Well…that is the question I get asked most often.
So what are those holes and how do they get there and why are they so important? To be able to crochet nicely around a flannel blanket it is very important to have evenly spaced holes that stay open. There are a few different ways to do this. Some people use an awl to punch their own holes. I have not tried this method because I don’t believe I would get the evenness that I want and there is no stitch keeping the holes open. I have also seen products that are supposed to help you line up the holes so that you can punch them evenly. If you do a web search you will find lots of ideas on how to make the holes, but for me they all had one problem – due to the nature of flannel fabric, the holes do not easily stay open. I found instructions online for using a wing needle in your sewing machine to make the holes. This solved the problem of evenly spaced holes but because our sewing machines only have one needle, it does not stitch the hole open.
While I was looking online for a solution to my problem, I was fortunate to run across the website – www.heirloomhemstitching.com. It was the solution I had been looking for! Julie has a hemstitching machine that makes the holes that I needed to have a nicely completed project! So for about 6 years now, I have been buying my fabric and sending it to Arizona! I do not receive any compensation for promoting Julie’s site but I have always been happy with the work that she has done and the speed that she can do it in!
If you look around on Julie’s site, she tells all about the hemstitching machine and how it works. She also has her pricing list posted.
So here’s how it works for me…I buy flannel when it is on sale and I mail it to Julie. I buy 2 pieces of coordinating fabric that measure 1 yard each for each blanket and burp cloth set. Out of that fabric, I get one small baby blanket and 2 burp cloths. If you don’t want the burp cloths you can opt for 1 larger blanket.
She uses her magic (and her hemstitching machine) to turn my fabric into crochet-able blankets and burp cloths! I receive them back like the picture below. you can see that there is a salvage edge around the burp cloth. The close up picture below shows how her machine works to both punch the holes and sew them open at the same time!
After I receive my fabric, I trip the salvage edge off. I only leave about 1/4 of an inch of fabric. Trim slowly and carefully. If you cut into the hemstitching you can ruin your blanket.
All that is left to do now is to pick a crochet thread, pick a pattern and get to work! For this project I picked a variegated yellow crochet thread. It is the Omega brand 100% nylon thread. I chose to use the Basic Shell Crochet Edge Pattern that you can find on my site! Good luck and happy stitching.