Red Heart's Baby Soft makes a cute and cuddly blanket, I'm working on one right now in blue for my friend who's due this summer. Here's the link to the pattern that I got from the Micheals website, http://www.michaels.com/art/online/p...heet?pid=24157
Its basically just knit stitch with some yarn overs (YO) and some knit 2 stiches together (K2tog). The gauge is 8 sts per 4 inches. I'm using the recommended size 15 US needles. I am a beginner as well and wanted something quick and easy. I don't know about the quick part but it seems to be easy enough.