frankie exclusive diy: quilted shapes lap blanket

I have a tendency to anthropomorphise pretty much EVERYTHING (something I noticed my young son has inherited; I recently overheard him having a conversation with a deflated balloon) – and my craft work is no exception. The joy of making this blanket lies in getting the shapes to work just right together. Partly that’s a matter of choosing which colours and patterns will work – and partly it’s about finding their ‘personality’. My shapes started off hanging out in neat straight lines, but they soon descended into chaos, as was their wont. If you decide to make your own shapes lap blanket, I urge you to have fun playing with the shapes – you might even get to ‘know’ them.


1m neutral coloured cotton fabric
1m bright coloured cotton fabric
1m quilt wadding
5m bias binding
scraps of several patterned and plain fabrics
cotton thread to compliment your fabric
tape measure
tailor’s chalk
sewing machine


1. Cut out a range of fairly geometric shapes from your scraps of fabric.

2. Lay out your neutral coloured cotton and begin to arrange your shapes on top. Cut and add more shapes as necessary and move them around until you have a pattern you’re happy with.

3. Once you’re happy with your pattern, pin each shape in place.

4. Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the edge of each shape, removing the pins as you go.

5. Check your wadding and both cotton fabric pieces are all exactly the same size and trim as necessary. To assemble your blanket, lay out your bright coloured fabric (face-down if it has a right side). Lay your wadding on top of this. Then finally, lay out your piece with the stitched shapes on top (face-up). Pin the layers together around the edges.

6. Sew along the length your fabric at roughly evenly spaces intervals to quilt the layers together. I’ve done this at different angles to give a slightly haphazard look. Repeat across the width of your fabric this time, so you’re forming a kind of grid of quilting. You can leave large gaps or sew lots of lines, depending on the look you want (I’ve just done a few, widely spaces lines). Sometimes the fabric layers shift a bit with sewing, so trim any new overlaps.

7. Now it’s time to add your binding. Cut a piece of binding 2cm longer than one edge of your blanket. Unfold one of the folded edges of your binding. Lay your binding face-down along the edge of your blanket so the unfolded edge lines up with the edge of your fabric and the binding overlaps by 1cm at each end. Pin along the fold-line where your binding is unfolded, then sew along this line. Fold your binding back over, so it’s now right-side up, and press. Repeat along each edge.

8. Turn your blanket over. Fold the binding over the edges and pin in place. Hand-sew your binding in place to finish.

To see more cool stuff from Anna Alicia, head over this way

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