Okay, We have a winner! Yes this really is Dustin's hand. I made him pick a name out of a bowl of everyones names. Thanks to all who commented.
Yippee for Christina. Congrats! I hope you enjoy this blanket and will be able to find something to do with it. Send me and email with your address so I can get it in the mail to you!
Also, many of you have asked how it is that I make these receiving blankets. They are so super simple. If fact it was actually harder to make a video of me actually doing it, than it is to make one. Hopefully I will be able to describe to you how to make these. If you have any questions, just ask because this is my first time and I'm a little nervous about how it will go.
First, I buy two yards of fabric (one yard of each) of flannel. I usually do two different prints that match but you could easily just do one print for both the front and the back. What ever you like best. Iron them out flat so there are not wrinkles. The I lay them out on a hard surface with the wrong sides together (right sides facing out). Smooth out the fabric from the center working out towards the edges until it is all even. Then square up the fabric using a rotary cutter and mat. Then take a kitchen plate (yes, I know this is very precise), and place it on one corner of your now square pieces of flannel. Place it just so that it makes a nice rounded edge and mark along the outside of the plate with a pen. Do this on all four corners. Then take your sewing scissors and cut along the mark you just made so as to make rounded edges. Does this make sense? You can easily just leave them so they are square corners if you want, I just find that it goes a lot smoother when crocheting around the edges if they are round. I hope this is all making sense because it is actually harder to explain that I thought it would be.
Then, with a wing tip needle (you can get these in most craft stores or in any quilting store) in your sewing machine, sew a 1/4 seam around the edges. I usually use a larger stitch length (on my machine it is set at 3.5, but I don't know if all machines are the same) but do what ever looks good to you. Just know that you will be crocheting in the holes that the wing tip needle makes so space out the stitches so that it will look nice and covered when you crochet around the edges.
Note- You can buy receiving blankets with hem stitching that are ready to go. If you do this, then you don't have to worry about the first few steps, just move right on to the crochet part. I usually like to buy my own flannel and make them this way, but that is only because I can do it for less. The pre-made ones are usually around $25 per set and I can make one for around $10. Plus you get to choose the fabrics you want. Both look good.
Now you are ready to begin crocheting. Yeah for crochet! This is the thread that I use to do the edges on my blankets. You can use any crochet thread that you like. Personally I like this brand best because the weight of the thread is a little heavier and I think it is just easier to work with then the really thin stuff. Again, it is whatever you prefer.
Now for the really fun part. The fancy edging! There are many different edges that you can do. Some of my favorites are the shell stitch, v-stitch, and the puff stitch over a half double crochet. I find most of my edgings in books or online. But since the puff stitch over a half double is my favorite and the one I use the most, I'll try my best to show you how to do it.
Once you have finished the first round of single crochet, join the last stitch to the very first stitch you made with a slip stitch. Chain two to get to the second row. These first chain two's will act like the first half double crochet. Then do a puff stitch in the stitch before the two chain just made (if you are a righty then this is the stitch to the right of the first chain twos. If you are a lefty, then.....I'll have to ask my mom on this one but I think it will be the stitch to the left. Mom is that right?) A puff stitch is done like this.
Yarn over, go into the stitch and yarn over again, pull up a loop, yarn over, go into the same stitch again, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, go into the same stitch again, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, and pull through all the loops on your hook. (Now do you see why this pattern takes two skeins of thread? That's a lot of yarning over. If you want to you can do it twice instead of three times, it just makes the puff stitch a little less, well.... puffy!)
Next, skip two stitches, and do a half double crochet in the third stitch. Note I skip two stitches from the half dc that I made. Does that make sense? A half double crochet is made by doing this. Yarn over, go into the stitch, yarn over, pull through all three loops.
Then do a puff stitch to the right of the hdc just made. Technically it is doing a puff stitch in the second skipped stitch. Here is another crummy video to try and show you what I mean. I'm really sorry I am not better at describing this. Keep repeating this pattern until you have gone all the way around the blanket. End by joining the stitches with a slip stitch. Make a knot to end and then weave in the ends. I usually iron my blankets again once I am all done to help make the edges lay flat (I crochet really tight) and then wrap them up and send them off to the new owners.
This is what it should look like.
I really hope this tutorial helps. I am definitely not the best at describing stuff. I hope that it wasn't too confusing. If you do make any receiving blanket, please send pictures. I'd love to see them. If you have any questions, just let me know. I'll try my best to answer them.
*Answers to a few Questions*
I've had a few questions on this tutorial. So I'll just clarify a few things.
After I put the flannel together and square it up, I sew around the edges with the wing tip needle. You can serge around the edges if you prefer, it works either way. I just prefer to sew around the edges because I don't have a serger and then I don't have to borrow my moms just to do it. I have done it both ways, and they both look great.
When I do the sewing with the wing tip needle to punch the holes, I do have the machine threaded when I sew. I've never tried it without the thread, but I'm sure that it would work if you serged the edges first and then sewed around it with a wing tip needle and no thread.