Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not Your Grandma's Baby Blanket

Unless your Grandma is extremely hip.  +wink+ Following closely on the heels of my newly redesigned bibs (flannel, chenille with blingy pearl snaps) I received a request from one of my favorite shops ~ Could you make baby blankets, too?

Baby blankets have been on my project list forever, but I just never seemed to get around to them.  So when this special request came in I decided there must be a market for handmade baby blankets.  Why not give it a whirl?

I made my first blankets today.  I decided to start with the smallest size - what has been called "receiving blankets" in the past and, depending on the size of the baby, may work as swaddling blankets as well. These are the kind you would use to bring a newborn home from the hospital and bundle up in their first few weeks of life.  These are all 30" x 30" double-sided coordinating pre-washed, pre-shrunk flannel.  I am a huge fan of anything polka dot, so plan to make the coordinating flannel always polka dot.

I also plan to make some larger blankets.  They will probably be flannel and chenille or minky dot (a kind of close-cropped very soft chenille).  

They look easy to make, but I was surprised how careful I had to be to measure correctly and sew slowly to be sure everything lined up.  Even then they aren't perfect ~ but I tell myself I hope customers will appreciate the fact that they are handmade and no two will be alike.  I am sure - as with anything - the more I make the easier it will be and the more detail I will enjoy adding.

I've fallen in love with flannel fabrics.  The designs are endless and run the gambit from soft pastels for the more traditional to crazy skulls for the more adventurous.  My tastes in choosing fabrics for my blankets, bibs and burpies (burp cloths) also runs the gambit.  I'm drawn to some of the traditional soft and sweet baby designs and colors.  But I also get a real kick out of the loud and crazy designs and colors you wouldn't expect to see in a baby product.  I am finding that a majority of my customers seem to be young, hipster Mommies and they go for the unusual and unexpected.  But I will carry some traditional fabrics as well.  For you know, the traditional Mommies and Grandmommies.  I love 'em all!  

What fun I have designing new things!  I haven't abandoned my Whee Ones - there will be many coming soon for the next holiday season; but my imagination runs rampant with ideas for new products, new fabrics, new designs.  It keeps my products - and my work days - fresh and fun.

Speaking of ~ since my product line is expanding I'm thinking of doing some subtle changes to my logo, colors, taglines, etc.  Once I've made those decisions, I'll slowly roll out the new image.  
And I just realized - as I often do - I'm making future plans in my head by writing /speaking them as I do it.  My apologies.  Now carry on.  +wink+ 

Long live flannel.

And babies.

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