Feathers & Hugs – How to Create a Psalms 91 Throw

A friend of mine and I created the first Psalms 91 Throw a couple of years ago as part of a Ministry. We gave them to folks who had been diagnosed with cancer; whose homes had been destroyed in a fire; and to some who had lost a loved one.

The Psalms 91 throw offered comfort, hugs, encouragement and support, even when we couldn’t be there to offer those precious things ourselves.

The throws were so popular we decided to make them for the women and children on our Christmas list. They loved them, but what surprised me was that several of the men wanted to know why they didn’t get one. Our Christmas gift for the next year just got easier!

colorful fabric

The Creation Process

Creating a Psalms 91 Throw and making it a more personal gift is easy. Choose your fabric according to the color preferences or personality of the recipient. Then take it a step further by embroidering the person’s name, favorite Bible verse or a design in one of the corner squares.

We chose Psalms 91:4 to create a feeling of being comforted and protected – “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

The Little Extra Touch

In the bottom right hand square we embroidered Psalms 91 with a free-hand drawing of a feather. We did this mainly from the Ministry perspective to remind everyone that God is their refuge. That way, when they used the throw, they can imagine that they are getting a big hug from God!

But the real  beauty of the Psalms 91 Throw is that you can add anything you want – a name, a favorite Bible verse, a quote or artwork that makes it a more personal gift.

Easy on the Budget

One of my favorite things about the Psalms 91 Throws is that they are a frugal craft. You need enough fabric to do 30 squares that are 10-1/2” x 10-1/2”. I use fabric that I already have, but I do purchase some fabric that is specific to a recipient. 

With the rest, I supplement coordinating fabric from my stash. Unless you have it, you will need to purchase the fleece backing, which needs to be at least 61” long (to accommodate the 1/2” seam allowance) and 51” wide.

The fleece I purchase is 2 yards x 54” (width). This size is a perfect for one throw. If you prefer, you can use a blanket or vintage bedspread for the backing; just make sure it is clean, without stains, and isn’t affected by holes, tears or dry-rot. I used a Chenille bedspread for the back of one, and it turned out great.

Quick Tips:

1. You will want to see how your quilt is going to look once it’s put together, but before you do all the sewing. To do this, hang a flannel-backed tablecloth (purchased from the Dollar Store) on the wall. The squares adhere to the flannel, and you can arrange and rearrange until you like the way it looks.
2. If you want to embroider something on a square, do it after you cut the square but before you sew the pieces together.

Step By Step:

Supplies:

  • 3+ yards of fabric (a total of 30 squares) – I chose five different fabrics with 6 squares of each design, so you will need roughly 1/2 to 3/4 yards of each design with a 44” minimum width for each set of squares
  • Coordinating Thread
  • 2 yards of 54” width coordinating backing – you can use fleece, flannel, blanket or bedspread – just make sure it is 54” wide and a minimum of 61” in length
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins
  • Optional: Coordinating Embroidery yarn; embroidery needle & hoops; embroidery pattern (iron-on or free hand)

Directions:

Cut 6 – 10-1/2” squares out of each piece of fabric (you need a total of 30 squares).

Lay out squares in an appealing design. I lay out five differently designed squares on the first row, then start my next row with the sixth design. The first design in the first row would be the second square in the second row, then I follow the same way throughout the throw. You can, however, place them in any order you choose.

Choose which square will be embroidered. Remove that square from your layout and embroider your chosen design. If you have chosen an iron-on pattern, gently hand-wash the square in cool water, then lightly press. Replace the square into the layout.

Make Your Rows

Starting with the first square in the first row: Pin the first two squares right sides together. Sew a 1/2” seam. Open the two pieces so the right sides are both showing. Pin the third square to the second (right sides together) and sew with a 1/2″ seam. Repeat until all 5 squares in the first row are sewn together.

Repeat this process with the remaining five rows. Press open all the seams.

 

Connect the Rows

With right sides together, pin the first row to the second. Check to make certain the fabric designs are in the order you chose. Be careful, as it is easy to sew the rows upside down. Sew the rows together. Open them so the right sides are facing up. Place the third row over the second one and pin. Again, check to make sure the squares are in the proper order. Pin in place, then sew together. (Note: The third and remaining rows will be sewn from the bottom of the row above.)

Repeat with the remaining rows. Press the seams open.

Attach the Backing

On a large surface (I use a double bed), lay the backing fabric open, right-side up. Center the throw on the backing, right side down. Trim the backing to the edge of the throw top, and pin around all edges. At the bottom of the throw, mark an opening approximately 3” to 5” with pins or fabric chalk. You do not want to sew this area – it will be for turning the throw.

Sew a 1/2” seam all the way around the throw, beginning at one side of the opening and ending at the other side. Trim seams if necessary.
Gently begin turning the throw inside out through the opening. To get sharp corners, I use the tip of a large size crochet hook. Be careful not to push through the fabric.

Handmade Throw Blanket

Fold in the seam at the opening, then lightly press. Sew 1/2″ from the edge all the way around the throw, being sure to sew the opening closed.

Lightly press on the fabric side (not the fleece side), using a low heat on your iron.

Size Options:

  • Small – 3 squares x 4 squares – works great for a newborn
  • Medium – 4 squares x 5 squares – perfect for a young child
  • Large – 5 squares x 6 squares – Teenager and Adult

Note: A larger throw will require that you sew two pieces of fleece or flannel together, leaving a seam down the middle. If you choose to do a larger throw, consider a lightweight blanket or bedspread for your backing.

This post was included in the 2019 Gifts from the Homestead Collaboration. Looking for more great gifts to create?  Visit these great websites.  Be sure to share your favorites on Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites!

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Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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