Just Duckie!

018 (2)Rewind approximately five years.  I was working as a Spanish TA at the University of Iowa, and had recently announced to my friends that I was expecting my first baby.  The same day I went in to tell my fellow TAs, one of them (my good friend) called me to her office to tell me that SHE was expecting!  We had such a good laugh.  And then, within the next month or so, FOUR more TAs from our department shared the same news! Crazy!  So, as we planned for our department baby shower (times six!), my friend saw some baby blankets that my aunt Jean had made for me and she asked if my aunt would make her some. She offered to pay for them, saying that she really didn’t want to miss out on the chance for her baby to be wrapped up in these big, cozy blankies!  So, I bought some fabric, headed over to my aunt’s house, and we got to work.  And as it turns out, that year (2008) was not only the birth of six new babies in the Spanish Department, but also the birth of my aunt and I’s blanket business:  Just Duckie Blankies.

We quickly fell into a pattern, with me heading out the “design” aspect (choosing the fabrics, matching them up with coordinating prints, taking peoples’ orders) and Jean doing the work (cutting, measuring, sewing, embroidering, etc.)  After five years, and three babies of my own, Jean and I are still going strong with the Just Duckie blankies, and have even expanded from our original blankie and burp cloth business into now offering tutus, personalized onesies and t-shirts, super hero capes, toys, shopping cart covers, and more!  And speaking of personalized, that is the best part about what we have to offer:  all blankets (as well as the majority of our items) can be personalized with names, birthdates, or whatever tickles your fancy!  We have seen a lot of names go through that embroidery machine, and each one makes us so happy to know that our big, soft blankies are being wrapped around a precious new little bundle!

989Speaking of names…in 2012 my husband and I announced our third pregnancy, and we decided to wait until the baby was born to share the name with our family.  We had chosen the name “Nora” a long time ago, but had never considered a middle name because our first two babies were boys.  We decided that we were going to name her after someone very special in our life, my aunt Jean.  As soon as we chose her name, I knew how I would reveal it to Jean:  with a blanket, of course!  The only problem?  The minor detail that Jean runs the embroidery machine!  So, I got a quick lesson from her, and told her to leave me in there with the machine and NO peeking.  As it happens, my entire family happened to be out there for the 4th of July, so I really had to be careful hiding that blanket!  Thankfully I was able to embroider Nora Jean on the blankie without messing anything up, and then I wrapped it up with a ribbon and put it in my hospital bag.  On August 4th, 2012 our little Nora Jean arrived, and her great aunt Jeannie was one of the first people (after grandparents, of course!) to see her.  When she walked in, my husband handed her the blanket.  She thought it was such a fun way for her to find out…little did she know that the blanket had her own name on it!  That, my friends, was a priceless moment.

MyCollage_122Just Duckie has been such a wonderful experience in my life, and I am so glad to share it with you today.  We recently launched a new website, started a Facebook page, and joined Instagram, and we would love to have your help in spreading the word!  We are working hard on preparations for our Holiday Open House (which will be in Davenport on November 2nd, if anyone is interested!), and we are always taking orders as well.  We continue to love making these items, and especially putting special names on them to make that extra special gift that everyone raves about after the baby shower/birthday party/etc.  If you, or someone you know, could use one of these adorable personalized gifts, keep reading…

…we are offering an extra special opportunity today for our extra special Iowa City Moms Blog readers!   All of your orders placed between now and Thanksgiving (November 28) will receive a special 10% “Moms Blog” discount!  Just mention the blog when you place your order!  Oh, and that’s not all!  We are also offering a GIVEAWAY!!  The winner of the Just Duckie giveaway wi349ll win your choice of the following (all personalized as you choose)

a)      A blanket/burp cloth combo

b)      A super-hero cape

c)       A tutu and onesie/t-shirt combo

To enter this giveaway, please use the following methods of entry.  And please remember to leave a SEPARATE comment here on this blog post after each entry!  Thanks so much, and GOOD LUCK!

1.Comment on this blog post, telling us which prize you would choose (and for who!)

2.”Like” Just Duckie Blankies on Facebook by clicking here.  (And comment here to tell us that you did!)

3.Follow us on Instagram (@justduckieblankies) and then comment here to tell us you are following!


*Contest will end on Wednesday at noon; happy entering, and we can’t wait to put something together for our winner!

Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.


  1. It’s so hard to choose, but I think I would choose the superhero cape for my almost 4-year-old!

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