Hello friends! Adrianne Surian here with you today, and I’m really excited to share today’s project with you. If you’ve been hearing lately about weighted blankets, I’ve got the scoop! This rag quilt styled DIY weighted blanket tutorial gives you a bit of comforting weight while also fitting right in with your decor or your style! Poly beanbag pellets fill each of the 110 quilt squares, making up this throw-sized blanket that’s approximately 54″ x 60″. If you’re already a quilter, you’ll easily be able to re-size this pattern to fit your exact needs, but this size is great for the couch or for a child’s bed.
I have struggled with many of the weighted blanket patterns I’ve seen recently because most of what I’m seeing is quite plain. So, I did what any designer would do, and I merged a rag quilt design with the idea for DIY weighted blankets, creating a quilt that’s comforting without being too hot when used on its own. I chose some sassy new fat quarters from ConsumerCrafts.com in hot pinks and trendy patterns to match my personal style – but remember, you can personalize yours in any way you want!
A quick note – this free weighted blanket tutorial has been written for crafters with basic sewing machine skills and basic familiarity with quilting. The difficulty is easy to moderate, so detail won’t be included about how to cut fabric squares, explanations of seam allowances, or how to use your sewing machine.
In addition to the photo step outs below, I put together a free printer friendly weighted blanket tutorial. Click here for the pattern.
Supplies needed for this weighted blanket tutorial:
- 13 Coordinated Fat Quarters for top side / front (I used a combination of pink, gray, and black fat quarters)
- 11 Coordinated Fat Quarters for bottom side / back (I used 6 white, 6 gray, and arranged them in alternating stripes on the backside)
- Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Cutting Mat
- Coordinating Thread
- Spring-action Scissors (regular scissors may be used, but these will save your hands, trust me!)
- 6-10 lbs. Poly Pellets, depending on weight desired*
- Sewing Machine
- Kitchen or Postal Scale
- Disposable Cup
*Consider the body weight and preferences of the blanket’s user. I like a weight of 8 lbs. for myself, but that could feel too heavy for a child. A larger adult may wish to add more weight.
Cut 110 coordinated “squares” of fabric, 6″ x 7″ in size. This project is fat-quarter friendly; you will get 9 squares from each quarter. Then, cut 33 strips, 6″ wide x 21″ long for your backing fabric.
Next, sew 11 columns of 10 squares each, connecting squares into 6″ strips by sewing along the 7″ sides with a 3/8″ seam allowance. This can be in any pattern you like, or no pattern at all! My pattern is mostly random, just alternating pink and gray/black. Then, connect the strips of fabric for your backing end-to-end, three strips wide creating pieces ~60″ x 6 “. Iron all strips of fabric, flattening all seams.
Place strips together with wrong sides facing each other and stitch along the ~ 60″ sides with a 5/8” seam allowance. This will create 11 long “channels” with a finished front and finished back side, two long, raw edges along the sides.
Connect channels together, sewing along the existing line of stitches, with the raw edge/seam facing toward the TOP / FRONT of the quilt. (See below.) If you are using two colors of fabric backing, be sure to alternate colors when connecting these channels to create a striped pattern.
Once your channels are all connected, you will have an assembled quilt that’s open on the top and bottom. Snip “fringe” vertically along the raw edges by making cuts approximately 1/4″ wide. Then, wash and dry the quilt to create a ruffled edge look. You are likely to get a LOT of stray thread when you complete this step, so don’t worry! A wash or two in the washing machine will prevent more from letting off the quilt. My “hack” for getting rid of all those pesky threads? A hand vac, or upholstery attachment! Vacuuming away the stray threads is a quick way to clean up!
Next, it’s time to fill the blanket with poly pellet weight! First, stitch across all the channels, 5/8″ from the edge of the blanket, closing the channels at one end. Next, measure your weight. For this blanket I used 1.25 oz. per square. This gave me a finished blanket weight of approximately 8 1/2 lbs. You may wish to add more or less, depending on your preference! Take the weight you want in pounds, and multiply it by 16 oz. Then, divide it by 110, the number of squares. This number is how many ounces of pellets should go into each square.
To make my measuring easy, I creating my own measuring scoop. I placed a disposable cup on a kitchen scale and zeroed the weight. Then, I filled the cup to 1.25 oz. and drew a line around the cup to create a fill line. Then, I cut along the fill line to make a makeshift measuring cup. As I filled the blanket in the next step, I didn’t have to keep measuring each scoop, I just filled the scoop and leveled it off to get a consistent weight in each square!
Pour one “scoop” of pellets into each channel. Shake the blanket to allow them to settle to the bottom. Then, close off the squares by quilting along the seams (“stitching in the ditch”, as quilters say) and securing the pellets inside.
I found that the easiest way to keep pellets from spilling out was to roll the open end of the quilt before stitching the row closed. It also fit nicely on my machine that way. When you quilt, be careful that you don’t try to sew over any pellets – and it’s a good idea to keep a spare needle near your machine in case a stray pellet gets in the way. Hitting a pellet will break your needle (ahem, don’t ask me how I know that) so being ready to change and continue will save you a headache!
Once all rows are filled and closed, run an additional line of stitching along entire outer edge of blanket to reinforce the seams. Snip along the edge of the blanket to create fringed look around the edges to match the top of the blanket.
Because there is no batting in this quilt, only pellets, it stays quite cool when you use it! So this design will be just for weight, and not so much for warmth which makes it a good option for hot nights. It can easily be layered with other blankets as the weather turns cooler!
I enjoyed making this weighted blanket tutorial, though I found that an 8-lb blanket feels heavier than it sounds! If you haven’t tried weighted blankets already, you make want to begin with a lighter weight. You can also add additional strips of fabric if you want your blanket to be warmer or more plush.
Thanks for joining me today for this weighted blanket tutorial, and happy sewing!
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).