It's a Christmas Miracle

I love when I love the things I make

I got together with some of my craft swap buddies Wednesday night to do a yankee swap.  I have no idea why it is called a yankee swap, but basically we all agreed to make one big(ger than normal) item instead of the standard 5 people, make 4 things.  We drew numbers and the (un)lucky number 1 opened a gift.  Number 2 could steal the item number 1 opened or open another package.  And so on. And so on.  (Remember those shampoo commercials?).

I was very excited for this swap.  I have so many ideas that I want to try out, but most of them are not realistic when I am making 10 or so items on a budget.  Other than the fact that I started and finished my craft Wednesday (those gifts for the nephews had to go in the mail!), this was a perfect swap for me.


My most favorite thing I have made since my patchwork bag is this blanket.  Really.  Truly.  I had a hard time giving it up.  It came out exactly how I envisioned it in my mind.


I was completely inspired by this gorgeous blanket on the Purl Bee.  Of course, I put my own twist on it.  I bought the dark charcoal gray wool at my local fabric store (on sale!) and then made a patchwork binding out of fabric from the stash.  This bugger was hard to photograph - and it was about 6 p.m. and dark at the time - so I don't think its true beauty comes across.  But trust me, it is luxurious.


It measures about 60" square and the binding is 1 inch wide on each side.  And it was fast to make (about 4 hours including 1 1/2 hours of hand sewing)!  The hardest part was figuring out how to balance the patchwork pieces - I am a bit nutty about scale and color.  That's probably why I have never tackled a real quilt.  But I digress.  The second hardest part was the hand sewing of the binding.  I rushed this bit - you can see the slip stitch - if I could have taken my time, the stitches would have been more uniform and less visible, I am sure.  I don't think it matters.  It went to a great home.

In case you were wondering, I did buy enough wool to make two.  I had a feeling I might need one, too.


Sarah Jackson

That is just beautiful Erin! What a lovely swap gift. I have the same trouble with patchwork pieces. I feel like I fuss with them for hours.


Don't worry about the light-it's true beauty is DEFINITELY coming through!
If I didn't have a ton of cats and dogs, I'd whip me up a beautiful dark blanket,too!

Alicia A.

Ooooo. Cozy throw meets casual elegance. Gorgeous!


Awesome!! Love it! (might have to make one myself)

I love that you do a swap with your crafty friends. That's a great idea to just make one gift rather than I bunch of little ones. I want a crafty group to do this with - I make a ton of handmade gifts but don't get enough/if any for me


I love it! I just picked up a couple of vintage wool blankets that could do with some edging like that.Another project for my to-do list! x


erin, it's fantastic! beautiful, and so cozy looking, too. and i can "hear" your excitement about it in your words. glad you bought enough to make one for yourself.


That's really pretty Erin! So, what did you get?


I love it! The patchwork binding is inspired - it adds so much life and fun to the blanket without overpowering it. Beautiful.


it's beautiful - i love it!!
it's so great when things come together so perfectly. great job!


It's just beautiful, Erin. I've been contemplating a patchwork binding and now you've sold me on it. Fantastic!

Amy Hodge

I have been admiring that project on the Purl Bee as well and wondering if it was possible to find quality wool a little more cheaply (what they used is a bit out of my budget). Mind telling me what you bought? I think your patchwork binding is absolutely brilliant, by the way. Like having a patchwork quilt, but a whole lot easier! And a great way to get to use and enjoy all your favorite fabrics all the time. I love when I love what you make, too! :)


This is so beutiful and WILL be going into my list of to makes...thanks so much for sharing!


I love it. Could I do a craft swap with you? :) I saw the post on Purl Bee too, but it is out of my budget. I think I am going to have to wait a little bit longer to try and tackle it. Maybe make a hint for a birthday gift. Really breathtaking gift.


really beautiful erin! so happy that you will have one for yourself!
yep, adding this to my list.


Gorgeous Erin...I just bought some gorgeous wool to make a dressy sling for me and my babe. It was supposed to be for the holidays, but alas, I have not made it. Maybe I'll sneak it in next week as a gift to myself. I thought of binding it like this...


The blanket is lovely. we always called that swap "The Dirty Santa Swap." Since you might be stealing it seemed to fit.


Oh Erin, this is amazing! I agree, would you mind sharing what type of wool you bought and where? I have had a hard time finding quality wool around here.


how absolutely fabulous! I must make one for my couch!!!


Love it! I also bought some charcoal wool (50% off!) and some Mustard Wallflower in hopes to make one for myself. I was actually inspired by a children's blanket in the Land of Nod catalog before the Purl Bee tutorial even came out!

Now I can't wait to make mine!


Oh! I just want to curl up in that! Maybe a Shawl would fit the pieces of wool I have in my stash...


Oh my, this is so, so beautiful!! Really. Amazing.

I'm terrified of binding but I might have to overcome that fear in order to try this....


I love it Erin--just gorgeous!

I had been wanting to try the pattern on Purl Bee, but put it off until I could try to find some inexpensive wool. Yours is such inspiration that I'm on a mission now!


Wow! What a great idea. Don't you just love those swaps where you can "steal"? Funny enough nobody stole my block-a-day calendar at our gift exchange.


These are gorgeous. Those wool blankets at Purl caught my eye too. I love your version of it.

liz elayne

this is gorgeous! your recipient was so lucky!!!!

(patchworked binding...that just might be THE thing that gets me to try to make my own and then use it...love it!!)


Oh, the blanket is gorgeous... and I love how you created muslin bags to wrap your big soft gifts!
Merry Christmas!


It looks wonderful! I just love bindings----they really make all the difference. I also enjoy handsewing that edge. Your blanket really shows off the binding and it's a great look. Good for you in buying enough to make another!!


what a great idea! i love the patchwork binding. what a great gift, and super fast too!


beautiful, erin! you should make one for you to keep.


okay. you definitely need one.
and another thing to add to my list of things to make.
lovely. absolutely lovely.


It is so beautiful!!!!!! I need one also.


Oh this looks beautiful, a great idea for a quick project as well. -kb


It's so beautiful. I'm sure the person who got this is VERY happy! I know I would be.


One would feel so luxuriously pampered to curl up into such a stunningly beautiful blanket as this! I can see a new craze starting...

jen b

wow that is just lovely. oh and of course you need one too, no question.


Wow!!! This is super duper gorgeous....I don't think I could have given it up :)xo


So stunning Erin. I love that feeling too - just bliss.


That's absolutely beautiful, The colors wit ht he gray are perfect.


they are so lovely! i hope the yankee swappers love them!


I really like it! Looks nice and warm.


Wonderful blanket - great idea! Sounds like a fun party. Happy Holidays!

Mary Beth

Erin, you blanket is just gorgeous! I love your combination of fabrics--you are so good at that. My bakery twine arrived just in time for Christmas wrapping, by the way. Thanks again for your help with the source. Merry Christmas!


Very beautiful!


oh i love that blanket! happy holidays dear sweet friend!


This is gorgeous. The gray wool is so classy and understated, and the patchwork binding is a great pop of color and fun. I'm anxious to see what you received from the swap, too,
but for now, enjoy your blog break!


oh, its luxurious alright ... i got to enjoy it for about 5 minutes before it got taken away! i knew it wouldn't be mine for long ... fun swap. i do hope you make one for yourself!!!


Did I tell you already how much i love this too!

I am off to find those red and white dots. And I keep on seeing that black and white kind of circle-hexagon pattern too.

Yummy! All of it!!

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