and self-healing mat. Cristin’s fabric was cut pretty crooked at the store so Kaya’s blanket ended up being 42″ x 52.”
Now we’re going to follow the same steps to attach our quilt binding that we use to sew bias tape with mitered corners. I’ll paraphrase here but also check out how to sew mitered corners with bias tape without measuring or using pins.
Pick a place along the blanket to start. Open the bottom edge of the quilt binding so raw edges are together. Turn the corner down and pin (or don’t pin at all, or use barrettes – on this blanket I started with a few pins and then just sewed without them).
Stitch along the quilt binding fold that’s closest to the raw edge. Mine is at 1″.
When you get to a corner, slow down. You’re going to want to stop when you get 1″ short of the corner itself, backstitch, and cut your thread.
Fold the quilt binding to the right, lining up the lower raw edge of the quilt binding tape with the raw edge of your fabric edge. It will make a triangle on the corner. The top edge of your triangle (which is the quilt binding’s folded edge) should be perpendicular to the stitched edge that you just sewed. Press the quilt binding down with your fingers and make sure the triangle looks nice and straight. (Now you can see why there’s no need to pin down the entire quilt binding — I think it’s just easier to pin one side at a time when sewing quilt binding).
Carefully fold the quilt binding back to the left, folding the quilt binding edge so it lines up with the fabric edge, and making extra sure to keep your quilt binding triangle intact underneath. Line up the binding edge with the raw edge of your unsewn raw fabric edge (the right edge in the photo below) and either pin or use a barrette.
Now start sewing the quilt binding to your fabric again along the quilt binding fold (again, mine was 1″ from the raw edge) and you’re off again along a straight edge.
Repeat around all corners. When you get to the end, overlap your quilt binding a couple of inches, backstitch, and cut your thread. Cut your quilt binding tape too.
Now fold the quilt binding over your raw edge to the back. Be sure to pull the quilt binding tightly so that it will catch when you sew it later from the front. This is one case where I do like to pin.
Time to make the dog bed strap. We’re going to make the strap out of the quilt binding that we already made. Cut a piece of quilt binding 25″ long from your leftover quilt binding. Open up the quilt binding. Fold the top edge of one side down 1/4″ wrong sides together to hide the raw edge.
Then fold the quilt binding all up again and pin the end. Looking like a strap, yes?
Sew close around the edge of the quilt-binding-turned-strap.
Fold the dog blanket up how you’d like. Then pick a spot to put the strap.
Cut a 3″ piece of VELCRO Sew-On Tape — I used the VELCRO Snag Free. Pin one piece of your VELCRO onto the top back of the strap and pin.
Wrap the strap around the dog bed to decide where to place the other side of your VELCRO Sew-On Tape.
Pin the other side of the VELCRO in place.
Sew the VELCRO Sew-On Tape onto the strap by sewing close to the edge, VELCRO-side up.
Now you’re going to sew the strap onto the dog blanket. Give the straps little more reinforcement by opening up the quilt binding pinned edge, then pinning the raw edge of the strap to the raw edge of the blanket, and sewing back and forth a couple of times.
Fold the quilt binding edge back up again with the reinforced strap snuggled inside and pin. Flip the blanket over so the strap is on the bottom.
Almost done! Now all you need to do is sew close to the edge to secure the quilt binding on the backside, making sure to catch the quilt binding on the back when you sew.
And because the quilt binding mitered corners are pretty deep, I like to sew them down too. Just sew down the triangle and back up again and then continue around the blanket.
Looking good! And with that, the dog blanket is ready for Kaya and her elementary school reading pals in Sit Stay Read program for Chicago Public Schools.
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